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Post Info TOPIC: North Wales and Anglesey


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North Wales and Anglesey


Another delivery day in Llandudno today and miraculously a tacho break was due as I passed Llandulas on my way back to the depot.

- 1st summer Glaucous Gull

It's not been reported for a couple of weeks but it's still at Llandulas near the river Dulas mouth, but a Giant Poodle was let off the lead on the beach and 100's of Gulls were put up, so I had to wait frustratingly until it landed again. It isn't shy though and when you sit still on the rocks it does get used to you. It's a belter of a Gull and it's massive. It was difficult to drag myself away.

Also on the beach...
- 1 Wheatear (presumably Northern, although it looked quite big and rich in colour)
- 2 Fulmar flying over the beach rocks near caravan park
- 5 Sandwich Terns
- 5 Turnstone



-- Edited by Rob Creek on Thursday 30th of August 2018 09:04:41 PM

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Delivering in Llandudno and surrounding areas today so seized an opportunity for a bit of "tacho-break birding". Finished the route and stopped off at Llandulas in gorgeous sunny weather.

- 1st summer (2CY) Glaucous Gull

A stunner of a Gull, surely the same 1st winter bird from December, I can't believe it's stayed so long. It flew passed me whilst walking on the beach track near the River Dulas when I first saw it, but then it descended behind the large rocks near the river mouth so I picked it out from amongst c100-150 large Gulls which didn't take long. It's a huge bird this one, largest Gull present.
It was mobile for a while though between the river mouth and the Bron-y-wendon caravan park down the other end of the beach as some kids were launchin pebbles towards the Gull flock. It came back though and I enjoyed more views.

Also...
- c20+ Turnstone in stunning plumage
- c50+ Oystercatcher
- 1 Rock Pipit
- Sandwich and Common Terns over the sea



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Went over to South Stack, Anglesey this morning with John Barber and Dave Hughston. Our target bird was the Snowy Owl that was reported present yesterday afternoon. Arrived at 07.15 to be told that there had been no sign today. Considering that this bird appears not to stay in any particular place on the island for any length of time we were not surprised at this news. Still we had a good look round in pleasant weather seeing a good selection of species including many Stonechat and Meadow Pipit as well as four Chough together, a single Rock Pipit, a Peregrine falcon and up to eight Puffins in the water and on the rocks below the lighthouse.



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Oops sorry I cut & pasted from another site & didn't check!! As Ian says negative news so far after it flew off inland at 9.30pm last night, obviously trying to relocate itself to my grid ref biggrinwink



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John Watson wrote:

Paul, that grid reference is nowhere near 1 mile ENE of Amlwch, not that I have any better info

I guess it should be something like SH 459 936 (not as you reported SH 459 693) assuming the digits have been transposed.


Grid reference is indeed given as SH 459 936 and also SH 459 934.

No sign of the Snowy Owl at Amlwch so far this morning anyway.

 



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Ian McKerchar (forum administrator and owner)


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Paul, that grid reference is nowhere near 1 mile ENE of Amlwch, not that I have any better info

I guess it should be something like SH 459 936 (not as you reported SH 459 693) assuming the digits have been transposed.

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Just sharing news of a bird that I haven't been to see but if it sticks then I may well make the trip to get my 2nd ever record in the UK. It is a SNOWY OWL, a first year female and it's on Anglesey. Reports are that it has been present for a few days and when news got out today it was well twitched. If it sticks then I expect the weekend to be busy. The bird is 1ml ENE of Amlwch at SH459693 and should be viewed only from the public footpath.



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Ffestiniog and Llandudno update:

Now that I'm back home and sorted my records out, officially I've seen 83 species in total with 2 others heard only near Prestatyn (grasshopper warbler and cettis warbler).

Llandudno area- 57
Ffestiniog area- 62

Top 12 highlights were as follows....

1st Tawny owl, found on top of a wall partly hidden in greenery
2nd tree pipit, from a Ffestiniog walk following the steam line close
3rd Ring ouzels showed randomly well on a walk along the old quarry hills
4th Cuckoo showing well in the same area I had the tree pipits
5th Pied flycatchers showed exceptionally well around Dduallt
6th Garden warbler singing in view from shrub in Conwy
7th Little terns found along the North coast
8th Wood warblers experience (closer than Manchesters birds)
9th Redstart singing and showing well in the sun with the tree pipits
10th Linnet sat posing near Prestatyn closer than usual
11th siskins showed suprisingly well with little fear near Ceunant Cynfal
12th Skylark very close singing away near the Rhyl coast

There were plenty of other big highlights but these are the ones that really stood out to me as extra special!

Attached; ring ouzel, garden warbler and another cuckoo.

Areas covered (roughly);
Conwy coast to Prestatyn via Llandudno
Blaenau Ffestiniog to Llan Ffestiniog via Coed Cymerau
Tanygrisiau to Tan-y-Bwich via Dduallt

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I heard a lot of chatter coming from my garden today and discovered it was a Sparrowtalk. . https://www.flickr.com/photos/135715507@N06


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Week spent around Rhosneigr again last week, from Monday evening to Friday morning, with a day on Holy Island; stunning weather, couldn't have asked for better, really. Good species seen, and some cracking views of the terns at low tide. Some of the highlights:

Rhosneigr & surrounds:

Sedge warbler, reed warbler, Cetti's warbler, linnet, reed bunting, sand martin (one of the two colonies active and healthy seeming, the other no birds at all when I was there), house martin, swallow, stonechat, wheatear, meadow pipit, rock pipit, white wagtail, skylark, common warblers, thrushes, corvids, etc.
Raven
Gadwall
Red-breasted merganser
Great crested grebe
Ringed plover (including a chick and a colour-ringed individual)
Dunlin
Sanderling
Turnstone
Oystercatcher
Curlew
Little egret
Grey heron
Common tern
Arctic tern
Sandwich tern
Great black-backed gull (including one on nest at Llyn Maelog; nice to see)
Shag
Cormorant
Peregrine
Buzzard

House sparrow and starling populations seem very healthy in the village, and plenty of confirmed breeding evidence from a variety of other species, from Cetti's warbler to oystercatcher. Long dead gannet on the beach, too.

Holy Island, Wednesday. Taxi to South Stack then back to Holyhead via the coastal path (one of my favourite walks):

A single (single-legged) black guillemot in the harbour outside the railway station; giving lovely, close-in views from the walkway. Also here a couple of herring gull sitting, and probably oystercatcher, too.

