Ramsey Island Bird Records 2013

ramsey island ramsey sound boat trips

CANADA GOOSE               Confirmed breeder. 2 pairs (1 in 2012). Pairs on Ynys Bery and Carreg Rhosson but no young seen. Recorded between February and June in small numbers. Max 74 south over the island on23rd September

Pale-bellied Brent Goose      1 north on a seawatch on 13th October. 2 south on a seawatch on 3rd November

MALLARD                           Confirmed breeder. 2 pairs (2 in 2012). Recorded in all months except July-September and November. Max 28 roosting on the old Mill Pond on 18th October.

Teal                                         35 roosting on the central ponds on 25th August. 5 on 3rd December

Tufted duck                           1 circling the farmhouse on 14th July was only the second record for Ramsey (SV)

Common scoter                     17 logged through January and February moving south. First autumn records on 19th July. Total autumn numbers 205 up to mid November, max 30 on 25th Oct. 6 on 6th December were the last records of the year

Red–throated diver               Singles on 5th October, 4th and 5th November and 6th of December. 2 on 3rd November

Great northern diver            3 south past hide on 29th October

Great crested grebe               1 south at sea on 3rd November (GM). First record for Ramsey

FULMAR                              Confirmed breeder. 227 AOS (284 in 2012) – a second successive year of population decline. Productivity of 0.62 (0.68 in 2012). Present on ledges most of the year with occasional absences in winter. Absent from ledges for moult from 6th September to 6th November.

MANX SHEARWATER      Confirmed breeder. Not censused (3835 AOB in 2012). Not recorded on land after 14th September. Last records at sea were 9 on 3rd November and 1 on 5th November. Heard calling over house around the new moon on 2nd November (as in most other years). 200+ fledglings ringed at usual NE coast study site and the first 3 birds re-trapped, ringed as fledglings on Ramsey in 2010. 20adult birds fitted with geolocators

Sooty shearwater                   5 south on 16th September in a NW gale. 1 south on 3rd November

STORM PETREL         Confirmed breeder on Ramsey

Gannet                            See Grassholm systematic list for breeding data. Recorded in all months off Ramsey

Cormorant                   Recorded in small numbers in winter and then again from autumn onwards. No summer records. Usually just offshore or on low tide rocks. Max 6 on 25th October

SHAG                                Confirmed breeder. Not censused (15 AON in 2012), mainly on the B&C. Recorded in all months. Max 8 on 3rd November

Little Egret                     1 south on 17th May and 2 at sea off north end on 10th October struggling in a gale

Grey heron                     First record of year a single on 26th May. Recorded in every month thereafter up to the final record on 27th November. Max 7 on 19th July.

Osprey                             Single on 1st April heading SE over Carn Llundain and a single on 30th September seen by a day visitor and subsequently identified from photographs.

Red kite                          A single on 16th March was winged tagged and identified as being one of the Irish reintroduction birds. Another single on 29th March then 2 on 2nd April, 1 on 3rd April, logged on 5 dates in May (max 5 on 17th) and singles on 20th, 22nd and 26th August

Marsh harrier                A fly over bird on 7th August was only the second record for Ramsey (SV)

Hen harrier                  A late ring tail was present from 18th – 23rd May then singles on 18th Sept, 9th Oct, 13th Oct and 22nd and 23rd November (all ring tails).

Montague’s harrier      After a tip off from Skomer wardens on 1st May that their Pallid harrier was heading our way we connected with what turned out to be their Montague’s harrier later that evening! Adult female present till 3rd. A ring tail harrier seen briefly on 7th

Sparrowhawk               Single on 9th March then again for a week in late April. No more records until August. Singles recorded in each month the rafter through to last record of year on 13th November

BUZZARD                       Confirmed breeder. 2 pairs (2 in 2012). Min 3 fledged. Present all year. Max 6 at any one time.

