Thursday, 28 April 2016

Cemlyn and nearby.

John Dyda had 2 Red Kites over Mynydd Eilian on Wednesday. Also that day at Cemlyn there were 20 Whimbrel near Felin Cafnan and the day flying Barn Owl was near the West Car Park until the crows and Gulls chased it off. The wintering Whimbrel was still on the Trwyn on the 26th. On the 25th there was a good close passage of Manxies and there were 14 Purple Sands on the Trwyn. On the 23rd I had my first Lesser Whitethroat at Llyn Cerrig Bach and Tony had one at Cemlyn. After 1 early Common Tern we're still waiting for the Comics to arrive properly. Any day now I'm sure. There was also an Otter and a Polecat seen on the 27th.

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

RSPB Conwy sightings board

blue-headed wagtail on the deep lagoon islands this morning was a welcome visitor, our first for a couple of years. Other scarce visitors seen recently include stonechat on Wednesday/Thursday (20th/21st) and a twite on the same two days, which had been colour-ringed on the Dee Estuary in February and is perhaps heading back to the small breeding population in Snowdonia.  A redstart was here last Tuesday (19th) and a spotted redshank was on the estuary at high tide over the weekend (22nd-24th). Image from the reserve photo library (thanks to Pete Wood).

All the recent sightings from the reserve, including a species of mining bee never previously recorded at the reserve (or even in the county) on the reserve blog.

Thursday, 21 April 2016

Yellow Wagtail, Swift and Pied Flys.

On Tuesday evening (the 19th April) I had a Yellow wagtail and a Hooded Crow at Cemlyn. Tony relocated the wagtail yesterday and he also had an early Swift over Llyn Cerrig Bach yesterday and Ken had a Ring Ouzel at South Stack. Yesterday I had a singing Pied Fly at Penrhyn Castle, another 3 at the Ugly House and 3 Twite up the Nant Francon valley.

Monday, 18 April 2016

Anglesey Cuckoo

Cedric Lynch had a Cuckoo calling at Rhosneigr today. I had my first Common Sand at Cemlyn today. I also had my first Reed and Sedge Warblers at Carreglwyd Reedbed near Rhydwyn, plus 25 Swallows going to roost and 40 at Cemlyn. I also had a Grasshopper Warbler singing in Cemaes this morning.

Sunday, 17 April 2016

Recent Spring Highlights : Photo-diary

Twite in the Nant Francon Valley (thanks Kelvin).

Purple Saxifrage : A wonderful Alpine Flower, currently in full bloom.

A trip to Moore NR near Runcorn in search of the elusive
Lesser spotted Woodpecker last weekend produced several
Brimstone Butterflies.

It was attracted to the yellow sign.

I had this Common Redstart at the Sycnant Pass on Monday
and a pair was in the Nant Francon Valley on Saturday.

This Black Redstart was at South Stack on Thursday morning.

Ring Ouzels have been on passage at the Great Orme recently
but we had 2 or 3 in the Nant Francon Valley on Saturday including this one.

My second Osprey of the Spring on Monday over the Sychnant pass.

Worlds End Black Grouse- great views can be had from the main road
over the moors but remember to stay in your car and use it as a hide.

Worlds end Red Grouse

This Old Lady recently hatched. It was feeding on a Cyclamen
that I bought at the end of last year.

These Hares and more are showing well at Cemlyn at present.

Wheatears are common on passage at present and are back up in the hills.





Pied Wagtail at Ogwen Cottage

1st year Little Gull at Cemlyn on the 13th and lots of offshore Manxies.

The Porth Darfarch Iceland Gull hasn't been seen this week.

Med Gulls are still showing well at Cemlyn.

Spider Crab

And Sion

And Squat Lobsters

Black Rock Goby at Cemlyn last weekend

Common Lobster

Black Guillimots are showing well in HH Fish Quay

1st Year BG

A recent trip to Pennington Flash produced great views of Willow tit.
A very rare bird in North Wales


White Lady Bay - Llanbadrig

Searching for Cave Spiders (with a mini-lightsabre!)

Cave Spider

Colour Ringed Twite

Pink Rump

Devils Kitchen

Purple Saxifrage

Tryfan - love it!

Anglesey White Stork - photographed by a visitor.

Cemlyn Sunset over the Skerries

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

The boys are back in town

Took a morning off today to spend some time looking at Twite in the Nant Ffrrancon area. Luckily I was joined by Steve Culley and Dafydd Roberts from SNP.

We found a small flock coming down to a site which is being baited as part of the RSPB/National Trust/Snowdonia National Park/ BTO/Flintshire Council and Deeside Naturalists, monitoring and recovery programme.

