Wednesday, 26 October 2016

RIP Hoopoe

Sad news this afternoon as the Hoopoe at Conwy RSPB reserve was unfortunately taken by a Peregrine :-(

Tonight at Bangor Birdgroup...

Tonight it is the joint talk with the NW Wildlife trust. Sabine Nouvet, A Conservation Ecologist for the National Trust will be talking about Shepherding in the Uplands. Doors open at 7pm for a 7.30 start, all welcome.

Cemaes Bay Birds

This is one of the rather showy Kingfishers that have been in the Wooded Valley along the River Wygyr over the last few weeks. From the beach car park walk under the road into the Valley and it favours the area of river on the right just as it passes under the trees. I also had a Yellow Browed Warbler on the 24th October in the Valley and Martin had a Firecrest here on the 22nd and nearby I had a Jack Snipe on the 21st October on Parys Mountain.

North Wales Birding - Tue 25th Oct

I headed up into Snowdonia yesterday for a bit of a change. After a quiet drive up the Nant Francon Valley a quick coffee stop produced a male Ring Ouzel, Dipper, Grey Wag and a noticeable passage of winter thrushes over the pass near the Youth Hostel. The Ugly house feeders are full and Nuthatches and Treecreepers were around in this lovely setting with glorious Autumnal colours as a backdrop. I carried on to Clocaenog where there are good numbers of Crossbills at Bod Petrael and the Car Park at the base of Craig Bran Banog. There was also brief sightings of Goshawks flying low over the plantations as we drove around the forest. The Rowan and Hawthorn bushes are bursting with berries and large numbers of Fieldfares, Redwings and Starlings were making quick work of the berries. One roadside was fringed with large numbers of Fly Agaric toadstools. As we headed back, news of a Hoopoe at Conwy dictated that we would be going back to Anglesey via the RSPB reserve where this somewhat flighty Hoopoe showed very well.

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

RSPB Conwy sightings board

A hoopoe, a first for the reserve, has been present since lunchtime today. Magpies and crows have been giving it a bit of a hard time, so it has been mobile, and having initially been around the Coffee Shop, by late afternoon it was on the islands in front of the Carneddau Hide. Great find by William Boyce, visiting from Wirral.

Our great white egrets are still here, with five seen this week (is the sixth still somewhere nearby too?) and a couple of garganeys. But Winter comes in the form of roosting redwings and a small (1000-bird) murmuration of starlings. A couple of pintails are looking elegant on the Deep Lagoon, while three whooper swans were enjoyed by visitors here on Saturday (22nd).
For more sightings, and news of current management work, please read the reserve blog.

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

The North West in Bangor

Chris Galvin is coming over to Bangor Birdgroup tomorrow to give us a talk on the North West Year. Please come along to see what Avian delights are on offer in our neighbouring region. Door open at 7 for a 7.30 kick off. Everybody welcome.

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Pallas's Warbler in Holyhead Breakwater Country Park

Ken found one of these Seven striped Sprites in HHBWCP today plus three Ring Ouzels and an influx of Blackcaps.

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Equador comes to Bangor

Dr Gareth Jones and Rhion Pritchard (Caernarfonshire Bird Recorder) with be giving a talk tomorrow night (Wednesday) on Equador. They will be showing us what Neotropical Ornithological gems can be seen East and West of the Andes. Doors open at 7pm in the Brambell building for a 7.30 start. All welcome.

Red flanked Bluetail on the Great Orme!

Mike Duckham found a Bluetail on the Great Orme yesterday that was present in the evening. It was in Sycamores behind Grey Gables. Park at Llys Helyg then cross Marine drive and walk up the Asphalt drive to the end.
Great find Mike, well done!

Saturday, 8 October 2016

12 birds still present this evening. I photographed an adult feeding two of its young.

Lapland comes to Anglesey

This was one of the 19 strong flock of Lapland Buntings that was on the North End of the Range at South Stack this morning at SH 213 802. They were a little mobile but very approachable. They prefer the very low new growth heather areas with soil and stones. There were also 2 Whinchats and 3 Wheatears here. I also had a Fieldfare, c.10 Redwings and a pair of Blackcaps at Soldiers point.

RSPB Conwy sightings board

Regular visitors will know that we have had a great white egret at Conwy since mid-July. There was just one previous record here, and although two were seen together in September, nothing prepared us for this week, when Alan Davies counted 6 on the estuary on Thursday 6th. With another six at Burton Mere Wetlands and a couple more in Anglesey, these have - in two days - doubled the number of great white egrets seen in North Wales since records began.  Thanks to Simon Knight for the photo, posted on Twitter.

The great whites are spending most of their time on the estuary, where the tide is still bringing large numbers of small fish in each day, along with hundreds of gulls and a new site record count of little egrets: 132 this morning!

Several birds are clearly loving their stay at Conwy that they don't want to leave: a garganey remains with teal on the shallow lagoon; a female-type scaup is with tufted ducks on the deep lagoon (though a male that had been with it in late September seems to have gone); and there are still several chiffchaffs singing and blackcaps feeding in the scrub.

And wader migration isn't done yet: curlew sandpiper and two jack snipe have been here the last couple of days, a little stint was on the estuary yesterday (7th), ringed plover and bar-tailed godwit on Wednesday (5th), grey plover, knot and spotted redshank on Monday (3rd).

For more bird info, plus news of two new species to the reserve seen in the last couple of weeks, some advance notice of management work, and details of a special Celebrate the Night event, please visit the reserve blog.

Friday, 7 October 2016

Second helping - it would have been rude not to

After seeing the Booted Warbler on Monday evening after work, today provided an opportunity to try to get a few photos with my camera rather than the mobile phone held to my 'scope.  Bird was still favouring the same patch of gorse, but was venturing out a lot more into the grassy areas.  It now seems to just have the 1 tail feather - whether this is contributing to its long stay is difficult to say.  I understand that it drew the interest of a Kestrel, but don't know the details.  Managed several good but brief views of the Firecrest on Llys Helyg drive.  Many thanks to Rob S for directions for the Firecrest and for Rob and Peter A's company.

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Booted Warbler still on the Great Orme

This fabulous little rare bird has been showing well in the bushes and feeding on the floor by the car park by the limestone pavement on the tip of the Great Orme. It has been there for three days now and is still there this morning. Take marine drive then turn left up-to the car park just after the Rest and Be thankful Cafe.