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Post Info TOPIC: Conwy RSPB

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RE: Conwy RSPB

Re-deployed here from Burton Mere mid-morning for a brisk walk to the furthest hide on the Redshank trail for some good views of the drake Ring-necked Duck. Initially he was close in, to the delight of the photographers at the viewing screen, before heading out into deeper water where he was constantly diving with four drake Pochard. A very smart looking individual, with profile views showing of his well-marked bill. A Little Ringed Plover was on the nearest of the three small islands and there were a good number of White Wagtails scattered over all three of them. On the way back we managed some good views of singing Reed Warblers despite the birds keeping comparatively low in the cooler conditions.

You don't HAVE to be mad to go birding but :-D

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Visited here with the kids on Monday last. Didn't get a great chance to have a good look chasing two toddlers but there were 3 red breasted mergansers on the far lagoon.


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Apparently the Hoopoe at Conwy was taken by a Peregrine this afternoon,so is no more :(

 That's true John, a photographer was getting flight shots when it happened and has the sequence of the Hoopoe as it gets hit by the Peregrine and then carried away. Talk about right place, right time, it's what we all dream about when photographing wildlife! It did show all morning, but then this afternon it went the way of many migrants, providing food for the resident predators.


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Apparently the Hoopoe at Conwy was taken by a Peregrine this afternoon,so is no more :(


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The Hoopoe was showing well at times but pretty mobile whilst I was there this afternoon. It was just outside the coffee shop as I arrived but I missed it by seconds. Then I arrived at the reedbed screen and guess what? It had just flown seconds ago again! I then arrived at the next hide to find folk looking at...... polls & islands but no Hoopoe, it had flown a few seconds before I had arrived. I started to think that I was destined not to see it when a very kind birding pal arrived to say it was at the next hide - Carneddau Hide, according to a birder just returning from there. So on to the next hide we went and.............. at last the Hoopoe was seen biggrin

The bird showed well on the nearest 2 islands until driven off by a crow, apparently this is what had happened at previous locations, but by a Magpie in previous instances! A great October record and brilliant company on site smile Thanks to all smile (low res shot attached for easy opening!)


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Hoopoe showing well on the reserve this afternoon.


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Weds 27th July.

With Ian Lyth.

Great White Egret.


Blessed is the man who expecteth little reward ..... for he shall seldom be disappointed.

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Conwy RSPB and Conwy estuary (low tide) highlights

Gaganey 1 male and 1 female
Whimbrel 3
Shelduck 50+
White Wagtail 7
Whitethroat 3
Sedge Warbler
Reed Warbler
Swallow 200+ House Martin 300+ Sand Martin 100+ Swift 9, 1st of the year for me, All moving throught all afternoon


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Sedge Warbler, 10 Willow Warbler, 15 Chiffchaff, 100's of Sand Martin, House Martin, 15 Swallow, Jack Snipe, 4 Red Breasted Merganser, 1+ White Wagtail, Little Egret, Common Snipe


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Not a visit but a 10 min view from the lay-by at Glan Conwy at high tide.

8 Red-breasted Mergansers (6m,2f) displaying
3 Pochard
Shelducks - plenty
Lots of Curlew, Lapwing, Redshank and a few Black-tailed Godwit


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My first ever visit to this reserve today, with Chris Chandler and Steve Burke. We arrived full of positivity having had spanking views of Hawfinch up the valley at Llanbedr y Cennin. The regular Firecrest(s) had been seen by others and also a Water Pipit.

Of the close to 5 hours we spent on the reserve I would estimate we spent 3.5 looking in bushes and trees for a Firecrest, with no luck. Perversely though, it was really good fun. We found Siskin, Lesser Redpoll, Coal Tit, Treecreeper, Goldcrest, and several Bullfinch as well as the common garden birds. The Treecreeper was sticking to small willow trunks, not usual territory at all we thought.

