Friday, 30 November 2012

Desert Wheatear

Desert Wheatear still showing well at Rhyl. 200 Waxwings at the Rhuddlan NR by the Premier Inn Roundabout on the A525 at Rhuddlan.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Conwy RSPB 29/11/12

3 Firecrests by the bridge pond, Goldcrest in the Carpark and Brambling by the entrance gate. Greenshank and a Dunlin with Redshank flock this morning. Water Rail calling too.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

St.Asaph Flooding

Luckily, I wasn't affected by the flooding in St.asaph this morning, but it didn't half cause some disruption in Lower St.asaph with businesses, homes and roads completely devastated by the floodwater. Over 500 people evacuated to the worst flooding in its history.
After prolonged heavy rain over a course of 36 hours, the river elwy burst its banks early on Tuesday morning. Our thoughts goes out to the people affected.
I've posted a few extra pictures on the blog:

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Some Late Seabird Passage Point Lynas 27/11/12

With all the rough weather we've had recently, I decided to give Point Lynas a try this morning. The wind was a strong Northerly force 7. This doesn't make for very comfortable conditions, but I found a little sheltered nook. The results were rewarding, even if I couldn't feel my feet by the end! From 08.00 to 10.30 hrs birds passing:
90 Red Throated Diver( incl. a flock of 17), 4 Great Northern Diver, 180 Common Scoter, 1 Eider, 4 Goldeneye, 1 Red Breasted Merganser, 13 Wigeon, 1 Teal, 1 Fulmar, 2 Black Guillemot, 300 Kittiwakes, 20 Gannet, 1400 Auk sp. 4 Purple Sandpiper, 30 G.B.B. Gull
So some good diver and duck passage, I was hoping for a late skua or shearwater, but there's time yet!

Monday, 26 November 2012

CSI Birding - DNA samples taken from Rhyl promenade suspect!

How times have changed............ This evening I sent off two samples of Desert Wheatear faeces collected today at Rhyl promenade. The samples are winging their way to Dr Martin Collinson (BOURC Chairman) who is the current expert on analysing bird poo to find DNA to assign birds to species, sub-species and races. Only a few months ago, Dr Collinson from the University of Aberdeen proved a putative Atlas Flyactcher (a first for Britain) at Flamborough was in fact a just a bog standard Pied Flycatcher, while just last week a few Siberian Stonechat feathers taken from one caught at Portland were analysed and proved to be Britain's first Stejneger's Stonechat!!
(a rather bedragled Desert Wheatear today - but which race?)

Hopefully the samples taken today will allow reveal where our Desert Wheatear has come from. A total of three different subspecies of Desert Wheatear have made it to the UK, however assigning a bird to a race in the field is not really safe.  Out of nearly120 individuals that have occurred here only seven of those have been assigned to race and these have been either shot, killed or trapped.  The Central Asian Desert Wheatear deserti has been proven twice whilst the North African Desert Wheatear homochroa has been recorded on four different occasions.  In addition there has been a single example of Kazakhstan Desert Wheatear atrogularis

(After a brief waith the Desert Wheatear duly obliged and let out the contents of its bowel)
Desert Wheatear breeds widely yet discontinuously across the arid and desert regions of North Africa from Morocco to the Middle East, north to the south Caucasus and across central Asia from central Iran and northern Pakistan to Mongolia and northern China. Some African birds are resident but many winter in the Sahara and Sahel region from Mauritania east to Ethiopia and Somalia. Asian breeders winter from the Arabian peninsula to north-west India.

The sample was duly scooped up and contained safely and is now winging its way up the the University of Aberdeen.
The first records drilled down to subspecies level in Britain are as follows:
  • Central Asian Desert Wheatear - male (shot) - Fair Isle, Shetland - 6 October 1928
  • North African Desert Wheatear - female (shot) - Spurn, Yorkshire - 17 October 1885
  • Kazakhstan Desert Wheatear - male (killed) - Pentland Skerries, Orkney - 2 June 1906
If the DNA is conclusive then the Rhyl individual will be the first assigned to race in Wales. My gut feeling is that the birds we get in autumn are deserti from a SE direction, with the spring birds more likely to be overshooting homochroa. We await the results with anticipation.

