Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Hawfinch heads up!

Bill Slade got great photos of a Hawfinch by the feeders at The Spinnies on Monday at 12 noon. If it hangs around there's potential for some great photos. It was by the hide overlooking the pool and the shore.

Saturday, 16 January 2016

Holyhead Hotspots

After a rather quiet amble around Cemlyn with the nearest thing to a highlight being a few Red throated Divers flying past the Trwyn and the call of a Greenshank echoing across the still lagoon, I headed home. A text from Ken got me out again as Denise from South Stack had found an Iceland Gull nearby at Porth Dafarch, between Trearddur Bay and The Range at South Stack. After getting great views of that I headed into Holyhead and the Hoodie was showing very well, before I finished of with a Coffee at the Old Old Toll house at Penrhos, where Slav and GND had been showing well. But I made do with a nice adult Med and a Hazelnut Latte :-)

Sunday, 10 January 2016

little auk

Following reports of a little auk at Connah's Quay reserve I abandoned my search for the Wirral pallas's warbler and headed straight there to find the little beauty on the pool in front of middle hide. Great to see this wanderer in Flintshire. Hopefully it will survive the night. Remember that you need a permit and a key to get into the reserve. Also here , 2 spotted redshank, 25 golden plover, c2000 lapwing. Whooper, bewicks, mute and black swans were present across the water along with great egret and short eared owls.

RSPB Conwy sightings board

Our firecrests are still here; we're not sure how many, but they are seen in the reedbed next to the boardwalk, around the Bridge Pond and near the railway, so there are probably four or five. At least one chiffchaff is overwintering, but the Siberian chiffchaff seen last Saturday (2nd) hasn't been seen since.

Starling numbers have started to increase, with a roost of around 3000 here each night this week. A short-eared owl was seen flying onto the reserve over the A55 on Friday at dusk, while a kestrel over the Paddocks this morning was the first of the winter.

For more reserve news, see the reserve blog. Snipe photo by Colin Jones.

Sunday, 3 January 2016

Happy New Year - Anglesey Update

I had a rather leisurely bimble around the Island with Tony on the first. There was a Black Guillimot in Holyhead fish quay with 2 in the Harbour. A GND was also in the Harbour and a Chough feeding along the grassy area on the promenade, and a lock of 80 Greenfinches was one of the biggest flocks I've seen recently. In Beddmanarch bay there were upto 3 Slavonian Grebes (on the 29th Tony had a close bird in Cemlyn bay). There were also 85 Grey Plovers on the other side of Beddmanarch bay. At the 4 mile bridge end of the Inland sea we had an adult Med Gull but Mark S had 10 there on the 2nd. We also had a Nordic Jackdaw at 4 Mile Bridge. At Malltraeth there were 5 Blackwits, Greenshank, 100+ Pintail and the feeders at Llyn Parc Mawr were very busy, including a few tame Siskins. A Red Squirrel was nearby. Also on the first Reg and Simon had a Bonxie at Cemlyn, Martin had 2 Whooper Swans there and David W had a Firecrest at Llyn Rhos Ddu. We also had a walk out onto the Malltraeth Salt-marsh. Tony had a Merlin whilst I was doing a Snipe flush, but it took me about 100 Common Snipe before I flushed a single Jack. It would be interesting to do an organised flush as I covered less than a twentieth of the Marsh so I'm sure there would be well over a thousand Snipe around the Salt-marsh. I also had three possible Water pipits flying around the Salt-marsh. There call was slightly less harsh than Rock Pipit and when they dropped back down their outer tail feathers appeared white in the split second as they dropped to earth below the horizon, the only time they weren't silhouetted. I went flying after slipping in the mud, spraying Tony as I went down, so we both left the marsh in a rather mucky state! We did finish the day on a high though as the female Long tailed Duck was showing at the NW end of Llyn Llewenan. On the 2nd me and Tony had 2 Purple Sands, 3 Grey Plover, 40 Turnstones and the over-wintering Whimbrel at Cemlyn. Also in the 2nd  Brian Iddon had 5 Jack Snipe, 5 Brent Geese, Greenshank and Kingfisher in Dulas bay. Yesterday there were 3 GND's on the Inland Sea (Norman), the Hooded Crow seems to be resident in Holyhead Mc Donalds and Martin had a dead Barn Owl 50m out of Llanfacreath towards Cemaes. 3 Short eared Owls were seen at dusk yesterday on the west side of the Alaw Estuary in a rough area viewed from the beach on the edge of Beddmanarch bay. Also the 16 Whooper Swans are still at Malltraeth Marsh RSPB reserve.

Nordic Jackdaw

Whooper at Coron

Whooper, 2 Goosanders and c.200 Tufties were at Coron

Malltraeth Pintail

This freaked me and Tony out a little!


Feeder frenzy

Llewenan Long tailed Duck