Wednesday, 2 May 2018

After dumping enough rain on the island to leave the wheelbarrow brimming with water this morning, last night's storm quickly subsided to leave us with a beautiful clear day, although the sea state again stopped the boat from coming. I think we're all just about stocked up with enough supplies to get us through another night, but if the worst comes to the worst there are still some Fray Bentos pies left in the food shop.

A Short-eared Owl that briefly appeared over the mountain before dipping down over the east side livened up an otherwise fairly quiet day for migrants. Log counts included five Fulmars, 32 Manx Shearwaters, five Gannets, a Grey Heron, two Sparrowhawks, a Buzzard, a Merlin, six Ringed Plovers, nine Purple Sandpipers, 12 Whimbrels, 12 Turnstones, two Little Owls, two Stonechats, six Wheatears, a Sedge Warbler, a Blackcap, eight Chiffchaffs, 18 Willow Warblers, a Goldcrest, a female Pied Flycatcher, two Chaffinches, 18 Goldfinches and six Linnets.

The Turnstones are now looking even more spectacular than when I last mentioned them in the blog. Many of the large flocks we were recording in March will have returned to their breeding grounds in northern Europe, but a few usually linger into the summer. © Richard Layton

A pair of Little Owls are very active around Ty Capel at the moment. When they're not actually visible they can usually be heard calling across the mountainside. © Richard Layton

Gardening and painting were the orders of the day. Billy prepared an old border alongside the observatory lawn, ready for sowing cereal crops to attract the Yellow-browed Bunting later in the season.

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