Friday 27 October 2023

With the season coming to an end, most of the day was spent busily sorting out the observatory for the winter. However, mid-morning there was one last surprise when two Glossy Ibises flew south along the West Coast before continuing south. This was only the second record for Bardsey after 10 flew over in September 2009!

Elsewhere, a Knot joined the waders on Solfach which also contained 21 Purple Sandpipers and two Whimbrels. A Merlin and two Short-eared Owls were hunting around Nant, two Redwings were at Cristin, three Chiffchaffs were in the Withies, a Firecrest was at Ty Pellaf and a Brambling went south.

Thursday 26 October 2023

The wind strengthen slightly from yesterday and three late Swallows battled south. The Siberian Chiffchaff was still present along with three Chiffchaffs, two Blackcaps, 25 Goldcrests and three Firecrests. A Woodcock was in the Withies and 1295 Razorbill passed out to sea.   

Firecrest © Ed Betteridge 
Other birds today were nine Common Scoters, two Buzzards, a Water Rail, two Purple Sandpipers, five Snipe, a Whimbrel, seven Mediterranean Gulls, 154 Black-headed Gulls, two Common Gulls, three Skylarks, seven Redwings, five Coal Tits, four Long-tailed Tits, two Blue Tits, seven Great Tits, eight Rooks, 500 Starlings, 26 Chaffinches, a Greenfinch and six Siskins

Blue Tit © Ed Betteridge 

Wednesday 25 October 2023

Overhead 172 Skylarks, 12 Pied Wagtails, 110 Jackdaws, 450 Starlings, 58 Chaffinches, a Brambling, a Hawfinch, 12 Greenfinches, 39 Siskins, 94 Goldfinches, 58 Linnets, six Lesser Redpolls, two House Sparrows,  two Lapland Buntings and two Reed Buntings went through. Thrushes today totalled three Fieldfare, 19 Blackbirds, 11 Song Thrushes and ten RedwingsBlack Redstarts were at Nant and Cristin with a Short-eared Owl hunting the South End. 

The calm weather resulted in the last ringing day of the year with 11 Blackbirds, three Firecrests, 20 Goldcrests, two Chiffchaffs, a Blackcap, 21 Chaffinches, three Bullfinches, a Coal Tit and a Brambling being caught between Nant, the Withies and Cristin. The portable Heligoland trap on Solfach caught five more adult Choughs!

Bullfinch © Ed Betteridge

Firecrest © Ed Betteridge

Brambling © Ed Betteridge

A Chough originally ringed on the mainland © Ed Betteridge

Other birds included 22 Mediternean Gulls, 18 Black-headed Gulls, 16 Common Gulls, ten Lesser Black-backed Gulls, 140 Kittiwakes. 6 Buzzards, two Merlins, three Water Rails, a Ringed Plover, four Coal Tits, four Long-tailed Tits, a Blue Tit, four Great Tits, 42 Choughs, 58 Chaffinches 55, Goldcrests and four Firecrests

Tuesday 24 October 2023

A seawatch off the South End produced the first two Eiders of the year alongside 19 Common Scoters, four Dunlins, 1520 Kittiwakes, two Mediternean Gulls and 560 Razorbills. The Hen Harrier was still hunting around the Island with a single Swallow south. A Stock Dove was in the Wetlands, the Siberian Chiffchaff was still in the Withies, a Coal Tit was at Nant and a total of three Firecrests were logged. 

The portable Heligoland trap on Solfach was finally successful and caught two adult Choughs which were colour ringed to help further our knowledge of these iconic Welsh birds. 

Chough © Ed Betteridge

Monday 23 October 2023

 Last night another attempt to catch Long-eared Owls was rather successful with a new juvenile male trapped in Cristin Withy. 

Long-eared Owl © Ed Betteridge

The wind continued from the south-east with some strength. A Great Northern and Red-throated Diver passed the South End with the Hen Harrier back over the Wetlands after a no show yesterday. A Lapwing was new in on the Narrows and the Woodcock was still around Nant. Elsewhere, a Firecrest was at Nant and one at the obs, and Bramblings went over Solfach and Cristin. 

