Saturday, September 3, 2011

We want to start with an apology to the hundreds of people that have visited expecting to hear about the Western Bonelli's Warbler found last Thursday. Sadly the unpredictability of our satellite internet has let us down for the last week or so. But we are now up and running again, and it's been a pretty decent week.

The seventh Bonelli's Warbler for Bardsey was identified as Western in the field by its disyllabic call. In the hand several features support this identification. The browny olive tones to the upperparts are warmer than would be expected of Eastern and the axillaries and underwing coverts were a brighter yellow. The wing was 63.5mm in length, average for Western but the shortest recorded for Eastern. The second primary fell between the sixth and seventh in length, this more rounded wing again being more typical of Western Bonelli's. The fresh plumage shows this to be a bird of the year. (c) Richard Brown

Perhaps the indistinct supercilium of Bonelli's Warbler is overemphasised sometimes as a field characteristic; the super on this bird often appeared quite prominent in the field, much more so than in the hand. The lime green feather fringes were also less obvious in the field but the strikingly white underparts instantly stood this bird out as something different. The rump colour was also surprising in that it matched the mantle, indeed it was only the tops of the uppertail coverts that showed the typical yellowish colouring. (c) Richard Brown

The best of the rest came in the form of a long staying, although sometimes elusive, Wryneck and the ringed Icterine Warbler lurking around Cristin Withy. See below for a video which explains the reasoning behind the Wryneck name. (c) Richard Brown

The scarcer common passerine migrants have also been well represented in the last few days with Tree Pipits, Whinchat, Garden and Reed Warblers, Pied Flycatcher and Redstart (above) all being recorded. (c) Richard Brown

This Knot was one of several scarcer waders to join the large numbers of Turnstone and Redshank feeding on Solfach. Common Sandpiper, Sanderling, Dunlin and Bar-tailed Godwit have also occured. (c) Richard Brown