KESTREL                       Confirmed breeder. 1 pair (1 in 2012) on cliff opposite farmhouse.. Fledged 3 young. Recorded in all months apart form December. Usually 1 or 2 birds (breeding pair). Occasionally 3 in October

Merlin                            Single female or young bird(s) present from February though to end of April. Single on 4 dates in last week of June then sporadic singles from September, recorded most days in November up to final record on 5th December

PEREGRINE                  Confirmed breeder. 2 pairs held territory (2 in 2012). Min of 2 fledged from the Garlic site (site used for second year running in preference to Aber Mawr). Second pair at Glyma is not easily viewed so outcome unknown. Birds recorded in all months.

Water rail                               1 on 6th May

OYSTERCATCHER      Confirmed breeder. 32 pairs includes 1 on the Bishops and Clerks. Recorded in all months but only small winter numbers.

Ringed plover                1 juv on central ponds on 7th September

Golden plover                    19 over 3 dates in January, singles on 23rd March, 23rd April and 14th August. 4 on 28th and 5 on 29th September. Single on 24th September. 10 in northern fields on 19th October. 35 on 4th, 9 on 10th and finally a single on 13th November

NORTHERN LAPWING    Confirmed breeder. 1 pair (3 in 2012). Zero young fledged (1 in 2012). Lowest breeding total on record and looks to be heading towards extinction as a breeding species. Ramsey, which is sub-optimal lapwing habitat, has always been an ‘overspill’ site for mainland populations but none now breed on a regular basis in Pembrokeshire (occasional records from south of County). Recorded in all months apart from July, August and December. Max 110 west on 24th January

Purple sandpiper                   2 on 30th August was the only record but almost certainly under recorded on it’s difficult to monitor winter roost site.

Turnstone                              2 south on 19th August – at sea

Dunlin                                    3 on 18th May, 8 on 23rd May, 1 on 17th June, 10 logged over 5 dates in August (max 5 on 4th) and 1 on 4th October

Green sandpiper                   Singles on 24th January (rare winter record), 21st July and 9th October. 2 on 23rd August

Common sandpiper              15 north on 1st June, 2 on 24th July, singles on 11th and 26th August and 2 on 24th September.

Greenshank                           1 on 31st January was a rare winter record
Curlew                                   Recorded in all months apart from Jan, March and December. Largest counts were 32 logged through June with 129 logged through September and October (max flock 20). One at sea on 3rd November was the last record of the year

Whimbrel                               Another ‘light’ year. 42 logged on spring passage, 49 on autumn passage. Max flock 13

Woodcock                              Singles on 24th January, 19th and 27th October, 2nd and 15th November with 3 on 12th. Final record 1 on 10th December

Common snipe                       Recorded in all months apart from May-July. Mainly small numbers with 11 logged in January the highest number of records with a max of 4 on any one day. 1 on 8th August was the first returning autumn bird.

Jack snipe                              Singles on 12th and 17th February, 13th October, 6th and 12th December

Great skua                             A single on 23rd June was the first of the year. 2 south in August, 9 south in September, 15 south in October, 23 south in November of which 20 were on 3rd.

Pomarine skua                       1 dark phase adult with spoons south on 3rd November

Arctic skua                             7 on 16th September, 3 on 29th October, 7 on 3rd and 1 on 5th November

Black-headed gull                  Present in Ramsey Sound in numbers of up to 150+ in January and February. Not recorded then until a single on 17th May. Present again in regular numbers from August onwards building to a max of 400+ birds in Ramsey Sound on 6th December.

Common gull                         2 adult winter birds in Ramsey Sound on 2nd December plus 1 1st winter bird on 6th December.

