Tuesday, 1 January 2013

January 1st 2013 - Penrhyn Bay

I love New Years Day; up early and out the door with everything feeling new. This year I left the car keys behind and set off on foot as the darkness slowly made way to a murky gloom, nine hours and 13 miles later I returned home, shattered but having enjoyed every minute of the day. Despite the brisk breeze the weather was good and it was nice to finally see some sunshine!

I'm sure the festive fireworks from last night's celebrations meant that a few of my 'pinned down' birds had departed - Mute Swans, Shovelers and Coot - all difficult birds in Penrhyn Bay but present over the last few weeks and all there yesterday. However, no sign anywhere today! I can't complain too much though as I managed to log a total of 74 species in the area including the following highlights;

Lapland Bunting - I saw this bird a few weeks ago but haven't seen it since, so I was thrilled that today in showed well as it flew around the middle stubble field between Glanwydden and Rhos on Sea Golf course with some twenty Skylark. If you go and look, take your wellies!

Water Rail - at least 7 birds logged along Glanwydden Lane. Surely a site record.

Purple Sandpiper - 11 logged at Rhos on Sea, 1 at Rhos Point and 1 at Penrhyn Bay.

Brambling - at least one in the stubble fields at Glanwydden.

Other nice January 'local' records included several Grey Wagtails, Kestrel, Nuthatch, Treecreeper, Knot, Grey Plover, several Kittiwake, Fulmar, Red throated Diver, several Rock Pipit, Guillemots, Razorbills, Stock Doves and 20+ Reed Buntings.

 The local Purple Sandpipers didn't disappoint showing well along the prom along with 30+ Turnstone, on rocks in front of the house with the Monkey Puzzle Tree in the garden. It was nice to also see one on the Penrhyn Bay breakwater - haven't seen one here for ages.
 A good patch bird - Grey Plover was once a regular bird at Penrhyn Bay but the last 5 or 6 years have seen them become quite scarce.
The reeds at Glanwydden are holding 20+ Reed Bunting at the moment and also contain many Water Rails and several Snipe. Great local birds.

Still several birds to get on the patch over the next month of foot it challenge - jay, peregrine, Red breasted Merg, Woodcock, Owls, Marsh Tit, Chough, Little Grebe, Siskin and Lesser Redpoll all up for grabs and hopefully Shoveler, Mute Swan and Coot will all make a return now the celebrations have calmed down.


  1. I didn't get out quite as early as intended, so my score for almost the same area as Marc is nowhere near as good, at 51 species. Inevitably, missed a load of 'common' birds (no song thrush!), but still 30 days of #footit to catch up. Highlight was a male goosander flying high over the Little Orme, shortly before I took a tumble in the mud. Well worth doing though, it's great to see what's in the fields I drive past each day

  2. We did the Great Orme this morning, as expected not many birds but a fly-by Shelduck, Kittiwakes, Red t Divers and lots of Guillemots were all good for Foot It list. Thirty six birds on the Orme by 11am and lots of "easy" ones not seen - no pipits!

    Later went along Glanwydden Lane, no wellies so viewed from lane, lots of birds including Brambling, Reed Bunts and Skylarks defo a place to keep an eye on.

    Alan and Ruth

  3. Here on Anglesey, I managed a walk from Mynydd Bodafon, east to Traeth Dulas and Traeth Lligwy and back. About a seven mile circular walk. I managed 71 species, highlight being 5 Jack Snipe in a tiny pool on top of the mountain, Water Pipit on Traeth Dulas and unexpected birds like Goosander, Pintail and Tufted Duck. Lots of divers, grebes, and waders but missed out on the woodland birds. Missing from my list were Linnet, Kestrel, Fieldfare and Moorhen. Still a good count I think, and some great exercise.

  4. Really windy on Bardsey today, so not much really- managed 42 species, including Med Gull, 2 Whimbrels and 1000s of Razorbills here, only few Guillies.