Thursday, 6 July 2017

Despite limited coverage, with half the wardening team either leaving for or arriving from their summer holidays, and the others surveying Storm Petrels around the East Side all morning, the final totals for today reveal it to be the busiest day of autumn so far, with quite an interesting and diverse spread of species seen.

Chief amongst the highlights, as is typical in July, were waders. Curlews had increased to 40, with three Redshanks, two Common Sandpipers, singles of Whimbrel, Dunlin and Lapwing and the first two Ringed Plovers for the autumn, all concentrated around the Narrows and the South End. Also on the Narrows were three Grey Herons, two Black-headed Gulls and good numbers of Rock Pipits and Wheatears, including several fledged juveniles of each.

Offshore two Sandwich Terns were the only birds of note, while two Harbour Porpoises were off the South End in the afternoon. Overhead five Swifts and a single Sand Martin headed south, and there seemed to be a few migrant Swallows passing south on the mountain alongside the resident breeding birds . Most unusual amongst a small selection of passerine arrivals were two Siskins that flew around calling in the early afternoon, and a female Blackcap in Traeth Ffynnon. There were also at least two Grey Wagtails around, 22 Starlings, a Collared Dove and Goldfinches increasing to four. Storm Petrel census found 15 responding to tape around the East Side, and one hatched egg found outside a burrow! We can report that the eggs smell just as fragrant as the birds themselves.

Storm Petrel eggshell, © Liam Curson

There were still excellent numbers of Green-veined Whites, with 206 counted today. The first Peacock of the summer generation was also on the wing, as were two Graylings on the East Side, with immigration limited to nine Red Admirals and a Painted Lady. A fairly busy moth trap included a Turnip Moth, 21 Lackeys (this species is particularly abundant this year and often the commonest moth in the trap of late), the first Scalloped Oak of the year and a Buff-tip, only our second of the year so far. 

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