Saturday, 31 August 2013

Well, after such an appalling month for birds, August ended on a slightly higher note today. A cracking adult Sabine's Gull was seen amongst the Kittiwakes off the South Tip in the early hours, along with a single Little Gull. Inland, however, things were still very quiet: singles of Buzzard and Kestrel were joined by three Sparrowhawks, whilst 12 Willow Warblers were seen throughout the vegetated areas.

Friday, 30 August 2013

It was a disappointingly quiet day, after a night of low cloud and mist, coupled with light winds. A single Spotted Flycatcher was present at Cristin, whilst a scattering of Willow Warblers amounted to 16 birds. A Golden Plover flew over the withies, whilst three Sparrowhawks and a Buzzard flew over the mountain.

Moth-trapping overnight saw an Oblique Carpet and an Ear sp. in the Robinson trap in Cristin garden, whilst a Canary-shouldered Thorn, Brown-veined Wainscot, and a Rosy Rustic were trapped near Carreg Reed Bed.

 Canary-shouldered Thorn
 Ear sp.
Rosy Rustic

Thursday, 29 August 2013

A juvenile Pomarine Skua flying past the South Tip in the morning was the highlight of another very quiet day. A single Puffin and two Common Terns also flew past out to sea, whilst five Sparrowhawks and a Kestrel were present inland.

On the ringing front, news has just come to light that a Goldcrest which we ringed here in April was trapped on North Ronaldsey 3 weeks later! See the following:

View image on Twitter

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Despite the glorious weather, there were very few migrants passing through the island (yet again). A single Whinchat remained near the Schoolhouse, whilst 17 Stonechats were also present around here. A pathetic total of 10 Willow Warblers included individuals throughout the vegetated areas.
A small movement of raptors included at least five Sparrowhawks, including a huge female; a Kestrel and two Buzzards were recorded.

 Whinchat in typical habitat... i.e. on a barbed wire fence
 Meadow Pipit
 Small Tortoise Shell
The Autumn Ladie's Tresses are beginning to appear in the Donogoch Fields, and so will soon be present in their hundreds

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

A few migrants arrived on the island today, although no scarcities. A total of 29 Stonechats were scattered throughout the lowlands and along the mountainside, along with a single Whinchat and a Yellow Wagtail. A steady passage of Swallows saw just under 100 birds moving through, whilst three White Wagtails were present on the South End.
Non-passerine wise, two Sandwich Terns frequented Solfach during the morning, and waders were represented by two Ringed Plovers and a Whimbrel.

Wheatears are beginning to move back through, with seven individuals noted today
There are hundreds of Linnets around at the moment
In the moth traps today: the first Galium Carpet of the year (top) and a Sallow (lower)

Monday, 26 August 2013

There were somewhat fewer migrants on, and moving through, the island today, considering the amount of scarcities turning up on the East coast of the UK!
A single Whinchat was seen near Schoolhouse, a Pied Flycatcher was seen in Plas Withy, two Spotted Flycatchers and a Blackcap were present between Cristin and Nant, and 10 White Wagtails were seen over the Narrows.
A Golden Plover flew over the Narrows in the morning, where two Whimbrels and two Common Sandpipers were also seen.

Whimbrel (and Rock Pipit)
Spotted Flycatcher
This Gold Spot was trapped near Carreg Reed Bed...
...along with three Brown-veined Wainscots- male and female moths pictured here

Sunday, 25 August 2013

A lovely sunny day, with a fresh North-easterly saw a scattering of migrants all over the island, albeit in slightly lesser numbers than yesterday. A total of two Pied Flycatchers and five Spotted Flycatchers were seen in Cristin garden and at Nant, a Tree Pipit flew overhead along with 16 Sand Martins, 397 Swallows and 85 House Martins and four White Wagtails were present around the Narrows.
An interesting arrival of Sparrowhawks involved at least six birds, although owing to their secretive nature it was difficult to estimate a true figure. This is the highest number of Sparrowhawks on the island on one day for many years. Two each of Buzzard and Kestrel were also seen.
Two Arctic Skuas and eight Teals flew past at sea.

 One of at least five Sparrowhawks present on the island today. Three alone were seen in the same place at the North End, whilst other individuals seemed to be arriving from the coast
 Wheatear
 A rather scruffy Goldfinch
 Ringed Plover, on the unusual location of a bank

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Despite starting off as a very breezy and chilly day, some mist overnight had obviously grounded some migrants on the island. These were represented by five Pied Flycatchers, two Whinchats, two Tree Pipits, a Grasshopper Warbler, three Spotted Flycatchers, 39 Willow Warblers and a Reed Warbler.
The highlight of the day, however, came from seaward in the early hours: a flock of four Shoveler which flew past the South End- a very rare bird on Bardsey!
A single dark-phase adult Arctic Skua, 13 Sandwich Terns, 11 Common Terns and two Golden Plovers also flew passed out to sea.