At the Carneddau hide, on the 2nd attempt, we picked up the Water Pipit, which showed brilliantly if briefly about 50 yards from the hide. It was as interesting as ever to work through the features and ID this species. It was very pale underneath with very white outer tail feathers, also had a clean pair of wingbars and quite pale legs. Some compensation for the pesky Firecrest. My daylist was 59 in the end, as we spotted things like Little Egret, more Mergansers and Goldeneyes. It was a top day all in all.

Nice to see Rob and Sonia Adderley and also Colin Davies, whom we had met already up at Llanbedr.


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2 Whimbrel with 80+ Curlew resting on the reserve at high tide.

Also 1 Turnstone, 1 Common Sandpiper, 10 Dunlin, 2 Wigeon, 3 Little Grebes, 1 Buzzard and 10 Black Tailed Godwits.

200+ Redshank and 170+ Oystercatchers (RSPB figures), also spending high tide on the reserve.

The water level on the pools was very low, attracting lots of "Alba" wagtails.

Very few other passerines about, but the heathland contained lots of Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown and Common Blue butterflies,

with a single Comma resting on fresh horse droppings.

John Williams

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A nice visit this morning/ early afternoon

The highlight was a showy male red breasted merganser from one of the hides (can't remember name)

4 rock pipit
5 pochard
2 goldeneye
3 snipe
3 bullfinch
20+ wigeon
2 black tailed godwit

Missed the recent firecrests, but wasn't really expecting to see them


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12-3 with High Peak rspb group:
3 Little Egret
3 Pochard, inc 2 females
Female Goldeneye
20 Wigeon
6 Little Grebe
Many Redshank, Teal and Curlew on estuary.
2 possible very distant Red Kite
No sign of reported Greenshank, Firecrest or Water Pipit


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12:00 to 15:00

After a fruitless visit to St. Mary's Caerhun in search of Hawfinch, although compensated by a Red Kite cruising by along the banks of the river, Tom Jones and I headed for Conwy RSPB with hopes of a Firecrest. On arrival at reception we were told that the Firecrest were present yesterday at the Bridge Pool area, but that as they were clearing some of the brush in that area this morning, there may have been some disturbance, which proved to be true. However, after visiting the first two hides, moving clockwise to the estuary, about 200 to 300 yards east along the path, we encountered a birder avidly searching bushes and shrubs, and sure enough he whispered Firecrests as we crept towards him. The pair of Firecrests were seen during the next 15-20 minutes, so great thanks to Rob a RSPB volunteer for finding them, and for his patience in putting us two onto them. I heard them calling to each other, Rob said. Tom said a bit later, we would have been lucky to hear Fire engines !

Other birds seen from paths and hides were - Robin, Little Grebe, Coot, Moorhen, Gadwall, Teat, Goldeneye, Tufted Duck, Great Crested Grebe, Snipe, Wigeon, Mallard, Oystercatcher, Black-headed and Herring Gulls, and a resplendent Red-breasted Merganser

and from the estuary path - Little Egret, Curlew, many Redshanks and Shelduck, Pied Wagtail, Rock Pipit, and Kestrel


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11.15 til dark.

2 firecrest showing very well, further away from the bridge pool just past the gate around 2.25pm & then seen again at the bridge pool still feeding at 4.35pm hmm
9 chough calling loudly as they flew over at 3.25pm heading north.
3 little egret
20+ grey heron
14 red breasted merganser
1 great crested grebe
6 little grebe
10 black tailed godwit
several snipe spread around as were redshank, curlew & shelduck
6 goldeneye
11 pochard
4 gadwall
12 tufted duck
5 shoveler
several teal around
3 buzzard
1 kestrel
1 raven
4 bullfinch
1 goldcrest
water rail heard only
plus all the usuals around


-- Edited by Ian McKerchar on Sunday 4th of January 2015 09:28:42 PM


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We had 2 Firecrest on Saturday morning of the 6th near the bridge and moving right . we left around 11 30 after they disappeared


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Sunday...11.15am - 2.10pm
52 bird species tally in mixed sunny and cloudy weather. No rain!

