Bardsey in May: Spotted Flycatcher passage and chicks hatching and fledging

May was another month of weather extremes – from warm sunshine to blinding rain and back within 24 hours. Spring passage didn’t produce any great rarities – a Woodchat Shrike was the best – but wait for the June report! Some migrant first dates were quite late – Common Redstart on 10th, together with the first Lesser Whitethroat and Pied Flycatcher on 13th. The first Spotted Flycatcher had been seen on the last day of April, but there was a good passage through May, with the first three ringed on 8th and passage still continuing at the end of the month, with seven ringed on 29th. Siskins were seen throughout the month – sometimes around the observatory, but often flying over, and Lesser Redpolls were plentiful. There were large flocks of House Martins on 28th and 29th and some Swallow passage (as well as the residents) but few Sand Martins and only a sprinkling of Swifts.

Breeding continued apace for many species, with many fledged Stonechats, Mallard ducklings and Choughs, with Oystercatchers, Razorbills, Herring Gulls and Shag chicks appearing towards the end of the month. Manx Shearwaters – truly Bardsey’s and Wales’ iconic bird – appear to have increased dramatically in numbers, with burrow counts up by 50-70% in the first census.

Woodchat Shrike
Stonechat juvenile
Shag chicks
Newly fledged Chough
Sunrise over the Llyn
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