Sunday, 31 August 2014

Between Anglesey and Dublin today!

It would be interesting to know exactly where this sighting was.
11:43 31/08/14
two following the boat for 5 minutes, from the Dublin to Holyhead ferry; also an adult Sabine's Gull

Saturday, 30 August 2014

August Update

I was lucky enough to go on a mid-summer trip to the Russian Far East for Two weeks. We saw some fantastic wildlife including Steller's Sea Eagle, Aleutian Tern, 15 species of Auk including Tufted and Horned Puffin, Red legged Kittiwake, Siberian Rubythroats, Brown Bears, Walruses, Arctic Fox, Sea-Otters, Sperm Whale and the highlight Spoon billed Sandpiper in breeding plumage, but to name a few. It really was the trip of a lifetime and hopefully I'll post a report on here when I get round to it! So consequently since I've been back I've been spending a lot of time with the family doing family things like Rock-pooling, Moth-trapping, playing footy and having days out to the Zoo or Anglesey show for example. I did manage to squeeze in some birds, although it wasn't exactly birding in the conventional sense. Here's a few pics from the summer, but the recent bird-news is at the end of this post. Autumn's imminent so let the birding begin!

                                          Tufted Puffin (Kamchatka)

                                          Chestnut backed Thrush (Chester Zoo)

                                          Terry Large and his 15/16th Gyr Falcon

                                                       Anglesey Show bird.

                                          I tried to get back into birding on the Wirral last week
                                          but I had an Ice cream instead!

                                          Well-hard Med Gull at Penrhos CP today.

                                          2 adults were there today.

                                            Collared Dove in Cemaes today.
                                            Leucism or Xanthochroism?

I did some birding today with highlights being a Kingfisher in Cemaes Valley, 2 juvy Peregrines at Amlwch Port, 1 over Cemaes and Seawatching from Amlwch produced 3 Common Scoters and Manxies passing at 686 per hour! The lone Male Ruddy is still at Valley lakes on Llyn Penrhyn with a female Marsh Harrier, and the GW Egret has been at Bala Lake for 2 weeks. A Green Woodpecker was a good bird for Conwy RSPB today. Yesterday Norman was at the Llanfachraeth end of the Alaw estuary and either side of the new bridge there were 3 Curlew Sands, 1 Little Stint and 4 Greenshank. I had a Swift in Amlwch on the 29th and 1 over Cemaes on the 27th. A Yellow Wagtail was at Cors Erddreiniog on the 28th (Richard Birch) and Chris Lane had one on the river at Rhosneigr on the 6th. An Osprey was around the Alaw estuary/Beddmanarch Bay on the 27th so it may be worth checking the Inland Sea.On the 24th at Cemlyn Mogs had 3 Ruffs at Cemlyn on the lagoon and a Green Sand on the flooded fields off South Stack road. On the 20th a pale phase Gyr type falcon was at Bardsey for a day or two after moving up from South Wales (jesses and all), but the Honey Buzzard there on the 19th was 100% wild! On the 13th there was a Balearic Shearwater off Point Lynas and another was off Bardsey. Again on Bardsey there was a juvy Citrine Wagtail from the 8th - 12th . An Osprey was at Malltraeth on the 11th and a Curlew Sand was there on the Cob pool on the 10th. September is almost here so good luck birding, sea-watching or what-ever you get upto!

Friday, 29 August 2014

Cracking Spotted Crake photos! (Plus other news from Malltraeth).

Many thanks to Jim Parry for these fantastic photos of a fine Spotted Crake he photographed at Malltraeth Marsh RSPB reserve recently. Also thanks to Ian Hawkins for passing them on and filling us in on other recent news at Malltraeth.

Hi Steve,
I’ve just received these photos of a spotted crake taken at Malltraeth Marsh, on 30th July. It was seen and photographed by Jim Parry. He initially thought it was a young water rail. I’ve asked him and he is happy for you to include the photos in the bird report if you want to.

Record details are:  found 30th July, Jim Parry sole observer, at Malltraeth Marsh RSPB Reserve, grid reference SH462 726. Photographed with a digiscope.

Fair few waders around at the moment (Ruff, greensand, black-wit, greenshank. And Nigel Brown saw a wood sand on 4th) and a juvenile marsh harrier.

Ceredigion and France - great way to spend 3 weeks.

Spent most of the summer in France or Ceredigion. 
La Creuse, France was stunning- like going back 70 years in this country I suppose with traditional farming methods. Red backed shrikes, Cirl buntings, Honey Buzzards were the daily fare, while woodpeckers were very well represented with the usual 3 species plus, Middle Spotted, Black and Grey-headed. Crested Tit, Firecrest, Western Bonelli's and Melodious Wabler along with Short-toed Teecreeper were easily seen with Black- necked Grebe and Black Terns on the numerous lakes. 3 Black Stork together were a surprise. For a relaxing no stress holiday, there can't be anywhere better. 
Ceredigion produced the now expected large gathering of Mediterranean Gulls (5 rings read) with a maximum of 565 birds one evening. Juv Yellow legged Gull, 2 Little Terns, juv Hobby and a good passage of small waders kept me entertained. 

Ringed Plovers were very evident with a mix of nominate hiaticula and 'Northern' psammodrama birds (see comparison below).

All pics taken by iPhone camera.

2 passage Little Terns at Llanrhystyd.
2 of the 565 strong flock of Med Gulls including a colour ringed bird from Antwerp, Belgium.
This Oyc has been coming back to Llanrhystyd for at least 12 years. 
Presumed juvenile Yellow legged Gill in with the Meds. First juvenile bird for Ceredigion apparently.
Nominate and Northern Ringed Plover- note the smaller darker individual (the northern) - easily differentiated. 

Med Gulls - surely by far the largest flock in Wales of not the UK. Anyone know of any south coast flocks this big? The flick has increased from what I nites as 'an incredible 22' on Aug 27th, 2004 to 565 individuals this year!! 

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Birdfair by Bike for Birdlife International

our BFBB logo by Jonnie Fisk

A couple of us cycled to the Birdfair at Rutland from RSPB Conwy last this week setting off 9am on Weds and arriving at the Birdfair on Friday morning covering 182miles in total.  We are raising money for this year's cause, Birdlife's save our seas and oceans campaign see: 

There's still opportunity to support us through the Just Giving page here: 

Thanks for your support.

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Avocets at RSPB Conwy

I don't usually report unconfirmed sightings, but this afternoon a visitor gave me a perfect description of 5 avocets on the lagoon in front of the Coffee Shop. They flew out of sight around 4pm, and I've not been able to locate them in the last hour since he reported them. The tide is out so they could be anywhere. Next high tide during daylight is late tomorrow morning.