Saturday, 7 January 2017

Anglesey Bird News

My local highlight over the Christmas period was a cracking Hawfinch at some feeders in a garden in Cemaes on the 29th and again briefly on the 30th. Mike Smith had a similar record in Cemaes about 5 years ago. One bird by his feeders for about an hour, then never seen again. They are very rare visitors to Anglesey, with less than one record a year, usually a fly over in the Autumn at Carmel head. Recent ringing recoveries have shown some of the birds we get in Winter are Norwegian Birds escaping the harsher conditions further north. Up to 5 Cattle Egrets are still seen in the area immediately north of Pont Marquis near Malltraeth. 4 Long tailed ducks are still in Trearddur bay with another still on Llyn Llewennan, but the 4 Greenland Whitefronts appear to have disappeared. The Inland sea still has Scaup, Black necked and Slavonian Grebe, Great Northern Divers and Mediterranean Gulls and 100+ Pale bellied Brents. These birds can also get into Beddmanarch bay. A Hooded Crow is resident in Llanfachraeth near the Chapel at the Valley end of the village. Unfortunately the bird at Mc Donalds in Holyhead has disappeared so me and Tony can't use the excuse "Shall we check for the Hooded crow at McDonalds" as a reason to swing by there anymore!
Two Yellow browed warblers on the 2nd Jan were an unseasonal find. One had been at Soldiers point for a few days. At the top of the road by the burnt out white castle/folly hotel, just before you get there there is a small track to your right down to the harbour/chalet.. It favored the evergreen bush immediately on your left. There are several little paths around here to check the adjacent scrub. These small paths were probably made by Badgers. Either that or Ken....
The other Yellow browed warbler was found by Marc et al on his birdrace on the second, by the bus stop over looking Llyn Penrhyn at Valley camp.
Also if you fancy some of the other usual suspects. It's always worth checking Malltraeth Marsh for Bitterns, Otters and overwintering Marsh and Hen Harriers. There's always a chance of a Short eared Owl on Aberffraw Common near Llyn Coron at this time of year. Check off Penmon point for Eiders, Divers, Black Guillimots and other Auks. Holyhead Fish quay and the Harbour can be good for winter plumaged Black Guillimots, and Red breasted Mergansers are in their finest plumage at the moment. Cetti's warblers can still be heard at Valley Lakes (Cerrig Bach) and Malltraeth Marsh and there's always a chance of them at Llyn Maelog, the latter site is also a reasonable site for Bittern in the winter. Choughs at South Stack whilst having a coffee is always a nice little stop then check out Trearddur Bay for the Purple Sandpipers (and Long tailed Ducks).

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