South Stack, from about 10 - 3:

6+ linnet
6 stonechat, including three fledglings
1 wheatear
Meadow and rock pipit
4 - 6 chough (one feeding about six feet away from me)
5 puffin
3,000+ guillemot
600+ razorbill
5+ kittiwake
300+ herring gull
30+ lesser black-backed gull
6+ great black-backed gull
Shag and cormorant flybys
3 or 4 fulmar
5+ gannet (viewable all day, pretty much)

Singles of chough and raven on the mountain face.

North stack, late afternoon; gave me the heebie-jeebies walking past the cottage to view the stack itself, but worth it, as you get some good views:

6 linnet
3 meadow pipit
2 rock pipit
2 chough
c40 razorbill (no guillemot)
110+ herring gull (presumably more on the seaward side)
4 lesser black-backed gull
2 great black-backed gull
13 cormorant (including chicks on seven nests)
3 shag (only one nest this time, two chicks)
10 fulmar (lovely views of them sitting)
1 kestrel

Forty five minutes or so looking around Breakwater Country Park before heading back into Holyhead yielded the four common warbler species, peregrine and buzzard.

Cracking week's birding, and general wildlife watching (some excellent non-avian species seen too), again here. Will be back in the winter, everything permitting.

Fab cuckoo shot down there, by the way.

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....trip continued from Llandudno

Last time I visited Ffestiniog was in 2009, so I already knew some of the area but I did notice a few changes, not always for the better (such as the loss of the local yellowhammers near the disused slate mines- though I did find them near the Coedydd Maentwrog reserve). To include Llandudno earlier, species count so far has totaled 79.

The heat and humidity was a real challenge, but, I was compensated by the fantastic experiences I've enjoyed. Highlights are as follows....

Lesser Redpolls with a few close encounters along with siskins,
Pied flycatchers were at times close and lovely to hear in song with the redstarts.
Spotted flycatcher,
A lot more tree pipits were about then my last visit, (one flew behind me close whilst I sat down).
2 or 3 Cuckoos made a big commotion as two males were in competition with a female (picture attached).
I was surprised to find unbelievable views of Tawny owls.... on a wall!!!
Common sandpiper,
Wood warbler (this was my original plan to photograph these before the Manchester bird). The best views came from the Llyn Mair reserve where they were fairly used to people passing.
The quarry hills produced ring ouzels, raven, chough and dipper.

I've done an aweful lot of walking, with now aching legs but we'll worth it if not for the birds, the views and adventure especially. Unfortunately, this has ment I have over 1000 pictures to sort, but I've managed to transfer a few onto my tablet to put on Flickr, But, I'm only able to selected a couple at this time.

My last opportunity tomorrow morning to add anything else....

Ta!

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I heard a lot of chatter coming from my garden today and discovered it was a Sparrowtalk. . https://www.flickr.com/photos/135715507@N06


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Some may have wondered why I've been quiet the last 5 days! I've been visiting Conwy and Ffestiniog!!!

So far I've clocked up 79 species. The area covering Conwy, Llandudno and Rhyl was done on the 28th and the Hotel for Monday night was booked last minute.

Birds seen in this area was 53. These include -

Ringed Plover close, sedge warblers were showing exceptionally well with whitethroats, stonechats and at last- a linnet close!!!

Reed warblers showed well at Conwy rspb with little egret and a curlew and my favourite moment at Conwy was when a garden warbler was warbling in a shrub in full view at times (though not at the best dustance), something that I've not experienced for some time. A few sandwich terns were seen passing (especially over the reserve) and little terns were a good find elsewhere too!

This trip will continue in another post as I made my way to Ffestiniog!

Ta!!

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I heard a lot of chatter coming from my garden today and discovered it was a Sparrowtalk. . https://www.flickr.com/photos/135715507@N06


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Wednesday 30th May 2018:
1 Honey Buzzard headed North over Cemlyn Bay, before cutting West across the bay. Sad to see so few terns this year, on the notice board only c320 Sandwich Terns had been counted, as well as 11 Common/ Arctic Terns. 2 summer-plumaged Dunlins and 8 Ringed Plovers were sheltering on the beach during high tide, giving some very close views.

At South Stack, there was at least 1 Puffin on the sea below the cliffs, as well as the usual suspects - and 2 Chough were showing very well around Ellin's Tower.

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Friday 25th May.
Full day working in North Wales, mainly Gwynedd.

Birds of note...

Criccieth.
- 1 Cuckoo on overhead wire coming down from the heathland to the village
- 6 Common Swift
- 1 House Martin
- 1 Meadow Pipit
- 6 Oystercatcher

Then parked up on the moors on the Canaerfon Road A487 near Bryncir / Pant Glas.
- 2 Common Buzzard
- 1 Redstart -heard only, hoowitting in a copse at the side of an upland stream

Just outside Canaerfon - a Sparrowhawk circling being tailed by 3 or 4 Swallows



-- Edited by Ian McKerchar on Saturday 26th of May 2018 07:08:36 PM

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Coed Hafod - Conwy Valley early morning, highlights

Common Redstart, 1 male bird seen several others heard
Pied Flycatcher, 6 males seen all singing establishing territories, 2 involved in a territorial dispute, no female birds seen
Wood Warbler, 1 bird seen silently flitting about and feeding in the upper canopy, 4 heard singing, 1 in full song and 3 in sub song,
1 Possible Garden Warbler heard only
Also
Blackcap
Chiffchaff
Chaffinch
Nuthatch
Treecreeper
Raven
Buzzard


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After shamelessly twitching the Ring-necked Duck at Conway RSPB we headed up onto the limestone pavement of the Great Orme and caught some visible migration in the form of passing Wheatears and House Martins. Small numbers of the latter with a party of 11 and a few singles, but good numbers of Wheatears, with an initial count of 5, including a larger darker male which looked a good candidate for a Greenland bird, between the parking area and the farm walls. Then, after a circuit round to St Tudno's Chapel and the summit, we had a group of at least 19 birds moving along the west side of the Orme heading inland towards Conway. Also up here were several pairs of Stonechats, 4 Chough, 1 Raven, a couple of Swallows and a cracking low-level fly past from a male Merlin.

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Had a trip around North Wales sites today with mate Keith, me providing the geographical/site knowledge and him doing the expert driving biggrin

We headed first for a dawn start at World's End and watched as up to 18 Black Grouse joined the lek by the road that I always go to. It was easy to pick out the dominant male in the prime position on the lek and most were paired up fighting in pairs with a few occasionally daring to challenge the 'alpha' blackcock. All challenges came to nothing as he kept the number one status all morning. Displaying Curlew also used the lek area to land in too, occasionally getting faced off by the grouse. Skylarks and Meadow Pipits were in the same area too.We watched from 6am-8am and left 15 grouse still on the lek.