Sunday 22 October 2023

An unpresented arrival of Tits saw 13 Great Tits, 11 Blue Tits, six Long-tailed Tits and three Coal Tits. An increase of Corvids in the calm weather saw 28 Jackdaws and 46 Rooks logged. The Siberian Chiffchaff was in the Withies, a Little Gull off the West Coast, four Bullfinches, a Woodcock, Long-eared Owl was at Nant, two Mistle Thrushes and a Firecrest at Cristin. A Flava Wagtail went south and a Short-eared Owl hunted the South End.

A good days ringing saw 154 bird caught of 18 species today with a rather mainland feel including island scarcities of two Great Spotted Woodpeckers, two Coal Tits, nine Blue Tits, 13 Great Tits, six Long-tailed Tits plus 37 Chaffinches, 57 Goldcrests, four Redwings, four Siskins, seven Lesser Redpolls and a Bullfinch.

Other birds included three Common Scoters, a Water Rail, 81 Woodpigeons, a Grey Wagtail, 311 Skylarks, six Song Thrushes, 20 Redwings, a Blackcap, six Chiffchaffs, 57 Goldcrests, 214 Starlings, ten Bramblings, 15 Greenfinches, 14 Siskins, 23 Lesser Redpolls and two Reed Buntings

Great Spotted Woodpecker © Ed Betteridge

Bullfinch © Ed Betteridge

Thursday 19 October 2023

The sea was generally quiet apart from a Red-throated Diver, three Manx Shearwaters, two Commic Terns and three Common Scoters. The Hen Harrier was still around busy hunting mainly in the Wetlands. An arrival of thrushes saw a Ring Ouzel, 19 Blackbirds, 15 Fieldfares four Song Thrushes and 22 Redwings logged. A Stock Dove went over Cristin and a Wigeon was in Solfach. 

Another trip out dazzling produced a Water Rail, Moorhen, two Oystercatchers and a Snipe along with sightings of a Short-eared Owl and 1+ Long-eared Owls

Snipe © Ed Betteridge

Water Rail © Ed Betteridge 

Other birds included three Merlins, two Peregrines, a Water Rail, a Lapwing, five Purple Sandpipers, two Dunlins, a Whimbrel, seven Redshanks, six Mediternean Gulls, 28 Black-headed Gulls, 11 Common Gulls, two Skylarks, 39 Robins, four Blackcaps, nine Chiffchaffs, 33 Goldcrests, four Long-tailed Tits, eight Great Tits, 25 Starlings, 35 Chaffinches, 51 Siskins, 31 Goldfinches, a Lesser Redpoll and two Reed Buntings

Wednesday 18 October 2023

Strong eastlies continued with rain showers; the sea off the South End produced three Tufted Ducks, 90 Mediternean Gulls, 145 Black-headed Gulls, 115 Common Gulls, 347 Kittiwakes, an Arctic Tern, 15 Common Scoters, 1556 Razorbills and a Black Guillemot. The Hen Harrier and Short-eared Owl remained with eight Wigeon and five Teals

Common Gull © Ed Betteridge

Other birds of note included six Grey Herons, two Dunlins, nine Purple Sandpipers, a Whimbrel, seven Redshanks, a Water Rail, ten Redwings, two Blackcaps, six Chiffchaffs, 20 Goldcrests, five Long-tailed Tits, eight Great Tits, 27 Starlings, 22 Chaffinches and four Siskins

Tuesday 17 October 2023

Strong eastly wind saw a Lapland Bunting feeding on the Narrows with seven Lapwings. The Hen Harrier was still around the Wetlands with a total three Merlins. Out to sea, two Red-throated Divers, 25 Wigeons and 23 Common Scoters passed with two Wigeons on the Narrows and a Red-breasted Merganser in Solfach.

