Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Snow Goose near Cemaes (South of Porth Wen)



Brian Iddon spotted a Snow Goose among a flock of about 80 Greylags near Cemaes last week and Tony White managed to get this photo of the bird. The bird in Unringed so it could be a genuine vagrant, but they are common in UK wildfowl collections and there are free-flying  feral birds dotted around the UK. However, it's a nice looking bird and worth a look if you are in the area. The lay-by marked P on the map is the best place to look from. It was close to the road when Tony photographed it but it is usually further away in the direction of where X marks the spot. If it isn't visible from the road it may well be worth going on the minor road to the south looking back north in case the geese are in a dip or behind a hedge. Be aware there is also a White-ish Greylag with the flock as well sometimes.

North Carolina Pelagic Birding in Bangor




Local Birder Rhys Jones has always had a bit of a thing for seawatching. Last year he was lucky enough to get over to North Carolina to get out on a boat and do some Pelagic Birding - US style! So why not come along tomorrow to relive the birding experience with him.

At Bangor Birdgroup we meet on Wednesday nights in the University of Bangor Brambell Building, Deiniol road opposite Asda just down from the Train Station. Costs are £2 per meeting (non members), 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!
Doors open at 7 for a 7.30 pm start. Talks last for around 1 hour. All members of the public are welcome. 



Tuesday, 9 January 2018

In search of the World's Ultimate Wildlife : Dan Brown in Bangor




North Wales's own Steve Backshall returns to Bangor Bird-group tomorrow night, Wednesday the 10th January. Dan Brown, son of Nigel Brown is a great Birder and all-round Ecologist, just like his Dad. He will be showing us some of the rather exciting things he and his wife Rachael got up-to on their honeymoon. They went in search of some of the World's Ultimate Wildlife, and they found it! Their travels took them from Sulawesi to the Serengeti, so please come along tomorrow and see some of the awesome things that they got up-to!

At Bangor Birdgroup we meet on Wednesday nights in the University of Bangor Brambell Building, Deiniol road opposite Asda just down from the Train Station. Costs are £2 per meeting (non members), 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!
Doors open at 7 for a 7.30 pm start. Talks last for around 1 hour. All members of the public are welcome. 

Monday, 1 January 2018

Geoff Gibbs brings Trinidad and Tobago to Bangor









Geoff Gibbs kicks off the 2018 talks at Bangor Birdgroup this Wednesday. Come along to what will surely be a wonderful talk on Trinidad and Tobago, a place very close to Geoff's heart, a place where he has lived and has returned to on numerous occasions.
At Bangor Birdgroup we meet on Wednesday nights in the University of Bangor Brambell Building, Deiniol road opposite Asda just down from the Train Station. Costs are £2 per meeting (non members), 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!
Doors open at 7 for a 7.30 pm start. Talks last for around 1 hour. All members of the public are welcome. 

Anglesey's Amazing Starling Roost at Parys Mountain



After a gentle paced spin around the Island today producing nothing too unusual of note bar a Great White Egret and Female Marsh Harrier at Llyn Llewenan, the days avian highlight was produced by the Common Starling. Back in November Nigel Brown was going on at Birdgroup about how good the Parys Mountain roost was. Today around mid-afternoon, Tony White mentioned it again just as we were passing through Llanerchymedd so we thought we would give it a go. Birds have been roosting in the general vicinity of Parys Mountain near Amlwch, but tonight we realized exactly where they are roosting., and we arrived just as the sun was setting over Llyn Alaw. If you look at this map we parked by the red X to look over the relatively new plantation at SH 442 894.
I don't think I have  ever seen so many Starlings coming into a roost. There were 100's of thousands of birds! There were constant steams of birds heading in to the backdrop of windmills, Parys Mountain and a half - decent Sunset. Whilst they weren't murmurating as such, seeing so many birds were phenomenal. If this was at Conwy RSPB, there would be over a hundred people watching on in awe. But as it was Amlwch, there was just Tony, Myself , the local farmer and 3 Buzzards after a bit of supper!
The almost hypnotic constant streaming of birds, the noise, the smell of guano reminiscent of a Seabird colony and the fact that you could walk through the middle of the roost as a public road bi-sects the small plantation, all added up to a truly unforgettable experience that I would highly recommend.
So if you are in the area, especially if there is a calm evening with a nice sunset, why not pop over to experience it yourself, in case they change roost sites as Starlings tend to do. You won't be disappointed!