(thanks to for the information on Desert Wheatear races seen above - an intreresting blog and worth a read)

200K hits and thanks

With the Desert Wheatear pulling in 800 hits a day WeBirdNorthWales just passed the 200,000 mark since it was set up in Feb 2011 so thanks very much to all the contributors.  We hope to continue and develop and welcome any other contributors who are regularly birding out in the field or have trip reports from elsewhere.  My email is on the right hand side if you want to join.  For those able but not reporting anything- pull yer fingers out!

All the best for December and the New Year- and lets hope plenty more birding.



Sunday, 25 November 2012

Waxings close up and personal.

While the North Wales coast was going Wheatear crazy (luckily I'd seen the last one), I spent the weekend in landlocked Mid-Wales visiting family. However, this visit was spiced up a little with the knowledge that Waxwings were around. It took literally minutes to find my first flock yesterday morning in the centre of Welshpool and more birds kept appearing. I enjoyed an enjoyable morning today with Paul Leafe birding around the area and we met up with Tony Cross who was trying to ring some of the 200+ birds present around Newtown. They caught 11 before lunch and I was lucky enough to be around to see a bird in the hand. One surreal moment was when Birdman Iolo Williams jogger past in full fluorescent running gear - fair do's for a 50 year old!

We're in danger of becoming a bit blase about Waxwings, but boy aren't they superb. More on the excellent Mid Wales Ringers site here -

 Beautiful in the hand a surprisingly large birds.
 The undertail coverts are a superb rusty red colour. I keep checking for one that has got plain undertail coverts - you never know ;-)
The small Waxy tips and lemony yellow on this bird show it to be a female.

Another helping of Desert.... and more Waxwings!

Popped across today to take advantage of the November sunshine. The Desert Wheatear showed suoerbly well along the prom, on the wall & the fence as well as making occasional forays down on to the beach & onto the golfcourse. Despite the large crowd of birders (nice to meet a few Blog members) the bird gave close views most of the time. A couple of arguments broke out with accusations of chasing of the bird going on but despite staying armed with phone camera at the ready a fight never broke out for me to post on Youtube!! In true Chris Packham mode I collected a pellet of indigestible insect parts that the bird disgorged onto the seawall & it is drying out in the sunshine on my windowsill now!!

On the way back I found a group of Waxwings in a new location, not reported out previously. There were 20 birds feeding by Station Road in Bagillt, 1.5ml NW of Flint just off the A648 in an industrial estate by AdHoc Conservatories!! Not an unexpected find given the numbers around at the mo but still nice & I stopped to get piccies & enjoy them all by myself!

And an alternative take on the usual Waxwing shots:

A family day out to Soldier's Point

After I got a text off Ken at lunchtime today (about the Snowbs) whilst on our way to see the Christmassy things at Holland arms Garden Centre, I thought what would be more festive than taking the family to see some Snow Bunts! On arrival I briefly worked the usual patch of stony ground to the left when walking towards the breakwater. Suffering from ADS I phoned Ken for details, but halfway through the phone conversation the dog (me) saw the rabbit (Snowbs), told Ken I'ld phone him back and I worked my way towards the birds. There were 5 birds including a bright male and a dull/young female, with 3 inbetween. They were phenominally approachable. A skinhead walking his Staffy went through them, but just flushed them towards me with one landing just feet away. After I had got some pics I brought the family out of the car and let the kids get right upto them, it was brilliant! Showing kids birds can be difficult as they like things they can hold and get close to like moths. So this was a great chance for them to get up close and personal with some quite unusual and beautiful looking birds.It was funny hearing them say "Here's the male over here" as they headed closer for a better naked eye view, wonderful!

