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Post Info TOPIC: North Wales and Anglesey


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RE: North Wales and Anglesey


Trip over to Anglesey today to catch up with a few missing year ticks for Mike A and/or myself.

RSPB Cors Ddyga

Nice little marshland reserve, especially if you take the nature trail walk rather than the tarmacked dog toilet.
3 Whooper Swans initially on a pool in the marshy area; they later flew to join 12 more on the west bank of the Afon Cefni
Canada and Greylag flocks there but no small grey geese that we could see.
Female/juv Stonechat
Grey Heron
2 Common Buzzard
5 very visible Snipe
Lapwing flock (now scarce on the island according to the site boards)
Wigeon, Shoveler, Redshank etc 22 species in total
Just missed a Water Pipit (one of up to 5 here recently according to one of the local birders)

Llyn Llygeirian:
Thanks to directions from said local birder we were straight to the causeway ......and straight onto
Lesser Scaup 1
made a little easier by the fact that it was all on it's own at the south end while all the local ducks were sheltered up in the north west corner biggrin
Mallard, Wigeon, Tufted Duck, Gadwall, Teal, Coot, Little Grebe (4 min) and 2 Mute Swans comprised the rest of the waterfowl with
Black-headed, Lesser and Greater Black-backed Gulls
party of Long-tailed Tits on the causeway.

A combination of an accident on the M60 early doors, the North Wales coastal monsoon and fading light frustrated our attempts to find the LLandudno Rosy Starling but still a pleasant day out.


(Spellcheck had understandable problems with the Welsh place names - Coors Daddy [aka Jean-Claude Van Damme ?] and Lynn Algerian were the nearest it could manage!)

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The juvenile Rose Coloured Starling is still present in Craig y Don, Llandudno - just had it in my back yard again. I assume it's still after my next door neighbours fat balls.

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Timperley life list c.80 (ish). The only list that counts! Latest addition: ringtail harrier sp20.10.18, Fawn Yawn 15.10.18., Ring Necked Parakeet Jan '17, Grasshopper Warbler 15.4.16, Tree Pipit 13.4.16, Yellowhammer 5.4.15, Hobby 12.5.11



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Slavonian Grebe showing very nicely this afternoon at Brickfields Nature Reserve. Seemed to be feeding well and taking its' cues from the local Tufted Ducks with which it was associating. When they went into a defensive huddle and moved out to the centre it stuck closely to them. Cracking bird on a cracking little local reserve.

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Today late this morning/early afternoon a cool Short Eared Owl showed really well on the Little Orme both on the deck and in flight,typical i did not have my camera with me! But really enjoyed the views!



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I also made the trip to Rhyl today to see the adult Slavonian Grebe that's been present at the pond for just over a week. Nice to meet you Carl.

Whilst I was there, the bird was always fairly distant and when it did venture towards the fishermen' pegs (where the birders were), the sun was directly behind it making it a nightmare for photographs. Still nice to see though, either in summer or winter plumage.

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Had to make the trip today to see the Slavonian Grebe in Rhyl. Its at old brickworks pond and showing really well. Feeding a lot so hopefully it will hang around for a while (see pictures) Thought it might be a good idea to put the post code on if anyone wants to see it. LL18 2YR

-- Edited by Carl Fletcher-Poole on Monday 26th of November 2018 06:21:28 PM

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At mid morning today 6 Eider flew past Penrhyn Bay and the Little Orme,2 males and 4 females.



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Sunday - Slavonian Grebe still on Brickfields Pond, Rhyl

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Shannon Llewellyn wrote:

Guillemot (a first for me in winter plumage)




Well, this is embarrassing.

This was, without question, actually a red-throated diver.

I could go on about being stood out on a jagged spit in the rain watching over the swell for fleeting glimpses of an unfamiliar bird at a fair distance in bad weather, all of which would be true, but the truth is when I saw a two-tone bird dive down, my brain said 'auk!', not 'auk or diver!', so then it was a question of trying to eliminate two of the three possibles.

Definitely what it was, though, got an adequate view of back pattern, which clearly had that spangled effect, and I even noted the bill had an upturned effect (which I put down to a tilt of the head). Tut. Dive (which I did see the action of from behind pretty well) was completely wrong for an auk, too, going on the large number of videos I've since watched,

Got there in the end; always learning (at least learning not to excitedly splurge over the internet before proper checking!).

Actually an entirely new bird for me, so the trip was even more successful that I initially realised! Though I do, obviously, have to yet see a guillemot in winter plumage...