Lapland Bunting © Ed Betteridge
Lapland Bunting © Ed Betteridge

A trip out dazzling after dark produced a good catch of 12 Turnstones, seven Oystercatchers, a Snipe, a Redshank, a Teal, a Moorhen and the first ever Wigeon to be ringed on Bardsey! Also seen was a Long-eared and Short-eared Owl

Wigeon © Ed Betteridge

Teal © Ed Betteridge

Other birds today included two Grey Herons, a Whimbrel, six Purple Sandpipers, two Dunlins, six Mediternean Gulls, 29 Black-headed Gulls, 30 Common Gulls, a 'Commic' Tern, a Stock Dove, two Skylarks, 14 Blackbirds, 77 Redwings, three Song Thrushes, a Blackcap, nine Chiffchaffs, 29 Goldcrests, four Long-tailed Tits, five Great Tits, 62 Starlings, 19 Chaffinches, a Greenfinch, ten Siskins, five Goldfinches and a Lesser Redpoll

Monday 16 October 2023

The easterlies winds strengthened slightly from yesterday but clear skies meant for a rather nice day. The second Black-throated Diver of the year went south alongside 15 Common Scoters, 40 Mediternean Gulls, a Little Gull, 325 Black-headed Gulls, 415 Kittiwakes, 65 Common Gulls and a Sandwich Terns

A new Firecrest was trapped at Cristin alongside one of the three House Sparrows. The Siberian Chiffchaff was still in the Withies and presumably a new Yellow-browed Warbler was at Carrag. A Stock Dove was new in at Ty Pellaf and the Hen Harrier spent most of the day hunting around the Island. 

A good number of corvids again came across in the morning with a day total of 48 Choughs, 210 Jackdaws, 28 Rooks, 42 Carrion Crows and ten Ravens. After a blank last year a Green Sandpiper was seen flying north through the Wetlands during the evening. A total of three Merlins were seen hunting Meadow Pipits. Lepidoptera highlight was three Clouded Yellows

Firecrest © Ed Betteridge

Male House Sparrow © Ed Betteridge

Hen Harrier © Ed Betteridge

Other birds included four Grey Herons, a Buzzard, three Lapwings, 18 Snipe, six Purple Sandpipers, two Whimbrels, 18 Skylarks, 90 Meadow Pipits, seven 'Alba' Wagtails, a Grey Wagtail, three Song Thrushes, ten Redwings, three Blackcaps, 15 Chiffchaffs, 34 Goldcrests, six Long-tailed Tits, six Great Tits, 11 Starlings, a Brambling, 33 Chaffinches, 40 Siskins, six Goldfinches and 25 Linnets.

A total of six Snipe were caught in the evening including a bird from 2016 also caught in the Spring
© Ed Betteridge

Jack Snipe © Ed Betteridge

Sunday 15 October 2023

Calm weather with clear skies produced another good arrival to the Island. A Common Rosefinch was heard and seen briefly by the School House first thing before, presumably the same bird, relocating to Cristin Withy during the evening. Other finches included five Lesser Redpolls, ten Linnets, 12 Goldfinches, 81 Siskins, six Greenfinch, three Brambling and 46 Chaffinch. A Hen Harrier went over the Mountain with 12 Buzzards and a Merlin. A Yellow-browed Warbler was in the Withies with a flock of 30 Long-tailed Tit and five Great Tits

Common Rosefinch © Ed Betteridge

The light north-easterlies brought a high number of corvids across with 138 Jackdaws, 70 Rooks, 52 Carrion Crows, a Hooded Crow and 49 Choughs. Two Whooper Swans went north along the West Coast with a third heading east. A total of ten Swallows were a sign summer was still not over. A total of 30 Mediternean Gulls were off the South End with three House Sparrows at Cristin and a Reed Bunting over. Additionally, a Great Spotted Woodpecker was in the Lowlands.

A good day for ringing produced 148 birds of 17 species including a Brambling, Siberian Chiffchaff, retrap Firecrest, four Pied Wagtails, five Great Tits, seven Long-tailed Tits, three Rock Pipits, 18 Chaffinches four Redwings and 68 Goldcrests.

Siberian Chiffchaff © Ed Betteridge

Brambling © Ed Betteridge

Other birds today included a Whimbrel, six Redshanks, four Common Gulls, 33 Black-headed Gulls, a Little Owl, 27 Skylarks a Grey Wagtail, 15 Redwings, four Song Thrushes, six Starlings, 85 Goldcrests, four Blackcaps and eight Chiffchaffs

Saturday 14 October 2023

The sea saw a push of Divers with a Black-throated Diver, two Red-throated Diver and a Great Northern Diver south. Other totals from the sea were an Arctic Skua, 11 Common Scoters, 36 Mediternean Gulls, 202 Kittiwakes, two Sandwich Terns, a Little Gull, 38 Common Gulls and 37 Black-headed Gulls passed mainly east. The highlight of the day were two Whooper Swans east over the Narrows. 

