Saturday, 18 September 2021

It was a calm day and the change in wind meant that a few passerines arrived in the morning. There were a few rain showers throughout the day and at one point 90 Swallows dropped low over the Wetlands.

Stuart opened the nets at the Obs and ringed 14 Chiffchaffs, 4 Willow Warblers, a Spotted Flycatcher and a Firecrest. The departing guests were lucky enough to see the Firecrest before heading down to Cafn to catch the boat. 


After finishing the weekly changeover Stuart and Megan walked along the West Coast in search for new Grey Seal pups. Only one new pup was found inside a cave along - its soft calls could be heard echoing. 

Birds today: 11 Gannets, four Grey Herons, one Teal, 14 Common Scoters, one Sparrowhawk, one Ringed Plover, one Grey Plover, one Dunlin, one Bar-tailed Godwit, 41 Curlews, 9 Redshanks, 53 Turnstones, one Pomarine Skua, one Arctic Skua, 11 Black-headed Gulls, two Guillemots, two Razorbills, 12 Collared Doves, one Great Spotted Woodpecker, 130 Swallows, three Grey Wagtails, 11 Wheatears, six Whitethroats, four Blackcaps, 31 Chiffchaffs, seven Willow Warblers, five Goldcrests, one Firecrest, one Spotted Flycatcher

Friday, 17 September 2021

After what seems like months of calm weather, the wind was due to increase from the So the West overnight and the promise of some sea passage had telescopes pointing seaward at dawn.

Steve was joined by guests at the Obs to look out first thing, whilst Stuart watched from the South End. Later Steve went to the South End and watched for anther few hours and was well rewarded.

Sea passage totals for the day (all sites)

Fulmar 2, Manx Shearwater 10, Sooty Shearwater 1 (S.end), Gannet 155, Common Scoter 21, Bar-tailed Godwit 4, Pomarine Skua 3, Arctic Skua 19, Great Skua 9, Mediterranean Gull 2, Black-headed Gull 141, Common Gull 1, Kittiwake 863, Black Tern 1(S.end), Razorbill 846.


On land passerines were in short supply a Whinchat was the best bird inland, whilst two Whitethroats, five Chiffchaffs and two Willow Warblers were the only warblers seen.

A Barn Owl feather was found in the Green lane during the afternoon by Trixie.

Barn Owl feather

More seal Pups are being born every day, we are now up to 15.

Grey Seals

Seal Pup

Suckling Seal

This Herring Gull was originally ringed at the North End on 20th June 2020 and has not been seen since.

Thursday, 16 September 2021

It was a warm day with the wind building in the afternoon. The highlights of the day were out to sea with around 4000 Kittiwakes loafing off the West Coast and South End. This also attracted a range of other gulls including 170 Black-headed Gulls, two Mediterranean Gulls and a Common Gull. There was also a Balearic Shearwater that flew south in the morning alongside a Manx Shearwater, 1956 Razorbills, two winter plumaged Black Guillemots, eight Sandwich and four Common Terns also three Great Skuas, two Arctic Skuas and a juvenile Pomarine Skua.

The high tide wader roost was quieter than yesterday with 13 Purple Sandpipers, two Sanderlings, two Ringed Plovers, two Dunlins and a Grey Plover. A Grey Seal pup count was also completed today with a total of 12 across the island. The older pups are getting their grey coats whilst the younger ones are still cute and white.

The moth trap contained the usual autumn suspects - Angle Shades and Lunar Underwing were the best. Meanwhile a Hummingbird Hawkmoth was busy feeding on the Fuschia in the Obs front garden.

Birds today: 63 Gannets, one Balearic Shearwater, three Grey Herons, two Teals, 17 Common Scoters, one Sparrowhawk, one Kestrel, one Merlin, two Ringed Plovers, one Grey Plover, two Sanderlings, 13 Purple sandpipers, two Dunlins, three Snipes, 33 Curlews, seven Redshanks, 68 Turnstones, one Pomarine Skua, two Arctic Skua, three Great Skua, one Mediterranean Gull, 190 Black-headed Gulls, two Common Gulls, eight Sandwich Terns, four Common Terns, 1956 Razorbills, two Black Guillemots, 12 Collared Doves, one Great Spotted Woodpecker, 33 Swallows, six Grey Wagtails, one Whinchat, one Lesser Whitethroat, two Whitethroats, two Blackcaps, 18 Chiffchaffs, two Willow Warblers, one Goldcrest, one Spotted Flycatcher,

Hummingbird Hawkmoth

Grey Plover and Oystercatchers

Black-headed Gulls

Black-headed Gulls

Black-headed and Mediterranean Gulls

Great Spotted Woodpecker and Douglas Hauge's 'castle'



Solfach and seal mum & pup

Today's newborn pup on Solfach

Wednesday, 15 September 2021

Yet another day with some nice birds and back to warm weather.

17 Gannets were seen off the West Coast, whilst 79 Shags were seen (71 at high tide on Carreg yr Honwy). Sparrowhawk, Kestrel and Peregrine populated the raptor section of log, whilst waders saw two new species for the year at the high tide roost. the roost comprised 21 Oystercatchers, one Grey Plover, three Sanderling, 66 Purple sandpipers, four Dunlin, and then a Juvenile Little Stint and a Juvenile Curlew Sandpiper (with new for the year). A Male Ruff was also in the roost along with 32 Curlew and seven Redshanks and 89 Turnstones.

mixed waders coming into roost
Ruff arriving at the roost

Turnstones at roost
Oystercatcher and Ruff

There were also a good number of Gulls along the west coast, including five Mediterranean Gulls, 145 Black-headed and four Common Gulls. A smart juvenile Yellow-;egged Gull was amongst the 59 Herring Gulls on the Narrows. A flock of 600 Kittiwakes were off the South and West Coasts.

