Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Grotter the Rotter, Conwy RSPB

Another round this morning was briefly interupted by an unfamiliar call a" suu-uu" coming from a flock of Greenfinch.  By the time I got onto the offending bird, as it flew overhead and away SE it appeared crimson red. Totally utv's unfortunately but I let a few know so that they could keep a look out.  Interestingly a C Rosefinch was reported from the Calf of Man yesterday (dont know details though).  Found my own before and seen one this year so not too miserable.  What made up for it was great views of the LRP and other waders in good light this morning:

 juvy Rshank (left) looked quite different to the adults being more pastel and light orange legs.  Also a single continental Black Wit in today. 

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Conwy RSPB

Juv Redstart.  Only just twigged that their call is very much like that of a Chiffchaff alarm call so found my last couple based on this.  A new darvic'd Mute Swan was on the estuary.  A green CAT6.  Sent it off so will keep you posted.

Barnacle Goose with Canada's on the River Clwyd, along with a flock of 450 Oyc so summer blues will be kicking in soon and will have to start mothing or crochet or something.

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Roseate Tern @ Cemlyn

This morning at Cemlyn the Roseate Tern put in a good appearance. Picture below by John Morris.

Also this morning, 2 Twite in the Nant Ffrancon Valley.

Monday, 20 June 2011

Waders at Conwy

If yesterday's green sandpiper (no sign today, by the way) was the start of autumn, it's continued in the same vein. Redshank numbers up from 2 yesterday to 18 this afternoon, oystercatchers from around 20 to 200 and the first flock of two dozen curlews on the estuary. A ringed plover has been here for several days, two dunlins and a ruff were seen this afternoon, and a golden plover was reported by two Dutch visitors this afternoon. Meanwhile, we've still got young lapwing, oystercatcher and little ringed plovers on site, the latter hitting a total of eight: four adults, a 3-week old juvenile and three one-week old juvs, the latter from the Coffee Shop.

After weeks of dry weather, receding water levels and the death of our water pump (£2,700 for a new one if anyone wants to make a donation!), we have been able to pump water onto the shallow lagoon now that it's raining again, and we'll aim to keep shallow pools in front of the Tal-y-fan Hide over the rest of the summer - rainfall permitting!

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Green Sand, Conwy RSPB

Was found this morning and showed from the screen and Tal y Fan hide most of the day.  3 LRP also.  A little tern was seen on the estuary during the week too- good site record.

Puffin Island with SCAN

A fast-paced ringing trip targeting Cormorant and Auks and my first trip to the Island.  It was bizzare to see somewhere so over-run with birds so close to home. A real bird island during the summer.
Penmon from the boat
 Cormorant chick. What a beaut! Huge range of ages and this one way too young to ring.

Cormorant colony on southern slopes looking east towards the G Orme.
 Guille chick
 You really dont want that bill around your finger
 Kit chicks

 Yes there are Puffins on the Island!  Saw 8-10 but there are a few more pairs.

 A sand eels' last sight:

 Auk ring in place
There were hundreds of Herring Gull nesting in the tall grass land covering the top of the cliffs.  Some grazing would improve the site for most species.  Heard plenty Wren singing, Rock Pipit, 20 Eider and Common Whitethroat.  2 Black Guille were seen on the sea and 2 Manxi off Llanfairfechan shore at sea from the boat.

A significant 620 birds ringed inc: 319 Guille, 250 Corm, 40 Razor and 11 Shag.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Educational Fair Isle Warblers

Still a few bits moving up here. The Blyth's Reed Warbler turned up in the box of the heligoland trap a day after the Greenish Warbler was found in the south of the island. I have now seen 3 Blyth's here but this is my first spring bird so I payed extra attention to it. Not very easy to get all the features in the field so nice to get it in the hand. There had also been a Thrush Nightingale about. Yesterday a Lesser Golden Plover sp flew over my head south, hopefully it will get re-found now the rain is stopping. Looked and sounded good for American.

Blyth's Reed by Will M

Greenish by David P

Sunday, 12 June 2011

More younguns

tons of fledglings about today, spars, blackbird, goldfinch and jackdaw in the garden.  Dipper, Chaffinch, tawny, robin elsewhere.

Not a youngun but 1/9 ringed yesterday near caernarfon.  Found a colony i didnt know about along the Elwy yesterday too.

