Sunday, 31 July 2011

Night life

Added a couple of new moths to my North Wales list in the past few days after trapping my first green carpet (left) and then grey form of dingy footman, the latter is similar to common footman but has broader wings and the yellow border doesn't go round the edge of all the forewing.

Saturday, 30 July 2011

RSPB Conwy - Saturday sightings

A nice little selection of birds on the reserve this evening. Benarth Hide is still tops for waders, with a green sandpiper, 17 black-tailed godwits, 2 dunlins and a greenshank, while the great crested grebes hatched this morning and are best viewed from here.

There are dozens of pied wagtails around at the moment, with a single yellow wag on the saltmarsh this evening (poor view, but I couldn't rule out blue-headed). There was also a whimbrel on the estuary. There's at least one redstart this evening, on the approach to Tal-y-fan Hide, but could easily be more.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Conwy RSPB Green Sands

Had a stroll up Drum yesterday eve and saw plenty Stonechat, f/o Curlew over the summit and 60+ H Gulls feeding on the deck amongst the heather and bilberry on emerging flying ants. An odd sight at 700m ASL.

A front coming in from the west held the possibility of a few birds so it was nice to see a Green Sand at Conwy this morning along with 2 Redstart still.  This evening there were at least 3 Green Sand calling away on the south lagoon.

 Ynys Mon from Drum
 Foel Fras from Drum
 1 of 3 Green Sand
across the River Conwy this eve.  Redstart still and Peregrine hunting the waders. 300+ BH Gull too.

Duckin' and diving

The common scoter flock along the North Wales coast is starting to build up again with an estimated 1,200 scoters present off Llandulas/Pensarn over the high tide this morning. Also seen were 2 whimbrel, 10+ gannets, 2 shags, fulmar and 6 great crested grebes.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Dragons and damsels

Called in at the Glascoed Nature Reserve on St Asaph Industrial Park this afternoon. The reserve has 14 ponds primarily put there as mitigation work to save great crested newts but has obviously attracted many odonata species. However, the low rainfall count this season has dried up many of the ponds and the only species seen were emperor (pictured) and common hawker, common red darter and blue tailed damselfly. Birds seen included blackcap, whhitethroat, chiffchaff and bullfinch while meadow brown and gatekeeper butterflies were evident in good numbers.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Waders on the move - Rhos Point

The first real sign of waders on the move at Rhos Point today. 2 Whimbrel on the point with another in the sizble Curlew flock at Penrhyn Bay. 15+ superb summer plumaged Turnstone present with 3 Sanderling amongst them. An Arctic Tern was amongst the 50+ Sandwich Tern in the roost while a Common Tern fished offshore. Autumn's around the corner.....

More Conwy RSPB bits and bobs - July 26th

Plenty of birds over the high tide this morning, highlights being a smart 2nd summer Med gull (poor pic above), a Greenshank, 3 Common Sandpiper, 15 Black tailed Godwit, a fine juv Little Ringed Plover (pic above)AND 15+ Little Egrets. Passerines were rpresented by 2 Redstarts, a Lesser Whitethroat and many warblers flitting about, including the cool Reed warbler above.

Monday, 25 July 2011

Conwy bits and bobs

Both emperor dragonfly and broad bodied chaser have been seen at Conwy RSPB in the last few days as well as common blue damselfly. Birds seen this afternoon inlcuded 2 redstarts, 14 godwits and 2 common sands.
A quail found unharmed in a Deganwy garden was released on the reserve this morning.

braod bodied chaser
Broad bodied chaser

Little Orme - feathererd and non-feathered friends

Seawatching off the Little Orme this last week has produced one or two birds - a lone Balearic shearwater flew west last Tuesday along with Manxies (120 per hour), while short seawatches this week has seen small numbers of Manx Shearwater, Fulmars, Gannet, Common Scoters, Sandwich Terns and 2 Arctic Tern. Fulwars are still on the ledges too, giving superb views in the quarry.

Butterlies here include many Graylings (pic above) in the limestone areas as well as a few Silver-studded Blue

Aber foreshore and Madryn

Numbers building up nicely with 4+ Med Gulls there this morning - 2 adult birds, 1 2nd year and 1 1st year. The 'leucistic' Common Gull was also there along with 350+ Sandwich Terns. 3 young Redstarts were in bushes along the coast with a good number of young phyllosc warblers. 8 Little Egrets and a lone Whimbrel were the best of the wading birds.

