Sunday, 8 September 2013

End of a summer

The start of a summer might be marked by the arrival of the swallow and the end marked by the departure of dozens or hundreds of their offspring sitting on telegraph wires or roosting in reedbeds. Two days ago (6th Sept) we walked outside the house at North Haven at 08.00 to the sight of hundreds of Swallows travelling roughly E over the house. We did some timed counts and during a 2h period came up the figure of 2,500 migrating over Skomer.
Swallows are fast and hard to photograph, however the forked tail of this Swallow is obvious in this picture taken by an amateur. 
 The same day we recorded 66 Wheatears, 7 Sand Martins, 1 House Martin and a Tree Pipit.

A flush of migrant Wheatears moved through Skomer island on the 6th of Sept

On the 7th we recorded 13 Teal, a Sparrowhawk, 2 Ringed Plovers, 3 Snipe, 4 Whimbrel, 3 Curlew, a Grey Wagtail, 8 Robins, 2 Stonechats, 9 Wheatears, a Song Thrush, 3 Chiffchaff, 10 Willow Warblers, 3 Spotted Flycatchers and 60+ Ravens.

Today (8th Sept) we saw 12 Teal, a Grey Heron, a Snipe, a Yellow Wagtail, 15 Robins, 2 Wheatears, a Stonechat, 2 Blackcaps, 2 Spotted Flycatchers, and a Pied Flycatcher. The undoubted highlight of the day however, was a Corncrake. It was flushed from a path in South Stream at 18.30 and flew into bracken, never to be seen again. It was the first Skomer record since Sept 2008.

Bee and I have been doing some work with the breeding Grey Seals and we will do a blog post explaining this work soon.

Eddie Stubbings, Skomer Warden

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