Thursday, 19 April 2018

Most of the country baked in hot sunshine today but our little corner of the North Wales coastline remained distinctly cold and misty. Still, conditions were calm enough to start the first of four breeding bird surveys this spring. This means a very early start to walk the length of the island - we split the island into manageable chunks so each survey takes a couple of mornings to complete - to note any and all established bird territories.

Today we covered the south end of the island, a good decision seeming as that's where the majority of the day's avian highlights seemed to turn up! Two Canada Geese on the beach at Solfach were an island scarcity, two Tree Pipits and a Grasshopper Warbler were in the gorse by the lighthouse, a Hooded Crow and two Jackdaws tagged along with the roving Corvid flock whilst a very early Swift bombed straight down the island and off to sea past the Lighthouse just as dawn broke at 6am. 

The rest of today's birds included two Fulmars, 25 Manx Shearwaters seen on our 'Meet the Manxies' walk, a Gannet, two Peregrines, 128 Oystercatchers, 16 Purple Sandpipers, a Snipe, five Whimbrel, nine Redshanks, 16 Turnstones, two Sand Martins, three Swallows, three White Wagtails, a stunning male Black Redstart, four Wheatears, a Sedge Warbler, eight Blackcaps, 12 Chiffchaffs, two Goldcrests, 31 Carrion Crows, five Siskins, 18 Goldfinches, 129 Linnets and 23 Lesser Redpolls

The sun eventually appeared late in the evening, illuminating the Marsh Marigold and Cuckooflower that are starting to appear in the damper areas of the lowlands.

Common Scurvy-grass is brightening up the cliff tops at the moment. It shouldn't be long before the Thrift and Spring Squill start to come into their own.

The Lesser Celandine looks fantastic too!

One of the earlier day-flying moths to appear on Bardsey is the micro moth Pyrausta despicata. They can be a common find on the cliff tops in spring. This one was flying around the north hide today, seemingly unfazed by the recent stormy weather!

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