Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Dotterel on The Range, South Stack (The four bird theory).

On Sunday, Rhys Jones sent me a text early afternoon to say he has just had just flushed 2 Dotterel at the Range and they appeared to land at the North West End. So I picked up Tony White and off we went. Rhys only saw the birds briefly in flight, but we hoped to relocate them. It was quite wet so I donned my waterproofs and we worked the North West part of the Range, only to put up two Golden Plovers.Trudging around in the rain doubt started to set in, "were these the birds Rhys had seen?". So we headed further North in case there were any Lapland buntings in with the Mippets and Skylarks. Twenty minutes later we put up two more Plovers, with a softer call and stonking supercillium, bingo Dotterel! Sorry for ever doubting you Rhys, so we managed to turn the "Two bird theory" into the "Four bird theory"! The Dotterel were still present on Monday and there were also 2 Lapland Buntings present. Also of note on Monday, Tony White had a flock of 15 Ruff at Cemlyn, a very big count for Anglesey.

Saturday, 23 September 2017

'Great Orme' Pied Flycatcher

It was good of Pete A, and then Alan Davies, to get out news quickly of a flycatcher in sycamore near church that appeared to have a wing bar.  After a while bird moved out of the sycamore and was quite comfortable flycatching from a wall and from grave stones.  Great opportunity to study an out of season bird and out of normal habitat.  Good craic with John Roberts, Mike Duckman and Pete.

Saturday, 9 September 2017

Seawatching at Bull Bay today

Every birder has their favorite Sea-watching spot for various reasons. Mine is Bull bay headland. Probably because it's near to Cemaes and only requires a short walk from the car parking area and more importantly some of the birds come very close. This means even if you don't see anything that unusual you can still get some nice close photos of Gannets and Kittiwakes flying by at close quarters. There is also a "Rock-chair" at the end of the headland that I find very handy to lean back on as I sit down sea-watching. I have self-diagnosed myself with attention deficit syndrome so if the passage is slow I can get bored quite easily. Also the fact that the windy weather tends to be the best conditions for sea-watching, as some-what of a Wind-a-phobe, I suppose it's amazing I go sea-watching at all. However, when there's a good passage, Sea-watching can be hard to beat as it's really enjoyable and quite rewarding. This morning was one of those days. I will list the highlights now of what I saw today between 8.45 and 12 noon,  followed by a selection of photos of today's sightings. 
Leach's Storm Petrel 4 (2 were quite close), Balearic Shearwater 1, Little gull 2 (1 ad, 1 1 juv), Arctic Skua 5, Risso's Dolphin 2, Porpoise 8 sightings, Grey Seal 1, Grey Heron 1, Kittiwake c.2K, Gannet 300, Manx Shearwater 100, Fulmar 2, Painted Lady plus a Kingfisher as I got in my car.

Gannets pass very close

Juvenile Kittiwakes are very striking

Point Lynas visible to the East

Leach's Petrel

Leach's Petrel

Leach's Petrel

Leach's Petrel

It's a great spot for Harbour Porpoise

Harbour Porpoise

Atlantic Grey Seal

Arctic Skua

Arctic Skua

Juv Little Gull and 2 Kittiwakes

Juv Little Gull and Kittiwake

Little Gull and Kittiwakes

Manx Shearwater

Balearic Shearwater, Manxie and BHG.

Balearic Shearwater and Manxie 

Balearic Shearwater

Balearic Shearwater

Adult Gannet

Juvenile Gannet

Adult Gannet

Distant Leach's Petrel

Distant Leach's Petrel

Common Guillimot

Sandwich Tern

Gannet and Leach's Petrel

Saturday, 29 July 2017

The Anglesey Skerries

I was lucky enough to get out to the Skerries last week, one night after work. We usually stop off first at Middle Mouse to see the Guillimot Colony. As it is coming to the end of the season there were just a few chicks visible and I couldn't find a single Razorbill, which are normally present in small numbers. There were good numbers of Manx Shearwaters on the crossing to The Skerries and even a few flocks of Common Scoters passing by. The Skerries is a fabulous place, with 2000+ pairs of Arctic terns. Although numbers were a little down this year they have still had a good breeding season with lots of chicks around. There are also 2-300+ pairs of Puffins, with dozens milling over our heads as we left this small Archipelago. Atlantic Grey Seals were showing well and we also had a few Porpoises on the crossing over there. It was a great evening and thanks to Warden Will et al for permitting us onto the island under his supervision.

Interesting head pattern on this Arctic Tern