Wednesday, 30 October 2013
Monday, 28 October 2013
Sunday, 27 October 2013
more here http://austinmorley.blogspot.co.uk/
Saturday, 26 October 2013
Stopped off at Gronant too and enjoyed excellent views of the Grey Phalarope. What a little gem!
More photos/account on my blog. http://zacswildlifeblog.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/hoopoe-and-grey-phalarope-in.html
My week on Bardsey was cut short by forecast impending storms, and I came off two days early on 23rd October. The crossing was at first light, so I had all day to play with as long as I was back in Blackpool for early evening. I guess most people would have worked the Lleyn peninsula or gone to Conwy RSPB. However I have a soft spot for scoter, regularly watching the large flocks off Blackpool, and decided to check some of the likely spots along the North Wales coast.
Llanfairfechan was fairly quiet, though it was nice to relive seeing the Black Scoter here more years ago than I care to remember. There was a ringed Mute Swan here – white ABOV – with an unringed mate and cygnets.
I decided to head straight to Llanddulas and give it a decent go from there, as my recollection was that this is the best site. When I got there the conditions were very good, almost high tide with little wind and bright conditions. I was disappointed how distant the scoter were, I always thought they were really close in off the Welsh coast compared with the ones off Blackpool but they were quite distant. After a couple of scans I ‘tweeted’ that they might as well be the Blackpool birds given how poor the views were.
On the third scan however I suddenly picked up something white in one of the relatively close groups. It didn’t take long to resolve this into the nape of a cracking drake Surf Scoter even though it was some way out. I put the news out via Twitter, joking that I would be eating my words for lunch.
I have never done the North Wales scoter before, rather masochistically trying to find my own Surfer off Blackpool and finally doing so this March. It was nice that when I finally did get the chance to do so I was able to pick up the first returning Surf Scoter of the 2013/14 winter.
Thursday, 24 October 2013
As the weather for the last few days of October doesn't exactly look brilliant for vis-mig, I thought I'd summarise my highlights of the month. [Please note that counts are more extensive, but those records would be tedious to write and read!]
10th October - I started quite well into the month, but anyway, managed 5 Bullfinch, 16 Greenfinch, 24 Chaffinch, heading South West plus my first Brambling and a Redwing heading South East + 13 Woodpigeon. This was the same day that Sandy had an astonishing count of 33,000!
11th October - What a difference a day makes! The mass arrival of winter thrushes the day prior managed to filter across to Bangor and had 4693 Redwing, 3 Fieldfare and a Song Thrush moving South East. Despite the astonishing increase in Redwings, the highlight of the day was a WHOOPER SWAN flying high south down the Menai straits which was a Welsh tick for me! 6 Brambling, 15 Chaffinch, 3 Siskin and 15 Woodpigeon, 8 Pink-footed Geese were moving too.
12th October - The mass thrush arrival peaked on the 12th with a staggering 6610 Redwing, 67 Fieldfare, 3 Song Thrush moved South East + 1 Brambling and 12 Chaffinch and 20 Woodpigeon moving South West. Also a flock of Snipe moving East was an interesting record.
13th October - Thrush numbers settled down a tad with 2326 Redwing, 18 Song Thrush, 15 Fieldfare and a big suprise juvenile RING OUZEL moving South East. 5 Bullfinch, 1 Redpoll sp, 84 Greylag Geese, 8 Goldfinch, 7 Woodpigeon, c300 Starling and a single Reed Bunting moving overhead.
15th October - Thrush numbers had dwindled to 10+ Redwing and 2 Common Crossbill, 2 Brambling, 12 Lesser Redpoll and 7 Skylark South West.
16th October - Morning was spent ringing, so main focus wasn't on the sky, but when a LAPLAND BUNTING flew over low calling, I started to wish I'd paid more attention!
17th October - 138 Redwing, 2 Brambling, 137 Woodpigeon, 21 Meadow Pipit, 2 Linnet, 160 Jackdaw moving South East and 2 Common Crossbill South West.
18th October - 669 Redwing, 408 Jackdaw, 32 Woodpigeon and 81 Starling South East + 2 Common Crossbill, 1 Brambling, 55 Chaffinch moving South West. (I also had a pipit sp that was very probably a Red-throated Pipit, but didn't get any sound recordings, so I'm letting it go)
24th October - Highlight of the day in clear South Easterlies were 2 Stock Doves heading South East with 234 Woodpigeon. Also, 620 Chaffinch, 5900+ Starling (big movement South East!), 20 Redwing, 11 Meadow Pipit, 1 Lesser Redpoll, 173 Jackdaw, 198 Herring Gull (south), 3 Common Crossbill, 18 Bullfinch, 9 Siskin, 5 Goldfinch and 3 Brambling