Saturday, 20 June 2015

20th June, 2015 Bardsey Island

We travelled overnight, as we were booked on to the first ferry at 05.30 am to Bardsey Island. Overcast conditions with rain from time to time. Smooth crossing seeing  Manx Shearwaters, Puffins, Razorbills and Guillemots, and as we arrived at Bardsey Island 3 Choughs were on a grassy hillside.

Spent the first 3 hours at the lighthouse compound where the superb male Cretzschmar's Bunting showed twice. It proved to be a shy bird keeping its distance from us and would only spend a few minutes in the compound before departing. Good scope views but really just to far away for photography, especially in the dull overcast conditions.

After it departed from its second visit, and with more birders arriving, we decided to have a walk around the Island as it was our first ever visit to Bardsey, seeing a number of Wheatears most with young on the wing and 4 flyby Choughs but otherwise very few other birds seen.

With still a couple of hours before our return ferry, we decided to return to the lighthouse compound meeting up with Dave Holman on the way. The Cretzschmar's showed well again for around 10 minutes before flying off, and we therefore made our way back to the ferry.

The Cretzschmar's is just the 6th UK record, with the previous five being seen in the Northern Isles, and is now my 525th British and Irish tick.

We drove home via the Snowdonian National Park with excellent views and with good numbers of Buzzards and 3 Welsh Red Kites.

Many thanks to the Bardsey Bird Observatory wardens, Colin the skipper and Lee Evans who organised the ferry booking which made this twitch possible.

View of Bardsey Island

View of Bardsey Bird Observatory

Looking towards the lighthouse




Male Cretzschmar's Bunting on Bardsey Island

Juvenile Wheatear