Day two of the trip started well. After a dawn check of the obs garden, I headed around to the front of the building, where Steve put me onto a distant pair of Balearic Shearwater, heading north-west out to sea. After a quick breakfast, I joined the small group seawatching outside of the obs, and was soon watching good numbers of Kittiwakes and Razorbill passing by, with a small group of Common Scoter in the mix.
However, our seawatch was brought to an abrupt end, when the news that a HOOPOE had been found at Pen Cristin by ‘Icky’ Steve (one of the volunteers) came over the walky-talky. Assistant warden Mark, myself and Liam headed south, but the walky-talkys crackled into life again. The bird was apparently flying high over the mountain. I got my bins onto three Peregrines, and noticed that they were all pursuing a smaller bird! It was the HOOPOE. We watched as the bird climbed higher and higher – dodging several close attacks, until it disappeared into the clouds. We headed back to the obs, only to hear that the bird had been relocated at the plantation to the north, but was not settling there either. After some searching by everyone on the island, the bird was eventually seen in the open on the deck, but was still flighty and quite distant. Nevertheless, it was a relief to see it at all!
It was early afternoon by the time we returned to the obs, so Matt, Josie, Susan, Liam and Myself headed up the mountain in the hope of finding more good birds. Unfortunately we didn’t see much, with 16 Swallow being the only notable birds. The views were pretty good though;
The early evening was spent quietly watching the obs garden, where good numbers of Chiffchaffs and Goldcrests were present. A Reed Warbler was seen well and a Lesser Whitethroat was trapped and ringed there two.
The walky-talkys came to life again, and Mark reported that he had found a Firecrest in the Withies. We all headed down there and with some difficulty, eventually saw the bird – albeit briefly in the fading light.
That evening, Steve gave another excellent talk about his holiday in Spain, and the birds that he saw there. Another good end to another good day.