Mediterranean gull               2013 continued the increase in records for this species from Ramsey with 16 logged between 3rd June and 6th December. Max of 5 individuals in October. Plumages ranged from adult summer and adult winter through to 1st winter

HERRING GULL                Confirmed breeder. 221 AON (172 on RMI and 49 on B&C) (277 AON in total in 2008). Present in all months. 300+ ‘anting’ in central field on 20th August

LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL               Confirmed breeder. 170 AON (152 on RMI and 18 on B&C) (266 AON in total in 2008). First record of year on 17th February. 10 in Ramsey Sound on 2nd December

GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULL                  Confirmed breeder. 25 AON (10 on RMI and 15 on B&C) (25 AON in total in 2008). Present in all months. Max roost of 50 near Briw on 13th June

Little Gull                               A first winter bird off north end on 15th September and an adult winter in Ramsey Sound on 2nd December

KITTIWAKE                       Confirmed breeder. 139 AON (175 in 2012) was the 2nd lowest on record and the second year in succession the population has been below 200. Productivity 0.29 (0.18 in 2012). Very late getting started possibly due to the record cold spring – seen nest building when normally would have been laying. Present offshore throughout, noticeable movement in autumn with a max of 2800+/hr logged on 29th October.

Sabine’s gull                           1 juv south on 5th November

Sandwich tern                       A relatively quiet year with singles on 26th August and 6th September, 7 on 17th September and 5 on 24th October. Mainly south

Arctic tern                              1 south on 3rd November

PUFFIN                                 Confirmed breeder (B&C only). Max spring count on North Bishop was 40 on 10th June (42 in 2012). By 19th June this had increased to 71 presumably an early increase in non-breeder attendance which doesn’t usually peak until July. 27 on 18th July was the last record at this site. Once again there were a good number of sightings of birds on the water close to the cliffs around the west coast of Ramsey including the first report of birds on land in recent times. This probably came in response to a sound attraction system being deployed in association with the plastic decoys (that have been used in isolation but without success for several years). 8 birds were on the cliff top amongst the decoys on 7th June, 3 on low tide rocks on 18th June and small groups of singles on  low tide rocks on 28th and 29th June. In total 206 birds were logged between 3rd April and 18th July in the close vicinity of the island. It is impossible to say how many of these records are duplicate birds. Thanks to 1000 Islands and Voyages of Discovery for all boat based records. In particular Ffion Rees, Mike Chant and Zeman McCready

Black Guillemot                     A single bird in Ramsey Sound on 30th May. 3rd record for the island and similar timing to last year’s bird in the same location

GUILLEMOT                       Confirmed breeder. Not censused. 4204 individuals in 2012 at 5 yearly census. Several winter attendance records on ledges on calm days. On breeding ledges until 25th July. See offshore through most of winter

RAZORBILL                        Confirmed breeder. Not censused. 1482 individuals in 2012 at 5 yearly census. No birds seen on land after 25th July. Sporadic appearances offshore throughout winter

FERAL PIGEON                 Confirmed breeder. Not censused. Present in all months.

Woodpigeon                        Singles on 24th and 25th March (probably same bird), 24th and 25th April (probably same bird), 22nd May, 13th and 16th November

Collared dove                        logged on 5 dates in May, max 2 at any one time. Singles on 3 dates in June and a single on 12th July

Cuckoo                                   Singles logged on 4 dates in May but impossible to say how many birds involved. Singing on 26th

LITTLE OWL                      Confirmed breeder. 5 pairs (4 in 2012). Bred successfully but first juv not seen until 11th September. Birds recorded in all months except March and November

SHORT-EARED OWL        1 pair bred in the southern heathland (1 in 2012). No young confirmed but adults present throughout breeding season and behaved as if young present so assumed to have fledged. Singles on 9th Jan and 3rd November were the only winter records

Swift                                       First of year on 5th May. 218 north in May of which 200 on 16th alone. 18 logged in June, 12 in July

Kingfisher                              Single bird on east coast from 10th-12th August between Capel and Ogof Hen. First record since 2007

Wryneck                                A single bird was at the volunteers bungalow on 10th September (Helen Lumley).

SKYLARK                            Confirmed breeder. 16 pairs (13 in 2012). 2 on 16th February were the first of the year. Autumn passage ran from 13th September to 30th November consisting of 831+ mainly south and west (max 225+ on 13th Oct).

