Monday, 27 April 2015

Operation Raptor

Operation Raptor  #Raptor is a new North wales Police campaign to prevent bird of prey poisoning. If you have any suspicions or information please call them on 101

Sunday, 26 April 2015

NWWT Bird Race 9th May roll up roll up!

North Wales Wildlife Trust Bird Race
Saturday 9th May 2015
Don’t miss out on this great birding challenge – 24hrs to scour NWWT reserves on either Anglesey, The West or The East of N Wales. Join / form a team and go for it!
 139 species were collectively spotted in the 2013 race, and 119 in 2014 – what will this year turn up?
 There have been some good records in the 2 races so far: displaying Lesser Spotted Woodpecker at Coed Crafnant; Osprey, Pintail, Knot and Lesser Whitethroat at Spinnies; Eider, Arctic Skua and both Red-throated and Great Northern Divers off Morfa Bychan; Black Guillemot, Sanderling and Purple Sandpiper at Cemlyn, Red Kite at Gwaith Powdwr, and summer plumage Grey Plover at Traeth Glaslyn. There were also expected site specialities like Tree Pipit, Redstart and Pied Flycatcher at Coed Crafnant, Cuckoo, Crossbill and Nightjar at Cors Bodgynydd, Red Grouse and Whinchat at Gors Maen Llwyd, Yellowhammer and Water Rail at Cors Goch, and Little Owl, Med Gull and terns at Cemlyn.
To get signed up or for more info, contact Ben Stammers at N Wales Wildlife Trust

Friday, 24 April 2015

Singing in the rain.

On my way home from work I popped into Llyn Cerrig Bach to have a listen for birds as it was persistently drizzling. It was still quite productive with 2 Cettis Warblers, Reed , Sedge and Willow warblers, plus Lesser Whitethroat and Chiffchaffs. There were also a few hundred hirundines on Llyn  Penrhyn and Llyn Llegeirian, but I couldn't spot an early Swift!

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Garden Warbler back at Llyn Cefni

I heard my first Garden Warbler of the year at Llyn Cefni today, singing from scrub at the Bodfordd end. There were also a few billion midges!!! Non-biting, just going in my eyes, ear, nose and throat!

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Pied Flycatcher and more Tree Sparrows!

John Harold had a Pied Flycatcher back at The Ugly House yesterday (20th) and on Anglesey a pair of Tree Sparrows have been coming to a garden feeder near Bryngwran (Jo Da). My bird was still present until a week ago ( last Tuesday) at least.

Black terns

Had a top off and popped down to Gresford Flash where three black terns were busy feeding. One bird left when I had to leave at 6 pm.

Monday, 20 April 2015

Tree Pipit on the garden list!

I popped out into the back garden this morning and heard a Tree pipit call twice as it passed over the house. A new bird for the recorded from the house list :-)

GW egret

Ken found a GWE at Malltraeth marsh yesterday. It was still there this morning at least. It was on the wetland area best viewed from the Llangaffo road layby where you can park before walking down the central track down to the marsh.

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Marsh Harrier and Garganey

Mogs had a female Marsh Harrier in off the sea at The Range yesterday and Ken had a pair of Garganey in the wet fields between Holyhead and South Stack this morning.

Friday, 17 April 2015

Hoopoe update plus migrant news.

The Hoopoe was still there this morning at 8pm but distant. It was between the white house by the car park at the south end of the Range and the Caravan park to the North East. It was last seen flying towards the caravan park. It was looked for between 4 and 6pm with no joy.
A Swift was over the Range Yesterday (Ken/Mogs), Ken had SEO, Reed and Sedge Warblers, Gropper and Whitethroat at Valley wetlands today. Richard Arnold had a male Hen Harrier at Malltraeth last week and Phil Snow had an Osprey there this week (14th - 16th). Does anyone know who had the Osprey near Red Warf Bay a week or two back? At Llyn Cefni today I had my first Gropper and Sedge Warblers (5). Swallow had returned to its nest at work in Llangefni today and the House Martins to our estate in Cemaes also today, and finally I had a flock of 9 Whimbrel fly low over my car at Llanfachraeth at 6.30 tonight, looking to land, the first migrants I've seen this year (1 was on Birdguides for Silver Bay also today).

Jackdaw Roosts site request on Anglesey

Hi all. A third year Zoology student in Bangor Uni is after Jackdaw roosts to survey over the winter months. Can any of you guys list in the comments below any that you know of, ideally with a grid reference. Many thanks, Steve Culley ( I think it's just sites on Anglesey that's being requested, thanks).

