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Post Info TOPIC: North Wales and Anglesey


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RE: North Wales and Anglesey


Below are a few photos from today courtesy of Vicky.



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World's End near Llandegla from 07:00-14:00 with High Peak RSPB group.

9+ Black Grouse on the lek near road, with all people there following the RSPB code of conduct as far as I could see...4 cars in total. They were giving a great display for a good hour.

Also around between here and the descent down to Llangollen:

1+Red Kite, 20+ Red Grouse, probable fly past Ring Ouzel, 4 Crossbill, 15 Siskin, 6 Stonechat, 2 Common Snipe, 12 Raven, 2 Peregrine Falcon, 5 Common Buzzard, 2 Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, 6 Skylark, Reed Bunting, 30+Meadow Pipit.



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Wednesday 20th March 2024.

Anglesey: coastal walk from Moelfre to Benllech. Sightings included:

Eider (8)
Common Scoter (3)
Fulmar (10)
Pale Bellied Brent Geese (2)
Peregrine (1)
Buzzard (1)
Curlew (2)
Raven (1)
Cormorant (5)
Oystercatcher (30)
Chiffchaff (2)
Goldcrest (1)
Stonechat (2)
Bullfinch (1)
Wren (1)
Goldfinch (3)


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Tuesday 19th March 2024.

Anglesey: Cemlyn Bay and west along coast to Carmel Head. Sightings included:

Sand Martin (4)
Wheatear (1)
Tern (2) Heard and seen overhead at distance at edge of headland. Unable to identify tern species. Probably 2 Sandwich Terns as they normally arrive first at Cemlyn
Chough (2)
Little Ringed Plover (1)
Raven (1)
Golden Plover (c500)
Dunlin (2)
Linnet (50)
Wigeon (100)
Teal (4)
Redshank (15)
Oystercatcher (60)
Little Egret (7)
Stonechat (16)
Skylark (3)
Meadow Pipit (5)
Shelduck (2)
Shag (2)
Cormorant (3)
Great Black-Backed Gull (1)
Pied Wagtail (10)



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6 hours around North Wales today. Some of the highlights:

Above Pentre-Llyn-cymmer near Llyn Brenig: 2 Goshawk, Red Kite, 100+ Fieldfare, 2 Crossbill, 2 Stonechat, Dipper in village, 4 Raven, many displaying Meadow Pipit.

Llyn Brenig visitor centre: 2 Brambling, 50+ Siskins on feeders, Goldcrest.

Llanddulas beach car park: 2 Surf Scoter at 14:15 in almost direct line with gas flare, 2 Great Skua, 10 Red Throated Diver, Shag, 6 Red Breasted Merganser, 2 Gannet, 4 Guillemot, 5 Kittiwake, 1000+ Common Scoter with a few close in.

Picture of feeders at visitor centre attached 



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Friday 15th March 2024

Cemaes Bay and coastline to the east.

Sightings included:
Chough (2)
Fulmar (20)
Stonechat (7)
Peregrine (1)
Buzzard (4)
Raven (4)
Gannet (5)
Guillemot (2)
Rock Pipit (3)
Great Black-Backed Gull (2)
Redwing (3)
Oystercatcher (10)
Jackdaw (50)
Cormorant (3)

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Tuesday 12th March 2024

Cors Ddyga (Malltraith Marsh RSPB)

Sightings included:

Greenland White Fronted Goose (about 20)
Greylag Goose (50)
Barnacle Goose (2)
Canada Goose (4)
Marsh Harrier (2)
Buzzard (3)
Cattle Egret (1)
Little Egret (15)
Grey Heron (1)
Golden Plover (about 500)
Pintail (1)
Wigeon (50)
Teal (25)
Lapwing (20)
Shoveler (15)
Gadwall (2)
Great Black-Backed Gull (1)

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Monday 11th March 2024

Anglesey: Llyn Rhos-Ddu, Newborough Warren, Newborough Forest, Ynys Llanddwyn

Sightings included:

Common Crossbill (2) M+F in Newborough Forest
Pale Bellied Brent Geese (50)
Oystercatcher (60)
Stonechat (4)
Fieldfare (30)
Hooded Crow (hybrid) (1)
Great Crested Grebe (2)
Raven (4)
Buzzard (1)
Cormorant (30)
Skylark (1)
Shoveler (2)
Tufted Duck (8)
Song Thrush (1)

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A small job at a westerly plant meant I had time for a few stops on the North Wales Coast this morn then a few more leisurely explores on the way back.

