Tuesday, 29 December 2015


So far this winter there have been fewer in Ceredigion than I can ever recall. The lakes around here at Trisant have had none (and that is exceptional) and other northern lakes have had very few sightings. Further south, numbers at Cors Caron have been low. Also, hardly any Goldeneyes have been seen.

Monday, 28 December 2015

Anglesey Whoopers

After the recent floods there have been upto 18 Whooper Swans at Tygai's Marsh (Malltraeth RSPB near Pentre Berw). There have been no sign of any near Llangwyllog / Tre-y-sgawen Hall this Winter. The recent post on Whoopers suggests there are only a few on the Glaslyn. Have numbers declined there over recent years? Has anyone seen any other flocks on Anglesey? Presumably with milder winters they don't bother coming this far down anymore? Any comments would be appreciated.

Sunday, 27 December 2015

RSPB Conwy sightings board

Jack snipe (common pictured above), firecrests, bar-tailed godwits, turnstone and water pipits all feature in the latest reserve blog. At least two firecrests have been seen today, along with a treecreeper (which is far rarer here!).

Also, can I just mention the opportunity we have for a volunteer internship as a Learning Assistant, working with some of the thousands of schoolchildren who visit the reserve each summer.  More details on the RSPB website.


8 were present on Christmas Eve including 2 juvs.  I would have paid another visit on my way back home today but it was a bit flooded around there!

Monday, 14 December 2015

The Lleiniog Scoter

Alan Roebuck reported through Martin an interesting Scoter a few weeks back off Lleiniog near Beaumaris. It had a lot of yellow on it's bill and he was wondering if it could be an American Black Scoter. However several days back he got this diagnostic shot of the bird which shows it to be a Common Scoter with extensive yellow on it's bill. If it was an American Black Scoter it would have a much larger knob and the yellow would be confined to the bulbous knob where-as this photo shows the yellow to be very extensive over most of the bill. A nice looking bird and one to be aware of  in Black -Scoter ID pit-falls, similar to Chris Jones's bird at Criccieth a few years back. Thanks Alan.

Saturday, 12 December 2015

RSPB Conwy sightings board

Latest news from the reserve is on the blog.  Highlights include a Cetti's warbler singing along the Ganol Trail on Thursday (10th), a water pipit photographed on the saltmarsh, and a woodcock on the same day.  Choughs have been seen regularly recently, five firecrests were seen around the trails and half a dozen pink-footed geese flew upriver calling on Wednesday.

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Bangor Birdgroup Christmas Quiz

Tomorrow night (Wednesday) is Bangor Birdgroup Christmas Quiz. Eat drink, be Merry and have a try at becoming the Birdbrain of Bangor Birdgroup for 2015-2016! The winner will get the Shield and gets to choose from one of these great books. See you at 7.30 in the Brambell Building, in the Common Room

Little Auk

Simon and Reg had a Little a Auk at Cemlyn on Sunday.

Whooper Swans

Nigel's had 4 at Bodeillio recently. I had 8 Swan sp's at Malltraeth today distantly but couldn't see their head! Are there any other whoopers on Anglesey at the mo? How many are at Glaslyn and are their numbers up, down or @ normal levels?


Nigel Brown had a Short eared Owl and Barn Owl at Cors Bodeillio today. There's also 4 Whooper Swans there today still. He also had another SEO and Barn Owl flying around at Malltraeth RSPB reserve at 2.45 pm yesterday, probably because the high water levels are reducing their hunting habitat and forcing them to feed in the day and night?

Sunday, 6 December 2015

Large Starling Roost in North East Anglesey

Having spent several weeks tracking large Starling flocks flying over my house every morning, I finally got out on a calm evening to pinpoint the roost site. The birds are roosting in a small reedbed south east of Parys Mountain, next to a small windfarm. X marks the spot! Grid Ref. SH449897

This evening I estimated the numbers at between 75 and 100,000 birds coming into roost. The small reedbed slowly turned black as several large flocks flew straight into roost (there was no murmuration though). Several flocks of sheep and horses were startled by the huge numbers landing in the fields nearby.

The roost can be seen well, but distantly, from Parys Mountain, but there are several footpaths on the map which could be explored. Not the biggest roost I've seen on the island but pretty spectacular, and I'm not aware of them using this site before.

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Panama : Birding in the rain

Ian Newton is coming over from Yorkshire today to give us a talk on the wonderful Birds and wildlife of Panama. It should be a great talk with some stunning photography of wonderful birds. Hopefully see you later at Bangor Birdgroup, Brambell building at the Uni. Doors open 7am for a 7.30 KO. Members free, non members £2, all welcome.