I spent a few hours at Black Rock, Morfa Bychan today. I got decent views of the two surf scoters at high tide from the rock itself. I could just see that one or possibly both had a faint bill pattern and nape patch suggesting that they are 1 w males – as Mike D suggested having seen them last week. It will be interesting to see how they moult as winter unfolds.
Other birds included a nice velvet close in and 8 Longtails – Elfyn later had 10 of these smart little ducks.
At the southern end of the beach a Black necked and Slav grebe kept each other company as the tide swept them swiftly downriver and out to sea. Nice to get side by side views of these. A Great Northern snorkelled the shallows on the far side of the river channel and two little gulls, an adult and first winter flew downstream and joined a small feeding flock of black-heads at the river mouth.
I was surprised to find a chiffchaff at Carreg Samson. A really striking pale bird with bright silver undersides and pale brown uppers with a hint of green in the wing, a bright supercillium as well.
It reminded me of a Bonelli’s warbler (apart from the strong super and eye-stripe) it called only once – which was how I picked it up. Just a typical chiffchaff call rather than the bullfinch/dunnock call of Siberian chiffchaff. I did get some awful pics with my phone (apologies). I also played it recordings of Siberian and common chiffchaff and it responded very enthusiastically to both - as it did to pishing as well! – no help there then. Any comments on this bird gratefully received
Walking back i noticed a a fresh dead porpoise on the beach - already showing signs of predation. I did search, but there were no red-faced small white gulls to be seen : (hwyl