Llandullas on the outward journey provided ~300 Common Scoter, three Shag, m+f Eider, a diver spp. (On the return the Eider were still present and walking around fully to the Eastern Bay which seemed to be a sheltered haven from the westerlies) ~ 800yrds west of the car park was lots of small Scoter flocks, in amongst the Commons, two Surf Scoter ridiculously close inshore ~ 35 metres according to iPhone measurement!

Quickly popping along Rhos-on-Sea prom picked up three Purple Sandpipers.

Then to work.

Coming back I had a quick stop at Spinnies Aber Ogwen, Firecrest reported but couldn't find it. Morfa Aber 16 Brent Geese, plenty of Wigeon, Pintail, Oystercatchers, Dunlin, Ringed Plover, Black and Bar-tailed Godwits, Curlew, Little Egrets and a Great Egret flybye.

Morfa Magdran gave Greenshank to the year list but little else as the tide was going out now and lots of walkers were on the shingle. Whilst nosying around the woods by the WWTP for 'crests a Red Kite glided low over me, first for me at this location.

With a bit of time on my return I nipped down the Conwy Valley to the Churches at Llantwrst, Caerhun and finally at Llanber-y-cennin picked up on three Hawfinch in the chapel Yews. RSPB Conway with the tide out the only thing of note was a further four Red-breased Mergansers and a flock of 21 Pied Wagtails.



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An excellent day out in the sunshine of North Wales today.

The trip was organised around the sunshine to start the day at an undisclosed raptor watching spot of mine. I wasn't disappointed with the first of 6 Buzzards being the start of the raptor-fest. Not a raptor but next a small party and then a total of 8 Ravens were seen 'playing' as corvids do in the sunny weather. Two pairs and a singleton gave a total of 5 Red Kites, something new for this area, several years ago I saw none here, just showing how they are spreading. The icing on the cake was the raptor that I had cone to see, a fabulous female Goshawk, relatively close and low and in my scope for a long time. A male Crossbill was also seen in the vicinity, although I didn't spend a lot of time looking for other species!

Next was Anglesey and my tour was a whiz around to regular sites to 'tick' off a few species. First stop was Beddmanarch Bay where the first bird seen was a beautiful adult Mediterranean Gull amongst the Black-headed Gulls. Unlike the full winter-plumaged Black-headeds the Med Gull was already sporting an almost complete jet black hood. There were lots of Pale-bellied Brent Geese out on the mud, as it was low tide, and amongst them was a single Dark-bellied Brent Goose. I wasn't sure whether the tide would stop me getting my target here, but a sweep of the deep central water-filled channel revealed 2 Slavonian Grebes, as well as a female Common Scoter. Next stop was the Fish Dock where 2 Black Guillemots were seen immediately, but no sign of a reported Black Redstart here. A scan of the harbour revealed no divers so it was on to South Stack where 2 Chough fed in fields off the road to the RSPB car park. Ravens flew low overhead and 2 more Chough were seen, but nothing else to report. My final stop was Fryars Beach north of Beaumaris where I picked up 2 Eider offshore but a previously seen Black-necked Grebe wasn't present. Both Shag and Cormorant were seen here too.



-- Edited by Doc Brewster on Monday 19th of February 2024 10:39:03 PM



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Saturday 13th January

First trip of the year for Stockport Birdwatching Society started at The Spinnies near Bangor. The sea was like a millpond which helped us pick out a highlight, 2 Slavonian Grebes distant but identifiable in the middle of the channel in front of Beaumaris. The tide was in so there was a decent number of Curlew and Black-tailed Godwit roosting on the beach until they headed into the fields. Closer and showing well on the sea were several Red-breasted Merganser amidst other expected species like Great Crested Grebe, Goldeneye and Shelduck. A brilliant sighting for a few members was a Jack Snipe flushed from the beach.

I picked up 45 species at this location, lots of new birds for the yearlist and first Slavonian Grebe for a couple of years so a great start to the day.

The coach carried on to Morfa Madryn and Conwy RSPB so those sightings are on those threads

The Society is always looking for new members so if you're interested have a look at the website: https://stockportbirders.blogspot.com/




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Four Purple Sandpiper at the usual roost on Marine Drive at Rhos yesterday, could see them  without leaving my cab!!!! Returned on 15th Nov this year according to a local and up to seven have been seen together.



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Morning trip to Newborough Forest: highlights being 12 Sanderling, Gannet, 3 Sandwich Tern, c80 Manx Shearwater and 6 Raven, one of which was eating one of the 7 dead Guillemots washed up on on the beach.

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Trip to Bodnant Gardens near Conwy. Busy but still some good birds about in the quieter areas including Pied Flycatcher, Cuckoo, Siskin, Red Kite and 6 flyover Shelduck. Also 2 Sandwich Terns fishing at Porth Eirias on the trip home.

