Tuesday, 10 April 2018

There was a surprising clear out of migrants following a cloudy and drizzly night. The highlight today came from the sea, with five Bottlenose Dolphins performing well off the south end in the last hour of sunlight. Scarcely seen off Bardsey (certainly much less often than Risso's or Harbour Porpoise) it's tempting to assume that this is part of the same pod that passed by the island last week.

The pick of today's birds included a Fulmar, a Cormorant, four pairs of Shelducks, the female Merlin, a Buzzard, two Peregrines, 103 Oystercatchers, four Whimbrels, a Collared Dove and a Little Owl. Migrant passerine numbers appear to have fallen overnight, with just five Wheatears, three Blackcaps, nine Chiffchaffs, two Willow Warblers and 16 Goldcrests. There were two Chaffinches at the observatory as well as 17 Goldfinches and 44 Linnets moving around in feeding flocks.

Things are starting to liven up in the moth trap, with two Early Thorn, three Dark Sword-grass, an Early Grey, a Mottled Grey, three Common Quakers and a Red Chestnut caught at the obs last night.

The second sighting of Bottlenose Dolphins in as many weeks - same pod doing the rounds?

Harbour Porpoise are the most common cetacean in the waters surrounding the island. Views of dolphins and whales from Bardsey are often distant, but each species have distinctive features that can aid identification. Porpoises keep a very low profile in the water, barely revealing much of their body apart from their noticeably compact dorsal fin when they breach.

This colour-ringed Chough was seen collecting bunches of thrift around her nest site today on the west coast. Unusual amongst Choughs, this female appears to have divorced from her long-term colour-ringed partner this year, and is now building a nest with a new unringed male!

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