-- Edited by Shannon Llewellyn on Sunday 25th of November 2018 07:40:24 PM

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Fantastic few days in Rhosneigr this week, from Late Monday (just time to watch some waders in the gloaming that day) to midday today. Some fantastic, and one - frankly - bizarre, species noted. This is a wonderful birding spot, especially in the winter. Had pretty much the whole beach, from rocky headland to the south and tidal mudflats in the north, to myself all week. Brilliant. Habitats also include coastal scrub, extensive dune networks and a large lake, as well as the village itself.

Notable species:

Cetti's warber (heard only)
House sparrow (good population in the village)
Linnet
Stonechat
Swallow (!!!)
Meadow pipit
Rock pipit
White wagtail (was pretty surprised by this, too)
Skylark
Starling everywhere
Chough (repeatedly; at 10 feet on one occasion, not at all bothered by me, but eventually spooked by the jets, unfortunately; 8 most seen together, but also a six and pairs a couple of times. What a bird.)
Rook
Raven
Teal
Wigeon
Gadwall
Pintail
Tufted duck
Goldeneye
Red-breasted merganser (scratchy views, but still)
Goosander
Eider (a UK first for me; had then in Iceland and Sweden before. Now Wales.)
Shelduck
Brent geese (light-bellied)
Little grebe
Great crested grebe (a couple on the sea; no matter how many times I see them there, it still looks odd!)
Ringed plover
Golden plover (including one big flock put up distantly)
Grey plover
Lapwing
Dunlin
Sanderling
Purple sandpiper
Turnstone
Jack snipe
Snipe
Redshank
Greenshank
Oystercatcher
Curlew
Little egret
Grey heron
Guillemot (a first for me in winter plumage)
Common gull
Great black-backed gull
Shag
Cormorant
Merlin (in your face, Little Woolden Moss)
Kestrel
Buzzard

Also various finches, thrushes, more corvids, collared doves, common rails and one woodpigeon.

I'm in a very good mood at the moment; in three hours this morning, with perhaps a mile or so's walking, but mostly spent standing around, I had jack snipe, sanderling, purple sandpiper, grey plover, little egret, eider, guillemot and merlin. And everything always seems so obliging. Good patch!

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Saturday 10th November

A good day out with Stockport Birdwatching Society at North Wales sites. Some rain during the day but luckily it mainly held off. We started at The Spinnies NWWT at Aber Ogwen. Some good numbers of Curlew were about, with a flock of 100 or more feeding in the adjacent fields and lots more in the general area. Kingfisher was seen by others on the small pool but the highlight for me was some very smart Red-breasted Mergansers on the sea, with various male birds displaying to females. Plenty of Goldeneye here as well but no notable Grebes or Divers.

We moved on,with a late Swallow seen by some from the coach, and arrived at Morfa Madryn. 2 Rock Pipits showed very well at close range and there were hundreds of Wigeon and plenty of Teal and Pintail moving around as a pretty high tide started to drop back. Nice views of roosting waders too, with hundreds of Oystercatcher but various others like Bar-tailed Godwit, Knot and Ringed Plover too.

On Llanfairfechan seafront the visibility was great on a pretty flat sea, but there was nothing much about. Then with one of those strange turns that seems to almost be a flick of a switch, various members of the group started picking up Divers as the tide dropped but also with a slight swell becoming evident off the beach. We saw at least one Great Northern Diver as well as the expected Red-throateds. This bird was interesting as it held its bill up like a White-billed. Personally watching Divers on the sea is something I enjoy more than almost anything else so I was loving it. I always seem to start picking them up as the tide drops, they never seem to show on a rising tide. Not sure if this is a valid observation but it is something I've noticed a number of times at different locations.

However we had to move onto to Conwy RSPB, and the reserve was quiet. Some of the group found a wintering Chiffchaff but there was no sign of the trademark Firecrests or Water Pipits at this site. We did pick up a few species of passerines and some ducks, and I ended up with a list of 66 species for the day, including 13 duck species which I think is the most I've ever tallied.

All in all it was a really good trip, with a typically relaxed and good-humoured atmosphere.

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The Lesser Scaup was still present late morning today at Llyn Llygeirian, Anglesey. Viewed from the public footpath causeway, the bird is associating with a few Tufted Duck in the south west corner of the lake. Quite distant but good scope views were had. Too far away for any decent photos unfortunately.

