NGB Bardsey Trip – Day 4 – 30/ix/14

Waking at dawn again, I noticed that the wind had increased a bit and was now from a SSE direction. There was also a bit of drizzle in the air, which seemed promising.

I began with a short seawatch from the obs garden, but my only result was a few Gannet and Kittiwake, along with a couple of Razorbill.

Next, I headed down to the south end, through the wetlands (where I flushed a couple of Snipe and a Reed Bunting. Meadow Pipits seemed particularly abundant today, with their calls constantly filling the air. In the narrows, a large juvenile Peregrine and an even bigger adult were hunting the waders on Solfach, but failed to catch anything. They still gave very good views in the process.

As I headed around the lighthouse I noticed a very large, chunky Wheatear. Bardsey gets good numbers of Greenland Wheatears (subspecies leucorhoa), and Ben later confirmed that my suspisions were correct and this was my first leucorhoa Wheatear.

A seawatch from the south end hide produced little of note, with more Razorbill, Gannet and Kittiwake passing, (along with an unidentified Commic Tern).

Having met Ben, Steffan and Liam on the south end, we headed up to Solfach, where a few Redshank and Oystercatcher were on the rocks. A Fulmar flew south offshore, as did a Sandwich Tern a few minutes later. Again, there were surprising numbers of Meadow Pipits here, along with good numbers of Pied Wagtails, and the occasional flyover Grey Wagtail (a trend that continued throughout the week). In the bay, a Wigeon was with the usual flock of Mallard.

After breakfast, everybody headed north, and enjoyed brief but good views of the HOOPOE at Nant. A few people managed good photographs as well.

The weather brightened up in the afternoon, but it was spent being lazy around the obs and not really birding much, although we did manage to see a Merlin chasing and successfully catching a Meadow Pipit!

In the evening, Ben gave a talk about his time spent birding and ringing in Kenya which was brilliant and had some great photos.

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