 The first two Whinchats of the autumn were present today
View image on Twitter
One of the Pied Flycatchers was trapped at the Observatory (c) Steve Stansfield
 Reed Warbler
This Brown-veined Wainscot was trapped near Carreg Reed Bed- only the second record for Bardsey

Friday, 23 August 2013

Another flat calm day saw a decent scattering of migrants around the island, although there were no scarcities amongst the usual suspects.
At least four Tree Pipits toured around the Narrows and South End in the morning, whilst five Sand Martins and 120 Swallows also flew overhead. A total of 16 Common Sandpipers were situated in the same cove on the Narrows, where a single Whimbrel was also present.
In the early afternoon, the first Pied Flycatcher of the year was seen in Cristin Withy, whilst 17 Willow Warblers were scattered elsewhere.

A Clouded Yellow, seen on the Narrows in the afternoon, was perhaps the rarest sighting of the day, being the first record for several years. A Migrant Hawker also glided over the Narrows.

 Common Sandpiper. A good-sized flock of 16 was seen around the Narrows
As well as the other signs of migration, sights such as this also confirm the movement of birds through the island! Willow Warbler along the shoreline

Thursday, 22 August 2013

A good number of migrants were noted around the island on a more productive day today. A cream-crown Marsh Harrier, which flew South along the ridge in the early afternoon, was the highlight of the day, being on the second record of the year so far. A single Sparrowhawk and Kestrel was also recorded.
A total of five Tree Pipits were seen along the mountain between Pen Cristin and Nant, whilst 21 Willow Warblers and six Sedge Warblers were scattered throughout the vegetated areas, along with a slight increase in the number of Robins.
A passage of Swallows saw at least 160 birds passing through, whilst over 50 breeding adults and fledglings were present on the island. Five Sand Martins also moved through overhead.
On the wader front, a single Black-tailed Godwit flew South along the coast in the afternoon, whilst a single Whimbrel was seen in Henllwyn, and seven Ringed Plovers, four Snipe, a Dunlin and three Redshanks flew over during the day.


Two Sedge Warblers and seven Linnets were trapped in the oat field near Ty Capel in the afternoon
View image on Twitter
The new Heligoland trap at the Observatory is now pretty much completed and has started catching a few Robins, Willow Warblers and Dunnocks. A massive thanks goes to those who helped with its construction

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Yet another quiet day continued this unbelievably dreary spell of autumn 'migration' (in which next to no migrants are passing through!). The highlight of today was a Common Snipe, which flew South over the island in the early hours, whilst 17 Swallows also passed through.

 Meadow Pipit
 The Peregrines continue to play around over the mountain
Small Copper

Monday, 19 August 2013

It was a slightly more productive day on the bird front, although still very slow for this time of year. A Greenshank seen flying North down the west side mid-morning was perhaps the scarcest sighting of the day, whilst six Common Sandpipers, five Whimbrels, four Purple Sandpipers and four Ringed Plovers were also seen around the Narrows. The first Tree Pipit for some time was seen near Ty Pellaf Reed Bed in the morning, and a handful of Willow Warblers had also arrived.
Raptors were represented by a single Kestrel, the first Sparrowhawk for at least a month, and two juvenile Peregrines.

 A small gathering of Turnstones around the Narrows at high tide amounted to 30 individuals
 Three Purple Sandpipers were also amongst them
Oblique Carpet

Sunday, 18 August 2013

On an altogether more pleasant day, there were a few more migrants around: a single Spotted Flycatcher was seen in Cristin Withy, along with two Willow Warblers; a Sand Martin flew overhead, whilst two Whimbrels and nine Curlews flew past out to sea.

 The first Spotted Flycatcher fro several weeks was present in the withies
Swallows making use of one of the ponds
Curlews

Saturday, 17 August 2013

After a gale-force wind picked up overnight, persistent rain moved in mid-morning and made for a rather grim day. Coupled with this, there were virtually no interesting birds around! A single Whimbrel and 54 Curlews were recorded around the Narrows, whilst the south pair of juvenile Peregrines harassed the juvenile Ravens and Choughs over Pen Cristin in the afternoon.

 Another late brood of Swallow chicks have just fledged from one of the barns at Ty Pellaf, whilst there are generally low numbers elsewhere on the island
 Two more Gold Spots were trapped overnight in Nant Withy
This Angle Shades was also taken from the Nant trap

Friday, 16 August 2013

A much brighter day with lighter winds saw a Greenshank around the Narrows at midday, the scarcest bird of the week! Other waders present around the Narrows included four Ringed Plovers, a Dunlin, 11 Turnstones and two Whimbrels. Inland, four Sedge Warblers and 23 Willow Warblers were scattered throughout the vegetated areas.

 Sedge Warbler
 Meadow Brown

The highlights from the moth traps included this superb Gold Spot, along with a Canary-shouldered Thorn
 Gold Spot: a stunning, yet common moth all over the UK. Here on Bardsey, two singles were trapped at Ty Nesaf in August 1992 and two were recorded in August 2009: one trapped at Cristin and the other found at Ty Bach. Suitable foodplants including Glaucous Sedge are common on the island.
This fantastic Canary-shouldered Thorn was also trapped

Manx Shearwater chicks are still being ringed every day at the moment... View image on Twitter
View image on Twitter
Manx Shearwater chick being weighed (C) Steve Stansfield
View image on Twitter
This chick weighed in at 600 grams, whereas an average adult weighs 430 grams! (C) Steve Stansfield