Thursday, 28 September 2017

Bangor Birdgroup re-starts next week, the first Wednesday in October.

Are you interested in Birds, Wildlife and Wildlife photography? If so , why not come along to Bangor Birdgroup this up-coming season. Bangor Bird group is based at the University of Bangor and is currently celebrating it's 70th year and is one of the oldest Bird clubs in Britain. We also share one meeting a month with the North Wales Wildlife trust, so although primarily bird orientated our talks cover all aspects of natural history. This next season as well as birds, covers Badgers, Otters, Wildcats, Dolphins and other Cetaceans, Butterflies and Moths. Also many of the Bird talks cover other aspects of wildlife as well.
Our first talk of the season is by Alan Davies and Ruth Miller of Bird-watching breaks and The Biggest Twitch 2008 World record breaking Year List, for the most species of birds seen on the planet in one year! They have lived in North Wales for many years so they will be giving us their insight into the Best birdwatching sites in North Wales.
Other talks before Christmas include The Spanish Pyrenees and the search for DuPont's Lark, Fabulous Feathers, Birding in Israel by renowned Israeli Ornithologist and Birder Yoav Perlman and a research Talk on Urban Bird ecology. Then we have a joint effort by two former students Will Smith and Molly Foulds talking about some of the things they have got up to since leaving Bangor University, including wardening on the Skerries and research in Honduras! Then there are talks on Iceland and Bird Ringing in North Wales before the Christmas Quiz and party! Talks in the new year cover Trinidad and Tobago, Sulawesi to the Seregeti (the Earth's Ultimate Wildlife), North Carolina Pelagic Birding, The Upper Conwy Project, Spurn Bird Observatory, Japan in Winter, The Arctic North West Passage, Gronant Little Terns, The Atlantic Rainforest of Brazil, Chile and The Caucasus Mountains of Georgia.
So that's 24 meeting covering topics from North Wales, Britain and the rest of the World.
We meet on Wednesday nights in the Brambell Building, Deiniol road opposite Asda just down from the Train Station. Costs are £2 per meeting, or even better join as a member. Membership costs are as follows- Waged = £15, £12 for concessions and £10 for students. Not bad for 24 talks!
Our first talk on the Best Birdwatching sites in North Wales kicks off the season on the 4th October, doors open at 7 for a 7.30 pm start. All members of the public are welcome. Hopefully see you there, all the best, Stephen Culley (Programme Organizer, Local Birdwatcher and Naturalist).

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Dotterel on The Range, South Stack (The four bird theory).

On Sunday, Rhys Jones sent me a text early afternoon to say he has just had just flushed 2 Dotterel at the Range and they appeared to land at the North West End. So I picked up Tony White and off we went. Rhys only saw the birds briefly in flight, but we hoped to relocate them. It was quite wet so I donned my waterproofs and we worked the North West part of the Range, only to put up two Golden Plovers.Trudging around in the rain doubt started to set in, "were these the birds Rhys had seen?". So we headed further North in case there were any Lapland buntings in with the Mippets and Skylarks. Twenty minutes later we put up two more Plovers, with a softer call and stonking supercillium, bingo Dotterel! Sorry for ever doubting you Rhys, so we managed to turn the "Two bird theory" into the "Four bird theory"! The Dotterel were still present on Monday and there were also 2 Lapland Buntings present. Also of note on Monday, Tony White had a flock of 15 Ruff at Cemlyn, a very big count for Anglesey.

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