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Baby Birds ad Black Redstart

Superb early morning on the headland today with a few migrants still moving and lots of young birds being fed. A 1st summer male Black Redstart (presumably the same as last month) was a real surprise along the limestone wall. Other migrants included 3 flyover Crossbill, 12 Collared Dove and a Stock Dove. Family broods included 8 Chough with at least 4 juveniles amongst them, a family of 6 Ravens (4 young), 2 fully fledged broods of Stonechat, family parties of Wheatear, Meadow Pipit, Skylark, Coal Tit and by far he most numerous birds being Linnets. The 'chipping' calls the young were making being a constant feature of the limestones today - at least 5 broods present. 5 Porpoise and 30+ Gannet offshore too. Didn't want the morning to end!

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Amalfi coast few days...few birds!

Based in Ravello for a wedding and saw a few species.  30+ Alpine Swift, a few Sardinian Warbler, Firecrest, Italian Sparrow, Common Kestrel, Black Kite and YL Gull.

Pompeii added Hooded Crow and Turtle Dove.  Few pix:

Italian Wall Lizard
Any ideas what bee?

Alpine Swift
Italian Spar showing extensive brown compared to many 

Noticed that no one was going for the Puffo gelato so found something more appetising.

Conwy RSPB chicks

Lots of young birds about the reserve at the moment inc Sedgies, Common Whitethroat, Reed Bunting, LRP:

 Young LRP
 4 Reed War chicks.  What a cracking nest.
Juv Reed Bunting

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

White-throated Robin, Hartlepool

Wow. Had to go for this one!!
No major parking rush, no crowd visible only a slight ajar gate gave it away and through we went into a nice walled garden.  Bird in one corner, 30 or so birders along one side.

 It sat down like a chicken after eating something massive.  Cant see it going far but at times it didnt look too chipper.

A local rascal on the street riding a quasi BMX shouted in a strange accent "Wats sar eggsiten boot a bard wit'a wheet belly like", er well "Coz its rare", "Can ye kill et like?".  "Yeah if ya want", as OML.

Monday, 6 June 2011

More Rosefinch 06.06.11

Still present 7pm singing off and on and returning to the feeder on north side of main road every 30mins or so.  Plenty of cover and other feeders about so its ranging quite far around the village.

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Red-backed shrike

A female has been found on the Ganol Trail (the split trail at the Glan Conwy end) at RSPB Conwy this afternoon. Second one here in three years!

Common Rosefinch, Cerrig Man

May not win 'photo comp, but shows off the colour on this wonderful bird.  Many thanks to Marc for contacting me and asking me to check it out.  Bird was signing almost constantly, making it easy to keep a track of it.

Rosefinch @ Cerrig-Man, Anglesey

There's a singing male Common Rosefinch at Cerrig-man just south of Amlwch at the moment. It has been present since last sunday. Thanks to Joe Swindells who let Adrian Foster of NWBF know, who in turn passed the info on. Martin Jones went this morning and found the bird singing its head off on wires along the main road some 200 yards south of the turning to Point Lynas. The above picture is the original picture taken by the finder.

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Cemlyn - terns with black bills!

Been up to Cemlyn a lot recently while guiding - always produces great birds! There have been a few reports of Roseate Terns but as far as I am aware the only defo bird was one seen by David Wright one evening. People have come over and said they have had Roseates on a number of occasions "it was not a Sandwich but had a black bill so we knew it was a Roseate"!! A tip is not to base any bird ID on a single feature and then ignore the rest of the bird! There are at least two first summer Arctic Terns at Cemlyn that have black bills, so treat reports of Roseates with caution. But as David has shown there could be one knocking about, or perhaps something even rarer given Cemlyns amazing track record for mega terns?

Still got space on our third Norfolk trip, first two full, the dates are Saturday 25th June - Monday 27th June. Having done two earlier trips we should have all the special breeding birds nailed down! For more info email or call Alan on 07778 677141.

Good Birding!
Alan and Ruth

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

A few days in ceredigion

A few days in Ceredigion was enjoyable. As well as ticking off Kate Humble and Chris Packham, birds included a fine Great Skua off Llanrhystyd which lingered all morning, five Med Gulls including a couple displaying (even though one was a 1st summer!), 3 Nighjars giving amazing views in Cross Inn Forest, breeding Little Ringed Plovers and good numbers of waders at Ynys Las - Numbers here included 800+ Dunlin, 350+ Ringed Plover (the vast majority being northern birds), 3 Whimbrel, 25+ Sanderling and 2 Turnstone.

Sanderling Ynys Las

Redshank - Borth Bog

'nominate' Ringed Plover

Displaying Med Gulls

Great Skua at Llanrhystyd