-Red-breasted Mergansers approx 10-15 in various sized groups and singles around the reserve.
Main group of 7 including 5 immaculate stunning drakes displaying to what I'm presuming were 2 females. The classic neck stretching then bowing down and arching their necks upward from the waterline...brilliant to watch!
There were some possible 1st yr males knocking around too as they looked like females but had very dark eye rings and the start of male plumage, and seemed to be displaying to females. I'm sure if I'm incorrect on this, someone will put me right.

Whooper Swan- 2 on the far right bank from Benarth hide (they had gone by the time I tried to get a better view from the closer viewing screen)
Mute Swan- 1
Canada Goose- not many
Wigeon- a few knocking around
Teal - everywhere
Goldeneye- 2 females
Tufted Duck- approx 30
Shoveler- 1 female
Shelduck- maybe 10-15
Mallard- common around reserve including a beautiful white specimen that I can't decide whether it's a hybrid or just a colour pigment variation
Little Grebe- 4
Coot- few around
Curlew- in good numbers
Lapwing- plenty around including a flock of around 60 from Carneddau hide
Redshank- loads, especially on the mud flats at lower tide
Oystercatcher- approx 30
Common Snipe- 1 from Benarth hide
Dunlin- 1 with Redshank on the mud flats
Ringed Plover- 2 bit flighty out on the mud flats
Little Egret- 8
Grey Heron- 3
Cormorant- few here and there
Meadow Pipit- 4
Common Buzzard- 1
Kestrel- 1
Around the feedersand bridge pool...
Great Spotted Woodpecker- 1
Goldcrest- 1 (more heard)
Reed bunting- 1
House Sparrow- 2
Blue Tit
Great Tit
Robin- (plenty over the reserve- very tame)
Wren- a few around
Dunnock- 1
Redwing- 1 flew low passed me on outer back path and landed in a tree
Fieldfare- 4 flew over not far from car park
Mistle Thrush- 2
Starling- only a few in groups of 3's and 4's
Great Black-backed Gull- 7 on mud flats
Common Gull- 10+
Black-headed Gull- lots around
Herring Gull-plenty around too
Carrion Crow- lots around including a white winged individual
Feral Pigeon

Couple of Red-breasted Mergansers still around on the low tide opposite Benarth hide on way back round but soon flew off towards the coast.

No Firecrest for me, had a good look though around the bridge pool location. Speaking to RSPB staff they said a possible sighting was made on Saturday, although last confirmed sighting was on Friday.

3 Welsh Ponies (of which there are only 6 on the reserve) completed the sightings.


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No sign of the Firecrest, although a sighting has been reported today.

It has been frequenting the area just East of the footbridge over the small pool, the one with the Cettis Warbler information board.

I stayed in the area for quite a while, and RSPB staff were there too, but no sign of the little fellow or any Goldcrests or Chiffchaffs either.

This area was teemimg with flying midges though, ideal food for a little insectavore.

The RSPB advised me the Firecrest is moving around with a small flock of Goldcrests plus 2 Chiffchaffs, but that it has also been seen

in the company of a small group of Lesser Redpolls.

3 male Red Breasted Mergansers displaying to 3 females, compensated for the missing tiny passerine.

Also around the pools were, a group of 10 Snipe, 1 Dunlin, a flock of 30 Curlew, 3 Goldeneyes plus Black Tailed Godwits and lots of Little Egrets.

A Water Rail was squealing loudly at the "Cettis Warbler" pool, but was too shy to show.

