Saturday, 23 September 2017

'Great Orme' Pied Flycatcher

It was good of Pete A, and then Alan Davies, to get out news quickly of a flycatcher in sycamore near church that appeared to have a wing bar.  After a while bird moved out of the sycamore and was quite comfortable flycatching from a wall and from grave stones.  Great opportunity to study an out of season bird and out of normal habitat.  Good craic with John Roberts, Mike Duckman and Pete.

Saturday, 9 September 2017

Seawatching at Bull Bay today

Every birder has their favorite Sea-watching spot for various reasons. Mine is Bull bay headland. Probably because it's near to Cemaes and only requires a short walk from the car parking area and more importantly some of the birds come very close. This means even if you don't see anything that unusual you can still get some nice close photos of Gannets and Kittiwakes flying by at close quarters. There is also a "Rock-chair" at the end of the headland that I find very handy to lean back on as I sit down sea-watching. I have self-diagnosed myself with attention deficit syndrome so if the passage is slow I can get bored quite easily. Also the fact that the windy weather tends to be the best conditions for sea-watching, as some-what of a Wind-a-phobe, I suppose it's amazing I go sea-watching at all. However, when there's a good passage, Sea-watching can be hard to beat as it's really enjoyable and quite rewarding. This morning was one of those days. I will list the highlights now of what I saw today between 8.45 and 12 noon,  followed by a selection of photos of today's sightings. 
Leach's Storm Petrel 4 (2 were quite close), Balearic Shearwater 1, Little gull 2 (1 ad, 1 1 juv), Arctic Skua 5, Risso's Dolphin 2, Porpoise 8 sightings, Grey Seal 1, Grey Heron 1, Kittiwake c.2K, Gannet 300, Manx Shearwater 100, Fulmar 2, Painted Lady plus a Kingfisher as I got in my car.

Gannets pass very close

Juvenile Kittiwakes are very striking

Point Lynas visible to the East

Leach's Petrel

Leach's Petrel

Leach's Petrel

Leach's Petrel

It's a great spot for Harbour Porpoise

Harbour Porpoise

Atlantic Grey Seal

Arctic Skua

Arctic Skua

Juv Little Gull and 2 Kittiwakes

Juv Little Gull and Kittiwake

Little Gull and Kittiwakes

Manx Shearwater

Balearic Shearwater, Manxie and BHG.

Balearic Shearwater and Manxie 

Balearic Shearwater

Balearic Shearwater

Adult Gannet

Juvenile Gannet

Adult Gannet

Distant Leach's Petrel

Distant Leach's Petrel

Common Guillimot

Sandwich Tern

Gannet and Leach's Petrel

Saturday, 29 July 2017

The Anglesey Skerries

I was lucky enough to get out to the Skerries last week, one night after work. We usually stop off first at Middle Mouse to see the Guillimot Colony. As it is coming to the end of the season there were just a few chicks visible and I couldn't find a single Razorbill, which are normally present in small numbers. There were good numbers of Manx Shearwaters on the crossing to The Skerries and even a few flocks of Common Scoters passing by. The Skerries is a fabulous place, with 2000+ pairs of Arctic terns. Although numbers were a little down this year they have still had a good breeding season with lots of chicks around. There are also 2-300+ pairs of Puffins, with dozens milling over our heads as we left this small Archipelago. Atlantic Grey Seals were showing well and we also had a few Porpoises on the crossing over there. It was a great evening and thanks to Warden Will et al for permitting us onto the island under his supervision.

Interesting head pattern on this Arctic Tern

North Wales Little Terns

The North Wales Little Tern Population has had a successful breeding season at Gronnant , east of Rhyl. After a potentially problematic start due to some high spring tides the population ended up doing very well due to swift action from the wardens and the birds re-laying. 
There were 161 pairs, 289 nests in total, 640+ eggs but 250+ chicks with a maximum count of 480 birds on the 4th July! I went a few weeks back and there was still a lot of activity. There should still be some birds around but I would highly recommend putting it in your diary for a trip there next year in June/July.


Spot the chick

Sightings board