Wednesday 31 July 2019

31st July 2019

Weather: Wind WNW 5/6. Heavy early rain eased as the day progressed.
With poor weather conditions preventing any passerine movement, a three hour sea watch was undertaken over the high tide. This produced 11 Arctic Skuas, the first of the autumn, including a party of four creating havoc among the terns, three Manx Shearwaters and a Fulmar. There were also six Gannets, 13 Great Crested Grebes, two Razorbill and 150 Common Scoter. Sandwich Tern numbers remain high at 600, with many juveniles including some bearing orange flags from Cemlyn Bay. Nine Little Terns was a good return but only about 20 Common Terns were noted. Three each of Painted Lady and Peacock braved the wind and rain.
 Whimbrel are still to be seen.
 Photos CS

Sunday 28 July 2019

28th July 2019

Weather: NW force 5/6   rain
With a near gale from the north west and frequent rain, sea watching became the only sensible option. The results however were not good, just a single Manx Shearwater, 5 Gannets, 7 Great Crested Grebes and 85 Common Scoter logged during the morning. In contrast tern counts were good with 700 Sandwich and 120 Common Terns seen.

Friday 26 July 2019

26th July 2019

Weather: SW  2     vis 10 mls

Wren chicks are still being fed in the nest built in the winter roost by the obs door, seven Wren were about the island today.
A Robin was noted, along with 26 Swallow, 32 Meadow Pipit and 5 Willow Warbler.
Oystercatcher numbered 1,100 but there are still few smaller waders about, with 15 Turnstone, 9 Redshank, 3 Ringed Plover, 38 Curlew and 12 Whimbrel. 
Two Little Tern were in the Gutter after tide and 500 Sandwich Tern on the East Hoyle. A Common Scoter, 8 Shelduck and 5 Little Egret were noted, the Magpie and Kestrel are still about the islands.
The Field Convolvulus on the Bunker is very prolific this year.
Finally, there were strange things happening down on Shell Beach today, part of the works to shore up the cavern.
photos AS

Thursday 25 July 2019

25th July 2019

Weather: SSE  2-3   vis 10 mls with haze
Observers following the early tide out had 90 Black-tailed Godwit flying east, 8 Little Egret and 14 Manx Shearwater flying up the Swash, unusual on the ebb.
 A female Goosander came down in the Gutter, 8 Shelduck were noted and a single Gannet.
There were at least 800 Sandwich Tern on the sandbanks and fishing in the Gutter, along with 25 Common and a good count of 18 Little Tern after the evening tide. Wader counts included 84 Ringed Plover, 18 Turnstone,  30 Whimbrel, 32 Curlew and 350 Dunlin.
Five Willow Warbler were on the island with 2 caught and ringed.
Also present were 4 Pied Wagtail with at least 1 being a juvenile.
A single Sand Martin flew over and there were over 100 Swallows with many hovering over the Ragwort and dipping to take insects from it.
Invertebrates included circa 50 Small White Butterfly, 8 Green-veined White, 3 Painted Lady, 6 Red Admiral and 8 Peacock. A Garden Tiger Moth was found in the Obs garden
There were at least 20 Emerald Damselfly around the pond, a male Black-tailed Skimmer in the SK garden, also 3 Emperor Dragonfly present.
Ringed: 2 Willow Warblers     [ 582-30 ]
photos AS

Tuesday 23 July 2019

23rd July 2019

Weather: SE force 1, cloudless and warm.
Three Ravens were at Little Eye first thing, probably the same birds as recorded on Sunday.
The first few returning Willow Warblers arrived over the last few days, and a single today became the first ringed this autumn.
 It was extremely noisey off the east side this morning as many Sandwich terns were flying in and attending to their young.
 Curlew and Whimbrel are both to be seen at the present time.
In addition to the Swallows with their young, a Swift and a Sand Martin flew through this morning.
The female Kestrel still hunts the voles and a juvenile Blackbird was ringed.