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Thursday 1st November 2018

Working over in Llandudno today and whilst waiting for one of my customers to open, I managed to connect with a juvenile Rosy Starling (or as I prefer Rose-coloured Starling). It was with a small group of Starlings on an aerial on one of the rooftops literally a few minutes from the busy town centre.
It flew down to some feeders in a front garden then back on the roof, then disappeared for a few minutes, and so the pattern continued until a cat came wandering into the garden and flushed the lot. I'm not sure if it was seen after that. A cracking looking bird and I think the juveniles have a lot of character too!

Also the the field nearby opposite the sea just outside the centre was full of Curlew.

Stopped off at Llanddulas for a break, I scanned the 100's of Gulls but the [b]Glaucous Gull wasn't there. It was reported the other day so could still be around locally.

Also at Llanddulas
- Common Scoters on the sea
- 1 Ringed Plover
- 5 Turnstone
- 2 Grey Wagtail



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I've recently had a few trips into North Wales to take advantage of the good weather at the end of October.

First trip was to Towyn on the coast to lurk around a small car park for a couple of hours. Here I managed to catch up with a Yellow-browed Warbler found by local Susan Morris who was there too. The bird was incredibly elusive but I first relocated it the canopy of an oak tree in the corner of the car park. It was then seen later flying from this same tree to another one close by, and then finally I had it in an apple tree in an adjacent garden, which I later discovered was Susan's garden and the apple tree was its favourite afternoon location!

My next trip involved a drive over to Anglesey, specifically to a new lake that I had never visited before. The site, Llyn Llygeirian, was easily found and a walk down the causeway allowed me to scan the water. I was the only birder present but soon found my quarry, a Lesser Scaup, amongst a few Tufted Ducks. The bird showed well in the scope, albeit always on the far side of the lake. I was joined by a local birder later and we watched it actively feeding in the sunshine. This bird is still present today.

The today I headed west again, this time to the outskirts of Bala. Taking a minor road up onto the moors I parked up and walked the short distance to Llyn Caer-Euni. Here I soon located the drake Ring-necked Duck that has been here for over a week. The bird was with 7 Tufted Ducks, but very wary and again always by the far shore.... from whichever shore I walked to! Also on the lake were a female Goldeneye, a female Wigeon and 3 Teal.

I managed very poor record shots of the latter two birds, the duo of ducks, and a composite of these is attached biggrin (the Lesser Scaup top and Ring-necked Duck below!)



-- Edited by Doc Brewster on Sunday 28th of October 2018 04:53:36 PM

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Today at 12.30pm i had a cool Waxwing on Penrhynside Mountain near Llandudno,lovely close views before flying torwards Penrhynside Village with its lovely Trilling call.Is this the sign of a good Waxwing winter??? Also in this area 6 Whooper Swans flew over on Saturday Morning.



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Tuesday 16th October 2018

Working in North Wales today and squeezed a bit of Birding in. Misty conditions early on whilst over near Llanberis - Snowdonia then brightened up later in Angelsey and Llanddulas.

- 1 Hen Harrier (Ringtail) quartering fields near Rhiwlas
- 1 Merlin (female) sat on post but distant near Pentir
- Ravens seen in Llanberis and Angelsey
- 2nd yr Glaucous Gull still at Llanddulas
- 14 Common Scoter including 1 close in


smile



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Thursday 27th Sept 2018

Llandulas beach in nice sunny weather but blowing a gale and a choppy tide was coming in.

- 2nd yr Glaucous Gull still present.
A quite confiding bird as it doesn't fly off like many of the other Gulls do. It actually took off from the sea where it was bathing at first and flew right over towards me and landed on the beach posts. It started preening and remained there for a while just braving out the wind. At one point it was wind hovering a couple of inches above the post, then shortly after it flew back over the rocks back out on to the sea.
It looks better and better each time I see it.



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Thursday 20th September.

- 2nd yr Glaucous Gull still at Llandulas.

Thought it would be rude not to call in whilst over in Llandudno. Weather was atrocious, torrential rain, some strong gusts of wind, and a sea mist coming in. There were literally 100's of Gulls on the beach and around the River mouth but the Glauc was sat resting on the shale in the middle of the Gulls but in its own space if you like. It was worth the effort braving the elements as I sat down on the rocks in the pouring rain, many of the Gulls were really on edge (maybe due to reduced visibility?) but the Glauc stood up and flew a bit nearer to me and just looked at me.
Certainly didn't bank on that!

Also of note...
- 1 Wheatear (looks different to last one I had, moulting?)
- 1 Sandwich Tern
- 1 Curlew feeding among the rocks
- 10+ Turnstone
- 1 Dunlin

Glad I left when I did as the rain got heavier and the sea mist came in right over the A55 and brought traffic to a crawl on my way home.



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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 refbiggrinwink



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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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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 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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