Skomer Island Wildlife Highlights for August 2009 Birds Three Shoveler on North Pond on the 19 th and 21st. Teal numbers increased with a high of fourteen on the 25 th. Twelve Common Scoter seen heading West from the Garland Stone on the 5 th and six in St Brides Bay on the 21st. A Little Grebe on North Pond on the 10th. Fulmar fledged at the end of the month. Fewer adult Manx Shearwaters coming ashore by the end of the month but lots of fledglings out and about at night. Single Balearic Shearwaters in St Brides Bay on the 20th and 28th. One Sparrowhawk present from the 16 th to 26 th. Single Kestrel from the 17th to 30 th with two seen on the 29th. One Merlin seen on the 30th. Single Water Rails recorded on the 13 th, 15 th and 29 th. Several more broods of Moorhen chicks hatched. One Ringed Plover seen flying over on the 22nd and another on the 24th. Single Lapwing seen on the 13th. Two Dunlin present on the 22nd. Single Snipe seen flying over on the 24th. Thirteen Whimbrel on the 16 th, four on the 24 th, two on the 25th and a single on the 29th. Curlew were present regularly through the second half of the month with a high of ten on the 22nd. Single Redshank on the 12th and 27 th. One Common Sandpiper on the first then five in North Haven on the 18 th with between one and four present most days since then. Between one and three Turnstones present most days from the 21st. A Great Skua was seen heading west from the Garland Stone on the 15 th. One Sandwich Tern on the 23 rd and two on the 27 th. A single Arctic Tern in St Brides Bay on the 28th. Two Guillemots and one Razorbill seen in St Brides Bay on the 28th. The last Puffin carrying fish ashore was seen in North Haven on the 10 th. Two Cuckoos present on the 13 th. A Barn Owl was seen on the evening of the 4 th at the Farm and again on the 10th. Fresh pellets were present at a regular roost site by Moorey Mere from the 25 th. Single Sand Martin seen on the 25 th and five on the 25 th. One Grey Wagtail on the 24th, a dozen over on the 27th and five on the 29th. Robin numbers increased to a high of twelve on the 24 th and declined to five or six from the 27 th. A single Whinchat on the 27 th. Between two and four Stonechat seen daily from the 4th with a high of six on the 22nd. One Song Thrush at North Haven on the 25 th. A Grasshopper Warbler seen on the 16th. Sedge Warblers present daily with a high of thirty six on the 24th. One Reed Warbler seen on the 24th. Whitethroat present daily with highs of eleven on the 24th and a dozen on the 27th. Willow Warbler recorded on sixteen dates in month with a high of twenty five on the 24 th. Single Chiffchaff recorded on the 2nd. Three Goldcrests seen on the 26 th. Starlings recorded most days in the first half of the month with a high of fifty five on the 5 th, none present in the last week. Two Chaffinch recorded between the 16th and 18 th. Goldfinch recorded most days in the first half of the month with a high of sixteen on the 13 th. Between two and eight Linnets present most days for the first half of the month. Between one and six Reed Buntings seen daily with a high of fifteen on the 24 th. Mammals Haul outs of adult Grey Seals increased from the 20 th with a high of eighty hauled out in North Haven on the 28th. The first pup was born in Seal Hole on the 20 th and by the end of the month over 12 pups had been born. The annual census of Skomer Voles was carried out and found a good population. A probable sighting of two Otters swimming in South Haven on the 4th. Harbour Porpoise seen regularly and a few groups of Common Dolphin recorded. Three Risso’s Dolphin seen by the boatmen be the Mew Stone on the 12 th. Invertebrates Good numbers of butterflies on sunny days including Peacock, Red Admiral, Large White, Painted Lady, Small Copper, Grayling, Ringlet, Gatekeeper and Meadow Brown. Also Small Tortoiseshell on the 6 th and 24 th, Common Blue on the 15 th and 16th and Dark-green Fritillary on the 22nd and 24 th. One Humming-bird Hawk-moth on the 1st. A Common Hawker dragonfly on the 17 th. Things to look out for in September Migration gets in full swing so there should be lots passing through. Numbers of Widgeon, Teal and Shoveler build up on the ponds. Continued sightings of Common Scoter out at sea. Numbers of Water Rail increase, listen out for them around the ponds and streams. Look out for waders along the muddy margins of the pond, short cropped grassland or around the rocky shore. Waders seen this month could include Ringed Plover, Golden Plover, Dunlin, Snipe, Whimbrel, Curlew, Common Sandpiper, Turnstone, Redshank and Green Sandpiper. Out to sea there may be some big feeding flocks of Kittiwake and Auks, and a chance of seeing Sandwich, Common or Arctic Terns and Black-headed Gulls. Check areas of cover that may be hiding a Wryneck, Cuckoo, Grasshopper Warbler, Reed Warbler, Garden Warbler, Blackcap, Goldcrest or Blue tit. More easily seen will be any Spotted or Pied Flycatchers, Common Restart, Whinchat or Stonechat that may be passing through. Look out for small flocks of finches passing over such as Siskin, Linnet or Redpoll.
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