Next we headed to Clocaenog Forest and after finding heavy forestry work going on at Craig-bron Banog we concentarted on Bod Petryal Picnic Site. Here we had lots of Crossbills, but all as flyovers, most in groups of up to 5 birds. Also here were plenty of Siskins, Buzzards and Ravens. A pop up to Rhos-on-Sea gave us time for a short seawatch with Red-throated Diver, Guillemot, Red-breasted Merganser, Common Scoter and Cormorant all seen.

Finally we headed up onto the Great Orme, concentrating on the limestone pavement area. The best birds here were 3 superb Wheatear, 2 males and a female, glowing in the sunshine. Two Chough showed very well at several locations including the picnic area once folk had left. Keith spotted a Peregrine which hit a baby rabbit with an audible squeal as the mammal was killed. Mammalian prey for Peregrines is pretty rare, but is well documented, but something I've never seen before. The falcon, a male, flew off with the rabbit, some feat of strength since mammals weigh heavier than birds and a rabbit is a good sized prey item. Also up on the orme were lots of Stonechats, again in pristine summer plumage.

We headed back after a great day out, Keith having got some stunning shots of the Black Grouse which displayed in the sun and gave as good views as I've ever seen up there.



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Worlds End
10am ish
13 Black Grouse males in lek fairly close to road. Very energetic, a few birds actually fighting not just facing off.
1 Female Black Grouse closer gave really good views. Single F Red Grouse too.

Small flocks of Crossbills, mixed sexes, in larches near old long closed car park.

Great extended dog fight over hiils with up to seven acrobatic Ravens three Buzzards and a Peregrine scrapping away.

Llangollen Town

Explosion of Mandarin numbers here , twelve plus birds around weir. River very full.


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Sun 1st Apr:

Family outing to Llandudno and the Great Orme. Not much time birding unfortunately.

Llandudno Prom:
- pr Great Crested Grebe
- pr Shag near the pier
Lots of adult Herring Gulls

Great Orme: ( walked up the path to the summit & down via the road)
- 1 singing Skylark
- pr Raven
- a handful of Stonechat
- 3 Meadow Pipit
- 3 Great Spotted Woodpecker (2 drumming near Copper Mine)
- 100+ Jackdaws & Herring Gull
A few Greenfinch & Goldfinch

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Given the sunny weather, with a light breeze and an afternoon free I decided conditions were perfect for scoter watching and so headed to Old Colwyn which this year has proven to be the best location for the scoters. Joining another birder along the prom we searched in vain, but could only find several thousand Common Scoters, Red-throated Divers and several Great Crested Grebes. When he gave up (his fifth attempt without finding a rarer scoter this year!) I moved to my favoured watchpoint, just up the cycle path by the railway bridge where the prom road turns back up into Old Colwyn proper. With a bit more height here the viewing was much better, but for two hours nothing new. Then the two stunning adult drake Surf Scoters came into view, swimming along close together but a fair distance out. With my Swarovski STX95 on full zoom I could see all the features really well, even the birds eyes! Sometimes perseverance has its rewards and this time 2 hours of searching paid me back handsomely smile



-- Edited by Doc Brewster on Sunday 25th of March 2018 09:57:33 PM

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Discretion having got the better part of valour on last week's snowy Sunday, three of us headed off to World's End today. The low cloud was unpromising but luckily the Black Grouse were using the roadside lek when we arrived there. We had good views of 15 males strutting their stuff, a total confirmed when they were flushed by a drably clad and apologetic cyclist. Another birder, visiting from Taunton, (who had been on site from 3 a.m!) told us that around 25 birds had flown in at first light and 21 had settled on the visible part of the lek where they almost all paired up and faced off. A scan of the area revealed another 11 Blackcock on the far side of the valley at about 7 o'clock from the hide, together with a very pale Buzzard. 1 Skylark, 1 Carrion Crow and a few Meadow Pipits were the only other birds we could find so we headed off to the coast.

Conditions at LLandulas were good, with a calm sea and the sun at our backs, but the Scoter flock was very scattered and we couldn't locate the Glaucous Gull. There were good numbers of Red-throated Divers and Great Crested Grebes on view, along with several Cormorants, 3 Red-breasted Mergansers (2M 1F) and, bizarrely a single sea-going Canada Goose! Having failed to turn up even a single Velvet Scoter we opted to head back towards Manchester and were too far along the dual carriageway of no return (or at least no turning around!) when news broke of 2 male Surf Scoters and 2 female Greater Scaup at Old Colwyn. Better luck next year (or maybe next winter).



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Due to a computer glitch my last post should have finished at Redwing

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Just back from a 4 day stay in Llandudno.Not a birding trip really,but managed a few birds.
Around Llandudno:
Mediterranean gull -1
Starling-8
blackbird -4
Goldfinch -8
Rock Dove -4
Wood Pigeon -6
Carrion Crow -2
Collared dove -2
Black Headed Gull -12
Jackdaw -9
Pied Wagtail -2
Pheasant -1
Herring Gull -100+
Lesser Black Backed Gull -19
Greater Black Backed Gull -4
Oystercatcher -6
Blue Tit 4
Robin -11
Nuthatch -1
House Sparrow -2
Siskin -1
South Stack:
Chough -4
Meadow Pipit -2K
kittiwake -8
Peregrine Falcon -1
Raven -4
Redwing -7
Nuthatch -1
House Sparrow 2
Siskin -1
South Stack :
Meadow Pipit -4
Kittiwake -8
Peregrine F



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A sunny day so decided on a day trip along the North Wales coast to see what I could see, avoiding the rarities winkwink

Started off at Connah's Quay NR where I am a member, a cracking little reserve and well worth the membership for the heated toilet alone biggrin Started off at West Hide where lots of small passerines were whizzing around inland of the hide. Occasionall popping up onto the fence I managed to log 5 Twite in amonst mainly Linnets, Meadow Pipits and Gokldfinches! Moving down to the pools near the visitor building I added Greenshank and Little Egret to the day list amongst commoner species.

