Tuesday, 18 May 2021

Caldey yesterday and some misc. sightings in recent days


One of us (Bob) had a chance to get over to Caldey yesterday, with Steve and Anna Sutcliffe and Chris Taylor doing seabird counts, and was able to look for breeding choughs etc whilst over there. Only one pair of choughs appears to be breeding this year, plus another two non-breeders present, but it was nice to be able to confirm (from behaviour) that the pair was feeding young in the nest. Hopefully there will be fledged young by about mid-June.

Other species of note included c.75 roosting turnstones (mostly birds in summer/breeding plumage) plus a small party of at least six on the Tenby Lifeboat station slipway. A flock of c.70 oystercatchers was also roosting on the beach on nearby St Margaret’s Island. A rather large brown mammal was also still present on the Lifeboat Station slipway. 

A pair of greylags have bred on Caldey this year. The family (six small goslings) was resting close to one of the gull colonies. Three other greylags were also flying around the western end of the island for a while.

Six goslings - one is mostly hidden behind an adult

Last week and also this week we have noted a small flock of swifts feeding over the Eastern Cleddau, near Canaston – a regular feeding spot for swifts probably breeding in the Narberth area.

Small numbers of swifts were feeding along the coast near Freshwater West last week, possibly these were birds from the Castlemartin Coast cliff-nesting population. Around 20-30 sand martins, from their usual breeding colony, were also feeding along the coast.

Sand Martins at their nest hole - two's company....!

It was pleasing over the weekend to be able to confirm that there are two pairs of kestrels breeding along the Castlemartin coast where choughs also appear to be having a good season so far. We hope that the predicted stormy weather at the end of the week will not cause too many problems for them and for other coastal species.