Thursday, 25 October 2018

Today's Chaffinch passage was one of the highlights of autumn 'vis-migging' so far. Small groups were first picked up on their faint calls, heading high over the island straight towards the west coast of Ireland. As our eyes became adjusted to the blue sky, we started to pick up more and more Chaffinch-shaped dots, until it became apparent that they were all part of a migrating super-flock containing at least 300 birds. Lower down at ground level, there was a good arrival of thrushes, with eight Fieldfares and 97 Redwings all new in, whilst warbler numbers improved slightly to five Blackcaps and six Chiffchaffs. The 'blythi'-type Lesser Whitethroat remained around Ty Capel but yesterday's Water Pipit on Solfach couldn't be relocated.

Other birds today included a Red-throated Diver, two Great Northern Divers, a Manx Shearwater, ten Common Scoters, a Sparrowhawk, two Buzzards, two Kestrels, a Merlin, two Peregrines, a Water Rail, three Snipes, a Whimbrel, 35 Turnstones, an Arctic Skua, six Great Skuas, 828 Black-headed Gulls, 708 Kittiwakes, two Little Owls, a Barn Owl, two Great Spotted Woodpeckers, eight Skylarks, 11 Stonechats, 15 Song Thrushes, a Mistle Thrush, 11 Goldcrests, six Blue Tits, three Great Tits, 531 Starlings, 332 Chaffinches, 13 Bramblings, two Greenfinches, seven Siskins, 81 Goldfinches, two Linnets, 36 Lesser Redpolls and three Reed Buntings.

Mark trapped this smart L-album Wainscot at Ty Bach two days ago. Up until recently this was predominantly a scarce but regular visitor to the UK from continental Europe, breeding only along the south coast. More recently, it has expanded its range north into Wales, with the first North Wales record coming in October 2015. Needless to say this is the first record for the island!

There are very few things we've been able to find that Icky Steve can't do. He's a problem solver, a DIY extraordinaire and a bird finder. One of the rainwater tanks had a leaking tap, but you can only remove the tap from the inside. Everyone thought the entrance at the top was too small to get in and out of, but Icky Steve managed it. Now we have a non-leaky tap on the rainwater tank. Can you count the number of Steve's in this photo?

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