John Williams

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10am till 4pm. A nice day but at low tide (usually there is much less to report at low tide). Largly quiet but still pulled of a total of 43 species with plenty of chiffchaffs and goldcrests about (sadly, no sign of the firecrest) however, a few interesting sightings included cettis warbler, blackcap, raven, rock and meadow pipits together in the estuary rocks, little egrets, a good number of little grebes, several common snipes, pochard, red brested mergansers, black tailed godwits and a male kestrel. It was funny to watch a house sparrow to give a feral pigeon a little chase by the feeders- it did not like that pigeon at all (Bless).

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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Late post for Saturday, 29 November, from 10am to 12:30.

Went down to Conwy with the hope of seeing the Firecrests that had been seen over the past few weeks. They didn't disappoint, with two showing very well in the brambles close to Carneddau hide, with a Goldcrest for company. Cetti's Warbler also heard in that area. Firecrest was a lifer for me.

Otherwise the reserve was pretty quiet, with Goldeneye, Little Grebe and a smart Bullfinch pair the only other notables.


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As I was in the area I payed a visit to Conwy RSPB in the off chance of connecting with the Firecrest, which didn't disappoint.
Although it did take an hour and a half eventually a Firecrest was found in the brambles and shrubs on the right immediately over the small bridge, a Chiffchaff possibly two was also in the same area.


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11.30 til dark. 53 species seen.

2 possibly 3 firecrest, eventually got a few ok pics but with a few twigs in the way.
1 snow bunting, was on the far bank opposite the screen at the boardwalk.
1 cettis warbler, calling & 1 loud burst of song, but did not manage to see it til just before 4pm when it appeared on top of the short reeds & flew across the pond at the bridge.
2 chiffchaff
1 goldcrest
1 kingfisher
1 great spotted woodpecker
1 raven, over
3 little egret
9 little grebe
1 bullfinch
several lapwing, curlew, redshank & oystercatcher.
1 black tailed godwit
30+ snipe
2 goldeneye
7 tufted duck
9 pochard
2 shoveler
gadwall, wigeon, teal & shelduck.
plus all the usuals around.
lots of water rails around, heard only.


-- Edited by steven burke on Saturday 22nd of November 2014 10:24:53 PM


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Quick visit after Morfa Madryn whilst in this neck of the woods.

Of note:
The reserve was loaded with Teal, absolutely everywhere and impossible to put a number to them.
-Few Wigeon knocking around
-female Pintail 1
-female Shoveler 1
-Tufted Duck maybe around 20-30
-Mute Swan 2
-Little Egret 4
-Grey Heron 4
-Little Grebe at least 10
-Oystercatcher in good numbers
-Curlew probably numbering up to 30 over the reserve
-Lapwing probably around 50-60
-Black-tailed Godwit 4
-Plenty of Gulls around mainly Black-headed.
-few Great Black-backed Gulls on mud flats opposite Benarth Hide
-also more Curlew and Little Egret

Incidently a female Scaup was reported infront of the Carneddau Hide but the bird in question that everyone was watching was a female Tufted Duck...will send shots for confirmation. That's not to say there wasn't a Scaup on site today, because there has been one here intermittently in the last couple of weeks but not reported since the 28th Sept.

Met some nice people here today, and nice to talk to Brian at Carneddau Hide, who also confirmed Tufted Duck as the mis-ID species today. Took his advice on a quick visit to Rhos on Sea on way home for Common Scoters, Red-breasted Mergansers and possible Divers but none seen.


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Hi Steven, a good haul of birds there. Yes i believe the Garganey was last reliably reported on the 12th. Interesting to hear of the 2 Firecrest sightings, hadn't heard about those.


Timperley life list c. 80 (ish). The only list that counts! Latest addition: ringtail harrier sp 20.10.18, 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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all day here doing a couple of laps, 50 species seen.
trying to find a firecrest, 2 seen on Wednesday by rspb staff, no luck but one was heard only by myself, will come back when there is less leaves on the trees disbelief
however still a good ay out....

