Skomer Island Birds, May 2017

Eastern Subalpine Warbler

Eastern Subalpine Warbler

Dark-eyed Junco

Dark-eyed Junco

 

Here's an update on the list of migrant birds spotted on Skomer Island during May...

A Grey Heron flew over on the 11th. A female Tufted Duck was present on North Pond between the 15th and 17th. Common Scoter were seen on the 13th (five) and 29th (28).

A single Red Kite flew west over North Haven on the 19th and there were at least two on the 25th. A female type Marsh Harrier was seen hunting in North Valley and then flying east over the Neck on the 11th. Merlins were present until the 20th and a Hobby was seen on the 27th.

Two Purple Sandpipers were seen on the 9th. Single Dunlins were seen on four dates and there were two on the 10th and seven on the 27th. The last Snipe were seen on the 3rd, 5th and 7th. A single Black-tailed Godwit was on North Pond on the 18th and six flew over North Valley on the 28th. A juvenile Bar-tailed Godwit frequented some of the paths on the south coast on the 5th and at least one summer plumaged bird was present in North Valley between the 6th and the 9th. Whimbrel were seen throughout with a maximum of 15 on the 13th. A Wood Sandpiper spent four days at Moorey Mere and was seen eating lots of tadpoles. Single Common Sandpipers were seen on the 3rd and 12th and there were three on the 5th. Turnstones began to leave our shores mid-month though there were eight on the 16th and a lingering bird on 29th.

A Coot was seen on North Pond on the 30th. On the 29th an Arctic Skua and a Bonxie flew past Skomer Head. Cuckoos were seen on the 12th, 21st and 23rd. Short-eared Owls were very active with at least three pairs feeding young. Small numbers of Swifts were seen almost throughout and 363 on the 5th was the islands second highest count. Maximum numbers of hirundines include: 30 Sand Martins on the 6th, 200 Swallows on the 8th and 82 House Martins on the 11th. There were single Tree Pipits on the 5th and 7th and Yellow Wagtails on the 5th and 13th. A male Black Redstart was seen in North Haven on the 8th. There were six Common Redstarts on the 5th, three on the 6th and singles thereafter until the 11th. There were two Whinchats on the 5th and 9th and singles on three other dates. The last few Wheatears came through in May with a maximum of 88 on the 5th which included at least 20 Greenland race birds. Single Ring Ouzels were seen on the 5th and 9th.

There were three Reed Warblers on the 10th and singles on three other dates. Blackcaps passed through, mostly at the start of the month, with 13 on the 5th. May 2017 was an exceptional month for Garden Warblers and Lesser Whitethroats with maximum day counts of eight and four (on two dates) respectively. There was a noticeable influx of Common Whitethroats on the 6th when 89 were logged. A male Eastern Subalpine Warbler on the 8th was a second for the island after one in April this year. A Wood Warbler on the 5th and 6th was also an island rarity. Peak counts of Chiffchaffs and Willow Warblers were ten (5th and 11th) and 69 (5th) respectively. There was a single late Goldcrest on the 1st.

Spotted Flycatcher numbers peaked at twelve on the 5th and 12th. Pied Flycatchers peaked at five on the 5th. A Tree Sparrow was at the Farm between the 3rd and the 5th. Lesser redpolls were seen on three dates with two on the 29th.

The highlight of the month was a Dark-eyed Junco on the 8th.