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Hoopoe still on the Range (and other stuff)

Ken had a Hoopoe again on the Range this afternoon and it was present till at least 5pm. I arrived at 5.45 and stayed till 7.30 but couldn't find it, just 5 Wheatear and a female Merlin chasing Mippets. If you park in the small car park at the southern end of the Heath on The Range.   It was favouring the edges of the cleared/ mown areas of heather to the west of the car park, especially the area with the large white boulder in the field. Other news David Wright had a Cuckoo south of Bodafon mountain today and a Sedge Warbler was new in at Cemlyn last night ( Tony and Martin).

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Hoopoe on the Range

Ken Croft found a Hoopoe on the Range near South Stack this lunchtime. I'm trying to find out where exactly.
It was at the north end of the Range but was last seen at 2.45 pm (birdguides)  flying towards South Stack over rough fields. So it may be worth trying around the South Stack reserve, Cafe area and adjacent Paddocks?

Monday, 13 April 2015

Whooper Swan at Cemlyn

An adult Whooper Swan was an unexpected visitor to Cemlyn yesterday afternoon. It was seen in Tyn Llan fields, the pool and on the lagoon.

Sunday, 12 April 2015

How many Ring Ouzels?

As the weather was awful we tried for the Ring Ouzels at the Copper Mine on the Great Orme this morning and we weren't dissappointed with 11 in the paddocks at the back of the mines. There were upto 17 apparently a few days ago!

RSPB Conwy sightings board

Spring migration really got going this week, with the reserve's first blackcap, several common sandpipers and a few more house martins among the large flocks of swallows and sand martins.  But the highlights were the raptors, with Osprey seen most days, Red Kite, Peregrine, Kestrel and Short-eared Owl.

Several of the Ospreys were photographed and shared on social media, enabling Rob Hughes to spot that at least two - and quite possibly more - birds were involved. Here's just one of the images, of an Osprey hovering over the estuary, by Matthew Boa.

Read more of this week's sightings on the reserve blog.

Friday, 10 April 2015

Red Kite - North Anglesey

Gus Wilson had a Red Kite over the main road just east of Cemaes late morning yesterday (Thursday). Around lunchtime my mother-in-law Rachel Williams was walking between Hen Borth and Carmel head and had either the same or another bird circling with two buzzards.

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Black Redstart at South Stack and Black Redshank ( well almost) at Malltraeth Cob

No sign today of the Avocet at Malltraeth Cob but a Spotted redshank moulting into its black breeding plumage was with c.35 Black tailed Godwits. Nearby as usual the Red Squirrels are showing well in Newborough Forest at the Llyn Parc Mawr car park, and Crossbills were seen gathering grit in the nearby car park at the start of the path to the cob pool (per DW). Cettis were calling at Llyn  Cerrig Bach  as usual. The LT Ducks were still on the inland sea yesterday but I couldn't spot them from the anchorage today. I did see TK who had just come from South Stack. He'd had a female type Black redstart on the steps going down to the lighthouse (only c. 12 steps down). Other news Ken Croft had a Ring Ouzel near South Stack plantation and singing Blackcap. Singing Blackcaps were also at Llyn Parc Mawr and I just had a nice male in my back garden in Cemaes.
A Twite was photographed at South Stack yesterday by David Cottam (NWBAWS- FB page).
Also yesterday on the 8th April John Baker had a late Redwing near Llanfairynghornwy.

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Avocet at Malltraeth

Rhys just gave me a heads up. Jesse had an Avocet on the Cob Pool Malltraeth at 7.20 this evening. Might be worth a look tomorrow as it's a good bird for North Wales.

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Cemlyn update

Things have definitely taken a turn for the better yesterday and today. Yesterday small groups of sandwich terns had returned to Cemlyn adding their noise to the background noise of Black headed gulls and the occasional mewing of the Mediterranean gull. The 50 plus Golden Plovers are moulting into breeding plumage now and the Whimbrel was still on the Trwyn. Migrant wise it was good to see a flock of 25+ Sand Martins on Tyn Llan pool, with small groups of Swallows moving through all day. Brian Iddon also had House Martin and there had been flocks if upto 400 Meadow Pipits in the area. There are also a few Little egrets on site. Greenshank was still around on Saturday. There were also upto 5 Willow warblers and 5 -  10 White Wagtails yesterday (DW and BI). This morning was even better. I had an early Common Sandpiper on the lagoon inlet. I had at least 1 House Martin with a group of 50 mixed Hirundines. There was at least 10 Willow Warblers and 10  Chiffchaffs around Tyn Llan farm and scrub. Tyn Llan fields held c 500 Meadow Pipits, 3 Skylarks a fine male Ring Ouzel and there were 3 close White wagtails  on the Trwyn beach. As well as lots of Mippets moving through, there were also around 50 Carrion crows and a few Siskins and Redpolls going overhead.

