Friday, June 24, 2011

It's eerily quiet on Bardsey with very few migrants around. Three Lapwing were the highlight of yesterday and Curlew numbers are starting to build up, with 19 recorded on the West Coast. Elsewhere on the wader-front the Ringed Plover chicks have fledged, taking their first flights around the Solfach shore-line. The adults were still alarming, which seemed strange when the chicks were flying around elsewhere. A closer look on the shingle, however, revealed another clutch of three eggs, laid in the same scrape as before. The anti-gull cage over the nest site is clearly proving popular with this pair.

An Arctic Tern graced us with its presence yesterday morning, perching on the South End boulders before giving Rich some impressive fly-bys. This is a rather unseasonal record, the bird possibly being a failed breeder. 

Arctic Terns complete what is by far the longest known regular migration of any animal. This individual will be planning a trip down to the Antarctic Oceans for the winter. (c) Richard Brown

The lack of migrants gave us the ideal opportunity to finish the Oystercatcher monitoring. The chicks are getting quite big now and are surprisingly difficult to spot as they hunch down low in rock crevasses. This individual has already started to develop an orange bill, although it has the dark tip typical of a juvenile. As we approached the South End we walked into a strange weather phenomenon...

There was clearly a lot of static in the air... (c) Giselle Eagle

All but two of the Puss Moth caterpillars have pupated, but we are still bringing in fresh Willow for the remaining boys. Eagle-eyed Giselle spotted an intruder in their tank...

Feeding on the same food plant, this caterpillar appears to be that of a Poplar Hawkmoth! This is the first confirmed breeding record of this species on the island. (c) Richard Brown

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