Sunday, 11 September 2016

Bardsey week 2 (03-09/09/16)

My second week on Bardsey started with a bang! I was pulled out of bed by reports of a Buff-breasted Sandpiper on the South End, the first on the island for exactly 36 years! I chucked my stuff on and ran, by the time I arrived I saw gloomy faces, not the faces of people who had just seen their first Buff-breasted Sandpiper. The bird had flown off, and been lost. The team gave the island a thorough searching despite the 19mm of rain which fell in just a few hours, but to no avail. However, the Melodious continued to show into its second week at the obs.

Meadow Pipit

Seawatching throughout the week produced good numbers of auks flying through and the occasional Skua. Despite good efforts the best bird I could find was a Canada Goose, with under 40 records it makes it a scarcity on the island, but it wasn’t quite the scarcity I was hoping for. Other common migrants were about, including some Spotted Flycatchers, a few Snipe and a Redstart in the Withies. The island was covered in fog for 2 consecutive days on the 5th and 6th, which made birding difficult. However, on the 7th the fog had lifted and revealed a migrant filled island. The morning produced a new record count of fly over Grey Wagtail on the island, totalling over 60 birds! Snipe were also to be observed across the wetlands, White Wagtails covered the Narrows and the usual suspects were still to be seen including Willow Warblers, Chiffchaffs, Goldcrest and even a flock of 40 House Martins past the North side of the island. The rest of the week held similar species, but not quite of the same magnitude.

Bar-tailed Godwit


Personally the highlight of the week for me was the ringing. Early in the week we attempted a Wagtail roost and caught about a few Pied Wagtails and a White Wagtail. Later in the week Ben and I opened the nets in the Withies, which produced a good haul of birds, including Willow Warblers, Goldcrests, a Chiffchaff, a Whitethroat, a Swallow and best of all a Pied Flycatcher! On the Friday evening we managed to get out and do some Manx Shearwater ringing, at this time of year, the adults have abandoned the babies, leaving them to convert the fat that they’ve built up over the feeding period into muscle, ready for their huge migration around the Atlantic. This means 100% of the birds we ringed were juvenile.


Grey Heron


Pied Flycatcher

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the new update on Bardsey. Excellent photo footage.