Led my first day trip to Ramsey Island today and it could not have been better. A lovely group of people (Tom & Zoe from London, and Tessa & Lesley from Cambridge) and the weather was just perfect – light winds, blue skies and warm temperatures.
Migration was in evidence as soon as we arrived – Swallows and House Martins buzzing around the farm, and a Spotted Flycatcher briefly on a fence. A nice introductory talk from RSPB warden Greg Morgan and we were on our way…to a tea stop and a chat about the day ahead! Other than the 5 of us just 3 day visitors had come on the 10am boat so we really were not in any hurry and we had the island to ourselves.
We headed north and west towards Aber Mawr, and within 10 minutes we had found 2 Whinchat, the first of the autumn on Ramsey. Also here 3 Wheatear entertained, and then the first big target of the day was found – a smashing Little Owl sunning itself atop a stone wall. Nice! 2 Chough flew over (which spared me a potentially embarrassing jump off the boat!) and then a familiar call drew us to the cliff at the north end of Aber Mawr – Peregrine! The next 20 minutes or so were probably my highlight of the day, with a group of 6 Chough circling over the cliff in front of us whilst 14 Grey Seal pups and their attendant mothers entertained on the beach below. With a flat calm sea and blue skies – truly magical!
The climb up to Carn Llundain was rewarded with spectacular views across to the mainland, and plenty of Red Admirals in this area. On the descent down we finally glimpsed our first, and only, Red Deer of the day, whilst 6 Teal dabbled on one of the ponds. As we approach the farm for lunch a Tree Pipit flushed from the path ahead and called, but soon disappeared. Around the farm we had great views of 3 Spotted Flycatcher, as well as a number of Willow Wablers, a couple of Stonechat and a young Whitethroat. Whilst having lunch 2 Harbour Porpoise breached in the sound twice, capping of a very memorable day. We will be back!
Some photos from today can be found on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1498162043757051.1073741832.1435721373334452&type=1.