A Yellow-browed Warbler was still in Plas Withy with a Firecrest at Cristin and the unusual looking Wigeon was still with Mallards in Henllywn. 

Yellow-browed Warbler 

Other totals were a Buzzard, a Peregrine, 17 Skylarks, two White Wagtails, a Wheatear, 16 Redwings, two Blackcaps, ten Chiffchaffs, 41 Goldcrests, eight Long-tailed Tits, a Great Tit, 39 Choughs, eight Chaffinches, ten Siskins, four Lesser Redpolls and two Reed Buntings

Lesser Black-backed Gulls © Ed Betteridge

Friday 13 October 2023

There were still four of Yellow-browed Warbler including another bird trapped and ringed at Cristin. Also at Cristin was a Firecrest, six Long-tailed Tits and a Great Tit. Four Common Scoters went south with a late Manx Shearwater ringed on the South End with a Turnstone and Redshank during the evening. 

Presumably, the same Wigeon was still in Solfach however, on closer inspection the bird was rather interesting. The bird was an adult drake coming out of eclipse and showed a green mask with a paler brown peppered head pattern. The bird seemed to have rather rufous orange sides and in flight showed very white auxiliaries and underwings. However, the bird didn't seem to have extremely white underwings or the right head shape however, many features are variable depending on the individual. 

The weird Wigeon © Ed Betteridge

Other birds seen was a Water Rail, 18 Purple Sandpipers, two Dunlin, four Snipe, a Whimbrel, two Skylark, a Wheatear, a White Wagtail, two Redwings, two Blackcap, five Chiffchaffs, eight Goldcrests, three Chaffinches, 12 Siskins and ten Goldfinches

Thursday 12 October 2023

The weather finally calmed to a north-easterly and produced a good fall of birds. In total 220 birds were trapped during the day including 114 Goldcrests; of these 32% were adults and 59% were females. Also trapped were three Yellow-browed Warblers, 15 Chiffchaffs, a Reed Warbler, two Great Tits, a Blue Tit, six Long-tailed Tit, a Rock Pipit, a Lesser Redpoll, three Redwings, 39 Chaffinches and six Siskins

Yellow-browed Warbler © Ed Betteridge

Blue, Long-tailed and Great Tit © Ed Betteridge

Elsewhere, there were three Lapland Buntings over the South End, and one over the obs, another Yellow-browed Warbler at Ty Pellaf and one at Nant, a Fieldfare at Ty Capel, a Wigeon on Solfach, a Red Kite over the Mountain with nine Buzzards, two Short-eared Owls, a Firecrest at Cristin, an additional four Long-tailed Tits and a Tree Sparrow at Ty Pellaf. 

Overhead passage totalled 213 Skylarks, six Swallows, six Grey Wagtails, 11 Alba Wagtails, four Jackdaws, 65 Rooks, 22 Starlings, a Greenfinch, 94 Chaffinches, 103 Siskins and five Lesser Redpolls

Other totals were two Grey Herons, two Common Scoters, a Kestrel, a Merlin, a Peregrine, 12 Golden Plovers, 20 Purple Sandpipers, three Snipe, a Whimbrel, 74 Black-headed Gulls, seven Common Gulls, a Little Owl, 239 Meadow Pipits, two White Wagtails, 30 Stonechats, 70 Robins, four Wheatears, four Song Thrushes, a Redwing, four Blackcaps, 15 Chiffchaffs, 170 Goldcrests, 70 Siskins

First Clouded Yellow of the year was at Nant © Ed Betteridge

Wednesday 11 October 2023

A wet day with a strong wind meant for very little apart from two Chaffinches and a Greenfinch at Cristin, a Merlin over the Mountain and a total of eight Snipe

After dark a trip out dazzling produced a Turnstone, an Oystercatcher, four Moorhens, a Water Rail and a Dunlin with two late Manx Shearwater seen with one juvenile ringed. 

