Sunday, 25 March 2018

It was another stunning day on Ynys Enlli, with the warm sunshine and good visibility making for pleasurable birding. In a similar vein to yesterday, raptors were on the move, with a Red Kite that drifted low over the mountain early in the afternoon the star bird of the day.

Spring migration was once again evident on land, with the first Willow Warbler of the year trapped at the obs. A total of 37 Goldcrests was a noticeable increase on yesterday as was seven Wheatears and 12 Chiffchaffs, whilst a small movement of finches included ten Chaffinches, four Siskins, five Goldfinches, eight Linnets. Two Merlins were present on the south end of the island and a vocal Water Rail was heard several times through the day from the Withies. At sea, the first two Puffins of the year were noted off the east coast, whilst other sightings of note across the island included a Knot, a Whimbrel, the long-staying Great Spotted Woodpecker, 156 Meadow Pipits and the first two Reed Buntings of the year.

 With the milder nights come the moths! Mottled Grey is a common species on Bardsey in early spring. © Billy Dykes

Ciliated Fringewort © Billy Dykes

Mosses and liverworts are often overlooked amongst Wales' flora and fauna, not least because they can provide a tricky identification challenge. With the heather still stunted and the bracken yet to make an appearance, a visit up onto the mountain at this time of year reveals a fascinating world of mosses, liverworts and lichens that will soon be hidden as the vegetation grows back. Ciliated Fringewort (Ptilidium ciliae) is one of the commoner liverworts around the cliff tops of Bardsey, pictured here amongst a patch of purple coloured Stonecrop that will soon outgrow it.

Everywhere you look there are signs that spring is taking hold. Hopefully the Beast from the East is finished with us for the season © Billy Dykes

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