Thursday, 1 November 2012

Autumn's not over yet - Lleyn Birding part 1

October half term this year is a bit late in the season and I wondered whether I would miss out on a bit of migration watching this year. I have traditionally spent Teacher's Week down the Lleyn and enjoy meeting up with Lleyn stalwart Andy Clarke for some early morning vis migging on the Uwchmynydd headland.

Past Octobers have produced Glossy Ibis, Long-tailed Skua, Yellow browed warblers, Woodlark and good numbers of commoner migrants but it is a bit hit and miss. I come home from some Octobers with nothing at all to show for many hours in the field.

This year has seen a good start o the week with plenty of birds to keep me occupied. Highlight has been a fine Woodlark, always a joy to hear calling with it's fluty liquid whistle. The bird flew around the headland area for a good five minutes before pitching down in a near impenetrable grassy field and seemed to melt into thin air.

Andy Clarke found a nice male Firecrest in the valley on Monday and by Tuesday numbers had risen to at least two, with quite possibly three zitting around. Buntings have been represented by a Lapland south over Porth Meudwy and two fine Snow Buntings at Gimlet Rock, Pwllheli during horrendous weather yesterday.

The sea has produced a fine Great northern Diver off Llanbedrog, 3 femlae Velvet Scoter fairly close in off Criccieth, diving and devouring crabs for two days on the trot. A darke Scaup off here yesterday too.

Good numbers of birds seen with large numbers of Thrushes - 400+ Fieldfare one morning, 200+ Blackbirds in the area, thousands of Starlings passing west each day. Good numbers of Brambling (including several in stubble fields near the head land), Yellowhammer and Reed Buntings on the move, while flooded fields near Llanbedrog look superb and are currently holding 600+ Golden plover, 2 Black tailed Godwits, a Pale bellied Brent Goose, 30+ Dunlin, 20+ ringed Plover, 100+ Teal, 50+ Wigeon and good numbers of Pied Wagtails, Pipits and Skylarks. Looks spot on for a rare!


Always a thrill to see.

 It was good to see so many seaduck off Black Rock / Criccieth and with calmer conditions I'm sure there will be a good count of there. These female Velvelt Scoter (2 of 3 present) were much closer inshore than the 500+ Common Scoter present.
These two Snow Buntings were a welcome sight at Gimlet rock, Pwllheli during horrendous weather yesterday (hence the rubbish photo) - they actually showed very well!

Lots of resident and migratory birds around the headland. Up to 15 Chough around and some showing very well.


  1. Lluniau gwych i'r fflamben Marc!

  2. Diolch Sion.
    The second half of the week was a bit quieter although Ring Ouzel and Merlin at Uwchmynydd and a nice female Black Redstart at Llithfaen was a good end to the week.