Saturday, 31 December 2011

Countdown to 2012 - 1 Jan "Birdrace"!

A bunch of groups are out tomorrow trying to see as many species as possible to get their Year Lists off to a good start. Hopefully we will meet up at the Four Crosses after 6pm tomorrow to compare scores and have a suitable beverage! Come and join us if you fancy it.
Happy New year to all of you and good birding!

Tony's Tregele Tree Sparrow

Tony White had a Tree Sparrow with the House Sparrows at Tregele near Cemaes yesterday. A good record as they don't breed on the island anymore.

Ringed Med Gull and the BTD

The Black throated Diver was showing well again in HH Harbour. Ken had 5 Meds on the Inland Sea on the rising tide. At high tide 2 First winter birds were at Penrhos CP by the Car Park. I managed to get a digi-bin shot of the ring on the ringed bird despite the kids bouncing around in the car just before a dog flushed the gulls off the shore! E614 I think that's Estonian but Zac said he would chase it up for me - cheers!

2011 bows out in style - lots around.

Highlight for me today were 2 superb Firecrests at Conwy RSPB - magical. Also had femlae Eider and a few Purple Sandpipers as dusk fell. Plenty on offer for new year listers tomorrow - Black throated Diver still Holyhead Harbour, the Snow Buntings at Horton's Nose, Great Northern Diver at Rhyl Marine Lake, Short eared Owl at Kinmel Bay while Scaup and adult Med Gull at the Inland Sea. Good luck tomorrow for all of you out and about. Have a Happy New Year!

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Harbour masters

Took up a kind offer from John Roberts to go over to Holyhead harbour this morning to see the black-throated diver. On arrival we found Tony already on the bird and got great views despite the near gale force wind rattling through the windowless shelter we were huddled in as huge waves battered the harbour wall. A number of kittiwakes were blown in the harbour and we also had winter plumage black guillemot, shags and a great northern diver right infront of us. Called in at Penrhos CP for a well deserved cuppa on the way back and picked up a slav grebe but no sign of the usual Med gull.

Porthmadog Water Pipits.

One of two Water Pipits this morning at one of their most reliable sites in North Wales, the small beach on the seaward side at the Meirionnydd end of the Cob Embankment at Porthmadog. Water Pipits are only seen here on the highest tides. Up to 20 Rock Pipits were also present this morning for comparison as well as the resident leucistic individual. Apologies for the poor photo but it was taken in near darkness with strong SW winds and drizzle! The Water Pipits here are very wary and will fly far away if disturbed and it can be very difficult to get close to them.

Leucistic Rock Pipit. Porthmadog Cob, Dec. 2011. Now spending its sixth winter at the site.

1st Jan Birdrace (or the 2nd if you will be hung-over)!

I'll be going out on the first to do a "One Jan" birdrace with a few Bods, just sticking to Anglesey.
If anyone else is up for it post your results on this blog. Ben Stammers is doing one on the 2nd.
Happy New Year and good luck.

Anglesey Whoopers

There were 2 Whoopers at the usual spot between Llangefni and Llanerchymedd near Tre-ysgawen hall on the 30th Nov. The flock is now 25 strong as of today the 29th Dec.

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Anyone going to Norfolk?

A freind of mine is thinking of going for the Western Sand in Norfolk. If anyone is thinking of going and would be willing to give him a lift if he gives you petrol money let me know on

Montgomery nighttime birding.

An interesting night time birding session with Paul Leafe and Tony Cross last night to say the least. A Barn Owl was caught and ringed, Short-eared Owl, 2 Woodcock, 25 Goosander, Goldeneye, Golden Plover, Tufted Duck and 4 Snipe seen in hills in northern Montgomery. An interesting and enjoybale experience!

Anglesey Escape

I was speaking to the chap in Benllech where the Ring neck comes to feed today. He said it is a female type with no neck ring. He also said a chap from Pentraeth had been asking about it in the local pet shop as he lost one (presumably this one) about 6 weeks ago. It's been in Benllech for at least a month now.