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Dez Wez in Rhyl-who'd have thought!

Luckily I managed to get to Rhyl early having been in contact with Tony KF who was reckoning on Desert rather than anything else so well done to him, and Lawrence for finding it and mentioning it and giving everyone the chance to get good views today.  Unluckily I was Liverpool-bound for an afternoon shopping since!  I never expected Rhyl to deliver a World-tick, having missed a couple previously and we don't get many over here.  The bird was moved by walkers and cyclists and twice by a council vehicle along the seawall but was pretty tame.  A walker pushed it up towards me and it stayed within 6ft although I heard some folk were later bounding up to it to try and get within 6ft- which rarely works and is unnecessary.  A bit of patience and common sense is all that's needed for others to enjoy it too.

Couple of pics:

 Scene on arrival with Tony (far right)- bird (far left) showing well and hopped past him as he stood still. Rhyl metropolis in the background. What a great bird- I wonder where it came from!

Desert Wheatear : It's crap!

Don't panic, I'm not slagging off this wonderful little Wheatear, it's just I also got a photo of it's crap! When it left it's little present for me I did half think of starting a collection of rare bird poo, but I thought again and realised it would just turn into another form of OCD! It is amazingly tame, totally photogenic and not bothered by birders or normal people.Dog-walkers, cyclists and joggers go by without it flushing. It just works it's way along the sea wall, occasionally coming onto the path when nobody is around. If the bird works its way away from you, 5 minutes later it is usually passing you again in the other direction. So if you get a chance go and see it (Tony!). Talking about things not to miss, as I was stuck at one of Rhyl's 100's of traffic lights I noticed The World Famous Apollo Bingo that I never knew existed. Sadly I'll have to give it a miss for now, but I will pop back next time I'm in the area when I pay a visit to Psycho Tatoos!

Desert Wheatear, Rhyl

After Rob's early warning yesterday Tony confirmed the female Wheatear sp. as a Desert this morning.  It's showing well along the promenade from Rhyl Golf Club House eastwards and seemed quite tolerant of people casually walking past it, but was often moved on by joggers and cyclists.  This stretch of the N Wales coast has a nice track record of this species after a male turned up a bit further west in Nov 2007.  A few pics below (much better to follow I'm sure):

Friday, 23 November 2012

Wheatear sp. reported in Rhyl

Maybe worth getting the car running.  A late 'Wheatear' reported on Rhyl Golf Course today.  My money is on it being something a bit rare; but may be wrong.
Original rep on NWBF.


Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Mongolia in Bangor, Weds 7.30pm

This week Bangor Bird Group's talk is by Dan Brown (home-grown lad / mega-magnet/ fraction of Punkbirder / ecologist / tour guide /  self-found-driven birder / etc) tomorrow eve (Weds) on Birding in Mongolia.  K/O at 7.30 but doors open 7pm onwards at the Brambell Building, Deiniol Road, Bangor.  
Promises stacks,

See you there,


Rhos on Sea Waxwings

A lovely flock of 22 Waxwings near work this lunchtime became celebreties amongst the youth of today when they spent all afternoon in the car park of Llandrillo Technical College. Many students came over to have a look and couldn't hide their amazement (even if a geek with a camera and bins wasn't cool to be seen with). The birds were present in the main car park and the trees that border the college complex.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Autumn's not over yet- Put out the Bunting!

A small number of birds still moving over the Great Orme this morning- a single Lapland Bunting gave good flight views over the churchyard before pitching down in the sheep fields. A male Snow Bunting was in the small quarry above the lighthouse on the limestones, while a few Brambling, Reed Bunting and Siskin flew west amongst the Chaffinches. 2 Woodcock were a nice surprise, flushing from the bracken above the churchyard.
A look for Waxwings in Llandudno finally paid off early afternoon with a group of 12 near the hospital. Later, Pete Alderson had 17 by Liddell Park, Craig y Don.
Off Llysfaen, two drake Surf Scoters showed in the perfect sunlight, while 8 Velvet Scoter were also amongst the thousands of Common Scoters.
Not a bad morning all in all.