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Mon 15th May - Fri 19th May.
Hafan-Y-Mor Holiday Park, Pwllheli, Ceredigion Bay.

Few days family break and we copped for 4 days warm sunshine. Set in a forested area with a few mini lakes on site. Lots of birds around the area so I was constantly on the lookout for stuff and a 4 minute walk to the coast path meant a few sea watches were in order with some good birds seen - and one early morning in particular providing some spectacular Cetaceans sightings (see other wildlife).


- 3 Red-throated Diver (1 in breeding plumage)
- 2 Red-breasted Merganser
- 10 Common Scoter flying round the bay
- c200 Manx Shearwater
- 1 Purple Sandpiper (with 2 Turnstone)
- 2 Whimbrel
- 2 Oystercatcher
- Gannets & Guillemots
- Stonechat family
- 1 Goldcrest
- 2 Great Spotted Woodpecker
- Sand Martin colony nearby
- small trickle of Swallows and Swifts in/off
- Tawny Owls heard most evenings
- Whitethroats on the coast path
- few pairs of Bullfinch
- Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler & Blackcap all over the site
- and a very noisy rookery outside the caravan

Pwllheli Harbour mud flats.
- 1 Rock Pipit
- 1 Little Egret
- 4 Dunlin
- few Shelduck

Bird of the week - a Goshawk flew over the car at Groeslon Moors near Canaerfon.



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Late Post for 09.05.23

Great Orme 11.00-15.00

Heathland : 12+ Wheatears, 2 Choughs, 10 Linnets, 1 Common Whitethroat,

several Stonechats and Meadow Pipits galore.

Sea shore/cliffs and heath below the circular road: 1 Black Guillemot, 4 Shags,

2 Rock Pipits, 1 Wheatear and 2 Choughs.

Also numerous Kittiwakes, Guillemots, Razorbills and Fulmars.

There was a steady trickle of Gannets passing just offshore.



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Great Orme, 7th May:

2 Black Guillemots surprised me with one quite close in.

Plenty of Razorbills, Guillemots, Kittiwakes and Shags on the cliffs and sea. 

Fulmars. Several Chough. Rock pipits all over today. Gannets offshore. 

Several wheatear and stonechats. No luck as usual searching for Dotterel. 

 



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Afternoon visit to the great orme.

Dotterel showing well at the limestone pavements.
26 wheatears
3 stonechat
6 swallows
4 sand Martins
5 chough
2 willow warblers
1 chiffchaff
4 ravens
Not a great deal of sea birds on the cliffs, but mostly kittiwakes, guillemots, razorbills, fulmars & shags.
3 gannets
Plenty of meadow pipits but no rock pipits seen.



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19/03/2023

Not quite deju vu for this Sunday's half strength trip out. Mostly the same locations as 19/02/2023 but different partner in crime and results

Started by heading towards World's End again to give Mike A a chance at Black Grouse. Several cars but no birds at the usual roadside lek, so we headed further along to where Andy Platt had spotted a lek of C10 Blackcocks last month. A scan turned up 1 male staying vere loyal to a small area down in the valley, possibly the centre of the 10 strong lek we saw last month. No other Black Grouse in sight, but plenty of Red Grouse, including an amorous pair in the Blackcock's area and a fly past from a party of 20 up by the road. Subsequent converstaions confirmed two leks, each with 4 males at other points along the route, one in the valley bottom, the other on the ridge nearer World's End. Also around were numerous Skylark and Meadow Pipits, 1 red Kite, 1 Kestrel and at least 1 Raven, and a pair of Canada Geeese. Two small birds which briefly flitted in front of the car as we were leaving the site were probably Stonechat but were too  quick for definitive views.

At Llandulas last month's large group of sea watchers had reduced to a single individual, scanning the flock of scoters towards Conwy. Shortly after we joined him a Velvet Scoter flew in, but failed to land next to any Surf Scoter drakes this time. The number of observers rose to 5 but still no sign of anything other than Common Scoter - the Velet having disappeared into the flock. A lucky remembrance of a comment that the two drakes had been vey loyal to location led to us re-scanning the area between us and the wind farm, and even more luckily, as the sun came out a particularly deep swell brought a small group containing the two Surf Scoter into well lit view on the back edge of the trough, before they were lost to view again. There were brief glimpses/half glimpses for a further period before they were relocated slight further east.They they suddenly took ofr and gave great side and head on views as they flew over to join the main flock to the west, disappearing almost immediately on splash down. The initial lone watcher celebrated a 'tick' and we all headed off, in our case to Burton Wetlands



-- Edited by Ian McKerchar on Monday 20th of March 2023 08:21:05 PM

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Yes I think we did Matt. Nice to meet you too!

