A couple of weeks ago, at the evening log-call, one of our guests began talking about the RSPB’s Garden Birdwatch (http://www.rspb.org.uk/birdwatch/). The conversation, as you would expect, moved onto the Observatory Garden and the birds that have been seen at or from Cristin. A little more digression and we were talking about the number of species I had seen in or from the garden at Cristin and whether it was the best garden for birds in Wales.
|Cristin, the home of Bardsey Bird Observatory and the best spot in Wales!|
Well, the Island list now stands at 326 (after yesterday’s Citrine Wagtail). Since 1998 I have seen 259 species on Bardsey (I have also missed a few, Shoveler and Great-white Egret being the ones that stand out). This means I personally have seen 79.44% of all the species recorded on Bardsey. Now the interesting bit is how many of these have been seen at or from the garden at Cristin.
|The Observatory (center) nestling into the bottom of Mynydd Enlli|
|Looking west from the front of the Observatory|
|The view from my bedroom window!|
Last year’s calling Corncrake was the third I had heard from the Bedroom along with several Quails! For a garden we have a good wader list too, with Baird’s Sandpiper, Avocet, Grey Phalarope and Dotterel being among the more notable, but the likes of Jack Snipe, (Great Snipe was only 30 metres away and I was not in the garden at the time, so that does not count!), Greenshank, Green, Purple and Wood Sandpipers .
|Typical views of Pom Skua from the obs|
|And a Sab's Gull|
|Happy author, ringing a Hoopoe|
|Polly the parrot|
|The only Welsh Record of Blyth's Pipit|
|Woodlark flying over the obs|
|And when it eventually landed!|
Two Waxwings have ‘set foot’ in the garden, and Common nightingale has been trapped having spent time skulking here.
|Stunning adult male Waxwing|
No rare Wheatears have been seen, but there have been, as well as the regular thrushes, Wales’s only Eyebrowed Thrush.
|A The only Welsh Record of Eye-browed Thrush|
|and in the hand|
|Big bad Barred!|
|And an Eastern|
|Bardsey and the obs is THE site for groppers in Wales|
|Last year's Bonelli's|
Sprites! Pallas's...found this whilst on the phone sat at my desk in December last year!!
Three species of flycatchers are seen regularly, and then with Treecreeper, Nuthatch, four species of Tit, Golden Oriole, Red-backed and Woodchat Shrikes, it’s looking like a good garden. We get lots of corvids and their allies, with six species of ‘crow’, two each of Starlings and sparrows.
|Stunning male RBF|
|Golden 'O' - a trip 'out back to the little boys room!'|
|A major garden and island Rare - Nuthatch|
|and a Baby!|
|a fine male - i found this on my way back home after a coffee with guests in the morning|
|and drab (!) female|
A good feeding station will always drag in finches too, so it is no surprise that 13 species of finch have made their way onto my garden list, the best being Hawfinch, Rosefinch and Crossbill.
|Stunning Hawfinch - this I found whilst turning on the generator!|
|A less so stunning Rosefinch (grotfinch!)|
|Male Black-headed Bunting (after relocating to Nant)|
|Little Bunting - the day after the Eyebrowed Thrush!|
And it doesn't stop there, the non-avian life is fantastic too, with over 300 species of moth on the garden list
|Dolphins as photographed from the obs|
|Closer shot of Risso's Dolphin - these are seen almost daily in July and August|
So if any of that takes your fancy, and you would like an exceptionally good value holiday on Bardsey we are taking bookings for 2013. We are full for the latter half of May and the whole of June, and are beginning to fill in October. The best time for numbers of birds is always in the new moon period. See www.bbfo.org.uk for details on when to come).
The cost for next year is
Students oap etc £125
Children to 14 £87
On top of that is the boat fair at £35 per person and then car parking at Cwrt (currently £12.50p per car/week).
So a full paying adult who comes alone in their car will be looking at £187.50p. If you share cars or are a concession it's much cheaper.
Visit www.bbfo.org.uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org or cal Alicia Normand on 01626 773 908 for further details.
Now i'm off into the garden to see what I can find!!!!!