Monday 26 May 2014

26th May 2014

Weather: SE 5, 4/8 cloud, moderate visibility

The day began early for some with a stunning dawn seen from the island and the south-easterly breeze lifted the spirits although it was a little strong and visibilty was a little on the good side for hopes to be raised too far.  However, a very early morning Swift that batted through east was nice.

However, the first trapping round produced a single Willow Warbler which was a good start for this time of year which is more renowned for quality rather than quantity!  A single male Pied Wagtail was the first seen on the island for some time.

Pied Wagtail - male (SRW)
However, there was very little else in the trapping area bird-wide during the day. Fortunately, the sea proved rather more fruitful with good flocks of Common Scoters flying to the North West of the island and some flying up the Dee; the total for the day was 800.  Gannets were counted at various times during the day and at least 120 were seen with reasonable numbers of Common (85) and Sandwich (160) Terns.  The highlight of the seawatching was a small flock of five Manx Shearwaters which sheared west passing close to the West Side.  Three Great Crested Grebes loafed around the islands during the tide.

Great Crested Grebe - between the islands (SRW)

Insects continue to fill the void when migrant bird numbers are down and today's highlight was the first Painted Lady butterfly found in the trapping area.

Painted Lady - first of the year (SRW)

There are still plenty of Cinnabar moths (see photo below by BT) as well as Green-veined White butterflies and Garden Tiger and Yellow-tailed Moth caterpillars around the island.

The breeding birds were much in evidence today with recently fledged Meadow Pipits and Linnets around the island, two of the latter being caught and ringed and the adult Blackbirds gathering food all around the island.
Meadow Pipit - juvenile (BT)
Wader numbers have dropped off significantly in recent days but just over high tide small numbers of Dunlin and Ringed Plover and a couple of Sanderling roosted at the North End (see photos below - all BT).

Ringing: Willow Warbler, Linnet (2 juvs)

(CJW(f), CLW, GIW, FPW, SRW & TGW (from over), CJ, KMc & BT) [590-33]

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