Monday, 30 September 2013

Just a cold Common Snipe?

Mantle pattern similar to Jack Snipe
 This bird is currently at Conwy RSPB, I was wondering what others thought? It stood out amongst the surrounding Common Snipe as looking much colder, slightly shorter-billed and having a different looking face. It seems to show dark-barred axillaries which is a good feature of Wilson's Snipe. Unfortunately, I haven't managed any pictures of the under-wings or tail yet but it looks interesting. It is a difficult species because Snipe are so variable and many features overlap with those of Wilson's Snipe.  It was outside the Tal-y-fan hide yesterday morning then on the first island opposite the far viewing screen this morning if anyone is interested in seeing it.
Barred Flanks

Thick super, in front of the eye

Left hand bird

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Richards Pipit at Wylfa

I decided to do Wylfa instead of Lynas this morning. Bar a few Chiffies in the Car Park it was pretty quiet. I headed out onto the headland but there was quite a wind coming from the east so I worked my way round the the flatter west side. Nearby at 8.20 I heard the loud "Shreep" call of a Richards pipit and a bird dived into the grass ahead of me. It's quite difficult doing an organised flush on your own, and I worked the area as best I could but produced only two mippets. As time passed and Reg's voice came into my head saying " you need to hear it three times" I started to feel a little less satisfied so I tried the incline to the east.20 minutes later it flew up again, called twice and dissappeared over the brow of the hill, but I least I could see it was a large long tailed pipit. I followed again, and once more it got up called a few times then dissappeared on the NE tip of the headland and I couldn't relocate it.Not a bad start to the day.
Otherwise it was very quiet bar a few Pied Wags on the filter bed and some Rock Pipits near the shore. Pity I couldn't get a photo but I only had flight views and it was quite windy this morning.

Glossy Ibis, 1st County

I gather that this is a 1st for Denbighshire and/or Conwy.  Any ideas who found it yesterday? It was still present this afternoon on the western side of River Clwyd.  Access along Marsh Road from Rhuddlan (road next to Premier Inn) and take footpath north to view around where the pylons cross the river.  Hope it stays a while!  Green Sand also reported there this morning.

Saturday, 28 September 2013

All quiet on the western front or the calm before the storm?

After orders from our Commander and Chief to get out of our trenches and go over the top I was out there again at Cemlyn this morning. But it was all quiet on the Western front! It's quite frustrating when you look at the Birdguides Birdmap with the whole of the east coast being pebble-dashed with Yellow browed warblers, Red breasted Fly's and other goodies. Some stuff must filter over soon, surely! There seemed to be less around than yesterday and my bird of the day was this Carrion Crow with just a dash of Hoodie! Presumably a Carrion X with a Hoodie Hybrid. I may try Point Lynas tomorrow and with October imminent adrenaline is starting to work its way into the system.

Friday, 27 September 2013

Cemlyn area update

Driving to Carmel Head this morning I had a Whinchat in Llanfairynghornwy. Walking down to Ynys y Fydlyn there was a small movement off chaffinches with a few redpolls, skylarks and the odd siskin. The path to Carmel head is closed and the gate locked for the shooting season so we headed south instead. This produced a Peregrine, Hooded Crow and a calling Brambling.
Hen Felin produced nothing today but it's always worth a stop but the Little Owl was at the top of the hill calling lots as its house was being overtaken by Jackdaws!
Cemlyn produced, 2 Ruffs with the 150 strong Curlew flock, 9 Little Egrets, c.75 Wigeon, single Grey Plover, Golden Plover and a Barwit.
Otherwise I had 7 photogenic Barwits at high tide at Penrhos CP Car Park this evening and a whimbrel flew over my house calling on wednesday night.

All happening out there....

Huge numbers of migrants are on the move, 500 Yellow browed Warblers recorded in the UK on Thursday! Bardsey Island has Siberian Stonechat, 2 YB Warblers, Firecrest, Lapland Bunting and Ring Ouzel. Great Orme Richard's Pipit and 2 Lapland Buntings. Influx of Glossy Ibis with birds as close as Ynys-hir RSPB and Greater Manchester. Rare birds being found all over the UK so this weekend get out there and find some! Very happy to hear reports of any good birds, text or call 07778 677141, and we can pass on the news. Good Birding, see you in the field! Alan and Ruth

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Kingfishers at Cemaes and Cemlyn

After Rhys saying how promising the Llanlleiana area looked when he went seawatching it motivated me to try round there on Sunday morning. It's a lovely walk but we didn't see much of note bar good numbers of Mippets and Rockets plus a Wheatear on Llanbadrig headland. In fact the best thing I had on Sunday was this female Kingfisher on the Afon Wygyr in Cemaes just below where the roadbridge crosses the river near The Harbour Hotel. Tony White also had another bird at Cemlyn that day, flying along the ridge.

Black Tern at Malltraeth Marsh RSPB reserve

Tony White and Jim Bach had a Black Tern and a Merlin on the reserve tonight. The Tern was in the wet field on the left as you walk down to the River Cefni from the HQ/Car Park. Also there's been a Bittern in this area all week.

Holy Island Bird Event- volunteers needed

Subject: Holy Island Bird Event
Just received this..,....
Any takers?

