Friday, September 23, 2011

Bardsey Pt 3 Windy Wednesday to Friday farewell

Wednesday started with another walk to the south. Solvach can just be seen in this picture on the right hand side where the thin crescent of sand is visible. Turnstones, a couple of shags, and for me a single brief glimpse of a curlew sandpiper were an encouraging start to our day. Then a little closer to the lighthouse 9 ringed plover hugged the grass, keeping low out of the wind. As we came to the east side of this part of the island we saw a brand new seal pup. We kept well clear in order not to upset either baby or mother. Once breakfast was out of the way ( more delicious porridge) the group planned a pilgrimage over the mountain, pausing at significant points to remember all those who years ago had journeyed to Bardsey. Unfortunately my heels were starting to chafe so I returned to my accommodation to apply plasters and softer socks. I then went to near the harbour to wait for my friends. Their journey over the mountain had been challenging but inspirational. 

We then heard reports of a melodious warbler which made then twitcher in me take over. As with most twitches I go on I dipped, but there you go. I did manage to see a wren though. There wasn't a talk that evening but a very enjoyable time learning and singing some new rounds.
Thursday a quick walk to the north end ( no not PNE) proved very quiet and even a quicker walk to Solvach only provided views of a 40 turnstones and 17 chough. Some of these were on the schoolhouse roof
We split the party into two for the morning activities. One group were seeking warblers in the wythies whilst I lead a party on a flower hunt. The two good finds were a very late ragged robin and some sneezewort

There were also sightings of fleabane, spearwort,  rock samphire and Dove's foot cranesbill. I did ask about the autumn lady's tressess, but we were told they had been visible in August and none were now to be found. Thursday was our team's responsibility for evening meal, so we decided to start early. This meant we still had time after preparing and just before tea ( or supper or dinner ) to check out those ringing at Nant. I wanted to get a signal on my mobile, to let my folks know I could be late getting off Bardsey so I walked to Nant valley. There I saw two of the WDCS folk scanning for marine mammals. I walked to them and asked if they had seen any. Their immediate reply was " Not up to now - Oh wait a minute! - some porpoise - thanks for changing our luck!!" I was able to get a good view as well, just no photos. Time for tea and again on the way back I saw three more common blue butterflies. We had guests with us for tea - the Stansfields, ( wardens of the obs) and two of the Porters (the farmer and his son). Ben the farmer's son later gave an illustrated talk on their visit to Kenya which included some time at A Rocha Kenya. After seeing Ben's photos I usually wonder why I try with my camera, since his images are usually fantastic. Check them out on the BBFO blog.
Early Friday we went to Nant to do some ringing. The nets were catching good numbers. On the first round we had 17 birds so decided to furl the nets up and try again after breakfast. 
After breakfast for some reason, all the birds seemed to vanish, so we walked down the west coast to Solvach where some stayed to watch the beach. The remainder walked further and searched the bushes near the lighthouse for more migrants. As we returned to join our friends for our packed lunch, a little egret flew from the harbour area. We then saw Emma, the wife of the warden for the Observatory. She had an important message. " Colin the boatman will take people off the island who need to get off. This will be at 1430 and 1530. If you do not go today (Friday) you could be here until next Thursday" Most decided to accept the offer and later that afternoon we all decided to take Colin's amended offer of a third boat at 1600 ish. A very quick end to a wonderful six days enjoying God's creation in this part of North Wales

No comments:

Post a Comment