Sand martin                           First record of year not until 12th April (19th March in 2012). A very poor year for records. 6 on spring passage and just 1 record on 31st August on return

SWALLOW                          Confirmed breeder. 10 pairs (13 in 2012). First record of the year was late with 2 on 10th April (19th March in 2012). Spring passage: 3065+ between 10th April and 4th June (max 1300+ on 16th May). Autumn passage: 7355+ south between early September and the last record on 17th October. One pair were still feeding young in the generator shed on 10th September.

HOUSE MARTIN                First breeding record for Ramsey. 1 pair bred in artificial nest box erected after birds began showing an interest in the eaves of the farmhouse on 18th June and unsuccessfully tried to build a natural nest. A minimum of 5 young fledged between 19th August and 1st September. First record of year was 1 on 20th April (8th in 2012). A good year for records with 257+ logged mainly north in spring and 145 mainly south in autumn, last record 4th October (7th in 2012)

MEADOW PIPIT                 Confirmed breeder. 58 pairs (57 in 2012). Present in all months apart from December. Large spring and autumn movements with regular flocks 100-200 birds moving through in April (300+ on 20th April), with 300+ moving through in the last week of September and 250+ through most of October.

ROCK PIPIT                        Confirmed breeder. 33 pairs (30 RMI, 3 B&C) (26 in 2012 all on RMI). Singing from 10th March. Present all year. Flocks of 20+ birds in October

Yellow wagtail                       1on 18th April, 3 on 7th May, 1 on 19th June were the spring records. A single on 17th July was the first returning bird. 1 or 2 birds logged daily from 26th-31st August, 1 on 26th September, 7 logged over 4 dates in October, last record 15th October (all flavissima).

Grey Wagtail                         Singles on 15th July, 14th and 27th September. 10 logged through October, max 4 west on 13th.
PIED WAGTAIL                 Confirmed breeder. 8 pairs (4 in 2012).  Recorded between 15th Feb and 10th November. First fledglings seen on 13th June

White wagtail                          Another good year.79 logged between 15th-26th April (max 20 on several dates). 2 on 7th and 1 on 11th May. 2 on 31st August and small numbers, max 3, on several dates at start of September.

‘alba’ wagtail                          17 on 30th and 31st August (probably same flock). 30+ on several dates at end of September. Up to 39 at start of October but no records after 5th.

WREN                                   Confirmed breeder. 49 pairs (40 in 2012). Present throughout.

DUNNOCK                           Confirmed breeder. 13 pairs (9 in 2012). Present all year in small numbers, small influxes in October
Robin                                      Did not breed (last bred in 2009). Present from Jan to April and again from August to December. Max 40+ in October, down to 5-10 in winter.

Black redstart                        Female type present throughout January and up to 12th February. Female type present from 6th-15th April and again from 3rd-5th November. Final record of year a female type on 1st December

Whinchat                               Singles on 2nd April, 10th and 28th September.

STONECHAT                       Confirmed breeder. 14 pairs (19 in 2012). The hard winter probably slowed their recent recovery as numbers dropped slightly on 2012. Recorded in all months, max outside of breeding season was 20+ on 13th September. Single figures through winter

WHEATEAR                        Confirmed breeder. 107 pairs (109 in 2012). First  record of year was 2 males on 9th March (17th in 2012). Last record was a single bird on 23rd October (25th Oct in 2012)

Greenland wheatear               2 on 30th April. 2 on 19th and 1 on 24th May. Logged on 3 dates in September (max 4). 2 on 8th and 2 on 12th October

BLACKBIRD                       Confirmed breeder. 16 pairs (14 in 2012). Present in all months. Max 50+ on several autumn dates.

