Spring news

It has been a pleasant few weeks on the island, with a thoroughly mixed bag of weather conditions: most of the time these conditions have not at all been typical of mid-May! Strong winds with horizontal rain; chilly northerly breezes with clear skies and starry skyscapes; and then more recently calm winds, glorious sun and warm temperatures. The unsettled conditions has meant that generally the last few weeks have been very poor for migrant bird numbers on the island. Usually in May we have a few days when the island is covered in Sedge Warblers, Spotted Flycatchers and Whitethroats, but this year we have had much lower numbers- the highest day counts for these species has been 34, 25 and 25 respectively. We have had some good movements of hirundines, with over 1000 Swallows, 300 House Martins and 150 Sand Martins recorded on the 15th. A scattering of Whinchats, Yellow Wagtails, Common Redstarts, Tree Pipits and Reed Warblers has been the best of the rest.
Here are a handful of images from the last week or two:

Puffins are now incubating egss in their excavated burrows on the East Side. There have been around 40 individuals sat on the sea adjacent to the slopes on the last few visits, although there also appears to be a new colony on Pen Cristin this year
Razorbills are back in force on the island, with well over 1000 present on the rocky bouldery areas around the East Side. Many are on eggs, although we have not been able to see any chicks as yet

Oystercatchers are incubating too, although the first few nests with ‘fledged’ young have been recorded, so the birds will now get even more furious when people pass them by

Linnet taking a bath in a small puddle along the track

Green Tiger Beetle

Gorse Shield Bug

Garden Tiger caterpillar

Buff Tip 

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