Next I stopped off en route at Point of Ayr where the first bird I saw was a Merlin shooting low over the fields, a nice start. The 9 Greenland White-fronted Geese were distant from the railway bridge in fields to the west (picture attached), annoyingly all the Pink-footed Geese were closer, typical! A massive flock of over 150 Black-tailed Godwits and 100+ Curlew fed in the same fields with a few Redshank in amongst them.

Dropping in at Old Colwyn I was met with a couple of birders telling me that the scoter flocks were mega distant and strung out like little scattered black dots along the whole coast. Thousand of Common Scoters were searched through but nothing other than a few Red-throated Divers and lots of Red-breasted Mergansers was found. A later search from Llanddulas added Guillemot to the list and probably the most unusual find of the day, a winter plumaged Black-necked Grebe. I have seen many Slavonian and Great-crested Grebes of this north coast but it's the first Black-necked that I've had here, so I was pretty chuffed to find it.

At Rhos-on-Sea the tide was way out so expectations were low, but on a wave splashed offshore rock was a single Purple Sandpiper, which got washed off and swam to another rock! Also seen here were Dunlin and Ringed Plover. Leaving Rhos behind a quick call into Conwy RSPB added Goldeneye, a nice drake and a few other common wildfowl species. A quick walk along Bridge Pool path didn't produce the hoped for Firecrest, but I didn't linger either!

For a relatively short journey I clocked up over 60 species in a relaxing, slow paced wander and had an enjoyable day off in the sun smile



-- Edited by Doc Brewster on Wednesday 10th of January 2018 09:55:06 PM

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Rob Creek wrote:

Mike Duckham wrote:

Rob that's a great sighting, hearty congrats. I'd certainly encourage you to send the details to the county recorder so it gets recorded for posterity.
Rob Creek wrote:

A late finish for me today as I'm still delivering around North Wales and Gwynedd today, a busy one due to bank holiday traffic and big restaurant orders for the weekend.

But it's all been worth it for just one moment alone. I was delivering to Dylan's Italian restaurant at Cricceth (Gwynedd) on the sea front when I noticed a large Raptor flying over being harassed by a Carrion Crow. I ran back to the wagon for my bins as I kind of got a feeling I knew what it was.

- White-tailed Eagle (and an adult at that!) LIFER

What an astonishing site, never dreamt I'd see one whilst working. A huge bird it was. I tried for a camera shot but it wouldn't focus due to the heat haze, but never mind. It flew off towards Morfa Bychann (Snowdonia) as it followed the coastal hill line.

Also of note whilst driving over the Capel Curig Pass...
- Whinchat 1
- Ring Ouzel 2m (both perched up on rocks)

...and not a single Red Kite all day!


 





Hi Mike,
I've been in touch with Rhion Pritchard and subsequently completed and submitted the sighting form to the Welsh Rare Bird Committee.
Let's wait and see what happens
wink
Cheers
Rob



Just had an email notification this evening from Jon Green, secretary for the Welsh Records Panel.

"Im sorry to tell you that the Welsh Records Panel have not accepted your record of WT Eagle as they felt that other species had not been ruled out nor the possibility that it was a captive bird.
Thanks for the record anyway"

Personally I think that decision is disappointing, I knew what the bird was almost immediately. Sheer size and features I saw were pretty much diagnostic I thought. I'm not sure what else they think I didn't rule out, an escape is a possibility I suppose, but I would've thought with the amount of people in other counties (including the Welsh counties) that either read our forum or who saw the report on Birdguides, that something would've come to light fairly soon after my sighting regarding an escape???
Still, they've made their decision and it stands.

hmm

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Day out with Wary and Melanie - first birding trip out of the county in a year!!

tour of North Wales costal sites

Llandulas
No sign of the Glaucous Gull but lots of Common Scoter and an Adult Med Gull flew past in the evening

Old Colwyn
Drake Surf Scoter picked out from a 1000+ Common Scoter along with 4 Velvets and 8 Red-breasted Mergansers. 10 Whooper Swans were also on the sea here although distant a single Pink-footed Goose was on the beach and a further 250+ flew north also Red-throated Diver, 8 Turnstone and 2 Rock Pipit.

Aber
No sign of the hoped fro Firecrest but 2 Peregrines hunting waders, 200+ Pintail, Wigeon, Shelduck, Raven, 100+ Dunlin, 2000+ Oystercatcher, Stonechat, 2 Rock pipt.

Spinnies Aberogwyn
Slavonian Grebe, 2 Brent Geese, Drake Eider, 4+ Red-breasted Merganser, 30+ Goldeneye, Greenshank, Little Egret.

Talacre
9 Greenland White-fronted Geese - showing really well near to the road, 2 Greylag and 50+ Pink-footed geese, 3 Shoveler, Ruff, 30+ Black-tailed Godwit

Point of Ayr
7 Twite, 5 Skylark, 60+ Sanderling, 11 Grey Plover and what must have been close to 100K Starlings flying west in some huge huge flocks

cracking day out



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6th Jan. With Ian Lyth. a.m

Llandulas.

Glaucous Gull. 1st winter.
Common Scoter.

Talacre.

Greenland White-fronted Goose (9).
Wigeon.
Black-tailed Godwit.
Shelduck.
Curlew.

Roger.

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I know how you feel Rob when you say 'unbelievable!'. This is why I really wanted to visit this gull because my first view was distant and very dull and this in Llanddulas was an opportunity never to be missed! But there was no way I could have been prepared for what experience awaited me (Hence, I took 500 pictures- a record for me for one Bird, will keep me busy!). Quite often if someone says something that doesn't sound right - there will be a reason for it and in this case; two glaucous gulls. Ta!

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Hi Richard,
I probably will be making another visit here now you've confirmed 2 Glaucous Gulls.
A photographer said on my 1st visit Christmas Eve that Birdguides were wrong saying it was a juvenile coz it's really white so it's a 2nd winter bird. The fact is we were watching a fairly well bleached juvenile bird, the paler of the 2 Glaucs in your photo.
So now there's a darker plumaged bird, a 2nd winter, unbelievable!
Just when things were starting to become clearer with Gulls...!

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With a previous attempt already canceled by one thing or another, today was my last opportunity to goto Llanddulas for the glaucous gull so I braved the strong forecasted wind and went. As soon as I arrived the 1st winter glaucous gull was showing extremely well, so much so, he- (of his own initiative) came fairly close whilst I was sat on the pebbles, Nice!!!! I can confirm that there are two of them, the other is a 2nd winter bird and i had them both together too (but further away). Other birds on my ride to Rhyl were; sanderling, curlew, dunlin, Turnstone, skylark, golden plovers, little egret, great black backed gulls (one impressive immature great black backed gull was the same size as the glaucous gull) and red breasted mergansers. Early off home to rest my tired eyes.. and my luck being the way it is- even problems that delayed the trains near Llandudno didn't spoil the trip in the slightest, just ment the 1st train was packed! ...... I would encourage anyone who hasn't yet been to go and see the gull, there are no indications so far that he will move elsewhere.