Sunday, 24 December 2017

Recent Anglesey and North Wales Bird news and Photos

A Glaucous Gull is currently hanging out at Llandulas. Follow the road down to the beach car park. Scanning from the shore in good conditions and some patience you should pick out the two male Surf Scoters and the odd Velvet among the more numerous Common Scoters offshore.
The gull is usually just to the east of the Car Park, bathing by the outflow, or a little further east feeding on a dead Porpoise. There has also been a Water Pipit here and another at Conwy RSPB recently. A pair of Dippers are often on this river at Llandulas about 50m back up the road. Llanfairfechan is another good spot for Dipper.
Up-to 2 Snow Buntings are hanging out with 5 Skylarks at  Kimnel Bay. Park in the beach Car Park by Asda and walk east to the first access ramp. This is their favorite area, but get there early as they become more mobile as dog walkers arrive on the beach. The beach is also pretty good for Sanderling. On Friday there was a Firecrest and Lapland Bunting at Penmon Point. There have still been upto 2 Firecrests at Benllech recently  in the scrub behind the beach car park toilets. Black Redstarts have recently been at South Stack and Holyhead Train station / docks. I had a Hawfinch up the Conwy Valley yesterday at Llanbedr-a-cennin. The first I've seen since the influx when I had 9 migrants over my house in Cemaes on the 6th Nov. There have been upto 15 in Llanbedr recently. Around the Church and just beyond are the best spots to look. Black Grouse are lecking on the moors near Wrexham at the usual spots but remember to stay in the car. The close birds usually disperse quite early when walkers and cyclists get on the moor but if you stay in your car and keep quiet they won't be bothered by you. The early bird-er catches the worm, well Grouse in this case. Goosanders are very approachable at Llyn Padarn Llanberis and along with Mandarins, they can also sometimes put on a show at Llangollen on the river.
On Anglesey at Beddmanarch bay, Penrhos by Coffee Cups Cafe there is around 308 Pale bellied Brent geese, including 1 dark Bellied bird and a Spangle breasted individual - see photo.
Also recently in the Beddmanarch Bay / Inland Sea area there have been 14 Scaup, GN Diver, Black Guillimot, 2 Slav Grebes and a Long tailed duck was seen on the 18th December. Great white Egret and Marsh Harrier were at Llyn Llewennan on the 18th. There was also Marsh and Hen Harrier and Water Pipit at Cors Ddyga on this date. Cors Ddyga  is the Reserve formerly known as Malltraeth Marsh RSPB reserve. Reminds me of Prince! Anyway, I digress. Not far from there at Malltraeth Cob keep your eyes peeled for overwintering Pintail and Spotted Redshank, plus Red Squirrels at the feeders in Newborough and 3 Cattle Egrets nearby at Pont Marquis / Paradwys. Also the usual suspects are around, Choughs at South Stack and Black Guillimots around Holyhead Harbour and the fish quay.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Enjoy the photos and I hope you see some good birds in North Wales over the winter period whether you are local or a visiting Birder, have fun.
All the best Stephen Culley




















Tuesday, 5 December 2017

SCAN ringing talk by Phil Woolen in Bangor

Tonight at Bangor Birdgroup Phil Woolen, North West Ringer and Birder will be talking about the work the SCAN ringing group get up to. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush as if you hang out with Ringers you get great opportunities to study birds up close. Come and see what they get up to, it should be a great talk.
At Bangor Birdgroup we meet on Wednesday nights in the University of Bangor Brambell Building, Deiniol road opposite Asda just down from the Train Station. Costs are £2 per meeting (non members), 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!
Doors open at 7 for a 7.30 pm start. Talks last for around 1 hour. All members of the public are welcome.