Saturday, 8 October 2016

Bardsey week 5 (24-30/09/16)

The had a slow start, strong southerlies continued to batter the coast, and made viewing conditions less then suitable. Personally I recorded very little until the 26th. However, the first two days were not utterly wasted. Some paperwork was actually done, and two Sooty Shearwater made a brief appearance as they glided by the west coast, backlit by the evening sun. Not to mention a Wryneck which I kicked up near Ty Capel, presumably the long staying individual, taking a break from hiding and actually having a feed.

Turnstones battling the winds

As I said the 26th was where the week improved, by late morning the clouds had parted and the sun was beginning to heat up the island. I undertook my usual census route around the Wetlands, Withies and Lowlands. I noted an increase in both Chiffchaff and Goldcrest numbers, which was visible in the observatory garden and the withies. As I made my way through the withies, I sneaked a glimpse of a Hippolais warbler, following some waiting, I eventually identified it as a Melodious Warbler. The bird remained in Cristin Withy until the 30th, occasionally giving close views.

Melodious Warbler

The 28th brought with it the last large movement of hirundines. A good number of Swallow and House Martin were seen throughout the day, moving through on their migration back to south Africa. The totals at the end of the day showed that more than 400 Swallows and just under 100 House Martins had moved through, in the course of the day. The next day, we encountered the last large Manx Shearwater movement. An astonishing 2180 went past, the largest number to pass the island in the last week of September by a country mile! The winds must have been favourable because in six hours of seawatching, I also had six Pomarine Skuas, one Arctic Skua and three Bonxies.

The Melodious Warbler eventually went into the Withy nets on the 30th. Another bird was found at Nant, an extremely elusive brown job, which I won’t go into, but combining what the staff saw on the bird, it could only have been a Blyth’s Reed Warbler! (click the name for some blurry shots of a brown thing)

Melodious Warbler

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