|Sunrise from Pen Cristin|
|Thrift and Sea Campion|
|Sunrise from Pen Cristin|
|Thrift and Sea Campion|
It was yet another sunny day with some gentle southerlies keeping the temperature nice and warm. The morning was far quieter in the way of Willow Warblers and Blackcaps, but there was still a good amount of finches visiting the feeders. Mainly Lesser Redpolls, Siskins and Goldfinches.
Stuart carried out day two of his breeding bird survey, today he covered the south end of the island, amongst the breeding birds were several Greenland Wheatears. Waders included a Ringed Plover, Grey Plover, Purple Sandpipers, Snipes, Whimbrels, Curlews, Redshanks and Turnstones, all around the Narrows and South End.
The birds of the day included a Hooded Crow which flew north down the middle of the island and a Buzzard which flew north over the mountain getting mobbed by gulls as they tend to do here.
Ringing took place at Cristin, but it was not as productive as it has been in the last few days, but there were some nice male Siskins and Lesser Redpolls amongst those caught.
Birds today: one Grey Heron, one Buzzard, one Ringed Plover, one Grey Plover, 24 Purple Sandpipers, two Snipes, three Whimbrels, five Curlews, two Redshanks, 15 Turnstones, one Collared Dove, seven Sand Martins, nine Swallows, nine White Wagtails, 25 Wheatears, three Blackcaps, four Chiffchaffs, three Willow Warblers, one Rook, one Hooded Crow, four Chaffinches, 18 Siskins, 15 Goldfinches, 47 Linnets and 10 Lesser Redpolls.
The warm weather continued once the sun made its way over the top of the Mountain. A southerly wind in the morning assisted with the arrival of migrating birds. Sam opened the mist nets in the Observatory garden with the majority of the catch being finches including Siskins, Goldfinches and Redpolls. 26 new Blackcaps and 19 new Willow Warblers were also ringed.
Stuart completed the first breeding bird survey of the year and covered the northwest of the island, including the West Coast, Wetlands and North End. This started at sunrise and all the singing birds were noted on a map. Four breeding bird surveys are undertaken during the year, each consisting of three days work to cover the whole island. The first is completed in April, with another in May and two in June. Wrens and Meadow Pipits make up the majority of the breeding birds, other than the seabirds on the East Side.
A lot of birds were passing through this morning with the first Whitethroat of the year at Ty Capel and a Grasshopper Warbler reeling on the West Coast. A single Redwing was seen in the gorse on the North End. The first Stock Dove was also briefly seen flying north along the West Coast. A total of 11 species of wader were seen today with the Grey Plover remaining on the South End, eight Purple Sandpipers, a Whimbrel and the first Dunlin of the year on the Narrows and a Common Sandpiper on Solfach.
Birds today: 13 Gannets, one Grey Heron, one Sparrowhawk, one Buzzard, one Merlin, one Ringed Plover, one Grey Plover, eight Purple Sandpipers, one Dunlin, four Snipes, one Whimbrel, one Curlew, three Redshanks, one Common Sandpiper, 12 Turnstones, one Stock Dove, two Collared Doves, one Skylark, one Sand Martin, three Swallows, one Redwing, one Grasshopper Warbler, one Whitethroat, 42 Blackcaps, nine Chiffchaffs, 52 Willow Warblers, five Jackdaws, two Rooks, five Chaffinches, 21 Siskins, 13 Goldfinches, 41 Linnets, 10 Lesser Redpolls
Ringing totals: Siskin 13, Goldfinch 11, Redpoll 9 (1), Blackcap 26, Willow Warbler 19, Chiffchaff 5, Goldcrest 1
It was another productive day for birding and ringing today, once again there were Willow Warblers singing in the garden first thing in the morning, which is always a gorgeous sound to hear. The weather was flat calm in the morning, perhaps a very slight south-westerly, later in the afternoon it turned to a slightly chilly northerly.
Cristin and Nant were busy with Willow Warblers and Chiffchaffs, many were singing and calling, but otherwise, they were simply seen in the conifers. Blackcaps were the other warbler seen in large numbers, but a welcome addition to the Bardsey year list came in the form of a Grasshopper warbler which was heard singing above Cristin and later caught and ringed.
Wheatears were on the move in the mid-morning, dozens were seen across the island between 11:00 and 13:00, but by the late afternoon, there were barely any to be seen in the Lowlands. Hirundine passage continued to be slow with just a handful of Swallows and Sand Martins seen throughout the day.
There was some variety with the waders again today. The Grey Plover was on the South End as it was yesterday and it was accompanied by five Whimbrels that were all feeding on the grass.