Waxwings , Wrexham

After days of looking I've finally found some Wrexham waxwings. 100 plus this morning at the top end of the Maelor hospital car park near the ramada hotel. Plenty of berries there.

RSPB Conwy

A superb autumn day here, with at least two of the three firecrests showing well this morning.  More lesser redpolls around than earlier in the week, plus kingfisher, water rail, dunlin, ringed plovers and a good number of fieldfares first thing, going through with redwings.

Just a reminder that parking is limited today while work on our car park is taking place.  We are completely closed tomorrow and Tuesday (having seen the weather forecast, that may not be a big deal!), and due to reopen on Wednesday, though parking space will continue to be limited until the end of this week.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Great Conwy Birding

Some great birding in Conwy at the moment. Today's birds included the following:-
  • At least 2 Surf Scoter still viewable form Station Road, Llysfaen. Male and Female present today amongst 10,000 Common Scoter. 39 Red throated Diver alos here.
  • At least 3 Velvet Scoters in the same flock seen today.
  • Waxwings still present in Llandudno around the Mostyn Chapneys and Craig y Don area - 80+ at least still present. 30+ also seen around the Conwy RSPB reserve area.
  • 3 Firecrests around the Bridge pond at Conwy RSPB.
  • 5 Snow Buntings on the Great Orme limestone pavements.
  • At least 3 Purple Sandpipers at rhos Point over high tide.
  • 2 Tree Sparrows in fields near Betws yn Rhos.

East Anglesey Seawatching 15/11/12

What a beautiful morning it was, so I set off down to Benllech seafront to see what was visible. The sea was like glass, and the sun was behind me as I panned across from Benllech to Red Wharf Bay. There were lots of birds visible at fairly long range. Small groups of Common Scoter were closer to shore however. I picked out 1 Slavonian Grebe, 5 Great Crested Grebe (very low count), 1 female Long Tailed Duck, 1 Velvet Scoter amongst 180 Common Scoter, 3 Eider, 60 Red Throated Diver and 2 Black Guillemot. There were certainly a lot more birds out towards Llanddona, but just out of my range. The highlight for me was seeing at least six small groups of Bottle Nosed Dolphin (about 20 in total) jumping and feeding, giving great views in the sun. They seem to be pretty regular in this area at the moment.
On to Traeth Lligwy, where divers were the order of the day. A 1st winter Black Throated, 2 Great Northern and 10 Red Throated Divers were visible from the car park.
Finally on to Moelfre, having helped round up an errant flock of sheep en route! 2 Great Northern Diver, 25 Red Throated Diver, 8 Black Guillemot were on the sea with lots of mixed auks. 30 Knot were roosting on Ynys Moelfre.
A great days seawatching in brilliant weather conditions. This area doesn't get a huge amount of coverage compared to say Colwyn Bay, Black Rock Sands or Morfa Harlech but its certainly worth a look on a day like this.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Malltraeth 14/11/12

I had a very enjoyable walk through Newborough Forest and round the mouth of the Cefni Estuary this afternoon. From the car park at the south end of the Cob, I followed the trails through the forest. A great variety of species were seen including Crossbill, Redpoll, Siskin, Jay, Treecreeper and Nuthatch. Water Rail fed in the wet areas and there seemed to be Goldcrests all over the place. A Red Squirrel was feeding high up in some larches (it saw me before I saw it) and some lovely Belted Galloway cows in a paddock in the forest.
I followed the trails to the mouth of the Cefni Estuary, where I enjoyed one of my favourite pastimes, wandering across a wet, boggy saltmarsh to see what was lurking. I flushed a Jack Snipe, a Water Pipit, Rock Pipit, Snipe and Skylark. A male Hen Harrier sailed across in front of me heading towards Bodorgan. On the edge of the sand dunes, 50 Ravens fed along the tideline. I could have spent much longer here, but the light was fading.
Dusk fell as I returned to the car park and two male Hen Harriers quartered the saltmarsh, and very quickly went to roost.