-- Edited by Richard Thew on Saturday 30th of December 2017 08:01:27 PM

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Hi Nigel,
you mentioned a 2nd Winter Glaucous Gull, was there 2 birds present when you were there? The one that's been here for a bit I'm pretty sure is a pale juvenile so if there's another Glauc I may very well end up going over there again.
Cheers

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I am on day 2 of a six-day stay at Silver Bay, Rhoscolyn. It is my final visit of 2017, and it will be followed by a painful six-week absence. It is shaping up to be a fitting finale to a good year.

I stopped en route yesterday at Llandulas for a look at a second-winter Glaucous Gull. It is feeding on a dead porpoise, roughly ¼ mile east of the beach car park. Despite the presence of many hundred gulls, it seemed to have little competition and was very easy to find. I spent some time scanning the scoter flock, but found nothing unusual, either here or at Old Colwyn. The latter site looked more promising. I did not locate the Snow Buntings that have been seen at Kinmel Bay, though four Sanderling were a good find on this stretch of coast.

Pretty much my first bird on arrival at Silver Bay was a Water Rail, squealing from the sodden hedgerows opposite the boatyard, it made a dart across the road. I have known that they must be around, but this was a patch first. The sea in the bay was calm, and three Red-throated Divers were close offshore. In the Cymyran channel, nine Red-breasted Merganser worked northward on the advancing tide.

Today started well, as my terrier flushed a Woodcock, which flew ten feet from me in bright sunshine. Brent Geese numbers have increased steadily in the area year-on-year. Over 300 have been counted in Beddmanarch Bay this winter, and the grand total must be higher, given their use of different sites. 110 was my biggest group ever on the Cymyran. Two Chough were feeding in the pasture.

In the afternoon, I watched a Hen Harrier quartering the headland from my window. I have had three previous winter records, but this was my first ringtail. It may have answered the frustrating unidentified harrier species sighting of two weeks ago. I covered the plantation again in gathering wind and relocated one of the recent Firecrests, feeding at bootlace level.




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Llanddulas 9.45 - 11.15

The Beach caravan car park (Towards the outflow)
Glaucous Gull still present and showing well from coastal path in amongst several hundred large gulls, Phonescoped image attached.
No sign of any of the anticipated Surf Scoters which have been regularly seen in recent days,

RSPB Conwy 12.30 - 14.30 of note,

Scaup 2 females
Water Pipit 2 seen on the estuary
Red Breasted Merganser 4
Bullfinch, abundant around the reserve at least 10 seen

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steven burke wrote:

Rob, considering the times we were both there I really don't know how we did not see each other hmm
I was sat on the beach about 1.30 ish til 3.30 about 40 yards away form that carcass.





You must've been on a different part of the beach at those specific times and I missed you, I'm surprised that Glaucous Gull could take off the way it was feeding on the Porpoise. It made for good viewing getting stuck into the carcass and covered in blood.

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Rob, considering the times we were both there I really don't know how we did not see each other hmm
I was sat on the beach about 1.30 ish til 3.30 about 40 yards away form that carcass.

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Sunday 24th Dec 11.45am - 1.30pm

Llanddulas (from the car park of The Beach Caravan Park)
Only 1 other birder present for the most part whilst I was there and 2 others not stopping long that almost scared the Glauc off when they came running over, so I don't know where you were Steve, I don't know how we didn't see each other.

- 1 Glaucous Gull
A fairly well bleached juvenile. On the sea at first but shortly after... it did a couple of fly rounds and then came to feed on the Harbour Porpoise carcass, The other birder there said Birdguides have got it wrong putting it out as a juvenile and that it's a 2nd winter referring to the whiteness, BUT in my opinion it's a juvenile as it still has a dark eye and there didn't appear to be a pale tip at the end of the black. Am I wrong in thinking they essentially remain a juvenile until they become a 2nd W, so the bleaching can be of varying degrees and rates??

Also of note...
- Surf Scoters 2 Drakes
Very distant and only just managed to ID them as they put their head up quickly and went back to sleep.
- Velvet Scoter 1 Drake
A little closer in and safely ID'd but only when it put its head up.
- Common Scoter 100's far out
- 10 Oystercatcher
- 2 Turnstone
- 2 Raven over
- 1 adult Great Black-backed Gull and a juvenile with the Glaucous.
- 4 Great Crested Grebe
...and also 1 small Grebe seen but I just couldn't get enough on it to safely ID it as it kept disappearing behind the swell.



-- Edited by Rob Creek on Monday 25th of December 2017 01:16:30 PM

-- Edited by Rob Creek on Monday 25th of December 2017 01:18:21 PM

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llandullas 12-3.30pm

from the car park...

hundreds of common scoter
2 surf scoter, distant but still just about able to id
4 red breasted merganser
13 turnstone
3 redshank
1 ringed plover

further up the beach just past the river mouth...

glaucous gull, showing well but stayed mostly on the water, there is a dead carcass on the beach there which it has been feeding on but I waited 2 hours & it did not come to it hmm




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December WeBS was delayed by a week to make use of more convenient tide times. As NW Angleseys utility player, I was happy to move over to the Cymyran Strait, the channel that divides the Anglesey mainland from Holy Island. It is very different to the Alaw estuary, which has been my patch for recent counts. Points of access are fewer and harder to achieve, but the channel is narrower in many parts, so the birds are closer and easier to count. The numbers are less daunting too. The variety of countable species is good, as is the variety that dont count.

I split the section into three: the northern stretch that comprises Four Mile Bridge and Valley Doors; the section at the southern end, bounded by the dunes alongside the airfield; and the bits between. The first section was difficult in driving rain, and 185 may have been an underestimate of Pale-bellied Brent Geese. The southern end produced c60 Wigeon, along with small counts of Dunlin, Redshank, Curlew, Oysercatcher and Snipe, with singles of Jack Snipe and Bar-tailed Godwit. The middle section was the best. Total number of recordable species was 23, including 11 of wader and five of duck.