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Hi Steve

I think we met at LLandulas and then at Foryd Bay! Nice to meet you if it was. 

Cheers 



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A good day in North Wales today. Highlights:

Undisclosed location:
1 Goshawk, 4 Buzzard, 3 Raven, 8 Crossbills (more heard), lots of Siskin, 1 Grey Wagtail

Llanddulas:
1 Surf Scoter (lifer), 4 Velvet Scoter, 100s Common Scoter, numerous Great Crested Grebes - most in breeding plumage.

Foryd Bay (new site for me):
1 Baikal Teal - male (my 2nd within less than a year!), 1 Scaup, 1 Red-breasted Merganser, 200+ Brent Geese - mostly Pale-bellied but also quite a few Dark-bellied amongst them, 5 Goldeneye, good numbers of Pintail, plus smaller numbers of Wigeon, Teal and Shoveler. Waders - lots of Dunlin, Redshank, Curlew, Oystercatchers and a few Lapwing plus 4 Greenshank were unexpected. Also 1 Little Egret

Llanfairfechan promenade - quick stop on way home:
4 Gannets, a few Common Scoter and Great Crested Grebes. Surprisingly no Divers


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For various reasons at half strength today, but quite a successful trip.

Road from Minera towards World's End. 2 Black Grouse leks; The usual roadside one held 11 birds as we were approaching but 6 flew off before we reached the other two cars at the pull-in. 2 Males spent a lot of time in display, the others seemed not to be bothered. Further along a second lek, visible at the bottom of one of the facing slopes, held at least 6 males, although Andy Platt, who had joined us for part of the morning scoped around 10. A lot of noise from the local Red Grouse as well, with around 6 birds see, but more heard. As we headed back to Minera a 6th male had appeared at the original lek, but none of the birds seemed to have any interest in displaying.

Llandulas. The scoter flock seemed rather dispersed on quite a choppy sea, so even with directions from those already there it was difficult to pick out any Velvet or Surf scoters, until a Velvet drake took off in front of a distant ship and obligingly flew towards us, landing next to 2 drake Surf Scoters which briefly popped their heads up to look at him. Numerous Red-throated Divers, Great Crested Grebes and Cormorants plus the odd Guillemot and Razorbill filled gaps and provided shifting reference points.

The weather was distinctly wintery at Llanrwst when we arrived, to news that a Hawfinch had been seen about an hour earlier "across the river". So we crossed over and followed the river walk to the public car park. Viewing from here J R spotted one "across the river!" flying back the way we had come towards the tea rooms. By the time we got back there, a group were watching up to 4 birds in trees beyond the public footpath west of the river. Not the clearest views but good enough for a positive i.d.

With no news on the Ruddy Shelducks seen yesterday at Rhyl we decided to head home via Burton Wetlands.

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Sunday 12th Feb

Llanddulas.
Sightings of target birds had been fairly consistent in the area over the last week or so, so I took a chance on an early morning visit. I was the only one there for a bit and with a wide area to scan it took me a few minutes to get my eye in but it soon paid off.
3 other birders turned up (2 Ive met there before), I got them onto the target birds and everyone was happy.

- 2 drake Surf Scoters
Closest Ive ever seen them, very obliging blurry dots, normally about 25 miles out to sea but these were in view and drifting closer, their white forehead and neck patches were obvious so that made it a lot easier. Kept losing them at one point because they were diving but they soon calmed down.

- 6 drake Velvet Scoters
2 on their own I picked out before finding the Surfs then as luck would have it there was 4 drakes with the Surfs. They were diving a lot too.

Other birds of note..
- plenty of Common Scoter (couple 1000?)
- c20 Red-throated Diver (9 in a line at one point)
- c20 Red-breasted Merganser (m&f)
- 2 pair Greater Scaup
- 1 probable Slavonian Grebe
- plenty of Great Crested Grebe (some displaying)
- 2 Curlew on the beach

Just then, myself and the other birder got onto a distant Diver, quite dark in colour with a pale bill pointed slightly upward, definitely wasnt a Red-throated Diver. White-billed Diver was suggested but without any further evidence I couldnt make that call. I’ll check if anything has been reported online anywhere.

All in all - a cracking couple of hours!



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Following on from the previous post, the next stop was Llanfairfechan. Birds seen here included Common Scoter, Red-throated Diver, Great Crested Grebe, Razerbill, Kittiwake and Fulmer.

