Sunday, 29 January 2017

Although the day was fairly quiet in terms of numbers of birds and wildlife, a few highlights and sightings kept the day feeling fresh. A Sparrowhawk, also seen the day before chasing Rock Pipits in extremely close proximity to the observer, was still present and was seen bombing along the side of the mountain towards the Plantation. A Common Buzzard, which has been on the island for a while now, perched on top of the fence posts in the Lowlands and a Little Owl called from dense gorse. Common Snipes, eight individuals, hid amongst the tussocky grasses, and a couple of Meadow Pipits and a Song Thrush were other birds noted through the centre of the island to the North End.

The most interesting "event" of the day involved the discovery of a raptor pellet complete with a metal and colour rings, on an exposed rock half way up the mountainside. 

Raptor pellet, light blue Rock Pipit colour ring just visible
On further inspection two more colour rings and a metal ring were uncovered....
Even more digging unveiled another two colour rings!!
The metal BTO ring 2602379 belongs to (or use to belong to!) a Rock Pipit ringed Lime/BTO, Red/Orange, on Solfach on the 4th of October 2016. This matches some of the colour rings found in the pellet. The others belong to another, or possibly more than one other Rock Pipit ringed on the island. 

Numbers seen around the Narrows were lower than previous days but there was still plenty of life present, a pair of Shelduck, four Mallards, 85 Oystercatchers, 10 Curlews, a Redshank, nine Turnstones, two Rock Pipits and 16 Choughs were seen. Whilst off the West Coast a Fulmar and Gannet soared above the surf and, four Kittiwakes, 20 Guillemots and 11 Razorbills passed by.

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