Cemaes Med Gull

My Tree Sparrow is still here.
But I think a cat's had it's tail!!!!!!

Reed Bunting - new back yard bird!

Cemlyn Ring Ouzel!

Over-wintering  Whimbrel

Returning Swallow

Jackdaw with neck collar (Holyhead Tesco)

Cemlyn is good for Hares!

50 Goldies still at Cemlyn

Cemlyn White Wag

Willow Warbler

Willow Warbler


Shellduck and Common Sandpiper

Ring Ouzel

Mippets are moving through en-masse

Monday, 6 April 2015

RSPB Conwy sightings board

April has certainly got off to a better start than March finished, with daily arrivals of summer migrants. We heard our first willow warbler this morning, a bit earlier than usual, and our first white wagtails too.  No blackcaps so far, so that's another species that should arrive in the next few days.

Sand martins have been more numerous in the last few days, now that the cold northwesterly winds have dropped, and there have been a few swallows , and our first house martin on Friday (3rd).  Wheatears have been sporadic, but there are now lots of chiffchaffs holding territory around the reserve. Our first osprey of the year was spotted by Rob Hughes this afternoon, sending all the gulls into the air as it headed northeast over the lagoons.

Read more recent sightings on the reserve blog.

Saturday, 4 April 2015

Cemlyn today

Still quite quiet, but I had my first two Swallows of the year (Tony had 4 yesterday and two at RAF Valley on Tuesday) and my first Sandwich tern. The overwintering Whimbrel was still on the Trwyn today, There were 3 RT Divers in the bay earlier this week. No Wheatears today but Tony had two yesterday. Martin had 4 ad, 1 second summer and 2 first summer Meds yesterday. Two Chiffchaffs were singing but no Willow Warblers yet. There's still about 50 + Goldies around and there were 30 Oystercatchers yesterday. A stoat was a nice surprise as I headed home.

Thursday, 2 April 2015

North Wales Twite Project

The project has for some years been colour ringing Twite in the Snowdonia breeding grounds and at the wintering grounds on the Dee estuary and various other localities along the North Wales coast.

The results are beginning to indicate that our small relic breeding population migrate eastwards during the autumn and winter on the Dee.  Larger numbers of birds join them, from the Pennine breeding population and further afield. Some of the Pennine birds continue east and winter on the Norfolk coast. In the second year of the project it was suspected that a Nant Ffrancon bird has been seen in the company of some Pennines birds at Titchwell, however the ring combination seen was not sufficient for a 100% identification. This last winter a bird ringed in Nant Ffrancon in April was seen in a Twite flock on the Norfolk coast.

In 2010 a small flock of Twite were present on Pensarn beach one of which had a BTO metal ring. This flock was caught and the ringed bird was found to be from near Lochinver in north-western Scotland. In December 2014 another one of this flock was recaught at Askham, Cumbria.  The small flock which appeared at Cemlyn last autumn also contained a ringed bird. When she was eventually caught she was found to be from the 15 miles south of the original Pensarn Scottish bird. 

For the past two winters we have been very lucky to have Richard Beckett join the Twite team, and Richard has spent many hours recording ring combinations and the comings and goings of the Deeside birds.  This winter a reasonable number of Twite have been feeding regularly at Deeside Naturalist Society reserve, and with their continued permission a further 68 have been colour ringed. Also caught have been a number of birds originally ringed at the Mull of Kintyre. The Mull of Kintyre have a small breeding population but also has a marked passage of autumn birds passing south and reasonable numbers have been ringed there. 
                                                              Photo Richard Beckett

We are initially proposing that the coastal wintering birds here in North Wales may well be birds from the north west of Scotland, with our Welsh birds from Snowdonia venturing eastwards and mixing with Pennine birds on the Dee, some of which will continue eastwards with their new mates.

Due to Richards’s diligence last year we knew when the Deeside birds began their spring dispersal and a few weeks later the first of the Nant Ffrancon birds were back in the Ogwen valley. From Richards’s recent observations the flock at Deeside has now begun to disperse. Over the next few weeks the critically low Welsh breeding population will be making their way along the North Wales coast back to Ogwen. Can I ask all North Wales Birders to be aware of this and keep an eye and an ear open for them on passage? We have about two and a half weeks and it would be very interesting if we could plot some of their traditional staging points along the coast.

Thanks and happy hunting.

Please report any sightings to

The North Wales Twite Project is a collaborative project between, Kelvin Jones, Ian Spence, Richard Beckett, RSPB Cymru, BTO Cymru, National Trust, Snowdonia National Park, Deeside Naturalists Society, North Wales Wildlife Trust, and Flintshire Council