The real highlight was a close in flock of 30+ fly by Bar-tailed Godwits at approximately 200 ME range. They were being attacked by something and I raised my binoculars to see a Peregrine manage to separate one from the main flock, where it dived and attempted to grab the Godwit on three occasions. On each attack the Godwit crashed into the sea before taking off again. A second Peregrine then joined the hunt and again the Godwit crashed into the sea, in a desperate attempt to avoid capture. By now it was getting pushed further out to sea, so I tried to switch over to my scope, but couldn't connect. I wasn't holding out much hope for the Godwit, but a real top birding moment!

 



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Originally posted by Neil Blood today:

 

It had been a few years since Id last visited the Conwy area in search of Hawfinch and this morning I visited the following three sites.

Llanrwst 

A quick scan of RBA last night for the Conwy area, suggested that this was the most reliable Hawfinch site within the last year or so. I drove across the narrow bridge and parked by the bowling green/playground area. A quick scan of the surrounding trees gave no joy, so I crossed the bridge on foot and the took the riverside path below St Grwst Church, but none of the churchyard yew trees contained any fruit. I walked a little further downstream to view the beech trees on the opposite bank, where I quickly picked out a single Hawfinch.

 

Llanbred-y-cennin 

Again none of the yew trees held any fruit, so I walked down past the terraced houses and went left at the fork. Theres a lone house here, which contains several yew trees in the garden. In past years and on occasion, Ive found this spot to be more productive than the church yard. The roadside garden yew tree contained plenty of fruit, but despite a 40 minute search, the tree just seemed to hold Greenfinches.

 

Caherun 

The yew trees at St Marys Church were also fruitless, so didnt spend too long here.



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Great Orme early afternoon eastern side in gale force winds a single Shag diving just off the rocks.

Conway harbour - Great Black Backed Gull, Oystercatcher & good numbers of Jackdaw all around Conway town.



-- Edited by Ian McKerchar on Friday 11th of November 2022 10:51:35 AM

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Spinnies Abergarron - Red-necked Grebe on the Menia and seven Red-breasted Mergansers. 42 Curlew in fields by the layby.

Morfa Aber to Morfa Magdran - 47 Pintail, 32 dark bellied Brent Geese, 47 Ringed Plover, Turnstone, Curlew, Lapwing, Redshank, Dunlin, Knot, Wigeon, Teal, Mallard.

Great Orme (old mine) - fem type Black Redstart

Little Orme (middle quarry) - fem type Black Redstart, Shag and Kittwake out to sea.

Rhos-on-Sea - Purple Sandpiper, Turnstone, Dunlin, Redshank, Oystercatcher.



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North Wales and Anglesey today

Gronant Dunes:
Still plenty of Little Terns with numerous young flying around
5 Sandwich Tern
8 Ringed Plover
a small flock of Dunlin feeding on the beach
1 Gannet offshore
3 Sedge Warbler heard in the dunes

River Clwyd:
The reported Hooded Crow couldnt be found
10 Little Egret
Numerous Curlew
1 Dunlin
A small flock of 12 Black-tailed Godwit flew in
Flocks of Greylag and Canada Geese and the usual Gulls

Holyhead Harbour:
4 Black Guillemot distantly around the jetty

South Stack RSPB:
Main highlight was the passage 100s of Manx Shearwater offshore plus a few Gannets
Cliffs now deserted of all Auks - just 2 Guillemots and 2 Razorbills on the sea but a few Kittiwakes still
Quite a few Choughs overhead
2 Rock Pipit - adult + youngster
1 Wheatear - female
1 Stonechat - juv
A very obliging Raven that coughed up a couple of pellets right in front of me.

Valley Lakes RSPB:
1 Ring-necked Duck - eclipse drake in a mixed flock of Pochard and Tufted Ducks
1 Peregrine swooped in low over the lake
1 Sparrowhawk
1 Mediterranean Gull
4 Teal
1 Stonechat - juv
2 Great Black-backed Gull - adult and young on the island
A few Sand Martins over the lake

River Alaw estuary:
1 Hooded Crow - distantly feeding on the salt marsh with Carrion Crows. Apparently there are two around here.
3 Little Egret
Plenty of Curlew and Oystercatcher



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First visit to Gronant Dunes to visit the tail end of the Little Tern season. Counted 4/5 late season chicks amongst good number of adults still present.

 

Others of note included 100's of gathering Swallows over the reed and dune areas, a pair of Red Kite, and a successful Peregrine beach hunt with a further two birds joining on the sand to feed, a good watch.



-- Edited by Matt Gillett on Monday 18th of July 2022 03:30:16 PM



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Esclusham Mountain (Above Minera) Afternoon visit.

Circular walk across the high moorland (Towards Worlds End).