Oystercatcher © Ed Betteridge

Turnstone © Ed Betteridge

Manx Shearwater © Ed Betteridge

Tuesday 10 October 2023

The south-westerlies strengthened overnight and reduced overhead passage first thing. Common Scoters were still on the move off the West Coast with 130 logged alongside a pair of Shovelers and three Teals. Gull passage south off the West Coast totalled 66 Black-headed Gulls, two Mediternean Gulls, ten Common Gulls and 40 Lesser Black-backed Gulls

A notable flock of nine Lapwing were on Henllywn before heading south with a Wheatear on the South End. Six Golden Plover and two Dunlins went south with a Merlin hunting the coast. A corvid arrival saw 17 Carrion Crows, ten Rooks and six Jackdaws around the South End with 23 Choughs logged including some new colour ringed birds from the mainland. A Great Spotted Woodpecker was new in at Nant. An small butterfly arrival saw a Painted Lady, 12 Red Admiral and two Small Tortoiseshell

Other birds totals today were two Kestrel, a Water Rail, three Dunlins, 28 Purple Sandpipers, a Snipe, 97 Turnstones, a Whimbrel, 25 Skylarks, a Grey Wagtail, three White Wagtails, three Song Thrushes, a Blackcap, six Chiffchaffs, 28 Goldcrests, 28 Starlings, four Chaffinches, 21 Siskins, 41 Goldfinches and two Lesser Redpolls

Woodpigeon © Ed Betteridge

Dazzling during the evening resulted in two Dunlins, a Ringed Plover, two Purple Sandpipers, an Oystercatcher and three Moorhens.

Volunteer Tom Williams ringing an Oystercatcher © Ed Betteridge
Pearly Underwing from the moth trap  © Ed Betteridge

Monday 9 October 2023

Light south-westerlies was calm enough to see large numbers of birds moving past the Island today. Finches dominated overhead with a Island record count of 1386 Goldfinches passing over (394 in 2022 previous record) alongside 418 Linnets, 511 Siskins (doubly the previous record), a Brambling, 14 Lesser Redpolls and 24 Chaffinches. Other vismig 137 Starlings, two Reed Buntings, 11 Rooks, 56 Alba Wagtails, eight Grey Wagtails, a House Martin, 168 Swallows and 274 Skylarks

Out to sea a 931 Common Scoter went south; this is three times more than the previous record day count! These were joined by a Tufted Duck (first for two years), 13 Wigeons, three Teals, 16 Mediternean Gulls, 72 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, 67 Black-headed Gulls, 25 Common Gulls, an Arctic Skua, a Common Tern and 447 Razorbills

Ringing at Cristin was highlighted by a Redwing, a Song thrush, a Blackcap, 13 Goldfinches, two Linnets, a Lesser Redpoll, a Siskin, two Chaffinches, 20 Goldcrests and three Chiffchaffs. With 16 more Rock Pipits ringed in the Heligoland trap on Solfach.  

Linnet © Ed Betteridge

Redwing © Steve Stansfield

Elsewhere, the Black Redstart was still at Cristin, the first eight Redwings and a Fieldfare of the autumn arrived, a Lapwing went over the Narrows, a Greenfinch was in the Withies and a Little Owl was calling above Carrag Bach. 

Black Redstart © Ed Betteridge

Other totals included two Grey Herons, a Kestrel, five Teals, a Water Rail, a Golden Plover, 26 Purple Sandpipers, three Dunlins, five Snipe, three Whimbrels, 76 Turnstones, 384 Meadow Pipits, three White Wagtails, 45 Robins, three Blackcaps, 20 Chiffchaffs and 56 Goldcrests.

Sunday 8 October 2023

Calmer weather today was the break in the weather migrating birds needed to continue their journey south. Finches dominated with 15 Greenfinches, 39 Siskins, 144 Linnets, 93 Goldfinches, 47 Chaffinches and four Lesser Redpolls. Other overhead totals were 12 Skylarks 30 Swallows 355 Meadow Pipit, 44 Alba Wagtails, two Grey Wagtails and 18 Starlings. The first Black Redstart of the autumn was at Cristin.

Black Redstart © Steve Stansfield

One of three Lesser Redpolls caught © Ed Betteridge

Out to see a notable 168 Common Scoters went south alongside 11 Mediternean Gulls, two Sandwich Terns, 37 Black-headed Gulls and four Common Gulls. The warmer weather saw a Peacock, a Painted Lady, ten Red Admirals and four Small Tortoiseshells logged.