Anglesey Birds - An October Review

The irony of turning my hobby into gainful employment is that I am increasingly spending less time outdoors whilst I attend to the business side of things! To prove that one of us is still 'out and about' here is a guest blog from my friend, birder and now colleague Ken Croft...

"The month began well with the long-staying Osprey on the Inland Sea. Together with Kathy James and Elgan Hearn (Holyhead & Anglesey Mail), we managed to get close enough through a 'scope to read the ring on it's leg as it perched on a post. A Pied Flycatcher in the Holyhead Breakwater Country Park (BCP) on the 4th was the first of a good run of scarce Anglesey birds at this site (although breeding close by on the mainland Pied Fly's are very seldom seen on this side of the Menai Straits).

A calm, sunny day on the 6th and I was stopped in my tracks at Soldier's Point by a gorgeous Firecrest. Unfortunately this bird disappeared before Alan & Ruth (of Biggest Twitch fame) arrived, but shortly after they left and I had moved on into the BCP I was soon on the phone and they were heading back. I had found a little gem from the east in the form of a Yellow-browed Warbler, this little beauty stayed for them to see. Alan returned the favour a couple of days later on the 8th when he found a Spoonbill on the Inland Sea, this bird was still present the next day when I found it feeding with an amazing total of forty-one Little Egrets!

A Firecrest was the next good bird to grace the BCP on the 10th, my first Redwing of the autumn was at Soldier's Point the next day. As I was driving into the BCP on the 13th, a pale-looking bird in a hawthorn bush caught my eye and I was quickly reversing back trying to beat two approaching dog walkers! I just had time enough to confirm it as a Barred Warbler before it was flushed . This was the 9th record of this species for Anglesey, the last eight of which have all occurred on my local patch, the only other record was way back in 1910 on The Skerries. The problem for me now was relocating the bird, but luck was with me and I quickly nailed it down before the first birders arrived. This bird proved quite showy for a Barred Warbler, usually very skulking birds; it remained until the 16th.

Walking back from the BCP on the 15th, I checked out the warm sheltered area below the top road at Soldier's Point, it was alive with birds; Goldcrests, Long-tailed Tits, Great, Blue and Coal Tits and amongst this throng of birds I found another Yellow-browed Warbler. This bird was very mobile as it moved around this roving tit flock. My hot streak continued the next day, in a morning of thunderstorms, sleeting rain and hailstones I found a 1st winter Red-breasted Flycatcher. The bird remained in the 'Cathedral' (a stand of tall trees near the BCP quarry face) all day. It was the 11th record of this species for Anglesey, eight of the last nine also occurring on my 'patch'.

On the 19th, I found my 3rd Yellow-browed Warbler of the month; this one at Soldier's Point and with others being found at Hen Felin (14th) and at Penmon (24th). These five birds made up the best year ever for Yellow-broweds on Anglesey. The first record of this species occurring as recently as 1985, these five bring Anglesey's total up to 37 (25 of which have been found either at Soldier's Point or the BCP and all but one of the 37 have occurred in the month of October).

After many days of searching in vain this year, I finally found a couple of Lapland Buntings on The Range on the 21st. As usual, they were very confiding, shuffling about under my feet. The 25th was a bit special on the Inland Sea with the Osprey hovering overhead and a stunning Great Northern Diver in full breeding plumage regally patrolling the water, then as I made my way to Four Mile Bridge I was greeted by 21 Mediterranean Gulls (11 adults, 8 2nd winter and 2 1st winter).