Birds today: Fulmar, one Buzzard, one Merlin, three Peregrines, Grey Plover, one Snipe, five Whimbrels, two Redshanks, six Turnstones, one Collared Dove, eight Sand Martins, five Swallows, one White Wagtail, three Robins, one Grasshopper Warbler, 18 Blackcaps, 26 Chiffchaffs, 88 Willow Warblers, three Goldcrests, one Rook, five Chaffinches, 13 Siskins, 28 Linnets, 26 Goldfinches.
Ringing totals: Goldfinch 4, Siskin 7, Goldcrest 2, Willow Warbler 39, Chiffchaff 10, Blackcap 11, Grasshopper Warbler 1, Stonechat 1, Robin 1 (1), Wren (1).
The weather was far more consistent today, there was a brief shower at around 0800 which put a stop to ringing. From then on it was sunny and cool all day, with a slight breeze from the southwest.
Ringing was quite productive in the morning to say how short the session was, Blackcaps made up the majority of the catch.
Waders today included a Ringed Plover, Redshanks, Whimbrels, Turnstones, Curlews and the first Bar-tailed Godwit of the year was seen on Henllwyn which was a good bonus!
A flock of 30 Goldfinches descended on the garden in the late morning, other than this were one Siskin, three Chaffinches, 20 Linnets, one Lesser Redpoll. Hirundine passage is still yet to kick-off as once again a small amount passed over, two Sand Martins and only five Swallows were had today.
Birds today: eight Fulmars, two Gannets, one Sparrowhawk, one Ringed Plover, one Bar-tailed Godwit, three Whimbrels, two Curlews, seven Redshanks, 25 Turnstones, 155 Kittiwakes, two Sand Martins, five Swallows, 34 Meadow Pipits, one White Wagtail, six Wheatears, seven Blackcaps, three Chiffchaffs, three Chaffinches, 34 Goldfinches, three Siskins, 20 Linnets, one Lesser Redpoll.
The weather was very changeable today. The majority was calm with blue skies but every few hours the wind picked up and there would be a brief hailstorm. There was often a flurry of bird activity after the hail stopped with 18 Willow Warblers, 6 Chiffchaffs and 4 Goldcrests across the island. The small movement of Swallows continued throughout the day.
|Storm arriving over the North End|
The first Slow Worms of the year were recorded today in the Observatory garden including a large male under a corrugated tin.
|Male Slow Worm|
Birds today: 24 Fulmars, 7 Manx Shearwaters, one Grey Heron, one Sparrowhawk, one Ringed Plover, one Whimbrel, five Redshanks, four Turnstones, one Sand Martin, ten Swallows, one White Wagtail, six Wheatears, seven Blackcaps, six Chiffchaffs, 18 Willow Warblers, four Goldcrests, one Rook, two Chaffinches, seven Siskins, 13 Goldfinches, 53 Linnets
Yet another glorious day was gifted to us. Saturdays are usually changeover days, but as only one side of the Obs is open we have found ourselves with an empty week. Fiona Bithell has come on to the team though, she'll be volunteering for the next two weeks.
The nets were opened at Cristin in the morning as the northerlies made it too windy to open at Nant. Willow Warblers made up the bulk of the catch but there were other migrants in the mix too (details below).
It was a fairly usual day, Wheatears were most abundant on the Narrows, a Barn Owl that was at Nant last night was hoped to be in the nest box, but we had no luck today. The highlight of the day was a Ring Ouzel that flew across the mountain just above the Obs and into the mountain gorse.
Swallows were passing over the island today, still just a trickle and not as many as yesterday, but given the northerlies which picked up in strength over the course of the day, this is to be expected. A Sand Martin on the Narrows and two House Martins on over the mountain made up the rest of the hirundine passage. Other migrants include the White Wagtails that have been building slightly in numbers in the last two days. They were flycatching on Solfach today.
Birds today: one Red-throated Diver, one Grey Heron, one Sparrowhawk, one Buzzard, one Peregrine, 90 Oystercatchers, five Snipes, one Whimbrel, four Curlews, five Redshanks, seven Turnstones, one Sand Martin, 12 Swallows, two House Martins, 51 Meadow Pipits, five White Wagtails, one Robin, 23 Wheatears, one Ring Ouzel, one Redwing, 15 Blackcaps, 11 Chiffchaffs, 18 Willow Warblers, one Rook, six Chaffinches, three Siskins, nine Goldfinches, 58 Linnets and two Lesser Redpolls.
|The Mountain / Mynydd Enlli|
It was still cold with the wind still strong and from the Northwest. It was mostly dry with the odd hail shower. The visibility was so good that from the top of the Mountain you could see all the way round from Anglesey in the North to Pembrokeshire in the South. There was also views back inland to the snow capped peaks of Snowdonia.
|View towards Snowdonia from the Mountain|
Sam and Stuart went out around the mountain to check on the Manx Shearwater productivity burrows. These are marked by a red post and individually numbered. As you would expect, many are worn after the winter and will need repainting. Whilst around the East Side they checked on a Raven nest and found it had four chicks. These will hopefully be ringed if anyone is brave enough to climb down to them...
