Monday, 29 July 2013

Caspian Tern not far away......

A Caspian Tern is spending its days in north Staffordshire at Rudyard Lake then roosting in Cheshire each night at Acre Nook Sand Quarry. An easy drive from North Wales given that Caspian Terns are rarely twitchable for long. Well worth going over if you get the chance, Birdline North West 09068 700249, has details of the locations and latest sightings. On another note lots of waders on the move at the moment so well worth checking all wetland habitats for good ones. Some real rarities being found, inc Lesser sand Plover in County Cork and Lesser Yellowlegs and Long billed Dowitcher together in Carmarthenshire. But do check the ID carefully before putting the news out! Recently Dunlin reported as Curlew Sandpiper and 3 Knot reported as Ruff - yes we know!! Always happy to help with ID questions and to hear about your sightings too. Text on 07778 677141, many thanks. Alan and Ruth

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Rain brings waders

A slight influx of waders on the River Clwyd this morning following last night's rain. Highlight was a lovely summer plumaged Knot that dropped in with 20+ Dunlin. A Greenshank fed amongst the 300+ Redshank and 250+ Lapwings while a 3 dapper 'red' Black tailed Godwits were also present. 9 Common Sands were along the river while on Friday a Green Sandpiper was amongst them. Nearby at Llanddulas 3-4000 Common Scoter have returned and are showing quite well off Station Road. 50+ Great Crested Grebes are amongst them. Worth keeping an eye on as last year the Surf Scoter had returned before the end of August.

Thursday, 25 July 2013

July is hot for birding

Ask many birders which is their least favourite month and July is usually the reply. But don't believe it! We have been out guiding most days this month and enjoyed brilliant birds here in North Wales, we have found all the special birds that our area is famous for. Today was a good example, birding on Anglesey we visited Point Lynas in far from ideal seawatching conditions. Lots of Manx Shearwaters passing and we were delighted to see a superb Sooty Shearwater amongst them! A thrill to see this rare seabird so close in and in good light with no gale blowing! The UK has had some real top draw rarities this month so July is far from a bad month for birding! Mind you August is usually better! So get out and find a mega. Alan and Ruth

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Crossbill invasion

Good numbers of Crossbills along the North Wales coast at the moment. Every time I've been up either of the Ormes I've managed to see a few, while I've also seen them over Conwy Morfa, Llanfairfechan and Penrhyn Bay. Usually there have been around 1-7 birds but this morning two flocks totalling 24 birds flew west.

With the arrival of several Two barred Crossbills along the east coast, there is a good chance there are one or two lurking amongst their commoner cousins in a North Wales forest. 

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Shear madness off mid Wales

The last few summers have seen amazing numbers of Manx Shearwaters of the coast of mid Wales, near Borth. This is what Russel Jones saw this morning Another morning at Borth and Ynyslas amongst thousands of sea-birds. Getting to Borth at 6am there were thousands of manx shearwaters already rafting in the bay with thousands still coming in. By 8 there must have been 25-30,000 manx shearwaters. A quick count of gannets got me to 760 with 16 Meditteranean gulls sitting by the lifeboat station. A quick stop at the turn to watch a feeding frenzy was an absolute joy (though not if you were a sprat); hundreds of herring gulls, the sea black and white with shearwaters, a great skua joing in and over 200 kittiwakes and a dozen sandwich terns. All this, and with at least 10 bottle-nosed dolphins, birding cannot be any better! If you have not been it is a totally wonderful sight and I have never seen anything like it here or abroad, just brilliant birding! We are heading down again this weekend, we went early last week too, and have space on a trip on Sunday 4th August if you don't fancy driving down yourself. Be great if you can join us! Email For details of this trip. Also if you fancy Finland and Norway May/June 2014! Alan and Ruth

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Gripped off by my wife!

Rhian had a Red Kite near the Black Lion at Llanfaethlu at 6pm tonight. I twitched it but dipped it! Red Kites are still pretty scarce birds on Anglesey with only a handful of records most years.

Avocet, waders, passerine migrants and Orme Orchid

A few birds are starting to trickle through on return passage. An Avocet is on the Cob at Porthmadog today while The River Clwyd has held Greenshank, Common Sandpipers and Whimbrel over the past few days. Conwy RSPB has a Green Sandpiper too and a Whimbrel is in with the ever increasing Curlew flock between Penrhyn Bay and Rhos on Sea. Passerine migrants are starting to show up and the hawthorns on the Orme held two juvenile Redstarts this morning, while Conwy RSPB also has juv Redstart and a Yellow Wagtail (an unusual July recoird for around here). Black Guillemots are on the Great and Little Orme while a Puffin is also being seen on and off below the Great Orme lighthouse. Crossbills are still trickling through, three on the Orme this morning and a few over Penrhyn Bay mid week. While looking for seabirds below the Orme this morning, I came across a few lovely Dark Red Helleborine Orchids in the cliffs. They seem to be at their very best at the moment and serve as an added bonus while birding the Orme mid summer.

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Anyone need a lift to the Birdfair at Rutland?

Hi Steve, next time you go on We Bird NW could you please add that there are 2 seats left on the COS 16-seater to the Bird Fair on Sat Aug 17th. Start Bangor, pick-ups Conwy, Llandudno J, Colwyn Bay. £26 fare, advance ticket to get in £12.50.

01248 681936

Sunday, 7 July 2013

A reminder about protecting scarce breeding birds

With the breeding season still under way can I ask all readers to refrain from posting details of rare breeding birds from the North Wales area, and rest of the UK for that matter, on any web-based services, unless at well publicised sites where there is permanent protection in place.  This is to assist the safety of birds which are legally protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act of 1981 and are threatened by general disturbance/illegal activities in the breeding season (including photographing and prolonged or repeated disturbances). Scarce UK breeding birds clearly on passage/migration in the North Wales area are fine e.g. Dotterel, Greenshank, Little Gull etc, but please consider whether a bird might be breeding before making it known elsewhere and if unsure contact your county recorder in the first instance.

For further information on schedule 1 breeding bird species please see: ... birds.aspx

Please consider that the bird’s safety comes first.  In Wales, any photography at a breeding site or intended disturbance must be carried out under licence from NRW.


Monday, 1 July 2013

3 Roseate Terns on Clwyd

Struck gold with not 1, not 2, but three Roseate Terns on the River Clwyd late this afternoon just before high tide. Cracking birds indeed. Not the best photo quality as it was phone-scoped through heat haze but you can still make them out
Here's two of them
Three birds present towards left hand side of flock here