Friday 19 April 2024

The competition continued on from last night’s quizzes with a bird race. The teams split up to scour the island to see as many species as they could before evening log. With weather being too windy for nets to be opened, the first team set out down the Green Lane at 07:30. Despite the wind, it was otherwise outstanding weather, full clear skies and the warmest day since the students had arrived.

The first Cuckoo of the year was seen sitting on a post at the end of the Green Lane, becoming more mobile through the morning as a cloud of mobbing pipits and wagtails formed. Throughout the day it gave song briefly and quietly.

Cuckoo © Joel Tragen

Three Grasshopper Warblers were heard reeling across the island, with 12 Blackcaps, 19 Willow Warblers, nine Chiffchaffs and three Goldcrests also recorded. A nice variety of hirundine were seen, with all three species being recorded in low numbers: three Swallows, three Sand Martins and a House Martin. 16 Wheatears were present, with the majority being around the Narrows, also present around the Narrows were singles of Dunlin, Redshank and Purple Sandpiper. The Ringed Plover pair were on the Narrows and confirmed breeding this year with the nest being located with the first egg laid. Six Whimbrel, a Curlew and eight Turnstone were seen.

There was more finch movement today with 92 Goldfinches being recorded, 74 recorded flying South in the morning. Other finches included 2 Siskins and a Lesser Redpoll. Another Collared dove joining the other, the Stock Dove, Grey Heron and Teal remained on the island. Five Rook flew over the island throughout the course of the day.

The students went to the Ynys Enlli café for a lovely group meal to round of their trip before returning to the Observatory for the announcement of the Bird race winner. It was extremely close between all the teams, Steve’s team took the lead by two species reaching a total of 55 species (only five species above third place) and a total of 61 species recorded between all teams.

Bird race team © Kate Fox

Winning team! © Steve Stansfield

Guest blog by Joel Tragen 

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