The strong winds were still putting a limit on the number of migrants on the island. Two Bullfinches were in the Withies, 37 Goldfinches were at the North End and at least one Siskin flew over the Mountain. A total of 11 Goldcrests were recorded and five Wheatears.
Birds today: 35 Manx shearwaters, 33 Gannets, one Grey Heron, one Buzzard, one Peregrine, one Snipe, one Whimbrel, two Redshanks, five Turnstones, one Black-headed Gull, five Puffins, one Collared Dove, 76 Meadow pipits, five Wheatears, one Song Thrush, five Chiffchaffs, seven Goldcrests, one Chaffinch, one Siskin, 37 Goldfinches, two Bullfinches, 18 Linnets
The wind across the whole of the UK was arctic today, up in Scotland, snow was falling as though it were the middle of winter. Even here we were pummeled with hailstones in the early morning and the wind stung any exposed skin.
Sam and Stuart decided to seawatch from the South End hide first thing in the morning, in the hope of seeing a skua of any kind. But unfortunately, efforts went largely unrewarded with views of common seabirds only, Manx Shearwaters, Gannets, Kittiwakes and Common Scoters. Despite this, it was an eventful walk, not often does it hail on Bardsey... Plus, a Peregrine perched just in front of the hide, offering great views.
Curlews and Turnstones made up the waders on Henllwyn, as well as Oystercatchers, of course. presumably because of the wind, warblers were not recorded today, but a Goldcrest was singing in the Plantation. Similarly, Wheatears were also in short supply with just three recorded all day, all of which were on the Narrows. And a lone Swallow flew north past Pen Cristin.
Birds today: 18 Fulmars, 23 Manx Shearwaters, 31 Gannets, 11 Shags, four Common Scoters, five Curlews, 9 Turnstones, one Swallow, 13 Meadow Pipits, 11 Rock Pipits, eight Pied Wagtails, one Robin, three Stonechats, six Wheatears, one Song Thrush, four Chiffchaffs, six Goldcrests, two Chaffinches, four Goldfinches and 13 Linnets.
|Llŷn Peninsula from the North End|
|Green Tiger Beetle|
After a curry night the night before it would have been nice to have a lie-in, but the weather was simply too good to miss, especially given that it isn't due to last! A barely noticeable breeze starting in the north and swinging to the south in the afternoon was the only hitch. It was blue skies and sunshine, otherwise.
There wasn't much activity in the garden first thing, just a few Blackcaps and Phylloscs flitting about in the leaves. Willow Warblers were singing in the withies and Wheatears were singing all over the island, including the East Side. A House Martin was present at Nant first thing in the morning, but it was a very quiet day for hirundines in all. A small number of Siskins and Goldfinches could be heard passing overhead sporadically throughout the day. It seemed like the kind of day a large raptor would sneak through the sky, two Sparrowhawks, two Peregrines and a Merlin were the best that was on offer though.
An East Side visit was in order today as the weather is about to turn nasty. The Chough pairs need to be monitored before a given date, and the bad weather in the forecast could push this date to the limit. Luckily the trip today was very productive and a total of seven nests are thought to be active on the island. This might increase as it is still relatively early in the season...
Shag nests were also checked for eggs and a preliminary colony count was taken. Most that are on nests at the moment are only on two eggs, some on one and others are yet to lay any.
Birds today: four Fulmars, six Gannets, 10 Shelducks, two Sparrowhawks, one Merlin, two Peregrines, two Curlews, 11 Turnstones, one Collared Dove, three Sand Martins, six Swallows, one House Martin, 105 Meadow Pipits, 30 Rock Pipits, one White Wagtail, 23 Wheatears, eight Blackcaps, 10 Chiffchaffs, five Willow Warblers, 21 Goldcrests, four Great Tits, 19 Choughs, one Rook, three Starlings, two Chaffinches, five Siskins, 21 Goldfinches, one Lesser Redpoll and 53 Linnets.
Another beautiful sunny day on Bardsey. A northerly wind increasing through the afternoon did not allow the temperature match the clear blue skies. Following the relaxation of lockdown in Wales we welcomed our first day visitors and overnight guests to the island. Unfortunately we have said a brief farewell to our long-term volunteer, Megan as she heads back home to Belfast to see her family.
The day started off calm with Sam opening the nets at the Observatory and Stuart heading north to Nant. A female Bullfinch was ringed at Nant and some common migrants ringed at the Observatory including Chiffchaffs, Willow Warblers, Blackcaps and Goldcrests.
