Migration highlights on Skomer Island

Bullfinch by Amy Lewis

Bullfinch by Amy Lewis

Sunset on Skomer by Dave Milborrow

Sunset on Skomer by Dave Milborrow

Below are the recorded sitings of birds seen on Skomer Island during October 2016...

Record numbers of Yellow-browed Warblers turned up in October. Also of note were there islands third Long-tailed Duck (20th), a Pallas’ Warbler (27th) and a Serin (26th).

A Red-throated Diver flew west along the north coast, calling, on the 20th and there were two Great Northern Divers (9th and 16th). A Sooty Shearwater was in St Brides Bay on the 16th. Little Egrets were recorded on the 11th and 26th and Grey Herons on eight dates, with three on the 3rd.

Two Greylags were regularly seen amongst the Canadas and there was a Barnacle Goose with them on the 31st. Monthly maxima of wildfowl include Shelduck (30th), Wigeon (4th and 7th), 41 Teal (5th), 98 Mallard (2nd), ten Shoveler (19th) and 56 Common Scoter (5th).

Red Kites were recorded on six dates with five on 22nd. Marsh Harriers were recorded on eight dates. Hen Harriers were present on most days from the 11th with two on several days. Merlins were also present almost daily from the 4th and there were two on the 20th. A juvenile Hobby was recorded on the 5th, 6th, 8th and 11th.

Monthly maxima of waders include three Golden Plover (9th and 20th), two Lapwing (15th), a Purple Sandpiper (27th), Jack Snipe (8th), 13 Common Snipe (31st), Woodcock (30th), 25 Curlew (8th) and 38 Turnstone (15th and 16th).

There were 42 Mediterranean Gulls in Broad Sound on the 8th and numbers of Black-headed Gulls peaked at 90 on the 23rd. Five Common Gulls were recorded on the 8th and 35 Kittiwakes on the 18th. One Arctic Tern was recorded close in on the 6th and there were 13 ‘commic’ terns on the 8th and two on the 19th.

Nine Short-eared Owls came out of roost on the 25th. There were two Wrynecks on the 2nd and one on the 6th.

Maxima include 640 Skylark (20th), three Sand Martins (7th) on the same day as 470 Swallows and 29 House Martins, two Tree Pipits (8th), a ‘blue-headed’ Yellow Wagtail (present between the 4th and 6th), seven Grey Wagtails (20th) with up to three passing over on several other dates, Black-Redstarts present on four dates with two on the 25th, Common Restart (9th and 11th), four Whinchats (2nd), 19 and 18 Stonechat (4th and 5th respectively), six Wheatears on the 2nd (a count which included at least one ‘Greenland’ bird), Ring Ouzels on 12 dates with four on the 15th. Maxima of other thrushes include 53 Blackbirds (23rd), twelve Fieldfare (29th and 31st), 31 Song Thrush (21st), 81 Redwing (24th) and single Mistle Thrushes on four dates.

Warblers included maxima of 20 Blackcap (7th), 41 Chiffchaff (8th), single Willow Warblers (2nd, 9th and 10th) and 31 Goldcrest (9th). Firecrests were recorded on four dates with five on the 7th. There were 21 records of Yellow-browed Warbler with a record day count of four on the 7th.

Up to three Spotted Flycatchers were recorded until the 11th with single Pied Flycatchers on the 6th and 15th. Four Coal Tits were recorded on the 11th and there were two on the 13th. Blue Tits peaked at five on the 22nd.

Large numbers of Jackdaws turned up around the 21st, culminating in a count of 1,300 on the 23rd, before numbers dropped off again. Over 700 Starlings moved through on the 31st. Two House Sparrows flew over during a day with lots of visible migration (20th). Peak counts of finches include 130 Chaffinch (31st), three Brambling (20th), three Greenfinch (20th), 80 Goldfinch (9th), eight Siskin (10th and 19th), 167 Linnet (9th), a redpoll (31st) and a Bullfinch on the 30th. Lapland Buntings were recorded on the 2nd and 31st and there was a flyover Snow Bunting on the 20th. Reed Bunting numbers peaked at 20 on the 8th.