Friday, September 7, 2012

It has been very quiet bird-wise since our last post. So quiet in fact that we've spent a fair bit of time bothering undergrowth in an attempt to improve our chances of catching birds when they do arrive. The new plantation at Nant has held some pretty decent birds in the last year or so, ranging from a Corncrake to a Western Bonelli's Warbler. But the vegetation had grown taller than the nets and there was a big section of impenetrable woodland which has no doubt held several BB Rarities during the course of the year so far. So we pollarded the trees and stuck in a new 50 foot net ride through the middle. Subsequently there has still been virtually nothing in the way of grounded migrants, although one day saw over 5000 Swallows pass North and many Grey Wagtails have gone over (using an old water bottle off a bike we also created a constant drip of water next to one of the nets to try and lure a Grey Wagtail or two down - but it's yet to work). Anyway, the first reward for all our efforts came today. We had only caught about five birds when Giselle extracted the third Melodious Warbler of the year from our new net ride. Despite the area having been well birded, the first we knew about it was when Giselle found it hanging there - what else must have skulked through this dense patch of scrub?

This neat first year arrived on a good day for Hippos. On Bardsey since 1958, the seventh of September has seen seven previous Melodious Warblers and three Icterine Warblers recorded. So eight of 113 Melodious Warblers have occurred on this date. (c) Richard Brown

Several Hummingbird Hawkmoths have been in the gardens along with numerous Silver Ys. Three Migrant Hawkers have also passed through. (c) Richard Brown

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