There were eight species of wader recorded across the island today including one Sanderling and one Ringed Plover on Solfach. See if you can find them in the photo below! A Greenshank was recorded on the South End and a Hooded Crow was seen from the Observatory in the afternoon as it flew north.
|Sanderling and Ringed Plover|
Birds today: one Sparrowhawk, two Buzzards, one Kestrel, one Merlin, one Sanderling, one Snipe, one Ringed Plover, one Greenshank, six Redshanks, three Turnstones, 15 Woodpigeons, two Collared Doves, two Skylarks, seven Sand Martins, eight Swallows, one House Martin, 111 Meadow Pipits, 45 Wheatears, one Fieldfare, one Redwing, seven Blackcaps, eight Chiffchaffs, two Willow Warblers, nine Goldcrests, one Hooded Crow, one Starling, 13 Siskins, three Lesser Redpolls, 26 Linnets, one Bullfinch
A beautiful day today, with blue skies and sunshine from morning to evening (although it was overcast until 08:00...). The nets were opened at Cristin and remained open until 12:30, the nets at Nant were opened very briefly early on, but it was slightly on the breezy side and nothing was caught.
Ringing at Cristin was a success, though, the highlights being two Lesser Redpolls. And a good catch of Goldcrests, Willow Warbler, Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps definitely made ringing worthwhile! Nant produced small flocks of both Siskins, Lesser Redpolls and Chaffinches. As well as a few Chiffchaffs, Willow Warblers and Blackcaps.
The Moth trap yielded the first Angle Shades of the year, a nicely patterned moth, to be expected but always a delight.
A Buzzard flew over the Narrows in the late morning indicating a steady passage after one flew over yesterday evening, every now and then several pass over the island at once. It turned out to be a decent day for raptor variety with Peregrine, Merlin and Sparrowhawk all making their way onto the day list! Other than raptors, it was a quiet day in the Lowlands, but a small number of Wheatears kept interest up whilst out birding. Two firsts for the year were had too, a Collared Dove at Cristin and a Common Sandpiper on Solfach.
For the Observatory staff, it was a day of finishing the final touches to the south side of the building ready for the first guests of the year who will be arriving tomorrow.
Birds today: one Gannet, one Sparrowhawk, one Buzzard, one Merlin, one Peregrine, one Purple Sandpiper, one Curlew, eight Redshanks, one Common Sandpiper, 23 Turnstones, one Collared Dove, five Sand Martins, 4 Swallows, 48 Meadow Pipits, two Robins, one Fieldfare, 17 Blackcaps, 16 Chiffchaffs, 19 Willow Warblers, ten Goldcrests, 20 Carrion Crows, six Chaffinches, four Siskins, five Goldfinches, 17 Linnets, five Lesser Redpolls.
Ringing Totals: Blackbird 1 (1), Goldfinch 5, Chaffinch 2, Lesser Redpoll 2, Goldcrests 8, Willow Warbler 17, Chiffchaff 12 (2), Blackcap 12 (1), Wren (1)
|Megan handling her first Manx Shearwater|
|Stuart ringing a Manx Shearwater|
Today began clear and sunny, but at 0700 a thick fog rolled in and lingered all day bring visibility down to less than 50m at times. Ringing in the morning was quite productive at the observatory, but it died down by 10:00. The bulk of the catch was made up by Willow Warblers and Blackcaps, although not as many as yesterday.
Wheatears were still trickling through, mainly recorded on the Narrows, but there were single across the island. There were a few different species of finches present in the garden today too, including Linnets, Redpolls, Goldfinches, Chaffinches, Siskins and the first Greenfinch of the year. Linnets were in greater abundance today, 25 were counted across the island which is the high count of the year, but this is expected to rise greatly from now on.
Although the fog did make birding difficult and next to nothing was seen out at sea, Willow Warblers, Blackcaps and Goldcrests were heard and seen at Nant, largely around Ty Capel and Nant Withy.
Birds today: one Merlin, one Ringed Plover, one Snipe, two Curlews, two Redshanks, 30 Turnstones, two Little Owls, one Swallow, 175 Meadow Pipits, 16 Pied, Wagtails, one Robin, 11 Wheatears, two Song Thrushes, 13 Blackcaps, nine Chiffchaffs, 29 Willow Warblers, three Goldcrests, three Chaffinches, one Greenfinch, seven Siskins, 17 Goldfinches, 25 Linnets and one Lesser Redpoll.
Ringing totals: Willow Warbler 23, Chiffchaff 6, Goldcrest 1, Blackcap 13, Goldfinch 2, Siskin 1, Lesser Redpoll 1