Apologies for the lack of posts here recently, but it has been a busy week here on Bardsey! It is high season for visitors, which means that around 40 are staying on a weekly basis in the houses on the island, whilst day visitors numbers can exceed 30 on calm days too. Keeping on top of some farm jobs and catching up with friends has meant little time for posts up here! If you would like to keep a more regular news feed on my photography or the wildlife on the island, check out the following links: my Facebook page, Flickr feed, or Bardsey Sightings blog.

For now, here is a bit of an update from the island…the breeding season is nearing its end, with most of the island’s seabirds already absent from the sea cliffs, and many passerines finished with their chick-rearing duties for this year. Some pairs of Swallows are still attempting second broods, whilst many of the island’s Manx Shearwaters have big, fluffy chicks waiting in burrows for their regular fish meals, surpassing the adult birds in weight due to this provision of food (many chicks are over 450 grams now).

Migrants are trickling through the island now, as the southward migration of many passerines and waders takes place. The high tides at the moment cause a good gathering of rocky shore waders around the Narrows every day, and counts have included Ringed Plovers, Sanderlings, Dunlins, Whimbrels, 44 Curlews, six Redshanks, 26 Turnstones and over 15 Common Sandpipers. Although a bit late, Willow Warblers are also moving through in small numbers now, accompanied by smaller number of Sedge Warblers, Whitethroats, Grasshopper Warblers and Chiffchaffs.

Here is a selection of images from the last week or two:

Linnet at sunset. I haven’t taken many silhouette shots like this, but quite liked the effect in this situation, with this particular grass stalk too

A couple of evenings ago, I went for a walk at high tide and managed to find this small flock of Turnstones. I waited and watched, and took some pleasing images as the swell and tide rose higher, forcing the birds higher up the shoreline and enabling me to take this backlit shot

As eluded to earlier, bright young Willow Warblers clad in their banana-yellow attire are moving through the island in small numbers now. The highest count so far has been just short of 30, and yet on 2 August 2011 we had over 1000!!

The Oystercatchers have almost finished their duties as parents, with most of the island’s fledged chicks a reasonable size now, and getting the hang of prying bivalve molluscs off coastal rocks

A slightly arty shot to take in the two juvenile Shags peering over the shoulder of this worn adult. All of the juvenile Shags have fledged now, although still return to the rocks below their nests every now and then

Swallow chicks do not seem to have featured as strongly as they usually do, mainly due to most pairs getting a very late start to the breeding season. Most pairs have only managed one brood, but it is always nice to see these cute little hirundines begging for food from a shared perch

One of the few remaining Guillemots showing off its yellow gape
And finally… some moths!!! Lots of moths, which will no doubt take up an entire post in themselves. Here are some of my favourite shots so far…
Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing

Buff Arches

Early Thorn

Peach Blossom


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