It took me two visits to the Inland Sea to catch up with Great Northern Diver. There have been as many as four individuals in recent weeks, but I managed just two. I also found close views of a Slavonian Grebe, but not the small flock of Scaup that favours the sheltered northern bays. There are 20+ Red-breasted Merganser and Goldeneye present, and a redhead Goosander was on the mitigation pool.

My Silver Bay patch continues to deliver the usual mixture of familiar and unexpected. On the pasture by the plantation, winter thrushes are well-represented, and Curlew and Lapwing both exceeded 30 individuals, as did a mixed flock of Chaffinch and Goldfinch. A Goldeneye was a rare treat in the strait, and a Woodcock passed through at dusk. A Red-throated Diver was 20 yards offshore at low tide. Frustratingly, a harrier passed briefly over the top of the woodland before I could seize my binoculars to clinch an id. The Firecrests that I first found two weeks ago were much more obliging, as they worked the brambles along the edge of the plantation. They fed at eye level, occasionally darting up into the air; there are now three in a single team, working with Goldcrests. At this late stage of the year, it is possible that they will be here for the winter.




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Other than an unseasonal Chiffchaff sighting, my Saturday morning Silver Bay circuit was uneventful. With the weather looking unsettled, I decided to cast my net a little further afield for the remainder of the day.

I started with a straightforward success: two Cattle Egrets close to the narrow road that connects Penlon to Trefdraeth, opposite the farm called Tyn Fflat. There were five in the same spot at the turn of the year, and up to three have been seen in the past week.

I parked half a mile to the east and entered the south side of Cors Ddyga. Formerly known as RSPB Malltraeth Marsh, it is unusual site for this organisation: they have elected to invest far more for the benefit of birds than for the comfort of armchair birders and the overspill from glossy wildlife TV documentaries. Rather like Inner Marsh Farm in the pre-Burtonopolis era, it feels like a well-kept secret.

My target at this end was a group of White-fronted Geese that had been reported earlier in the week. I soon noted that all the airborne grey geese were dropping into an area of dead ground. After some enterprising, and very wet, use of bridle paths, and an unwanted delay managing a terrier / chicken episode, I arrived at a point that offered a view over the grazing herd. Disappointingly, they all proved to be Greylags, though the arrival of eight Whooper Swans was compensation.

As the rain settled in, I had even lower hopes of finding the Water Pipit at the Pentre Berw end of the reserve, and my prophecy was fulfilled. However, it was well worth the soaking for the great spectacles of massed Wigeon and Teal, and the overhead squadrons of Snipe. There were 50+ Black-tailed Godwit around the lagoons, plenty of Lapwing and a single Grey Plover. A male Marsh Harrier briefly quartered the marsh.

Next stop was Benllech where I renewed my pursuit of a regular Firecrest. This time my thirty minutes of wandering around the toilet block in the lower car park delivered the right result, albeit briefly. Three adult Eider (two males) were close offshore in the bay (the first I have seen anywhere this year); three Red-throated Divers, 30 Great Crested Grebes and a couple of dozen Common Scoter were further out.

The adjoining hillside is providing good feeding grounds for a variety of birds, I found a Brambling on the last visit. Highlight this time around was a flock of 50 Linnets.

The Silver Bay patch picked up on Sunday morning in bright, calm weather as two Whooper Swans flew west over pasture.

A short bike circuit produced four Purple Sandpipers and 20+ Turnstones in the Trearddur Bay roost and 190 Pale-bellied Brent Geese by Penrhos CP car park. A Water Rail was feeding in a traditional spot at Soldiers Point, Holyhead.

My afternoon patch circuit was even more successful. My viewing point over the mouth of the Cymyran Strait on the retreating tide revealed 65 Dunlin, 75 Curlew, 15 Lapwings, 5 Redshank, a Sanderling (very scarce here in winter) and uncounted numbers of Oystercatcher and Wigeon. I also picked up a new bird for the patch: two Little Grebes in the channel. However the passerine flock in the plantation was the real source of interest: Blue, Great, Coal and Long-tailed Tits, Chaffinch, Bullfinch. Goldcrest and two Firecrests, feeding immediately in front of me in bracken, three feet from the ground. There are more Firecrests on the island than birders at present.


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Great Orme
11am
Old Mines Area
1 f Black Redstart was being very obliging, perching up on fence , until it was enthusiastically mobbed by a pair of Stonechat and it then , not unnaturally, flew off.

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I have known that Purple Sandpipers are resident somewhere on my Silver Bay patch since December 2015, when I came across a group of six huddled incongruously on the coastal path, sheltering from the mountainous waves driven onto the rocks by Storm Fred. My terrier, as surprised to see them as I was, gratefully added them to his species-chased list.

On Sunday morning, I finally caught up with one as it fed, with six Turnstones and a Redshank, on a small offshore rock invisible from the path. Now that I have established the location I am hopeful that they may become a regular sighting and in greater numbers.

There were five additional species of wader on the site over the weekend, including a Bar-tailed Godwit on the Cymyran estuary, five Ringed Plover and an impressive count of 25 Snipe on the soggy headland.

There are other soggy spots too after heavy midweek rain, and a group of fourteen Black-tailed Godwit have set up residence on the flooded field at the foot of Gorad Hill in Valley. This field is worth watching: it has hosted several species of waterfowl in past wet winters, including two White-fronted Geese in 2015.

There had been at least three reports of Firecrest from the island during the week, from Cors Ddyga, Newborough and Amlwch, with other recent sightings in Benllech and Llaneilian. There were very few small birds where I looked, though a good mix of thrushes remain. Three Cattle Egrets have been found at Pont Marquis, just inland from Malltraeth. If these are like last years birds they can prove surprisingly elusive, as they feed amongst the cattle.

The Inland Sea looked busy with ducks and waders at low tide, and I picked out a Great White Egret and a couple of Pintail in a very brief scan from the Anchorage on Saturday. A Great Northern Diver has set up base there, but is better looked for from the A55 end.

My other patch highlight was a Merlin, which scythed through Saturdays north easterly at pace, as it headed over the headland towards Borthwen; only my third record here.




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Great Orme Llandudno 12.00-15.00

On the sea, just below the coast road : 1 Red Throated Diver, 5 Guillemots, 1m Red Breasted Merganser, 10 Shags, 4 Fulmers and 2 Great Black Backed Gulls.

Along the headland, mainly on bracken : 6 Stonechats, and surprisingly a long way from any proper cover a single Blue Tit.

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There was plenty of variety around Holy Island, Anglesey, over the weekend. I had notched up 66 species by midday on Saturday, without using the car.