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

2 Black-T-Diver and more on Anglesey

A morning out on Anglesey started off with 700+ Golden Plover and 2000+ Lapwing in fields by the Braint car park.  Coron had a huge number of gulls including an adult Med (AD).  Penrhos CP had another plus Slav and GND.

Holyhead Harbour held 2 Black-throated Diver (an adult and a juv i think), a GND, Little Grebe and 6-10 Black Guille.  A Scaup was on the Inland Sea per AD.  Not bad at all

 Golden Plover flock- feel free to count....
 Ad Med at Penrhos CP
 BH Gulls coming to bread. TI5 still around too- did anyone get details for this?

 The adult at the back showing peaked forecrown a bit like GND.

Monday, 26 December 2011

Finch Farm - Glanwydden Lane

After stomping around Glanwydden Lane for hours this morning, I finally came across a sizable finch flock. The birds are in the overgrown field below the farm about half way along the lane. There are around 250 Chaffinch, at least one Brambling, 5+ reed Buntings, 20+ linnet, 25+ Greenfinches and 15+ Goldfinch. Other birds seen in the valley included 20+ Fieldfares, 50+ Redwing, 8 Bullfinch, 20+ Long tailed Tits and an impressive count of 22 Stock Doves.
What a difference 12 months makes - not a single Woodcock or Snipe.

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Happy Christmas - Rhos Point

A lovely walk in near spring like Christmas conditions produced an excellent count of at least 23 Purple Sandpipers between Rhos Point and Penrhyn Bay Golf Club, on rocks at high tie. Hundreds of Turnstone, Dunlin and tens of Ringed Plover and Redshank also around. Offshore a female Eider flew west close inshore, while 5 Great Crested Grebes and a drake Common Scoter not too far out. Pictures above and some video footage of some of the Purple Sandpipers using my new Christmas toy; a Canon SX30 iS - ideal for capturing the odd record shot during spring and autumn migration.
Purps video -
Happy Christmas everybody ;-)

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Great Christmas Eve Birding

Thanks to Rob for letting me tag along to see the ringing of the Snow Buntings (very apt for a Xmas eve,) a couple of snaps below:

Also caught up with the Great Northern Diver, showing really well, along with the Firecrests at Conwy RSPB, a brilliant day!

A few more pics here if anyone interested:

Snow Buntings - 6 ringed

6 of the 12 Snow Buntings were caught and ringed this morning, released and they returned to the same seeded area.  They were asigned to the Icelandic race insulae due to the more general brown colouring especially on the primary coverts.

                                              Above: 4 Male wing
                                   Below: 4 Male with 3 female for comparison
 Happy Christmas all

Parrot palate

The ring-necked parakeet was tucking in to a few tasty morsels when I called in this morning at Deganwy, taking it's time to select twigs before getting stuck in. Still only seen the one although two are meant to be in the area. Anyone seen 2 together?

Please hang around until Jan 1st, 2012!

Everythng showing this morning. Great views of the Great Norhern Diver at the Marine Lak, Rhyl, 12 Snow Buntings giving ace views at Horton's Nose (I'm sure Rob will be along to show in the hand pics and assigning them to race), Short-eared Owl hunting at Kinmel Industrial estate, 3 Scaup offshore at Kinmel, 2 Eider and 3 Purple sands at Rhos Point. 3 Firecrests still at Conwy along the loop trail and the Ring necked Parakeet still squawking in Deganwy. Whata great start to 2012 that would be!

Friday, 23 December 2011

Norfolk Trip 19th Dec

Bearded tits were showing really well at Cley with a flock of 15 milling around. Some birds were coming onto the boardwalks giving great views.

The Arctic Redpoll was quite obliging at Titchwell amongst 20 Redpolls.

The Western Sand was with upto 20 Dunlin from Daukes hide at Cley. It was quite mobile and a bit tricky to photograph.

The sight of 500+ Dark Bellied Brents over Cley was quite a spectacle.

There were many European White fronted geese amongst the Greylags and Pink footed Geese in several flocks we encountered along the North Norfolk coast.

Common Chiffchaff at Titchwell

The scrape at Titchwell

Merry Christmas everybody :-)