Sunday, 27 May 2012

North Wales Bird Race - 133 species

Great day Friday night and Yesterday. Mike Duckham, Zac Hinchcliffe, Chris Jones, Ken Croft and myself set out for a 24 hour extravaganza at 6pm on Friday night and finished at 6pm last night. Quality birds, quality scenery and quality weather. Finished with 133 species (or 132 depending on the Honey Buzzard outcome - to be posted later). Highlights were:-
 Llanbedr y Cenin - Yellowhammer
Hafod Woods - Pied Fly, Wood Warbler
Moors - Hen Harrier, Red Grouse, Whinchats, 9 Red Kites
Betws y Coed - Grey Wagtail and Dipper
 Gwydir - 3 Nightjars, Snipe drumming, Goosanders, Cuckoo
Malltraeth Marsh - Baillon's Crake, Water Rail, Red Kite
Cemlyn - Curlew Sandpiper, Grey Plover, Med Gull
Alaw Estuary - Knot, Barwit and Sanderlings
Penmon - Crossbill, 4 Auks, Eider
Valley Lakes - Barnacle Goose
Llywenan - Marsh Harrier
Treaddur Bay - Reed Warbler, Honey Buzzard (post later - not sure about this one)
South Stack - Hooded Crow - a real one!
Ogwen Valley - Ring Ouzel, Wheatear
AberOgwen - Common Gull
Pensychnant - Redstart
Conwy RSPB - Little ringed Plover, Whimbrel and Sparrowhawk
Good day all around - cheers to the lads for the company.
Pictures below (click to enlarge) show Marsh Harrier (top) and the Buzzard sp. (bottom 2) that came in off the sea at Treaddur Bay, looked shattered, beaten up by mobbing birds and landed on the rocks above the cliffs. This bird has caused some confusion. More discussion later.


  1. Interesting Buzzard MarcBuzzard! On the ground it looks like a Honey, but in flight I would have expected all honeys to be pretty pristine at this time of the year.

  2. I've blown the pix up and it looks similar if not the same bird as Pete Kinsella's and looking at both a can only come up with Black Kite. Although cant see primaries in your pic. Both show shallow fork in tail and windows in the wing look good so does wing/head shape shape. It does look a bit frosty though but could that still fit? Eastern origin maybe? I didn't see it so only you will have a better idea.

  3. The bird was a Buzzard sp. Rob. 6 observers saw the bird and at no point did it look or act like a Black Kite. I'll post more pics and a write up in a bit. Good learning.

  4. Plumage-wise the bird looked like a Buzzard Sp. Occasionally side on, it did remind me of a kite like flight the way it held its wings and the bouncing flight etc, but at no point did Kite sp come to mind...