Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A calm spell, certainly by this autumn's standards, saw the Red-breasted Flycatcher remain for a second day before departing under a Milkyway filled sky, perhaps towards India and Bangladesh where it should have been heading. A cracking male Hen Harrier swept over the Island, remarkably only the second of the year. Black Redstarts are now a daily sight and vis migging has been pretty good, particularly the number of Fieldfare. Other conspicuous arrivals have been several Woodcocks, Water Rails and Short-eared Owls. At sea a few Pomarine Skuas and Mediterranean Gulls continue to linger offshore and up to five Brent Geese are visiting the Narrows.

The 235 Fieldfare recorded on the 7th was the most Bardsey has seen since 500 were logged on the 9th October 2004 (this is a tiny fraction of the Britain and Ireland overwintering population which is estimated at 1000000 individuals!). We managed to trap four of these cracking thrushes as a party of about 20 dropped into the Obs Garden. This was pretty good going as only 170 have been trapped here since 1953. We have now ringed 84 species this year. The broad tail and uniform greater coverts show this to be an adult bird and the blackness of the tail and broad flame-shaped black centers to the crown feathers suggest a male. (c) Richard Brown

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