Saturday, 28 February 2015

Anglesey Tree Sparrow still present today

It took me a while but I managed a shot of the Tree Sparrow that I first saw on Tuesday, today, 
in my garden in Cemaes Bay. A garden tick!
I was stood tippy-toed, looking through the skylight and thought my Achilles was going to snap as I tried to get a shot! (Thankfully it didn't). What's all the fuss about a Tree Sparrow you may say?
Well, it's one of those birds. As a child in St Helens there were local sites you could see them and occasionally they turned up in the garden and occasionally bred there or in a neighbours garden (and still do)! But when I moved to Anglesey in 1996, they were a localised species, that required a specific site visit, especially when doing a bird-race! Pili-Palas in Menai Bridge, Llyn Alaw East Car Park, the stable near Wilpol Farm, Llangaffo and the Braint Estuary Car Park were all potentially good sites for this species. But as the years went by the sites dried up, with the last records coming from near Wilpol in May 2006. There were several years with no records, but in 2010 5 migrants flew over Penmon Point in the Autumn. That winter, there was a 2000 strong finch flock at Cemlyn and it also contained 5 Tree Sparrows on the 30th October, peaking at 9 on the 7th Nov with some birds recorded until the end of the year. Since then there have been just ones and twos, occasionally in the winter months, usually in the north at Cemlyn or Tregele or in this case Cemaes, with my bird being the only bird on Anglesey at the moment, as far as we know.
Just let me know if anyone wants to see it as it was present on and off throughout the day but mornings is best.

American Green Winged Teal still present today

This is a photo I took on Tuesday of the Green winged Teal on the River Seiont, but it was seen today (birdguides).Whilst it goes out as being at the Manweb building, that's what it's know as to the locals but it has been the Scottish Power building now for many years now. Go from Bangor, through Caernarfon past Mc Donald to the next round-about, and turn to the right on the road that skirts the River Seiont back towards the Castle. Pull into the Scottish Power car park and view the river. It was just upstream when I saw it.

Photogenic Iceland Gull still on Abergele beach today - but don't forget your bread!

Norman and Alex enjoying the Iceland gull this afternoon.
What a great bird!

Returning Norwegian ringed Black-headed Gull at Llanddulas.

 There is a darvic ringed Black-headed Gull at Llanddulas which I first saw in the Feb 2013. It was ringed in Oslo in 2008. After a year’s gap I re-sighted the bird in exactly the same carpark and was able to get more recent details on the birds movements. Since it was darviced it has returned every year to breed near Oslo and seems to use Llanddulas as a regular wintering site, approximately 700 miles away. I wonder how many more of our BH Gulls are from the same area?

Friday, 27 February 2015

Photography talk

Dr Richard Shucksmith, who won wildlife photographer of the year in 2011 has come down from Shetland to Bangor to give a talk . He specialises in the wildlife of Shetland. It is in the Powis hall at Bangor Uni tonight at 7pm. £6 entry/ £3 concessions, all welcome.

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Iceland Gull

Iceland Gull

Decided to take a trip down to Pensarn and try my luck for the recently resident large white winged gull, and struck lucky! 

The bird can be found between the caffe and large car park just at the end of the bridge, well worth the visit. 

More here

Wednesday, 25 February 2015


On 28th January Jean and I watched a pair of Dippers nest-building near Talybont. Yesterday I watched one of the birds fly to the nest where it remained, presumably to incubate eggs. Its mate remained watchful nearby.
 I stopped for the Green-winged Teal at Caernarfon on my way home this afternoon and managed this distant digi-scoped pic. What a great find at that spot by somebody.
Ceredigion is not exactly the land of the Hawfinch but in my absence one appeared in a nearby garden!  See 'Ceredigion Birds' blog for a rather nice photo of a mega rarity for us.