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Traeth Dulas

Bird numbers building up.  Tonight - 16 Little Egrets, 3 Common Sand and single Dunlin. 

And more flying beasties

Acouple of butterflies seen flying round the Great Orme recently, dark green fritilliary and a ringlet. There was a small colony of 10+ ringlets and it the first time I'd seen them on the Orme.

Friday, 22 July 2011

More flying beasties.

Silver Studded Blue.

Other things that fly

Other recent non-bird flying creature highlights this month have included Silver studded Blue butterflys on the wing at South Stack, Hummingbird hawkmoths at Cemaes and Cemlyn and Four spotted chasers and Keeled Skimmer dragonflies at Llyn Bodgynedd in the Gwydyr forest.

Meds at Penrhos Car Park Beddmanarch Bay

This time of year is good for Med gulls at Penrhos CP. They often come to bread or just rest on the shore quite close, often enabling you to get close enough for photos. A few weeks back earlier in July I had these three birds togeather, a juv, 1st summer and second summer birds. The first summer bird seemed to have quite an extensive hood but then again I'm only used to seeing 1st summer birds at Cemlyn usually earlier on in the season. The second summer bird seems to be hanging around and last week I saw some guy feeding it Monster Munch. Now there's an article for BB in the making!

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Rhos Point

1 Balearic, possibly another or the same past west 5.30-6.30pm with 250-300 Manxi in good visibilty between the showers although light and weather went very poor 6.20.  40 Fulmar and a few Gannets also.  Thought I had a stormie also but couldnt get back on it after initial glimpse.  Maybe worth a look in the morning!

Balearic off the Range today also and 4 Cory off Strumble!

More Dunlin sp...

Trying to sort out my Dunlin at the mo especially with 2 bright juvs through this week. Here is another juv Dunlin (with alpina adults I think) taken today.  The juv is not as frosty looking as the one on fri-see post below.  Are the juvs separable to sp?  Does anyone know of any refs for splitting these? No sign of Little Stint after first sighting by the way.

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Marsh Sand, Blacktoft RSPB

World tick on offer so a quick trip across the Pennines to catch up with the ad Marsh Sand which showed on and off from the ousefleet screen along with 7 Ruff and Green Sand.  Other hides provided Wood Sand, Spoonbill, Marsh Har, and 8 Spot Red.

Race of Dunlin?

Had a very odd Dunlin at Conwy RSPB yesterday evening with rich orange colouring.  530 BH Gull in roost and 350+ Swift in the air with more hirruns in too inc 100+ Sand Mart.  2 Com Sand Chicks and the LRPs are now on the estuary.  Any views welcome. ta

hope people can still post comments to threads- trying to sort out a couple of bugs with counter and followers etc.

Friday, 15 July 2011

More migration thru RSPB Conwy

First up was a really rufous little stint this morning. With bins alone, I did think it might even have been a red-necked stint, but the 'scope soon cast that from my mind. With no rain for a week, we've temporarily lost the puddles in front of the Tal-y-fan Hide so while the shallow lagoon is good for black-tailed godwits and redshanks, the smaller waders are using the emerging edge of the deep lagoon next to the causeway, the stint here with several dunlins all day. Benarth Hide is probably your best bet, except in the morning if it's sunny (which it won't be this weekend!). A hobby was reported to me by a visiting birder this morning, and my 'reserve tick' of the morning was stock dove - rare in these parts!

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Glan-y-mor- Elias gull roost

The gull roost at Glan-y-mor-Elias, near Morfa Madryn, is starting to build up again and over the tide there were three adult Med gulls in the roost. Also back was the leucistic common gull for what I believe is its 15th year. No waders to talk of yet but c70 sandwich terns there.
Time to put the crochet work down and get out there again Rob!

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Puffin Island with SCAN

A big thanks to Rob Sandham and the SCAN ringing group for letting me tag along to Puffin Island, what a fantastic place. Here are a few of my snaps, if you are interested there are some more on my Flickr pages at

Friday, 1 July 2011

Conwy RSPB juv Redstart etc

2 juv Redstart on the rez this morning with 4 Black Wit from yesterday. 8 LRP and Gshank still. Per KCroft: Redstarts and Spot Fly in the plantation at HHead alsp today.
All digi-scoped:
 having a stretch, impossible to focus via digi-scoping!

 Blackwits bursting with colour