A couple of weeks ago we had some major excitement when an American vagrant of the avian kind landed on the Island. With a southerly or south-westerly wind in the spring, it's common for the Pembrokeshire islands to be visited by bird species rare to the UK. This time it was Ramsey’s turn after both Skomer and Skokholm has some interesting passers-by in the previous weeks.
As a visitor was walking past the farm buildings a small and unusual looking bird appeared and she rushed back to find Lisa and ask what it was - a Myrtle warbler! Lisa called me to bring down my camera and we spent the afternoon watching this lovely little novelty potter around the farmyard as it sheltered from the wind and feeding.
The Myrtle warbler (Setophaga Coronata) is one of four yellow-rumped warblers and breeds in the very far north-east of the United States, Alaska and much of the breadth of Canada, whilst it winters in the eastern United States, Central America and the Caribbean. This was only the third record of the species in Wales, with one of the other records also being on Ramsey and the other on Skomer.
The bird generated quite a lot of interest from the birdwatching world and there were some very eager visitors on the first boat across Ramsey Sound the next morning. Despite being seen at 9:30 that morning, it had disappeared when the visitors rushed up to the farm buildings to spot it. With the change in wind direction, it probably saw an opportunity to leave the island and head further north.
If you spend a day on Ramsey, it's always worth keeping an eye out for something unusual in amongst all the other spectacular wildlife and scenery.
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