2 Whinchats seen around the bracken covered area.

On the largely heather covered areas Meadow Pipits galore, lesser numbers of Stonechats (Including a family group),

4 singing Skylarks, 2 Ravens, 4 Buzzards and 1 Kestrel.

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First time visit to RSPB Conwy this morning. 44 species. Highlights Black Tailed Godwit, Mediterranean Gull and 25+ Little Egret.

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Great Orme, Llandudno. A very hot wander around found numerous Stonechat, Meadow Pipit. Linnet, 4 Raven and 12 Chough. 2 Shelduck, 1 Peregrine and 1 Common Scoter seen off St Tudnos.

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The return to Anglesey. Sunday 5th June 2022

   Apart from a quick dash over to see the Elegant Tern at Cemlyn Bay last year, it was nice to visit one of the nicest islands in Britain, Anglesey again. A team of 5 birders filled Kevin C`s vehicle and we departed at 7am on a rather dull, damp day, the forecast was not very good with lots of morning rain. First stop was Holyhead harbour/fish quay, we were greeted by a nice bout of cold and rain. We soon saw the Black Guillemot`s in the harbour dressed up in their summer finery of black and white feathers with red feet and beaks. We headed up to RSPB South Stack and donned our winter gear as its always a bit fresh here. Next to no cars on the usually bustling car park, obviously due to the weather! We headed down to the tower and followed the cliff edge footpath, lots of Guillemots, Razorbills and various gulls nesting on the spectacular cliffs but no sight our sound of the Choughs that are usually make their presence known fairly quickly here. As we reached to just below the first car park we could see Rob D and Chris looking at something. It was a Hooded Crow sat on a fence, apart from being a bit wet, its plumage was unmistakeable. As we all got together the familiar sounds of the Chough could be heard, as we looked down the cliffs they were there huddled together sheltering from the rain! Two adults with 3 fledged young, complete with rings, radio transmitter, when the rain stopped they began flying around. We called into the nice RSPB café and sampled some of their cake, what a treat.

    At one of my favourite places, Cemlyn Bay, it was dull and cold but the rain had gone, thankfully. The regular throng of Sandwich, Common and Arctic Tern`s were there to greet us in their noisy fashion as they came and went collecting Sand Eels from the sea to feed their young ones. Always great to watch this spectacle. A Red breasted Merganser was also seen as we headed of onto the point at Trywyn Cemlyn, views of The Skerries make this a beautiful place to enjoy. We began searching the sea for passing seabirds and saw around 30+ Manx Shearwaters dashing around showing their distinctive flight of shearing over the water

    Apart from the rain we had enjoyed an unhindered day out, but as we headed east along the A55 we ran into various pockets of heavy traffic, bank holiday and retuning from Ireland we think. We eventually made it to Gronant Dunes and beach were the smallest Tern species breed in Britain, the Little Tern. A nice walk through the dunes and then near to the wardened area to enjoy these small, beautiful seabirds. A few Sanderling were also seen on the beach, these birds are making their way north to breed. More heavy traffic was encountered on the way home and our driver Kevin is too be commended for his cool after a long drive. Good to have the Huddersfield lads with us and Bob K for his tireless work trying to get pictures of the day out!

Dave O.



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Highlights of a wander around Newborough Forest and Llanddwyn Island: 4 Eider, 2 Sandwich Terns, 4 Ringed Plover, 40 Oystercatcher, 3 Raven, Stonechat, Wheatear, 3 Linnet. Numerous Rock Pipits & Skylarks.

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Day trip to Anglesey on Saturday (21/05) saw a modest return of 61 species.

Newborough Beach & Llyn Parc Mawr

Highlights:  Sandwich Tern, Stonechat, Little Egret, Grey Seal.

Cors Ddyga

Highlights: Marsh Harrier, Red Kite, Curlew, Little Egret, Linnet, Black Tailed Godwit, Sedge Warbler, Cetti's Warbler.

Best part was just sitting in the sun, listening to multiple Skylarks singing whilst watching a pair of Curlew mobbing a hunting Marsh Harrier.



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Thurs.
A visit to Welsh Mountain Zoo so a non-birding trip but a few things seen throughout the day.

Of note
- 1 Red Kite circling near the zoo
- 1 Common Buzzard
- 2 Great Spotted Woodpecker
- 1 Commic Tern fishing off Llanddulas car park
- another Common Swift over the caravan park

Lots of the usual stuff around that Ive already reported.
Nice to see some Gulls, Herring and Lesser Black-backed in most of the zoo enclosures, taking food from the animals. Then back at the resort, we came out of the arcades and a Herring Gull took us by surprise and swooped down to nick one of Lucas chicken nuggets!

