Thursday, 12 April 2018

Yesterday's calm and mild weather continued into today, and what started off as a fairly quiet morning bird wise soon turned into a classic early spring fall day. An impressive 164 Willow Warblers were flitting about on the cliffs, stone walls and just about every feasible patch of vegetation with 40 Chiffchaffs and 103 Blackcaps. In addition, three Grasshopper Warblers were reeling in the wetlands, two White Wagtails were on the Narrows, three Tree Pipits flew over during the course of the day as did a flava Wagtail. The best was saved until last when a stunning male Pied Flycatcher was discovered at Ty Nessaf this evening.

The fine weather also gave us a chance to get back around to the dramatic cliffs on the east side of the island, this time to count Shag nests. A total of 28 apparently occupied nests were found, some with up to three eggs but none with chicks yet. The nest sites found today will be mapped out and visited regularly to monitor breeding progress throughout the season.

Other birds noted on a fantastic spring day included five Fulmars, a Cormorant, 56 Shags, two Sparrowhawks, a Buzzard, a Water Rail, a Ringed Plover, four Snipes, a Whimbrel, 16 Turnstones, a Puffin, a Great Spotted Woodpecker, a Sand Martin, seven Swallows, a House Martin, two Black Redstarts, four Stonechats, 39 Wheatears, 17 Goldcrests, a Chaffinch, two Siskins, eight Goldfinches, 21 Linnets, a Bullfinch and a Reed Bunting.



 Pied Flycatcher - note the browner primaries indicating this is a first summer bird.
Willow Warbler
Black Redstart

Shags can lay up to five eggs, but no more than three were seen in any nest on today's visit.

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