The month finished with a wintry feel when four Whooper Swans flew in high from the North-West over Soldier's Point with four Eider also arriving the same day. I hope there are still a few passage migrants to be found, but I fear I'm going to have to go into winter-birding mode."

It is testimony to Ken's modesty that he doesn't mention that, with the exception of the Skerries record in 1910 (which was not even alive!), he has found all the Barred Warblers that have ever been recorded on Anglesey. And if that weren't impressive enough, he also spotted all eight Red-breasted Flycatchers and all twenty-five Yellow-browed Warblers in the Holyhead area.

I hope you enjoyed reading about Ken's October as much as I did?!
Kathy x

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Another Waxwing Pic!!

Whilst looking for Firecrest at Conwy RSPB today (saw 1 in the car park with 3 Goldcrests on the A55 side, after spending 2 unsucessful hours by the bridge!!) news of the Llandudno Waxwings was too hard to ignore. So up I popped & managed a few shots before the light just got too poor for any more pictures.

Waxwing calls and sonogram

As well as superb views and the sight of tens or even hundreds of Waxwings has been superb over the past couple of days, the constant calling and sound of the trilling above the urban traffic has been the highlight for me.

The calls can be heard here on a sound recording I took today in B&Q car park.:-

Look at this amazing sonogram of the calls. The trill is made up of up to 10 very fine notes a second. Click on the image to make it larger.

I've played around with the sound this evening and slowed it down to various fractions of its speed so you can hear all the notes the trill contains. Listen to this clip where I have slowed it down to just under half its original speed. You can hear how many notes those high pitched short trills contain.

I always wonder how birds hear each others contact calls. Do they sound just like we hear them or are their ears far more sensitive to bird calls and hear a range of 'vocabulary' in what we hear as a trill, a rattle or a whistle. All interesting stuff.

LB Brents on the Foryd

Great numbers of birds here this winter.  I thought 350-400 today.  There are a few Colour-ringed birds there too including these from a couple of weeks ago:

  • Red K on left only. Other ring missing.  This was traced by GMcE to be a bird ringed on Axel Heiberg in Canada in 2007. 
  • JC/RB (Red J/BlueC) another Axel bird ringed in 2007
  • DP/WW (DP on white) ringed at Strangford Lough, N Ireland
I saw a few more today including:
  • AS'Heart' which wintered in Beddmanarch Bay 2 years ago
  • Yellow T on left only
  • DZ/BR (Blue D/Red Z)
  • LK,BR (Blue L/Red K)
Just submitted them so await info and will update here once i know.


Waxwing totals in NWales

80+ in Llandudno still midday near Holy Trinity Church
12 in Rhos on Sea, Llandrillo nr Geordies Garage
30 by shell garage, Rhyl Rd, Denbigh.  There were 9 nearby behind the old Kwiks yesterday
50 over Pentir, Bangor, flying west
5 briefly at RSPB Conwy

200 at least recorded so there must be many more out there.  Not sure if the 200 reported yesterday in Llandudno was the c100 flock seen twice or a typo but i gather there were probably around 130-160 yesterday.  Had a look in Caernarfon this evening but no sign yet- plenty berries though along near Tescos.


Some gratuitous Waxwing shots

Showing really well at the back of B&Q Llandudno this morning at around 0800 then became quite mobile but still great shots to be had but definitely stripping those berries quick! 

Shot from yesterday reckon 119 in this frame alone

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Just in case....

With a cedar waxwing reported in Ireland this morning it's worth keeping an eye out during this waxwing invasion just in case a cedar pops up in our area. I was lucky enough to see the cedar waxwing in Nottingham some years ago and for me the 3 easiest ways of separating it from Bohemian was its smaller size, lack of any white/yellow in the wing and the plain undertail compared to Bohemians rich buffy brown. The Irish bird also ponders the question whether we are now also seeing some north American bohemians in Britain. Here's a pic of the Nottingham cedar:

Waxwing Lyrical - Magical Mouthful

As Julian has said - at least 45 Waxwings in and around B&Q this morning and seeminly more and more dropping in as the time went on. Superb watching the general public getting involved and enjoying the spectacle too. There's also another 10 in Conwy Road. The Invasion has started!