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Weds.
No birding as we made plans to go to Rhyl, but of note

- m Stonechat right outside caravan
- m Whitethroat in same place few mins later
- Kestrel hunting the dunes
- Cettis Warbler singing near security lodge then showed briefly as we slowed down
- Chiffchaff and Blackcap singing in same area

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Tuesday.
A cracking hours walk on the dunes behind the caravan early morning, lots of birds about providing a dawn chorus.

Of note
- 1 Blackcap
- 4 Sedge Warbler
- 2 Reed Warbler
- 2 Whitethroat
- 3 Cettis Warbler (minimum)
- 4 Stonechat
- 6 Linnet
- 1 House Martin
- abundant Swallow
- abundant Skylark (close up)
- few Meadow Pipits
- 1 Little Egret over the marsh

But perhaps the 3 star birds were
- 2 Northern Wheatear
- lots of Little Tern (Gronant colony)
- 1 Marsh Harrier just flew up and started hunting the marsh

- another Wheatear at Prestatyn main beach on the steps



-- Edited by Ian McKerchar on Tuesday 10th of May 2022 10:23:03 PM

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Few days at Presthaven Sands, Prestatyn.

Monday.
- 1st Swift of the year for me, over the caravan
- 7 Swallow swirling around
- 1 Whitethroat outside the caravan
- Reed Warbler 100yds away on the marsh

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Trip to Anglesey yesterday was successful, in what turned out to be great weather.

Started at South Stack, numbers of Guillemot and Razorbill seemed very good. Maybe that is why Puffins took some finding. Eventually, having found none on the water, I located a pair viewed from the top of the lighthouse steps. All the usuals were seen although it became foggy.

I moved around to the Range and on my walk located two Hooded Crow in a field with sheep and other covids, looking back towards South Stack.

Six Black Guillemot were found at Holyhead Fish Dock.

At Cemlyn the sun had come out and it was a beautiful afternoon. Arctic and Sandwich Terns were very much in the ascendency, with far fewer Common Terns. I found a single adult Mediterranean Gull amongst them. A walk to Hen Borth produced a couple of Whimbrel, as well as a good supporting cast including a few Wheatear and Whitethroat.

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Great Orme Llandudno 11.30-18.00

4 Choughs were seen on top of the Orme. Stonechats numerous, especially around the extensive Gorse thickets.

Linnets and Meadow Pipits also appeared quite abundant on top of the headland.

2 Wheatears were reported near the limestone pavement.

4 Buzzards patrolled the top of the Orme, where rabbits are noticeably abundant. A single Sparrowhawk was

seen near St Tudno's church.

On the sea below the cliffs were 10 Shags and 1 drake Eider. Kittiwakes massed below the sea bird colony,

where Guillemots were starting to arrive, whilst 3 Fulmars glided around the cliffs.

Offshore 4 Gannets were seen flying South.



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Sunday 6th March.
Early morning visit until around 10am. Cold sea breeze making my fingers numb at one point, very choppy conditions.

Old Colwyn (1hr).
- 2 Velvet Scoters
- 1 Great Northern Diver
- 1 Red-breasted Merganser
- 25+ Turnstone round my feet

Llanddulas (30min).
- 1 Velvet Scoter

100s of Common Scoter on the sea so I gave it a serious effort scanning through them but sadly no Surf Scoters for me.
I had plenty of nearly moments where I thought I might have one but as can often be the case, the bright sun was reflecting off the nape of some of the Commons in certain angles so my hats off to you Chris for finding yours.

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Distant Surf Scoter from Rainbow Bridge viewpoint in Old Colwyn this morning at 10.45. With at least 1 Velvet Scoter, Long Tailed Duck, 6 Red Throated Diver, 4 Red Breasted Merganser and many Common Scoter. 3 Fulmar were on the quarry, and a Rock Pipit near the viewpoint. 

A trip inland to Llyn Brenig gave good views of the Great Grey Shrike at the turn off to Nantglyn. Crossbills calling too. Cropped Shrike picture attached. Watched it for a good 45 minutes, catching a Lizard/Newt at one point.



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Highlights of the High Peak RSPB group trip to North Wales this weekend:

Llanrwst: at least 1 Hawfinch at St Grysts church

Llyn Brenin VC: 5 Brambling and many Siskin, 3 Red Kites from here to Abergele

Rhos on Sea: 10+ Purple Sandpiper, 4 Red Throated Diver 

Little Orme: Iceland Gull, 5 Chough 

Conwy RSPB: Greater Scaup, Spotted Redshank, Jack Snipe, 4 Red Breasted Merganser 

Point of Ayr RSPB: 12 Brent Geese, possible Twite flock 20

Some images from group members attached. Couldn't locate the Great Grey Shrike near Llyn Brenin in the horizontal hail despite trying. A cracking weekend nevertheless. 



