Well, I am immensely happy to say that Rachel and I have made it back home to Bardsey Island! After a ten hour train journey from Cornwall to North Wales on Tuesday, we took the gamble of travelling down to the Lleyn on Wednesday morning, despite the howling winds which had been blowing all night. Thankfully, the wind calmed down enough to allow the large swell to settle down (somewhat!!), and allow Colin to make a dash for it with us on board. It was a bouncy crossing, but not too bad, and we made it to Enlli midday.
It has been a brilliant first term at Uni, but it is very nice to be back home for Christmas. Having a quick scout around the island has revealed the usual hive of activity on the rotting kelp piles on Solfach: some 35 Choughs, 450 Starlings, 45 Rock Pipits, a Hooded Crow and much more are making use of the bounty of invertebrates dwelling in the seaweed. A walk around the coast yesterday saw singles of Whimbrel and Merlin present, and an impressive haul-out of some 170 Grey Seals on one of the beaches. Today (12th) has been pretty grim weather-wise, but I struggled around The Narrows at high tide and recorded some 40 Curlews, a Whimbrel, 58 Oystercatchers, six Purple Sandpipers, 13 Turnstones, 11 Redshanks and a Black-tailed Godwit trying to find shelter in various spots.
Back on Bardsey! Pleased to be home
There are a lot of Grey Seals around the coast, mostly concentrated onto a small strip of a beach on the Narrows. Over 150 were there yesterday
This pioneering Grey Seal pup has decided to escape the effects of the wind and waves by taking up residence behind this small boulder on the Narrows. It is in the process of moulting out of its fluffy coat, so looks like a badly-sheared Sheep!
It s great to see Choughs up close again, with a feeding flock of about 35 on Solfach
A flock of about 450 Starlings are feeding on the beach too- I am hoping to get the Heligoland trap up and capture a few in the next few weeks