Waxwings check in at Llandudno

Estimates of up to 40 waxwings checked in around the B&Q site in Llandudno this morning. Birds seen flycatching from the tall trees at the front of the store and also on various berry bearing bushes and trees around the store and on the main road at the rear. The hour I spent there with my grandson Alfie (who loves the Mohican haircut!) birds seem to increase in numbers as tho new ones were arriving all the time.

Friday, 9 November 2012

Waxwings .

Myself and JW went over to Deeside Industrial Est to look for the  reported Waxwings on Zone3. After a 20min drive round we managed to find 8 of them as you enter the Zone 3 turn right on the first roundabout drive about 3/4 mile down the rd past the last factory on your left you come to some bee hives on your left they were in that area.We did call back after a visit to Burton mere Wetlands but no sign of the birds.   

Waxwings in Deeside

Very quiet in N Wales today but a few Waxwing in Deeside this morning.  I reckon quite a few will get found over the weekend so keep your eyes peeled on or around any berrying bushes!

Had 2-3 Brambling again in Conwy this morning but none in the garden since Tues.  Have a good weekend.


Tuesday, 6 November 2012

North Ron comes to Bangor

This week at Bangor Bird Group Jennifer Batten will be giving us a talk on North Ronaldsay. Wednesday: Doors open 7 - 7.30, Brambell building, Deiniol Road. All welcome.

Monday, 5 November 2012

North Anglesey - bits and bobs.

Ron Evans had 3 Whooper Swans near Hen Borth, Cemlyn on Thursday the 1st Nov. They were there until Saturday the 3rd but had gone when I tried on Sunday the 4th! SHR had a Firecrest at Hen Felin Hen Borth also on Saturday but no sign on Sunday. Whilst hanging around the Car Park at Wylfa head on Sunday morning with Big Toe we had 11 Crossbills blogging around the forest with a nice male Blackcap in the bushes. Tony also had 1 or 2 Chiffchaffs. Today on Monday the 5th Nov I had 2 Whooper going to work and c.7 on the way back at their traditional wintering grounds (field) between Llangefni and Llanerchymedd near Tre-ysgawen Hall.

Surfs and firecrests

Two surf scoters showed together briefly this morning off station road in Llysfaen then just one male was on view. Three velvets scoters in flight and half a dozen red throated divers there. Carried on to Conwy RSPB and after a lot of searching eventually got on the 2 firecrests there. Most of the morning they were seen between the bridge pond and the T junction to the Carneddau hide.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Brambling in the garden

Never had any in the garden before but had 2 in the last week; a female first and a cracking male today. We could be in for one of those years!  Keep a look out.  The Chaffinches also peaked at over 30 and we've only got a small town garden.  

Conwy 'winter' Birding - Snow Buntings, Purple Sandpipers and Surf Scoters

An enjoyable wintery walk around the Orme this morning was rewarded with five showy Snow Buntings (2 males and 3 females), 20+ Brambling, 6 Bullfinch, 8 Mistle Thrush and 5 Redwings. 30+ Bottle nosed Dolphins offshore were a superb sight too. No sight or sound of Pete Alderson's Tawny pipit today.

One of the five showy Snow Bunting on the Orme this morning. Can anyone assign it to race? I presume it's 'insulae' due to the ground colour of the rump, although the mantle seems frosty and the 9th primary seems to have a lot of white on it.
The Purple Sandpipers have returned to Rhos Point with at least three birds present over high tide. Great Northern Diver there yesterday too.

Four Surf Scoters, three drake and a femlae still present off Llanddulas and best viewed from Llysfaen at station Road. at least two Velvet scoters here too ( 6 reported yesterday).