Skomer Island Bird Sightings July 2017

Sand Martin by Margaret Holland

Sand Martin by Margaret Holland

Green Pond on Skomer with Otter swimming by M.Penny|

Green Pond on Skomer with Otter swimming by M.Penny|

As we are all aware, Skomer Island is a wildlife haven, especially for birds. Each month the warden composes a species list of what bird sightings have taken place on the island the previous month. This month's sightings are as follows:

Common Scoter began passing through from the 4th July, when 160 were seen. Smaller numbers were seen thereafter with 80 on the 22nd July being the peak for the second half of the month.

There were only three sightings of Ketrels with singles on the 16th, 17th and 24th July.

An adult Water Rail was caught on a camera trap on the 22nd and 24th and was the first of the summer/autumn. The Coot that turned up on North Pond at the end of last month was present until the 22nd and two were reported there on the 10th.

There was a Dunlin on the 28th and an adult Ruff on the 26th, both on North Pond. A juvenile Redshank was present on Moorey Mere on the 18th and 19th and further records came on the 22nd and 24th. There were three Common Sandpipers on the 4th and a single on the 14th. The first Turnstone (four) were seen on the 28th.

Arctic Skuas were seen offshore on the 22nd, 26th and 30th. A Mediterranean Gull and a Sandwich Tern were seen in Jack Sound on the 8th. Black-headed Gulls were seen occasionally with 17 on the 6th and seven on the 29th.

Collared Doves were seen on the 5th and the 25th. A juvenile Cuckoo was present around the Farm between the 12th and 26th. Short-eared Owls were still being seen during the first half of the month but were absent from the log during the second half. Swifts were moving through, generally in small numbers but there were 32 on the 17th and eleven on the 18th. A Kingfisher was seen briefly in South Haven on the 17th.

Another unlikely visitor to the island was a Great Spotted Woodpecker which was present in North Valley between the 25th and 29th.

Thirty three Sand Martins passed through east on the 18th and there were two on the 24th and singles on the 17th and 25th. A few Swallows passed through with a maximum of 25 on the 23rd. House Martins were also recorded with singles on the 1st and 2nd and two on the 5th. Single Grey Wagtails were recorded on the 2nd and 9th.

Surprisingly Song Thrushes were recorded on six dates, involving at least two individuals. Blackcaps and Willow Warblers began to appear with max. counts of five and twelve (both on the 25th) respectively.

The largest flock of Chough was 20 over the Neck on the 8th and two chicks from a nest along the north coast fledged early in the month. The Starling flock peaked at 44 on the 16th.

A House Sparrow was seen briefly around the Farm on the 18th.

July was also a great month for mammals with Risso’s Dolphins on the 4th and 8th, Common Dolphins most days and an Otter seen on six dates. Some great sightings that lined up with The Wildlife Trust's National Marine Week at the beginning of July!

Book an autumn visit to Skomer island this year!