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Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Latest Bardsey Island Bird Report just published

Number 52

The latest Bardsey Island bird report for 2008 is a sumptuous affair and like those now published by Spurn Point Bird Observatory, of the highest quality. It is a perfect bound publication - and 168 pages in thickness - with a beautiful female Dotterel adorning the front cover.

Opening the first page leads you to a full Richard Brown spread. depicting the flowering Thrift and the Observatory and island lighthouse. The Warden's Report and Seasonal Summaries follow on pages 7-18 and then the all-important Systematic List. 2008 saw a mammoth 191 species of bird recorded on the island, including the first-ever Paddyfield Warbler, 2nd Pied Avocet and Rustic Bunting, the 5th Nuthatch, the 6th records of Garganey and Marsh Warbler, the 7th Mute Swan, Gadwall and Greater Short-toed Lark and the 8th Greater Scaup.

The Systematic List is comprehensive, fully detailed and very informative, and liberally enhanced by the inclusion of large numbers of black -and-white photographs. The text is easily-readable and the layout first-rate and the graphs and tables superbly reproduced. There was much information that I homed in on, such as the extent and amount of White Wagtail passage and the fact that 76 Winter Wrens were on the island on 7 October. Every single species recorded on the island in 2008 is given ample treatment.

Pages 80-91 are devoted to the breeding birds of the island, detailing the 654 Atlantic Puffin burrows, three pairs of Little Owl and six pairs of Red-billed Chough, with a paper on Manx Shearwaters on pages 92-96 and details of island lighthouse attractions on pages 98-101. A ringing report summaries the details of the 4,600 captured during the year, including an exceptional 53 Long-tailed Tits.

There is a superb 8-page full colour gallery depicting many of the best birds of the year, as well as the moths and other insects, with virtually all never seen before.

Richard Brown provides full documentation of the first Paddyfield Warbler on pages 111-112, with the latter pages of the report concentrating on the wider natural history of the island, including an educational piece on Grey Seals and an exhaustive list of the 143 moth species recorded in 2008.

All in all, this was a brilliant report and a particularly thorough account of the wildlife recorded on this island situated off of the North Wales coast.

For more information about the report and observatory can be found at and www.bbfo,blogspot,com

Lee Evans