Ringed: 1 Willow Warbler, 1 Blackbird, 1 Linnet.    [ 580-30 ]
photos CJ

Sunday 21 July 2019

21st July 2019

Weather: South 2   vis 35 mls

 A few nice surprises today started with 2 Black-tailed Godwit flying west.
Other waders present included 10 Whimbrel roosting on Middle with a total of 18 recorded, 35 Curlew, a few each of Dunlin & Redshank, 2 each of Turnstone & Ringed Plover.
A single summer plumage Knot came down in the Gutter after the tide.
 Four Goosander were on the sea close in to the west side and flew off up the estuary,
 followed by 2 Shelduck later. 
Over 500 Sandwich Tern were around the islands and a brief sea watch found 8 Gannet, 5 Common Scoter, 3 Great Crested Grebe. 5 Little Egret and a Heron were recorded.
In addition to the regular island birds, a juvenile Blackbird was in the Obs garden, a Willow Warbler was heard singing and it turned out that 2 were present.
 a Swift passed over and the Magpie is still about. Tea time scored again when 3 Raven were spotted over Middle, they eventually flew low down the west side of the island, returned whilst tea break was still in progress and disappeared south.
There were at least 25 Emerald Damselfly around the pond but probably quite a few more, keeping low as the wind freshened.
 photos AEH,AS

Friday 19 July 2019

19th July 2019

Weather: SW increasing rapidly to 5/6 by mid-morning, light rain early.
 A Merlin was chasing Linnets along the west side of the island, a bird more expected at other times of year. Eleven Black-tailed Godwits were noted, also the Magpie. Sea birds present were 5 Gannets, 4 Great Crested Grebes and a Razorbill.
A single Willow Warbler was the first of the autumn and a Whitethroat was also about.
Other birds recorded were a Little Egret, the female Kestrel, 7 Whimbrel, and a Pied wagtail.
The Sandwich Tern roost has now reached over 200 birds.
Meanwhile butterflies and moths  logged today were 2 Red Admirals, a Small White, a Green-veined White, a Cinnabar Moth and 54 Emerald Damselfly.

Wednesday 17 July 2019

17th July 2019

Weather: West 2/3, strengthening later, overcast with light showers mid-afternoon.
Similar species to recent days with the Magpie and female Kestrel still present, the latter eating its prey on the chimney stack.

Both Linnet and Swallow flocks included recently fledged juveniles,
as did the vocal Sandwich Terns seen all around the islands and shore. A sea watch over the tide produced 40 Gannets, 3 Great Crested Grebes, a siongle Guillemot, as well as hundreds of terns, mostly Sandwich. A male Common Scoter was between the islands as the tide ebbed and 5 Whimbrel were on the rocks. Despite the overcast conditions butterflies on the wing included Painted Lady, Red Admiral, Ringlet and Green-veined and Small Whites.
Day flying moths included Six-spot Burnet and Yellow Shell, while Cinnabar moth caterpillars fed on Ragwort.
photos CS

Tuesday 16 July 2019

16th July 2019

Weather: SW force 0/1 , cloudy at first then sunny and warm.
Things were very static as is expected during July, however a Whitethroat was caught and ringed.

Breeding birds still around include Swallows, Pied Wagtail and Meadow Pipits.
A Kestrel was around for a few hours and at one stage spent time running along the main island path and dust bathing.
Ringed: 1 Whitethroat.                        [ 577-30 ]

photos CJ

Monday 15 July 2019

15th July 2019

Weather: SE sunny and warm

A Wheatear was ringed today, a bird in plumage that most have never seen. It was a nominate race, first year bird that had just started its post juvenile moult, the picture shows its robin like spotty plumage.
There was a single male, scoter lounging at the North End before the tide and a little egret fishing there after the tide.
 There were a lot of sandwich terns flying past during the tide with food for their young, arouind 200 but it could have been more.

 There were 5 Pied Wagtails including this juv in the picture.
There were plenty of butterflies, the nicest being a comma. Only 69 Grey Seals could be counted.

Ringed: 1 Wheatear.       [ 576-30 ]
photos JE