Friday, 27 May 2016

RSPB Conwy sightings board

Spring migration is drawing to a close, although we have seen Greenland-race wheatear (today and last Monday, 23rd), black-tailed godwits (26th), white wagtail (Tuesday 24th and Wednesday 25th) and Sandwich tern (Saturday 21st), and big groups of swifts hunting over the lagoons every morning presumably haven't yet reached their final destination. The rarest bird last week was a turtle dove that flew over the Bridge Pond last Friday (20th).

Thanks for Gary Mantle for the photo (via the reserve Flickr page) of a linnet, a species we think is breeding here for the first time in several years.

For more news on the wildlife seen at RSPB Conwy this week, take a look at the blog.

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Breeding plumage Ruffs and SEO

Ken had 3 breeding plumage Ruffs at Malltraeth Marsh RSPB reserve on the new scrapes at the A5 end yesterday. Also Conor had a SE Owl on the Range at South Stack. At Cemlyn there were hundreds of Swallows buzzing around last night so there are still birds moving through, and a pair of Tawny Owls have taken up residence in Bryn Aber.

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

RSPB Conwy sightings noticeboard

While our monitoring focus is on the breeding birds at this time of year, there are still plenty of scarce visitors to the reserve in May. This week's include 13 Sandwich terns on Monday (16th), two white wagtails (Sunday 15th), and grasshopper warbler, red kite, siskins, osprey and spotted flycatcher on Saturday (14th).

Birds heading farther north are still on the move, however, particularly waders heading for Iceland, or even farther. Whimbrel numbers have dwindled, but small groups of ringed plovers and dunlins can be found on the estuary, a flock of black-tailed godwits have been present since Sunday (15th) and a few curlews are here too. A sanderling and turnstone were brief visitors on Wednesday (11th), and grey plover and a bar-tailed godwit were on the estuary on Monday (9th).

For more news from the reserve, including vacancies advertised for Warden and Assistant Catering Manager, please see the RSPB Conwy blog.

Friday, 13 May 2016


A few bits and bobs, I had 32 Whimbrel by Llyn Traffwll on Thursday (12th). Also at least one mobile (or two) Cettis Warblers has been at Maelog for a few weeks. There were lots of waders at Malltraeth Village bridge at lunchtime. 500 Dunlin, 100 Ringed Plover and 90 Sanderling. Sadly I couldn't find a Broad billed Sand! Also a White Stork was near Mona at lunchtime.

Sunday, 8 May 2016

Odd Tern at Cemlyn

Tony White and Carol mentioned that they had seen a pair of Sandwich Terns wound and nearly kill another bird at Cemlyn this morning.  I went down to look for a Black Tern this evening, unsuccessfully, but did see the injured bird.  The blood on its breast is clearly visible.
When watching the bird, I noticed that the black hood/crest: a) comes down a lot further down the nape and b) ends horizontally rather than in a V effect which is visible on Sandwich Terns.

Is this a hybrid?  Sandwich v Common possibly? Bill and legs look like Sandwich,  but hopefully you will see the difference in the hood/crest.  Bird did move around a bit and don't think this is a posture issue.  Scanned rest of the Sandwich Terns and nothing similar.

Perhaps the actions of the Sandwich Terns reflect the fact they knew there was something different about this bird.  Thoughts?

Saturday, 7 May 2016

Anglesey on Friday

Cemlyn has a nice flock of summering - up waders at the mo including an approachable Sanderling (I almost stood on it) and some ruddy Ruddy Turnstones. Lots of Groppers, Whitethroats, White Wags and Sedgies and the Barn Owl was showing great for the kids at 6pm yesterday, flying alongside the car. Mogs and Tony had a bright female type Blue headed Wag showing well at Tyn Llan fields, and remember eyes peeled for Otter and Polecat which have showed recently. Whinchat was at Aberffraw and SEO and Spot Fly was at SS.

Friday, 6 May 2016

RSPB Conwy sightings board

An excellent week on the Costa del Conwy, with a blue-headed wagtail, a pair of garganey and a wood warbler, all of which showed well to most people during the time they were here. 

Last Wednesday, sightings included two whinchats, spotted flycatcher, a redstart and 20 wheatears, while earlier in the week a flock of Sandwich tern peaked at 20 birds, a tree pipit was at the south end and two grasshopper warblers were 'reeling' in the reedbeds.  Small numbers of white wagtails have been on the estuary, heading for Iceland, as are whimbrels, here in greater numbers than usual - counts of over 40 have been regular, with a record 57 last Saturday.

For more reports and photos, see the RSPB Conwy blog.

Cuckoo near Cemlyn and Yellow Wag at Valley (5th May)

Last night Tony had 2 Cuckoos by the reedbed at Llanlleianna between Cemaes and Bull Bay and there was a British Yellow Wagtail, 50 White Wagtails and a Ringed Plover on the roadside pool near the old Police Station at Valley.