Wednesday, August 22, 2012

It has been ages since we've blogged. Our only excuse is that we've been quite busy. Back on Bardsey we have managed to build a second Heligoland Trap in the Obs garden. We were inspired by the fact that the original trap has provided us with an average of exactly 450 new birds a year between 2000 and 2011. Also by the decent birds which have recently been taken in the original, including Woodchat Shrike, Melodious Warbler and Greenish Warbler. It hasn't been easy, but we have now managed to build a second trap which uses the east wing of the original to form the new trap's west wing. The new trap thus catches birds approaching from the South whereas the old trap takes birds coming from the North. But we'd only just finished the trap (and caught the first few Willow Warblers in it), when it was time to leave Bardsey to represent the Bird Observatories Council at the Birdfair. We've missed a few birds whilst we've been away, most notably record numbers of Pied Flycatchers along with a Hobby, a Wood Warbler, a Wryneck, a couple of trips of Dotterel and a few more 100+ Willow Warbler days. However we can't really grumble as we had a cracking time at the Birdfair. We're now waiting for the weather to allow us to return to Bardsey, with Thursday looking like it will be good for a crossing. Whilst we wait we've picked up a few more birds for the yearlist, most notably the Black Tern and Black-necked Grebe just down the road at Nosterfield and the very showy Osprey at Lockwood Beck Reservoir.

Our new Heligoland Trap in the Obs garden. Many a Subalpine Warbler has vanished into the Gorse in this part of the garden; hopefully a few will now find the back of the trap. With the exception of the chicken wire, the whole trap has been made out of offcuts and unwanted materials lying around the island. (c) Giselle Eagle


  1. Stunning looking place. What accomodation does the island have? Is there a pub?!

  2. Hey bomber. You can either stay at the Obs for a week (or shorter if okay with the booking secretary and boatman), or in one of the Island's other 10 houses for the same period. The obs is cheaper but it's a shared kitchen rather than your own place. no pub sadly, it's BYO and self-catering throughout. For obs bookings and further details e-mail