Ring Ouzel                             Juv around central ponds from 20th August to 22nd August. Probable male at Porth Lleuog on 4th November

Fieldfare                                 145 south on 24th Jan then 2 on 25th and 1 on 26th. 1 on 24th Feb. 3 records in March and 2 in April (last on 25th). 226 east on 11th October were first of autumn. 400 in off sea on 10th November, 7 other records in month. Present in small number in early December.

Song thrush                           Recorded in all months apart from July, August and December. Maximum counts of 238 logged in January (max 170 south on 24th) 68 logged in February (max 12) and 133 in November (max 27)

Redwing                                 180 logged from 19th-31st January. Just 2 in Feb and 1 in March. Logged on 3 dates in April up to 12th. First of autumn was 42 on 11th October with 89 in total that month. 24 over 9 dates in November (max 7) and recorded up to early December with 14 on 3rd.

Garden Warbler                   1 on 28th September

Blackcap                                First record of year was 1 male on 30th March (27th in 2012). 23 logged through April (max 9), 12 in May (max 5). Last spring record 26th May. 21 logged in September, 28 through October. Singles on 1st and 7th November (last record)

WHITETHROAT                 Confirmed breeder. 11 pairs (7 in 2012). First record of year on 20th April. Second broods being fed on 29th June and out on 17th July. Recorded in small numbers (max 5) post breeding from August to early October. Last record 1 on 5th October.

Dartford Warbler                 Probably the same individual logged on 4 dates between 4th and 19th October, originally at bungalow and then around central pond (LM and SV) – 3rd record for Ramsey, all since 2006

Sedge Warbler                       First record of year was on 28th April (1st May in 2012). Logged on 13 dates in May, mainly singles but 6 on 17th, some singing.  Singing male on 3rd June. Autumn singles on 9th and 12th September and 4th October.

Booted warbler                      1 on 22nd September (GM) in big gorse stand above farmhouse valley. First from Ramsey and 5th for Wales

Willow warbler                      First record not until 8th April (27th March in 2012).  103 logged in April (max 23 on 12th). 28 logged over 8 dates in May. A singing male on 3rd June was last spring record. First return record on 22nd July.  2 more in the month followed by 54 in August (max 20+ on 8th), 84 over 16 dates in September (max 12). 15 logged in early October with last record of the year on 9th (last on 14th Oct in 2012)

Western Bonelli’s warbler    1 at Aber Myharan from 8th-10th September was a first for Ramsey (LM/GM)

Chiffchaff                              First of year was a single in the garden on 19th February (presumed to be a overwintering bird from mainland as opposed to a migrant). First presumed migrant (pollen horns visible) turned up in our bedroom on 11th March! No other records in month apart from 1 on 30th March. 25 logged in April, 7 in May. Last spring bird on 18th June. Return passage began on 5th July. None logged in August. 98 over 10 dates in September (max 44 on 28th). 87 logged through October (max 34 on 10th Oct). 2 present in Myharan at start of November, reduced to 1 by last record on 16th.

Yellow-browed warbler        A record year with 2 on 13th October, 1 on 15th and 1 on 23rd – all thought to be different birds

Goldcrest                                First of year on 6th April and only 2 other records that month (max 5 on 12th). No more spring records. 40 logged over 16 dates in September (max 5). 171 logged through October (max 28 on 17th). 27 logged up to the last record on 16th November (max 7 on 10th).

Spotted flycatcher                 A good year. 19 logged in May from the first record on 16th (max 6 on several dates). 10 in June up to 7th. Singles on 9th July, 23rd and 24th August with 23 logged over 13 dates in September (max 3). Last record of year was a single bird on 1st October.

GREAT TIT                         Confirmed breeder. 1 pair (1 pair in 2012). Second successive year of successful breeding. Fledged a min of 2 from first brood on 13th June from a nest in a rubbish pile in the courtyard. 3 fledged from a second brood on 10th August from a nest in a hole in the stone wall of the woodshed. Recorded in all months, mainly just the breeding pair outside of the breeding season but up to 5 in October

 Blue tit                                    A single bird present for the whole of January and February. No further records until 1 on 20th June. Then a singles on 13th September plus 10 on 29th (5 east and 5 on island). Present all month in October in small numbers with some signs of movement – 14 on 5th and 35 on 13th the highest counts (most birds came across from mainland heading west but usually turned back when they hit the west coast). 3 present throughout November.