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A photography day today, with a visit to Rhôs-on-Sea for the Purple Sandpiper, 13 of which were (mainly) sleeping on the defence rocks, just below the promenade.



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Had another day in North Wales in the sunshine but this time the main targets eluded me and also eluded a few mates that I met out whilst birding too!

Started at the clearfell near Llyn Brenig but again no Great Grey Shrike, the Crossbills did show very well though with a male even courtship feeding a female at the top of a pine tree. Again a couple of Ravens knocking around too.

Next I headed up to Llanddulas/Old Colwyn but despite reports from the bay around the time that we were there there was no sign of any Surf Scoters, and that's with 4 birders searching thoroughly! I did pick up a drake Velvet Scoter in flight amongst the thousands of Common Scoters. Also out there were at least 10 Red-throated Divers, a few Red-breasted Mergansers and a Guillemot. Behind on the cliffs  a couple of pairs of Fulmars were already settling on nesting ledges. On the rocks near Rainbow Bridge a Rock Pipit showed well.

My final destination was the River Clwyd between Rhuddlan and Rhyl. I parked at Rhuddlan and walked up the river on the cycle path on the advice of a Welsh birding pal, as this gave views of both sides of the river whereas other routes from Rhyl did not. A long way along the path I finally found large flocks of geese in the sheep fields on the east side of the river. Scanning through these I picked up mostly Greylag Geese, a few Canada Geese, a few Pink-footed Geese and finally 1+Russian White-fronted Geese, the species I had come to look for (picture attached).

A good trip nonetheless and 4 birds added to my yearlist, so definitely can't complain!



-- Edited by Doc Brewster on Wednesday 19th of January 2022 08:45:45 AM



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Little orme juvenile Iceland gull in seal colony this afternoon 



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Did a North wales run today as I am at a funeral tomorrow and then back at work after, so my last chance to yearlist build in early 2022.

I started off pre-dawn at World's End in Denbighshire. I arrived at 7.45am and it was still dark, the advantage of an early January trip. Another advantage was that I was on my own, no scrum of cars at the lek site. Birds were already there and more arrived as I watched. A total of 11(10m) Black Grouse were seen, some actively lekking, strutting their stuff and vocalising. The biggest surprise was a female which flew in, my first here for at least 5 years. This is a very well known site, viewed easily from the car and well used taking the pressure of all the other leks in N.Wales. Also on the moors here were at least 10 Red Grouse and a pair of Ravens. So 3 bird species under my belt so far!

Next I headed to Llyn Brenig to look for the Great Grey Shrike but that eluded me this time. It was cold and windy with squally rain so I'm not surprised. I did pick up a party of 6 Crossbills and a Meadow Pipit for my list!

Next to Llanrwst in the Conwy Valley where a long wait was rewarded with a single short view of a Hawfinch in the yews in the churchyard, viewed from across the river.

The Little Orme was next which always allows my a seawatch as well as other bits and bobs. Out at sea were a few pretty close Red-throated Divers and a Guillemot. Also seen were several Shags and a distant Kittiwake. Flocks of Red-breasted Mergansers showed well close to shore in the bay. On the land a calling Chough was located and proved to be one of the colour-ringed birds that are here. After a couple of tries the juvenile Iceland Gull eventually flew in to land amongst the seal colony where it has taken up 'residence'! The Iceland Gull was my 100th species for 2022, a nice bird to bring up that number!

I then headed back east and dropped into Abergele to pick up Common Scoter for my list. Then last call in Wales was Rhyl Brickfields Pond where the returning female Scaup was elusive but eventually found by walking round the pool.



-- Edited by Doc Brewster on Monday 3rd of January 2022 10:54:30 PM

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Originally posted today by Andy Slee:

Took a slight detour on the way to family business in Wales via Llyn Brening.

 Great views of Great Grey Shrike on the cleared area at the T junction of the B4501 to the NW of the Llyn. It seemed to favour the slight dip in the clearfell, there was a bush which possibly had a couple of larder items in down by the stream ~ 100ft west of the junction, viewable from the road though without traipsing into the clearfell. A small species (wren?) rose from the scrub and was instantly harassed and turned into a ball of feathers by the Shrike in flight. Grisley; that is why they have the reputation I guess.

Seven crossbills flew over. A Single Siskin was seen. Goldcrest were plentiful on a walk down the nature trail to the lake. Two stonechat present. 



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