Mediterranean Gull
Mediterranean Gull
Squabling Kittiwakes

Onto landbirds; 12 Collared Doves were at Ty Pellaf again. A Skylark was with pipits on the Narrows. Two sand martins were seen, along with 25 Swallows and nine House Martins. One Tree Pipit was seen over the Narrows and 210 Meadow Pipits were counted.

Meadow Pipit
Meadow Pipit

A flava Wagtail flew over the South End, with seven Grey Wagtails over Pen Cristin and Ty Pellaf and six White Wags on the beach. A Whinchat was amongst the 21 Stonechats counted and Four Wheatears were seen as this species' numbers now begin to dwindle.

White Wagtail

Again few warblers were seen, with two Whitethroats and a Blackcap the only warblers that were not Chiffchaffs, of which 13 were counted.

The only finches of note were two siskin at Plas Withy.

A number of migrant moths were seen during the day, including 28 Silver Ys and five Rush Veneers. A number of seals have pups now, and one at Ogof Hir showed Steve just what she thought of him taking pictures of her pup!!!

How Rude!!!!

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

Monday, 13 September 2021

We can't complain at the moment when it is raining -  our rain water tanks are all but dry and we are having to pump water from large storage tanks to the header tanks for the hot water system. So as dawn broke and the drizzle came down Steve was quite pleased, however, not so much at having to cancel the guided walk! The brisk east wind also meant the the day trip boats were cancelled too.

Much needed rain water flowing into the collection tanks. 

As it was raining for much of the morning, between pumping water, sorting out the internet which was non-responsive for quite some time and spending time helping guests, Steve spent much of the day in the office catching up on blog posts and other admin, including signing off the proof of the 2020 Bardsey's Wildlife and giving our friends at Swallowtail Print the OK to begin the printing process.       

The 320 page proof of 2020 Bardsey's Wildlife - the real thing should be with us soon.

One of the other things for Steve was to respond about sightings of our darvic-ringed Herring Gulls including one that was ringed in 2019 and is now resident near Lady's Island Lake in Co. Wexford. Ireland. The following image was taken last week of the bird by Dave Dalyart.

B:071 (c) Dave Dalyart

Kevin spent a fair bit of the morning entering this year's Moth data onto the database, but headed out in the afternoon.

Highlight of the day included two Snipes, three Sanderling and 19 Wheatears... all in all  a very quiet day for birds.

There are however, several seal pups being born at the moment. We have probably over ten new ones now.

yawning seal pup

Sunday, 12 September 2021

It was a bit of a damp day in paradise, with heavy drizzle in the evening, meaning our planned shearwater walk had to be postponed. As a result of the mixed weather, very few birds of note were seen and counted were also low.

Six Gannets passed the island whilst 15 Cormorants and 31 Shags were counted. The Heron was on Solfach and the two Teal were still present with the Mallards there too, along with the Grey Plover, three Dunlins, seven Redshank and a single Sanderling. Henllwyn held 15 Turnstones and 57 Curlews were on Pen Cristin. In the evening 19 Black-headed Gulls flew over the Narrows.

Grey Plover on its usual rock!

The flock of 13 Collared Doves returned to Ty Pellaf and a Sparrowhawk and Kestrel were seen over the Mountain. 

Seven White and two Pied Wagtails graced the beach. There were 21 Wheatears, but only nine Stonechats seen.


Warblers were again small in number, however a Lesser Whitethroat was seen at Ty Capel. Two Garden Warblers were ar Cristin, as was a Blackcap, There were seven Chiffchaff, three Willow Warblers and three Goldcrests, with Spotted Flycatcher numbers increasing to four today. Goldfinches reached 24, with just 130 Linnets counted.

Saturday, 11 September 2021

As with most Saturdays the first order of the day is change-over and the cleaning of the Lodge between the previous weeks guests departing and the new ones arriving.

With Stuart and Megan still away on Holiday, it left Emma and Steve, along with our volunteer Kevin to rapidly get the place back into shape.

Having said our goodbyes it was straight on with squirting anti-viral sprays and disinfectants around the place and getting the rooms back to factory settings.

With all this happening, little was noted in the morning other than a few bird that Kevin trapped in the couple of net rounds he managed to get in before cleaning!

In the afternoon Steve went for a wander and stumbled upon a Wryneck by the School, and then another a few metres on and then a third by Traeth Fynnon! What a bonus!!

Wryneck near the school - how many of these skulkers are on the mountain?!

Solfach held the usual suspects in the evening, with a few Dunlin, the now regular Grey plover and a few Ringed plovers.


Grey Plover

The new guests saw a Merlin -  the first of the autumn- chasing linnets and pipits in the Lowlands.

After the previous day's glut of warblers none made it to double figures, with Willow Warbler reaching seven and Chiffchaff six. One Spotted Flycatcher was by the School in the evening.

Linnet and Goldfinch numbers had also fallen with 275 and three counted respectively.


juvenile Goldfinch