Saturday, 19 January 2013

No snow at Penrhyn Bay = lots of birds!

Probably being the only place in Wales without snow has its advantages. The walk around the 'inland' part of my Penrhyn Bay 'foot it' patch this morning paid off with loads of new birds in. Until today, I hadn't seen a Fieldfare despite much searching; today they were everywhere!

I bumped into fellow 'foot it' competitor, Julian Hughes who was having a day off from being Conwy RSPB warden and we wandered around the fields at Glanwydden. 100+ Skylarks were new in as were 250+ Fieldfares, 500+ Redwings and loads of Reed Buntings and finches. The finch flock included 2 Brambling. Several Meadow Pipits were also in the fields and 30+ Common Snipe were flushed. A real bonus bird was Golden Plover, certainly arriving due to the weather amongst the hundreds of Lapwings that have arrived over night. Five birds flew in first and another 7 seen later, while Julian had 17 later on! 3 Water Rail were in the small marshy area and another January foot it tick came in the form of 2 Mute Swans. These birds had been present during December but had got AWOL but showed well on the River Ganol today along with 30+ Common Teal, Wigeon, Mallards and several Moorhens.

Julian and I said our goodbyes and went off in separate direction. Within minutes he texted to say he'd got Jay which I need, and I texted back to say I'd got Kestrel, which he needs! Luckily the Jay stayed faithful to the copse Julian found it in and I managed to get it a little while later. A stomp along the woodland edge revealed the hoped for Woodcock, probably a displaced bird from the local woods where shooters were having a morning hunt. Four hours later, 10 miles under the belt and 5 foot it ticks meant a successful morning. That's 93 birds now seen this month on foot from the front door; dare I start thinking of the magic 100?

Several hundred Lapwings in today, possibly up to a thousand. It's been years since I've seen this many around Penrhyn Bay.
Mute Swan above and Shoveler below - both birds that disappeared on me on December 31st but have finally seen sense to make it back to the patch. The Shoveler was seen midweek along Tech stretch, while the 2 Mute Swans were back on the Ganol today.
Here's my patch - Glanwydden fields at Penrhyn Bay. Note the green island with white hills all around. A recipe for lots of birds :-)


  1. Nice one Marc I think 100 would be on, def of you had enough time. Didn't do the footit thing but have had woodcock and red kite on foot locally. Last night I heard loads of lapwing coming in to less frozen fields after dusk which was weird near Henryd and checked again this morning to find 100 or so. Redwing and fieldfare also in big numbers today. I probably underestimated the Song Thrush on Conwy RSPB at 50+ with both those and Fieldfare feeding along the estuary track! A few groups of redwing were moving around too. Funny I haven't seen any Reed Bunts at Conwy yet!

  2. Nice one Rob, certainly a lot of birds about. There were 250+ Skylarks today and 3 lovely Brambling in the flock. 20+ Linnet too. Shelduck was my only new footing it bird.

    Grey Phal reported on sea at Kinmel Bay today too! I had 5 Brambling and 3 Red Kite up at Ysbyty Ifan in the snow.