Ramsey Island Bird Sighting – April 2015

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Breeding Birds

Chough          First pair confirmed nest building on 19 March. By 19 April, 8 pairs had been confirmed carrying nesting material into cave sites around the island’s west coast. Early pairs on eggs by 15 April 2015.

                        Flocks of non-breeders still number 12 – 15 birds most days

Peregrine       3 pairs on west coast and Ynys Bery. On eggs by mid-April. Female at Aber Mawr hunting and killing Herring Gulls on a regular basis!

Kestrel            Pair present all month – seen copulating on 20 April.

Little Owl       At least two pairs confirmed nesting in stone walls, probably four in total.

Seabirds         Cliff nesting seabirds like Guillemot, Razorbill and Kittiwake are still not settled on the ledges by month end. All the birds are on the island some mornings but have left for the sea again by mid afternoon. Some days they do not come in at all. This is normal for April. In some years the Auks do not lay their eggs until the second week of May and until that time they are free to come and go as they please.

Passerines     Linnet, Stonechat, Skylark, Meadow and Rock pipit all singing and going about their business as usual.

Migrants

Northern wheatear were first seen on 8 March, with numbers slowly building during April. Greenland wheatears recorded from 23 April.

A decent spell for returning migrants early in the month with good numbers of Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler and Blackcap in record numbers with 79 on 16 April. Whitethroats were back in the bramble bushes on 16 April and Sedge Warbler on 22 April.

Other annual but less common migrants included;

Hooded Crow                                                 Greylag Goose                          Black Redstart                                               Mistle Thrush

Common Redstart                                         Firecrest                                      Wryneck                                                         Ring Ouzel

Common Crossbill                                        Grasshopper Warbler                    Yellow Wagtail

Bird of the month was undoubtedly the long-staying male WOODCHAT SHRIKE, which was present for a week between 15 April – 23 April. It happily chomped its way through countless numbers of bees and beetles and was even seen taking a common lizard or two. This is only the third island record of this species in 20 years.