4 little stint
1 curlew sanpiper
20 dunlin
40+ black tailed godwit
200+ redshank
400+ curlew, managed to get 2 whimbrel amongst some of them
lots of snipe all around
250+ oystercatcher
several lapwing
70 little egret, possibly more
12 grey heron
8 little grebe
3 water rail, all showing well in different locations
1 shoveler
14 tufted duck
lots of teal
no signs of the recent garganey
3 red breasted merganser
2 buzzard
at least 12 chiffchaff, 2 singing
3 blackcap
1 meadow pipit, over
several house martin & swallow over.
plus all usuals around
oddly not a single coot was seen throughout the day, just moorhens.


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Had an hour spare this lunch time so had a walk around the reserve and a scan of the estuary, very quiet to be honest,

5 little egrets all on the estuary
1 grey heron estuary
6 black tailed godwits estuary
Plenty oystercatcher both on the estuary and the reserve
7 curlew some feeding and some flying over
12 dunlin estuary
The reserve was very quiet apart from the odd blast of sedge warbler and oystercatcher
Plenty hirundines about, a male bullfinch was on the feeders also.
1 female sparrowhawk
3 buzzard
Plenty gulls about as well

Scott robinson

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On my way to Llandudno I popped in briefly. Highlights were:
3 Common Sandpipers, including a juvenile that resembled a very small walking ball of fluff.
4 Black tailed Godwits in very nice summer plumage.
2 Sedge Warblers with beaks full of insects.
Lots of the ususals such as Oystercatchers and Little Egrets to name a just a couple.

My blog: The Early Birder

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1m+2f Scaup, 1 Little Grebe, 4 Little Egrets, 1 Peregrine, 1 Buzzard & 1 Bullfinch.

A large group of Shelducks, the males displaying vigourously.

Every thicket seemed to hold a singing Dunnock.

Several Lapwings and a single Oystercatcher setting up home on the small islands.

12 Curlews on the nearby estuary.

1 Peacock butterfly, several bumble bees plus swarms of midges.

4 Long tailed Tits were flying into one swarm and feedng flycatcher style.

John Williams

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13:00 to 15:30 Intermittent heavy showers

Visit with buddy Tom Jones. Numbers of birds and visitors were lower than expected, but variety of both made the day enjoyable.

On the waters were - Mute Swan, Canada and Greylag Geese, Coot, Moorhen, Shoveler, Teal, Pochard, Goldeneye, Mallard, Shelduck, Wigeon
Tufted Duck, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Black-headed Gull and Herring Gull, Little Grebe
On the islands were - Greenshank, Redshank, Snipe, Curlew, Starling and Oystercatcher.

and also seen were - Bullfinch, Crow, Jackdaw, Magpie, Kestrel, Buzzard, Heron, Song Thrush, Dunnock, Tree Sparrow, Goldfinch and Blackbird.


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Repeat post, but now in the correct place.

Conwy RSPB

Nice day out Sunday 8th Dec 2013

Very slow at first with just a couple of Red-Breasted Merganser. Then just as we were thinking of moving on to another hide a Water Rail came out, giving good views and photo opportunities. After that we had Black-tailed Godwits, redshanks, Little Egret and plenty of Curlew flying past. A couple of Scaup were noted as we were leaving.

Other sightings included:
Goldeneye, Snipe, Teal, Lapwing, Grey Wagtail, Widgeon, Bullfinch.

Some photos of the day appear on my Website: http://stevensbirds.weebly.com



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11/04/2013 - A Bittern was seen at the reserve today. It was first seen in flight heading towards the water treatment works reedbed just over the railway line. After a stake-out it eventually flew out and landed really close by giving good views. It seems this is likely to be a different bird to the one last seen a couple of months ago. Also about were:

1 Sparrowhawk
1 Whimbrel
28 Dunlins
7 Knots
4 Sand Martins
2 House Martins
2 Swallows
2 Wheatears
2 Rock Pipits - both nominate ssp
5 Chiffchaffs

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