Long-tailed tit                        12 in off the sea from the west on morning of 10th November. Carried on east towards mainland

Woodchat shrike                   1 on 26th May at Chamomile corner. Photographed by day visitor and then refound later by AC

Magpie                                   Did not breed (1 pair in 2012). Only records were 3 on 20th March, 3 on 20th April, 1 on 15th October and a single present for 3 days in mid November.

JACKDAW                           Confirmed breeder. Not censused but bred in holes on east and south facing cliffs as usual. Present most of year but usual post breeding absence from July to 1st September. Regular flocks of 200+ in October.

CHOUGH                              Confirmed breeder. 7 territorial pairs (8 in 2012) of which 7 bred (7 in 2012), fledging 14 young – 2.0 per breeding pair (2.0 in 2012). Productivity was again hit by the loss of 2 nests in late April at incubation stage (force 10 NE winds) – the same scenario as in 2012.
Max flock size from monthly feeding transects:

7 7 24 23 21 23 30 30 35 40 7 8

Rook                                       A good year for what is a scarce bird on Ramsey. Singles on 27th March, 25th and 27th April and 28th September

CARRION CROW               Confirmed breeder. 7 pairs (6 in 2012). Present all year. Some local movement in autumn with max flocks of 100+ on 29th September and 50+ on several dates in October

Hooded crow                         Singles on 16th and 21st May plus 10th June

RAVEN                                 Confirmed breeder. 4 pairs (4 in 2012). Min of 4 fledged. Present all year. Max flock of 40 on several dates in autumn.

Starling                                   Recorded in all months apart from May and August. Regular flocks of 150-200+ in autumn and winter with a maximum of 700+ feeding above Aber Mawr on 10th November. 20 juvs on 25th June were the first returning birds of the ‘autumn’.

House Sparrow                      Singles males on 20th March and 20th April then a singing male present for the whole of June but no female seen. A male logged on 4 dates in July with 2 juvs present on 17th July, presumably from mainland. Single female present on 3 dates in October. Final record of year a female on 13th November

Chaffinch                               Recorded from January to April and September to November. Mainly 1-3 birds in the early part of the year with an increase in April which saw 20 logged in the month. None after 26th April until a movement of 56 east on 28th September. Total autumn movement was 492+ moving in all directions apart form north up to late November (max 173 south on 13th October)

Brambling                              1 in farmhouse garden on 1st November was the only record.

Greenfinch                             A very poor year. 1 on 5th October and 2 on 15th were the only records.

Goldfinch                               Recorded in small numbers on several dates in March. Present all month in varying number through April with a max of 25 on 19th. Present on and off through May with a max of 20-30 on several dates, No records after 25th May until 2 on 3rd August. 2 juvs on 18th August then autumn passage of 195 east through October and 32 in November up to 26th.

Siskin                                      4 on 26th April, 2 on 7th May, 1 on 16th June, 18 south on 4th October and singles west on 13th October, 10th and 28th November

Hawfinch                               Single female in farmhouse garden on 12th April (LM). First for Ramsey

LINNET                                Confirmed breeder. 37 pairs (78 pairs in 2011) – significant decrease in breeding population possibly caused by increase in rabbit numbers and lack of seeding grass with which to feed young. First record of year were 3 on 20th March. Recorded in all months thereafter up to 26th November. Regular max flock sizes of 50-60 birds. The only movement noted was 152 east on 13th October

Lesser redpoll                        2 on 7th May then singles logged on 3rd June, 11th October, 10th and 12th November (mainly calling fly overs heading west)

Reed Bunting                         Singles on 13th January, 15th April and on 5 dates in October. Last record of year a single on 9th November.