Thrushes were the most obvious feature on my Silver Bay patch, with much increased numbers of all the common species, along with a flock of 14 Fieldfare in the tree tops my first of the year here. The best record was a Whooper Swan, which flew in off the sea then headed north east, only my second ever record here. Other than 40 Lapwing, wader numbers were fairly low in the Cymyran mouth, but the Wigeon count was a healthy 182. Nineteen Snipe, flushed from the very boggy headland, was also a good count.

A Great Northern Diver has settled on the Inland Sea, best seen from the tip of Ynys Leurad, or the raised embankment on the north east side that carries the A55. There were two Grey Plover and a Mediterranean Gull by Four Mile Bridge. A small group of Pintail fed on the western side.

A few Shoveler had returned to Llyn Penrhyn in Valley Wetlands. The numbers generally increase well into treble figures by the winters end. Twenty Gadwall were packed into the small roadside pool between Llynnoedd Penrhyn and Cerrig Bach, where a Cettis Warbler sang from the reeds.

I drove to Benllech after lunch, in pursuit of a Firecrest that had been photographed on successive days. I eventually found the right site (the car park part of the way up the hill from the beach), and also found the roving mixed flock, but I didnt find my target. A large Chaffinch flock fed in the fields on the opposite hillside, and occasionally dispersed to neighbouring treetops. A Brambling, that perched briefly in a tree in the car park gave me welcome compensation for any disappointment I have seen far more Firecrests than Bramblings on Anglesey over the years.

Sundays strong north easterlies and heavy showers ruled out productive birding, though seven Chough on my afternoon circuit was fair reward. A Woodcock flew over as I got into the car to leave at 5pm: my 112th patch species of 2017.


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November WeBS was brought forward a couple of weeks, so I counted the Alaw estuary on Sunday. High north westerly winds made counting difficult, but at least it remained dry. The numbers of commoner waders had fallen from October (162 Oystercatchers, 102 Curlew), but plover species did well, with the recent arrival of Grey Plover (37), while Lapwing rose to 16. There were also a couple of Golden Plover in the roost. Other species included Dunlin (49), Bar-tailed Godwit (3), Redshank (34) and Turnstone (2).

Waterfowl were even harder to count as they bobbed on choppy water along the distant north shore. Brent Geese (they are the Nearctic hrota subspecies here) have swelled to 112 there will have been others on the Inland Sea. Shelduck (34) and Wigeon (77) numbers felt low. Two Pintail remain, and a female Goldeneye was the first I have seen this autumn. Gull numbers were very low.

The Inland Sea is the pick of the local sites at present: two Great White Egrets and a Great Northern Diver featured in the count. There are a few Goldeneye back here too, while Red-breasted Mergansers are more plentiful.

The field at the foot of Gorad Hill in Valley is starting to flood again. A Black-tailed Godwit was feeding here when the local Jackdaws allowed it to settle; they seem to have a particular dislike of this species.

Purple Sandpipers have re-appeared in the Trearddur Bay high tide roost. I counted eight on Saturday on the second rock islet to the west of the lifeboat station. There were 22 Turnstones and a Ringed Plover in the same area, and a Med Gull on the sea.

A redhead Goosander has taken up residence at Valley doors on the north of the Cymyran Strait. I counted 225 Wigeon in the mouth of the strait.

My Silver Bay patch didnt turn up much. Thrush numbers were good and included low double figures of Redwing. I flushed seven Snipe on the headland, though was disappointed that the November full moon brought no Woodcock sighting. A Guillemot was in the bay. A Tawny Owl called from the plantation.


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Autumn has taken some big strides into winter in the two weeks since my last visit to Anglesey. The bracken has turned dark brown and bent groundward. Assisted by the previous weeks storms, sallows and thorns have been stripped of leaves (an advantage to the birder).

Wind was a feature of the weekend too. Storm Brian whipped up a force seven that persisted throughout Saturday; he brought some horizontal rain with him too.

In the circumstances, I did better than I might have expected. I sought the comparative cover of the Inland Sea on Saturday morning. A single Whooper Swan was with a dozen Mutes. There is a small group of this visitor on the island each winter, usually in the Cefni valley. I have seen them grazing the fields above the Alaw, but never previously on the Inland Sea. Red-breasted Mergansers numbered about 20, most of them in a single flock. There is still no sign of Goldeneye, though a few are back in the Alaw estuary. A Razorbill was unexpected. A Wheatear equalled my record for latest date. I returned on Sunday afternoon and added three Scaup to the tally. Another birder had seen a Great Northern Diver in the section by the A55.

Back on my patch at Silver Bay there was a reasonable variety of waders. The seasonal usuals (Curlew, Oystercatcher, Ringed Plover, Dunlin, Turnstone and Redshank) were joined by a Bar-tailed Godwit in the mouth of the Cymyran. I saw five Lapwings at the Inland Sea, but they havent arrived here yet. I flushed a Snipe on the headland. Woodcock should be back for my next visit.

On Sunday, the wind had veered to the North West. A small flock of Redwing fed in cattle pasture my first of the year here. I had a brief spell watching the sea from the landward end of Holyhead breakwater. The breaking waves were spectacular, but the birding wasnt: just low numbers of Kittiwake and Gannet. An Isabelline Shrike was on this coastline the previous Sunday.

I finished the weekend with a walk on my patch on Sunday afternoon. As I emerged from the path through the plantation, I could see an auk on the sea, about 50 yards from the edge of the tide. It proved to be a winter-plumaged Black Guillemot, a patch lifer. As so often is the case in birding, timing was everything; less than five minutes later it flew westwards along the shoreline.


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Just had a call from a birding friend, he had an adult Rose-coloured Starling on his garden Feeders in Connah's Quay today between 12.30-12.45pm, it stayed for approx 10mins and then flew off ans as yet hasn't returned. It was alone rather than with a Starling flock but will hopefully join up with one and become a bit more trackable. What a great reward for his garden bird feeding smile



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Providence dealt a calm, dry day with good visibility for the October WeBS on Anglesey. I conducted my count of the Alaw estuary in shorts a rare treat.

It is a period of big tides, but the rules still demand that counting is restricted to two hours either side of high tide. The consequence was that wader counts were lower than normal there were some regular species that didnt feature at all, e.g. Bar-tailed Godwit, Dunlin, Turnstone and Ringed Plover. I wonder if there are controls in place to allow for this when the data is interpreted?

