Friday, 30 December 2016

Highlights this week

I finally caught up with the Black throated thrush this week in St Asaph in the hawthorn in the stubble field by the New Inn on the other side of the river from the Football club. Although the waxwings have stripped all the berries by the small car park on the north side of the road bridge they were still very showy coming down to drink from the half frozen puddles on the nearby track. The 5 Cattle Egrets with around 5 Little Egrets were showing well all week at the side of the road around 400m North of Pont Marquis near Malltraeth. The 4 Long tailed Ducks were still showing well in Trearddur bay and there have been 9 Scaup and a GND on the Inland Sea, a Slav off Beddmanarch bay and the regular Hooded Crow in Llanfachraeth near the chapel at the Valley end of the village. A Hawfinch coming to feeders in Cemaes Bay yesterday was a rare treat for Anglesey Birders!

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Eyes peeled for Ring billed Gulls

There were 5 new Ring Billed Gulls in SW Ireland today. So with the stronger winds coming in from the west it may be worth checking your local gull flocks for these (and other ) American Gulls.

Saturday, 17 December 2016

North Wales Birding Today

Me and Tony put in a late appearance at the St Asaph Black throated Thrush twitch today. However it was only seen on one occasion today for a few seconds by Alan Davies and a lucky few and even Martin who was only a few meters away never saw it as he had gone back to his car for a warm. Dog walkers whistling their dogs on a few occasions caused slight panic and a little bit of running as we thought someone had relocated the bird, but unfortunately that wasn't the case. However the Waxwings were putting on a great show along with the more commoner thrush species, feeding on the ripe red berries near the Doctors Surgery / Pharmacy, offering good photographic opportunities. Three male Goosanders passed sea-wards overhead as we waited for the thrush. On our way back we called in at Trearddur bay where the 4 Long tailed Ducks that were found by Andy Spottiswood were putting on a great show in the breaking waves 10 meters offshore and up-to 20 Purple Sands were feeding on the rocks on the North Side of the bay. There are three female and a first winter male Long tailed Ducks. The male has a pink patch on his bill and a white stripe down the center of the crown. An adult male would be much whiter with a long tail. Females don't have the pink patch on the bill.  Even though we never got the intended main course , the rest of the days birds more than made up for it.

The Winners!

Well done to all who participated in the 2016 Birdbrain of Bangor Bird-group Christmas Quiz. Chris Jones won again retaining his title with 67 out of 90 (which is very good considering the difficulty of some of the questions). Hennerz came in a very close second, followed by Richard Birch then the collabaration of Robin Sandham and the Bangor Uni Students including Conor John (not John Connor!). Susan Jones was the grateful recipient of the Wooden Duck award winning a springtime guided bird tour around Snowdonia.

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Do you think you are clever?

If so, join this lot in competing for the illustrious title of  Birdbrain of Bangor Birdgroup this Wednesday in the Brambell building, kick off 7.30pm. Good prizes available :-) Good prizes for the wooden spoon contenders also, so all degrees of experience are welcome. Please come along.

Saturday, 10 December 2016

RSPB Conwy sightings board

Teal and wigeon are loving the raised water levels on the Shallow Lagoon, and there are plenty of both feeding in front of the Coffee Shop, where water rails are frequent sights too.

A water pipit has been present on-and-off this week. It's usually on the saltmarsh at low tide, where it is really hard to see, but comes onto the causeway in front of Benarth Hide when it gets pushed off the estuary by rising water. Other scarce visitors include a nuthatch reported yesterday (9th), firecrest (mostly recently on Monday 5th), and brambling (3rd). 

See the reserve blog for more recent sightings at Conwy, and for news of a busy month of management work.

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Shetland in Bangor

Shetland has taken over from Scilly as the Autumn Mecca for British Birders in search of rare birds. It annually turns up mouth-watering Megas like Siberian and White's Thrushes but to name a few. Tonight at Bangor Birdgroup Phil Woolen will be coming over to give us a talk about Birding on Shetland at the Brambell building at the University.It should be a good talk so don't miss out.  Doors open at 7 for a 7.30 start. All welcome.