Other totals were two Grey Herons, a Kestrel, two Golden Plovers, five Purple Sandpipers, a Whimbrel, five White Wagtails, 56 Goldcrests, 11 Chiffchaffs and a Rook.

Saturday 7 October 2023

Nant was the busiest location with 20 Siskins, 40 Goldfinches, 50 Linnets, a Reed Bunting and a Lesser Redpoll; there were two other Reed Buntings elsewhere. The sea off the South End produced a Sabine's Gull, five Arctic Terns, a Great Skua, an Arctic Skua, six Manx Shearwaters, 107 Gannets, 85 Kittiwakes, six Common Scoters and 12 Black-headed Gulls. Overhead two Golden Plover, 21 Swallows and four House Martins went over.

Other totals were a Grey Heron, three Ringed Plovers, a Water Rail, a Whimbrel, three White Wagtails, a Song Thrush, two Blackcaps, five Chiffchaffs, 30 Goldcrests, two Starlings, 30 Goldfinches, a Siskin, 49 Linnets and a Lesser Redpoll.

Lesser Black-backed Gull © Ed Betteridge

Friday 6 October 2023

A quiet day due to the bad weather saw four Manx Shearwaters, 66 Gannets, a Peregrine, seven Purple Sandpipers, two Snipe, a Whimbrel, an Arctic Skua, two Blackcaps, a Chiffchaff, 55 Linnets, two Goldfinches and 28 Goldcrests logged. 

Dunnock © Ed Betteridge

Thursday 5 October 2023

Last night a trip out dazzling produced the first Water Rail to be ringed this season alongside a Ringed Plover, a Snipe and a retrap Meadow Pipit.

Water Rail © Ed Betteridge

The day itself was very grim with rain and strong winds. A Flava Wagtail went over Nant, with two Whimbrels, a Purple Sandpiper and two White Wagtails around the Narrows and totals of 12 Goldcrests, a Chiffchaff and three Goldfinches.

Wednesday 4 October 2023

The wind continued from the south-west and though the sea was quiet at time the second Sooty Shearwater of the year went south alongside a Pomarine Skua, 43 Manx Shearwaters, 83 Gannets, three Common Scoters, two Arctic Skuas, 352 Kittiwakes, two Guillemots and 1552 Razorbills. The Grey Phalarope was still in Solfach.  

Grey Phalarope © Ed Betteridge

Elsewhere, a Merlin was hunting around the North End with a Short-eared Owl flying north along the West Coast. Two Grey Wagtails went overhead and the Firecrest was still around Cristin. 

Other birds today included two Grey Herons, three Ringed Plovers, two Golden Plovers, four Purple Sandpipers, a Whimbrel, two Redshanks, a Skylark, a Swallow, five White Wagtails, 30 Robins, two Song Thrushes, two Blackcaps, three Chiffchaffs, 24 Goldcrests and 11 Goldfinches

Common and Grey Seal © Ed Betteridge

An orange tagged Grey Seal on the South End! © Ed Betteridge

Tuesday 3 October 2023

A strong westerly wind saw a decent passage out to sea with a Fulmar, 55 Manx Shearwaters, 118 Gannets, 47 Common Scoters, a Pomarine Skua, three Arctic Skuas, 524 Kittiwakes, a Mediternean Gull, four Sandwich Terns, two Arctic Terns, three Common Terns, eight Guillemots, 2559 Razorbills and 55 Golden Plovers south. 

The highlight of the day was a Grey Phalarope in Solfach; though this is the second of the year this one showed very well compared to previous flybys at sea happily feeding sometimes only a couple of metres away! 

Grey Phalarope © Ed Betteridge

Grey Phalarope © Ed Betteridge

Despite the stronger winds, there was still a bit of overhead movement including seven Skylarks, a Merlin, 21 Swallows, six House Martins, three Grey Wagtails, 14 'Alba' Wagtails, two Siskins and four Goldfinches. The Yellow Wagtail was still in the Wetlands. 

Other birds of note today were three Grey Herons, a Kestrel, nine Purple Sandpipers, a Dunlin, two Snipe, three White Wagtails, 36 Robins, four Wheatears, two Blackcaps, three Chiffchaffs, 38 Goldcrests, a Chaffinch and 33 Goldfinches.

Seal pup 48 © Ed Betteridge