Oystercatcher was the outright winner, on 276, with respectable totals of Curlew and Herring Gull. A female Goosander in the wader roost was unexpected, while four Lapwings were the first of autumn. Out on the water, Brent Geese were up to 40 (there were 60 in Beddmanarch Bay in the afternoon), while Wigeon, Pintail and Teal all hovered around the low double figure mark. I recorded a modest 20 species in total.

Undoubted star of the weekend was a Red-necked Grebe in Beddmanarch Bay that showed down to 50 yards from the cob. It has been here for a few days now, an irregular visitor to Anglesey, it is the first that I have seen on the island.

A showy Great White Egret continues to favour the north shore of the Inland Sea. I counted 24 Little Egrets along the same stretch.

There was very little to get excited about at my Silver Bay patch. Two Jays over the plantation, three Chough on the headland and a very late Whimbrel on cattle pasture were the only points of interest. Last weekend I noted that a few Swallows were hanging on; there were fewer this weekend, and they seemed to be of the passing through variety.

Records from other observers included a Dotterel on the south end of The Range and 17 Ruff around Carmel Head.


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American Golden Plover - Juvenile 07.10.2017 - Dinas Dinlle Gwynedd North Wales still present at 4pm

At a loose end today ,weather awful ,I decided on a day out instead to Dias Dinlle near Caernarfon as apposed to doing penny again and go to look at the Juvenile American Golden Plover that had been present this week in the hope it was still about.

Awful weather Conditions and very flighty Plovers ,due to Airport traffic meant that even locating the bird was difficult at times and the shots were never going to be more than record shots of this stunning Rarity, which through the scope in the field looked so much better than in any Picture. When I found the plover I was the only one there at that point ,so it was nice to find it and manage to identify it myself amongst the 500+Golden plovers present at the site today and the site covers quite a large area, and the birds rarely settling for long.
Picture - The American Golden Plover is the front right Grey bird for anyone who didn't know.



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Anglesey is non-conformist. Saturday neatly side-stepped the forecast to produce a calm day, with some sunshine and very little rain. Calm is not used often on Holy Island in a weather context.

Viewing conditions were ideal on the Inland Sea, where wildfowl numbers are building up. The main Wigeon flock was in the northern section, roughly 300 of them. There were at least 25 Red-breasted Merganser assembled in small groups, and about ten Great Crested Grebes.

Two Little Stints fed near the tip of Ynys Leurad with a small group of Redshank and Dunlin. They are fairly scarce here, though two had also been recorded on the Alaw, near Llanfachraeth, with two Curlew Sandpipers, earlier in the week.

The other scarce bird was a Great White Egret, which uncharacteristically sat out in the open, on the western shore in front of the conifers at Cae Glas. There were double figures of Little Egret and Heron along the same shoreline.

Back on my patch at Silver Bay, Rhoscolyn, there was a small selection of waders with c30 Ringed Plover, a few Dunlin, four Redshank and many Oystercatchers and Curlew in the mouth of the Cymyran estuary, where the Wigeon flock has increased to c60. There were also two winter-plumaged Sanderling and two Knot, both scarcer here. Fourteen Turnstone fed on the tideline seaweed at the eastern end of the beach. I saw my first ever patch Mediterranean Gulls here last Saturday, but there was no sign of them yesterday. They are a reliable feature fom the car park at Penrhos CP, and around Four Mile Bridge, and seem to be increasing in number.

There was not much evidence of passerine passage: just a couple of Swallows, and a sprinkling of Meadow Pipits, though Goldcrest numbers seemed high, and there were at least eight Rock Pipits on the beach. Two Jays over the plantation were a sign of local movement. They breed at Bodior, but this is the only time of year that they can be seen at Silver Bay.

Two Dotterel had been found on The Range last Sunday, when the weather had put me off looking for them. Happily, I heard that they were still around, so went for a look late in the afternoon. Thanks to good directions, and some good luck, I picked them up in flight before they settled fifty yards in front of me. As I admired them through the lowest zoom setting, a pod of three Rissos Dolphins passed in the background, one of them breaching the water playfully. Six Chough passed along the edge of the cliff, and three Wheatear darted around the heather and gorse. South Stack lighthouse blinked away to the right. I looked around to see if there was anyone who might share my good fortune. Despite acre upon acre of open ground, I could see nobody at all. Anglesey is a magical place.


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Every Anglesey birder worth their salt knows that when there is a blow from the north west at this time of year it is time to fill your boots. From a variety of north coast sites, including Point Lynas, Amlwch Octel, Bull Bay, Cemlyn and Soldier's Point, the regulars had a bonanza day. Many of the most-treasured passage seabirds clocked in over the morning: Leach's and Storm Petrel, Little and Sabine's Gull (Lynas only), Arctic and Great Skua, Balearic Shearwater, Red-throated Diver etc. The commoner passage migrants, especially Gannet and Kittiwake passed in huge numbers.

I decided to stay on my Rhoscolyn patch in the hope of waifs and strays, and got what I deserved for my lack of adventure: 50+ Gannet, c6 Kittiwake, c12 Manx Shearwater, 2 Common Scoter and a Fulmar. I later sat in my friend Norman's car at the Holyhead breakwater while he called out Storm Petrels and a Bonxie that I missed; he had seen four Storm Petrels before I arrived. At least I saw a passing Red-throated Diver.

Not all was gloom. I saw five Chough on my morning circuit, including one as I drank my morning coffee. I counted 76 Curlew on the Cymyran from my spy post in the woods, and missed treading on an adder by a foot on the way there. I also had singles of Greenshank, Redshank and Whimbrel on a brief walk down the Cymyran from Four Mile Bridge and watched porpoises from the headland west of Bull Bay.

Tomorrow is WeBS day, the first winter count of 2017, and I have the Alaw Estuary; this is like opening the batting at Lord's in the first test!

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A Holyhead visit! After the success of last year I just couldn't resist another visit. 35 species without any effort to find them as my target was primarily to find the chough. I managed to find them straight away with only a brief close landing. Apparently they are in a different spot to last year but just when I was about to give up getting a decent picture, I peeped over the mound near the RSPB castle building and there was one, then two together. I dar'nt had moved to a better posture incase it spooked them (The light was excellent though). They flew to the cliffs and teamed up with another 3. Altogether I found 8 in the area! Also to note was juvenile stonechat, meadow pipits, willow warbler, buzzard, little egret and I'm quite pleased with myself over a kestrel i found through a train window at a distance near the snowdon mountains area and whilst moving! Ta!!

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