Sunday, 24 July 2016

Hybrid Roseate x Common Tern

Roseate terns last nested at Cemlyn around c. 1994, and the once healthy Anglesey population of Roseate Terns has now gone. They didn't die out, they just moved over the water to the other side of the Irish Sea to Rockabill Island in Dublin Bay. Now your best bet to see them over here is for wandering lone birds at Cemlyn, popping into the tern colony like the bird there this morning. However for years there have been a few birds that have been forming hybrid pairs with Common Terns over on the Skerries. I managed to get over there last Monday and I was lucky enough to see this hybrid bird that has been there this summer. It is an inter-grade between the two species. The bill not long enough for a Roseate and too much red on it . The wing pattern was also half way between Roseate and Common, when I saw it flap it's wings, but unfortuately I didn't have my finger on the button for that potential shot. Never the less, here are a few photos of an interesting bird. I only saw it with Common terns, but apparently this Hybrid was paired up with a Roseate, so I wonder what it's offspring would look like!

RSPB Conwy sightings board

Monday kicked off with a great white egret, only the second reserve record (and the first to plant its feet firmly on reserve mud) and is still present today. Aside from its size, its bright yellow bill is distinctive, but a close look shows traces of black at the tip of the upper mandible, remnants of its breeding-season coloration farther south in Europe.

The first wigeons and shovelers of the autumn arrived this week, another signal that the northern breeding season is coming to a close. Teal numbers are also on the up, while waders include a couple of hundred curlews, a few black-tailed godwits, dunlins and whimbrels, a single greenshank and green sandpiper, with a little stint reported on Thursday (21st).

For more sightings from RSPB Conwy this week, check the latest reserve blog post.

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Where are they now

BTO Cymru in partnership with RSPB Cymru have been colour ringing Curlew on their breeding grounds on the north Wales moors.

They have now left their breeding areas and are congregating on our coasts and estuaries.

Should you see one can you please contact BTO Cymru

either tel: 01248 383285  or

Malltraeth Godwits

Malltraeth RSPB is a nice place for a Summer Walk at the moment. When I was there at the weekend (Sunday the 10th)  we were treated to a fly-by of 10 Icelandic Full Summer Plumage Black tailed Godwits (near the office end/ A55 end). A nice sight in an otherwise bit of a wash-out of a weekend!

Friday, 24 June 2016

Report of Glossy Ibis, Anglesey

Visitors to RSPB Conwy (John and Wendy Barton) have just reported that they found a Glossy Ibis at Cors Erddreiniog, Anglesey. It was in the pool to the right of the boardwalk and still present when they left at 2.30pm.

RSPB Conwy sightings board

A green sandpiper yesterday (23rd) is the first of the autumn passage, and we've noticed a few redshanks (around a dozen) and curlews (up to 30) here this week, all signs of southbound migration. There are lots of young birds around at the moment, especially sedge warblers, which seem to be having an excellent breeding season. A kingfisher was seen this morning (24th) and a water rail reported on Monday (20th) were the first reported for a while.

Also, a plug for The Big Nature Count, the reserve's bioblitz event in partnership with Cofnod.  It would be great to see naturalists from across North Wales helping to audit the wildlife on the reserve, so please do come down on Sunday 3 July to help.

There'll be lots of activities and expert walks throughout the day, as well as bird-ringing with BTO Cymru, and an opportunity to meet a wide range of local wildlife groups.

Thursday, 16 June 2016

RSPB Conwy sightings board

Not surprisingly, no major bird news from Conwy this week (where did that Broad-billed Sand go after it left Kinmel Bay?; sadly, not here!). A hooded crow on Sunday was only the second reserve record, four Sandwich terns were in the estuary on Monday and a stock dove was here this morning (a tricky bird to see here).

There's plenty of other wildlife to watch though, with record counts of some of the orchid species, which are carpeting some areas of grassland now. See the Conwy reserve blog for more details.