So now that the Island team is back on Skomer for the 2017 season, we have lots of exciting sightings from the Island to bring you each month! Here's March's sightings...
A Great Northern Diver was seen on the first day of the season (6th) and the first Manx Shearwaters were recorded two days later on the 8th. A Grey Heron was also recorded on the 30th.
Monthly maxima of ducks included three Wigeon on several dates, twelve Teal (10th), ten Mallard (11th), six Shoveler (28th) and two Tufted Duck on the 31st.
A Red Kite was seen around the Farm on the 24th. A ringtail Hen Harrier was seen throughout the month and there were two recorded on the 6th and 12th. Sparrowhawks were seen on eight dates with two on the 23rd. A female Kestrel was present throughout with two on the 28th. A male Merlin was recorded between the 21st and 23rd and a female was seen on the 26th.
Some large roosts of Oystercatchers were counted with 135 on the 20th and 152 on the 28th. Purple Sandpipers were recorded on the 9th (four), 22nd (six) and 24th (three). The maximum count of Snipe was eleven on the 10th. Curlew numbers peaked at 17 on the 18th. Black-tailed Godwits were recorded on the 18th and 22nd. Turnstone numbers peaked in the third week of March with eleven between the 19th and 21st.
An early Sandwich Tern, recorded on the 20th, spent a few hours fishing in North Haven in the morning.
The first Puffin was recorded on the 9th (a rather early date) and there were over 10,000 present by the 27th. Razorbills and Guillemots were present from the start of the recording period (from the 6th). A Stock Dove was recorded on the 31st.
Short-eared Owls were recorded throughout and there were five on the eighth.
The first Sand Martins (six) were recorded on the 12th and there were 16 on the 22nd and 15 on the 31st. Swallows were first recorded on the 22nd and there were 27 on the 30th and 16 on the 31st. Two House Martins were recorded on the 22nd. The first Black Redstart was recorded on the 16th and the same female was present at the Farm the next day. A male was present at the Farm from the 28th to the 30th and was joined by a female on the 28th and 30th. Stonechat passage was light but there were twelve on the 16th, eight on the 22nd and seven on the 26th. The first Wheatear was seen on the 10th, the first singing male was recorded on the 22nd, the same day the first female was recorded.
Male Ring Ouzels were recorded on the 23rd and 24th. There was some thrush passage on the 8th with 14 Blackbirds, eleven Song Thrush and a Redwing. There were also two Redwings on the 28th and 31st. Blackcaps were recorded from the 26th when four were seen. Chiffchaffs were recorded throughout with 28 on the 23rd and 24 on the 27th and 31st. Willow Warblers were recorded from the 23rd with 17 on the 27th. Goldcrests were also present throughout with ten on the 22nd and 23rd and eleven on the 24th.
The biggest flock of Chough was 15 on the 16th and nest building commenced from the 20th. The first Raven chicks hatched out on the 31st.
Finch passage was light with a maximum of three Chaffinch (29th), 20 Goldfinch (9th) and 18 Linnet (27th).