Several years ago we had assumed that many of the wintering birds on the North wales coast were from the indigenoud breeding population. Then in 2010 a small flock was caught and ringed at Pensarn and in their midst was a ringed bird from NW Scotland.  Colour ringing of a small proportion of ther Snowdonia population the following spring then led on to disciovering they all go east and winter mainly on the Dee estuary at Connah’s Quay Nature reserve. Howeevr this did not account for all the birds at CQNR and some forther colour ringing and ring reading showed that a high proportion of these birds were from NW Scotland.

This morning we controlled two birds originally ringed at CQNR, read the ring combinations on another from there, and surprise to us all a bird ringed this spring in the small Derbyshire population, which seems to be re-establishing itself due to work done by various partnerships in England.

So if you are out and about in Nant Ffrancon please keep an eye open for our Twite, and if you can read any colour combinations, or just sightingsof any Twite, please report to, or by phone on 01248 383285

Monday, 11 April 2016

Another Osprey and Redstart

Whilst birding at the top of the Sychnant pass I had a cracking male Redstart back on territory singing it's head off. Not long afterwards as I headed back to the car at 1pm an Osprey came in from the west and seemed to head over to the Conwy Valley. I let Julian know but there was no sign of it at the reserve.

Sunday, 10 April 2016

RSPB Conwy sightings board

Spring migrants coming thick and fast now. The first sedge warbler (Friday 8th) was earlier than the average, though not our earliest - thanks to Dave Williams for the photo of one from a previous year.

A fly-over yellow wagtail (Sunday 3rd) was very early - our previous first was 14 April 2013 - and the first white wagtail was on 28 March.  The first willow warbler was on Sunday 3rd, two days later than our previous earliest  and yesterday there were dozens of willow warblers all over the reserve, feeding on the ground and in the reedbeds, a sure sign of birds on the move, brought to earth by overnight rain. Many are still around today.

For all the latest sightings from Conwy, check the blog.

Friday, 8 April 2016

Osprey, Hybrid teal and Montague's, errr crab!

Mogs had an Osprey over Valley today heading through in the direction of South Stack @ 10.14 am. Alan had a hybrid American x Eurasian Green Winged Teal at Caerhun today. I had my first House Martin returning to our estate today. I presume it was local as it was loitering with intent. There's some good Spring tides at the moment. Yesterday I did a bit of rock-pooling with the kids, producing a few Common Lobsters and Squat Lobsters, but the highlights were a bright green Chameleon Prawn and a Montague's Crab, lifer! Sadly the Harrier never flew over as that would have been the cherry on the cake!

Thursday, 7 April 2016

More Anglesey Red Kites

Tony had a Red Kite on Tuesday the 5th over Church Bay flying towards Carmel head. Today at 3pm, on the 7th I saw one at Llyn Llewenan, drifting west towards Llinon Mill.

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Iceland Gull, White Wags and bits and bobs!

The Porth Dafarch Iceland Gull has been a bit hit and miss recently but it was in it's usual field on Sunday (Me) and Tuesday (today, Ken). Also on the 3rd I had my first White Wagtail on the tip of the Trwyn at Cemlyn and Martin had 2 at Traeth Dulas that day. There were 3 at Cemlyn today and Cedric Lynch phoned to tell me he had a flock of 20 on Rhosneigr marsh this morning. There has also been at least 15 Med Gulls at Cemlyn over the last few days and Martin had a Hooded Crow there on Sunday. Me and Tony tried our best at Conwy RSPB yesterday for the Water Pipit coming into breeding plumage that was still there the day before, but we had no joy. We had a possible Common Sand but our views were very brief. Has anyone else had Common Sand yet? I also noticed there was a Grasshopper Warbler on Bardsey yesterday.

Saturday, 2 April 2016

Osprey over Bodelwyddan

After watching the mighty Cemaes Bay Under 7's team beat Amlwch 2-1 with my son scoring the two Cemaes goals, and me being the archetypical embarrassing Dad shouting from the sidelines,  I then headed over to watch a slightly less important match, Liverpool v Spurs. I was blessed with an Avian treat at Bodelwyddan however, as an Osprey flew across the road! I found the first safe place to pull off the A55 and luckily the bird was circling overhead near the Marble Church around 2.40pm, mega! Otherwise, the only birds of note were 20 Sand Martins zipping through Anfield Cemetery as I walked to the match. That's the great thing about Spring and Autumn, migrating birds can turn up absolutely anywhere to brighten up even the dullest of days.