Thursday, 15 August 2013

Nocturnal activity on Skokholm


Yesterday was something of a slow day on Skokholm for migration albeit that some drizzle in the morning provided some visible migration of both Curlew and Whimbrel.

During the sunny periods, large numbers of Small Copper butterflies whizzed around the sea of Ragwort and there were plenty of Red Admirals and small numbers of Meadow Browns and 'whites'.  Checking some building debris turned up about 20 Slow Worms including some particularly large individuals.

Bird sightings included Common Buzzard, Peregrine, Raven and Chough with Swallow, Sedge Warbler, Pied Wagtail, Meadow Pipit and Wren all still feeding young on the island.

Just after 10pm we went out to locate and ring Manx Shearwaters along a transect line, finishing at about 4.30am this morning.  One hundred and twelve birds were captured and processed, and with our hands adorned with cuts and scratches we finally turned in at 5am.

As such our day today was somewhat shorter, but a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull located amongst the loafing Lesser Black-backed Gulls was locally a good find and potentially only the second record for the island.  Sea-watching produced a couple of Bonxies, auks and passing Kittiwakes, with the 'snow-capped' island of Grassholm (covered in thousands of Gannets) glistening in the distance.


Neil M and Neil H
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