Tuesday, 14 September 2021

Lots of rain overnight saw the rain tanks recovering from their recent drought! Soon we will be able to have a shower again...

As the rain eased and dawn broke the island appeared very quiet. Kevin Headed to the Narrows on his final walk before saying goodbye to the island for another year. Steve did census of the withies, lowlands and Ty Pellaf, before heading back to the Obs to lead a guided walk. Highlight of the census was a lone Tree Pipit over Ty Pellaf.

A jolly bunch of 17 arrived for the walk which took on a different feel. 

a very jolly group on the guided walk

watching waders, gulls, Cormorants and Shags on the Narrows

Rather than the usual route via Pen Cristin, we headed down the Green Lane and along the back of the withies. A Migrant Hawker was seen over one of the ponds and a Sparrowhawk circled the West Coast. 

We then headed to the west side of the withies where both Chiffchaff and Willow Warblers were seen and an identification masterclass was given, explaining the subtle differences in calls and plumage of this species pair. A Great Spotted Woodpecker gave a flyby after sitting atop one of the bamboo net poles! A Grey Wagtail flew north calling, but no-one could manage to see it!

Crossing the Narrows Wheatear biology and migration strategies were also discussed as a fine richly coloured and upright Greenland Whetear graced the banks in front of the group.

Onto Solfach where Dunlin, Sanderling, White and Pied Wagtails were scrutinised along with identification pointers on Rock and Meadow Pipits. Then across to the wader roost rocks where Turnstones and Redshanks were seen, and the long staying Grey Plover showed well along with a Grey Heron. Out on Carreg Yr Honwy were Herring and Greater Black backed Gulls, as well as a Sandwich Tern, 19 Black-headed and five Mediterranean Gulls. A small bunch of Purple Sandpipers were amongst the Turnstones and the identification of Cormorants and Shags was discussed.

Then onto look for Autumn Lady's-tresses; a few were found, but most had lost their delicate little white flowers.

We then headed up to the Sunflower field where we saw lots of bees feeding, a good flock of Linnets, and some Small Coper butterflies. 

They brighten up even the dullest of mornings, but today’s sun is making them glow!!

Small Copper and Sunflower

A number of Silver Y moths were seen in the grass along with a couple of Nomophila noctuela (Rush Veneer) moths. These are immigrants from the Mediterranean and North Africa! The walk ended, some three hours later with everyone ready for lunch and a cuppa!

In the afternoon Stuart and Megan arrived back after being off the island for the weekend. 

Steve went to Nant and saw a few Chiffchaffs and Swallows, one of the latter thinking itself big enough to take on one of the Ravens and relentlessly mobbed it for about five minutes! A group of 24 Goldfinches and the only spotted Flycatcher of the day were in the Plantation. A Kestrel was hunting over the mountain upon return to the Obs and ended a nice day.

beautiful Goldfinch

A plucky little Swallow harassing the Raven

Spotted Flycatcher

Immature female Kestrel

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