The latest news from Bardsey Bird and Field Observatory. Bardsey Bird Observatory is one of two fully accredited observatories in Wales and is one of a growing network of bird observatories in the British Isles.
The wind had picked up just slightly today and was blowing from the west. Wader numbers are building with 15 Whimbrels, seven redshanks, eight CommonSandpipers, five turnstones, three PurpleSandpipers and a whopping 49 Curlews moving between Carreg yr Honwy and South End. Also around were two Mediterranean Gulls, both first year birds.
26 of the flock of 49 Curlews off South End. Adult Curlews undergo a wing moult earlier in the year than Whimbrels (which don't start until around September) which can be a useful ID feature when seen from a distance. Look closely to see that many of these birds are moulting their primaries.
Other birds around include: one LittleOwl, 14 Swallows, 23 RockPipits, 12 PiedWagtails, and 19 Wheatears.
Today started pleasantly with a bit of wind but dry and still warm. The forecast said it was going to be a little windy but dry throughout the day but the Bardsey weather systems had other ideas and the rain started around midday and lasted into the evening as the wind picked up more and more.
Once again the main highlights were the returning waders and a walk around the south end, the narrows and the west coast produced some good totals. Waders included and whopping 45 Curlew, ten Whimbrel, 13 Redshank, 12 Common Sandpipers, five Turnstone, and two Dunlin.
Other birds around the island involved 25 Rock Pipits involving a lot of juveniles on the rocks around the narrows, also the Shelducks are hanging onto their last chick of their latest brood. There were also more juveniles including second brood Wheatears and some young gulls starting the make there way around from the east side of the island to join the gull flocks on the narrows and around pwl cain.
Buff Arches from the other night, first of the year
Beast of the young GBBG!
A nice Wheatear family, this youngster still being looked out for
Calm and sunny again with just a slight south westerly. The ManxShearwater productivity monitoring continued today. This season is almost almost two weeks ahead of last year and already some chicks are outweighing their parents by 50 grams or so!
A day old Manx Shearwater
The same bird one week later
This chick from one of the Ty Pellaf burrows hatched about one week ago, making it one of the smallest of the chicks being monitored. On its first weigh in it was 38g (about as small as they get) and today it weighed 151 grams, more than tripling in a week.
The guided walk went as well as anyone could hope, as the group was watching a couple of Redshanks on Solfach, five Risso'sDolphins powered past Carreg yr Honwy, jumping out of the water. A truly memorable sight for s the guests to take away with them!
The guided walk enjoying the sight of Risso's Dolphins
Today was a scorching day on Bardsey with temperatures up to and over 20oc, the wind was slack and there was plenty of people out and about.
The day started with a successful trip to nant to open the nets in the morning. 30 new birds were caught, predominantly juvenile wrens but some other good birds in the mix such as a Blackcap, Juvenile Whitetroats, Chaffinches and Goldcrests, a couple of Chiffchaffs and a very juvenile Willow Warbler that must have bred very locally if not on the island.
Whilst out in the field the main focus was walking the coast as autumn wader movements have clearly began. Our first Green Sandpiperof the year dropped into the new pond, the narrows were littered with Common Sandpipers with a minimum count at high tide of 14 birds. A Lapwing was a welcome visitor to the west coast and a walk down to the narrows gave counts of 14 Curlew, seven Whimbrel, seven Redshank, and one Dunlin.
Once again sunny but breezy on the island today. There were 24 Curlews around, with 18 being in a flock on south end in the late afternoon, they are frequently seen on Carreg yr Honwy, but accurately counting them is not easy.
The Chough pairs west of the mountain can be seen daily feeding and looking after their offspring, one of the easiest families to see is from the pair that bred on Pen Cristin. Three juvenile House Martins were flying around the lighthouse today, so at least one of the pairs has managed to fledge some chicks.
One half of the Pen Cristin pair
Birds around today include: four Black-headed Gulls, one Grey Heron, 14 Wheatears, 11 House Martins, two Sand Martins, 21 Swallows, one Whitethroat, one Chiffchaff and 4 ravens including three juveniles.
Today was a nice day after a cloudy start, it really warmed up as the cloud disappeared and by sunset there wasn't a cloud in the sky, stunning!
Today there were signs of the year progressing, Common Sandpipers reached a high count for the year with 12 birds being seen and heard on the rocks around the narrows and south end. There was also a returning Redshank and small numbers of Curlew and Whimbrel.
Also the butterflies are out in force with the wetlands especially being full of Meadow Browns, Small Whites and Green Veined White, Painted Ladies, Small Tortoise Shells and now the first Grayling of the year on the south end.
There was a cool north-westerly wind blowing today, but the overcast sky in the morning gave way to sunshine in the afternoon and the temperature felt more summery, making it better weather for butterflies and day-flying moths.
The Herring Gulls at the North End colony have pretty much all fledged their offspring now, there have been upwards of 25 juvenile Herring Gulls recorded at one time.
Juvenile Herring Gull, if you look closely you can see there is a metal ring on its leg.
Once again juvenile Wheatears were seen all around the island, but most concentrated on Solfach and the area surrounding the beach.
Birds around include: one Common Sandpiper, two Turnstones, 18 Curlews, three Redshanks, two adult Shelducks with three chicks and one Kestrel.
Today the weather change from the sunny clear days we have been getting used to. The morning started with thick fog and as that cleared it drizzled on and off throughout the day, including some heavier rain in the evening.
The highlight was five nice looking Black-tailed Godwits heading north and then turning and heading south through the middle of the island. Waders tend to return earlier than the Passerines and these very early birds might be failed breeders who don't need to hang around as long as adults still with their young.
Other than this there was little else of note, a few of our ringed juvenile Herring Gulls and Lesser Black-backed Gulls are on the wing but still haven't strayed far from their nesting sites.
A bit of a southerly breeze today but there were signs of movement on the bird front. Between Carreg yr Honwy and South End there were ten Redshanks. A walk up to North End saw great views of 50+ Gannets diving for food with second calendar year birds and older all present.
Northern Gannet - Britains largest breeding Seabird, these birds don't breed on Bardsey but their breeding range around the UK seems to be ever expanding. Photo: Lewis Hooper
MeadowPipits continue to display all over the island, numbers seem to be less this year but there are still plenty of territories, seemingly most dense at the north end of the mountain than in the fields. One species that has been doing well this year is the Stonechat, with plenty of juveniles fledging everywhere but South End.
Male Stonechat. Photo: Lewis Hooper
Birds around: six Curlews, three Whimbrels, 24 Kittiwakes, four HouseMartins, 14 Wheatears, seven Choughs.
During a nighttime ManxShearwater ringing session 120 new birds were ringed and 40 re-traps were recorded, several of which were ringed in the 90s.
Today started with clear skies and sunshine, but withing a couple of hours you couldn't seen more than 10m in front of you as the thick fog rolled in. As quick as it rolled in it disappeared again in the evening before the Manx Shearwater walk.
A juvenile Cuckoo at Nant was an interesting discovery, the bird was very flighty and not appearing to be being fed at all but it was in very juvenile plumage. It won't have come from far away and could have actually be from the island. In addition to this Curlew numbered 18 along with 3 Whimbrel and 2 Redshank. Else where the usual juvenile birds provided the rest of the numbers including Whitethroats, Chiffchaffs, Chaffinches, Stonechats, Wheatears, Pied Wagtails and more.