I hope you don’t mind me contacting you, I was given your email by Ben Stammers who said you might be interested in taking part or able to help promote an autumn bird event in Anglesey on the 5th of October. The event has been organised by the Anglesey AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) team to raise awareness of the AONB and the amazing bird life to be seen along the coast of Anglesey. We’re keen to get more birders involved so if you or anyone you know who might be interested in taking part please do get in touch. I’ve attached a poster with the event info and contact details for anyone wanting to find out more or to book. Any help in promoting this would be much appreciated!

Basically there will be 5 groups walking along the coastal footpath of Holy Island in 1 day, identifying and noting all the different bird species seen. Each group will have a member of staff and at least 1 or 2 good birders (hopefully more), and we’re hoping that members of the public will join us too whether they’re expert birders or just beginners. The groups will be as follows and are shown on the maps attached:

Group 1 – St Cybi’s Church to Four Mile Bridge (approx. 5 miles)
Group 2 – Four Mile Bridge to Rhoscolyn (Borthwen) (approx. 5 miles)
Group 3 – Rhoscolyn to Trearddur Bay (approx. 4.5 miles)
Group 4 – Trearddur Bay to South Stack (approx. 6.5 miles)
Group 5 – South Stack to St Cybi’s Church (approx. 5 miles)

We’ll be meeting at 8.30am at Breakwater Country Park before everyone sets off to do their walk, and then there’ll be a small buffet and a panad at Caffi’r Parc (Breakwater) at 4.30ish for a catch up and to discuss the days sightings.

If you would like to take part, is there any section you’d like to do? Otherwise, any help in promoting the event would be much appreciated!

Kind regards

Lowri Hughes
Warden Cymunedol AHNE/AONB Community Warden
Cyngor Sir Ynys Mon/Isle of Anglesey County Council
Swyddfeydd y Cyngor / Council Offices
LL77 7TW
01248 752 446

Eyes peeled for Colour Ringed Sandwich Terns

Geoff Gibbs asked me to post this.

Tony Cross says he ringed a few Sandwich Terns with Red Darvic rings this year on the Dyfi. As Sod's law dictates, last year when we didn't have any colour-rings he caught nearly 100 post breeders at Ynyslas. This year, armed with bright new rings he only managed 11 all autumn! see blog below for photos. Two of these have been sighted at Dawlish Warren in Devon already though. see entry for Aug 25th to see what the rings look like.
Tony adds: Ewan has had amazing results already from the 1000+ they have managed to do in east Scotland.

Monday, 23 September 2013

Yellow-browed warbler Great Orme

VA yellow-browed warbler was found on the Great Orme by Pete Alderton at 12.10pm today, the bird frequenting a couple of hawthorn bushes on Marine Drive just past the cafe and turn-off for the limestone pavement car park on the left side of the road under a cliff face. The yellow-browed showed well up to 1.30pm when I left and was mainly in the right hand bush. A spot fly was also there briefly and a couple of willow warblers in the same bush. Early morning a female ring ouzel was on the limestone pavements wall and tree pipit (Pete), snipe and golden plover also recorded along with reasonable numbers of mipits and skylarks. Cracking photo below by Neil Alderson.

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Lapland Bunting heralds the autumn

After a very quiet few weeks on the Orme, this morning seemed to have that autumnal feel to it. At least one Lapland Bunting was present, first seen flying west over the lighthouse and then spending some time around the rest and be thankful cafe. Reg Thorpe presumably had the same bird near the limestone car park around the same time and a little later it, or another showed around the Cairn. A few birds were on the move, including a nice group of six Tree Sparrows moving west amongst a light passage of Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Linnet and Chaffinches. 11 Grey Wagtails were logged making their way towards Anglesey while Great Spotted Woodpecker, 2 House Sparrows, Reed Bunting, Northern Wheatear and 2 Siskin were also on the headland. Offshore, a cracking 1st winter Mediterranean Gull was just offshore below the lighthouse while 30+ Atlantic Bottle nosed Dolphins put on a terrific show.

Friday, 20 September 2013

Colour ringed sandwich terns

There were four colour ringed sandwich terns at Rhos Point this afternoon and after making some inquiries it appears that (thanks to Ewan Weston) red over green is from a sands of Forvie project in Aberdeenshire while a red ring left leg/metal right leg could be one of Ewan's North East Scotland Grampian Ringing Group bird but also possibly some Welsh sarnies have had red rings as well as some on the Farne Isles, unfortunately the bird was too far away to read any numbers/letters. Also present again was an orange ringed bird with metal on the other leg and the only scheme I can find with that combo so far is a Bulgarian project. The fourth bird was a bit distant and was either lime green or maybe white so will have to hope it gets nearer if it hangs around.

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Magic Pelagic- far out dude

Arriving in Arrecife airport, Lanzarote, we were greeted by Jose Pedro Portillo there for the same reason as us, to head out that night on the first of three 48hr pelagics from the small village of Orzola at the north of the island.  Martin, Marc, Jose and myself jumped into the hire car and headed west soon connecting with Houbara Bustard, Great/Southern Grey Shrike, Laughing Dove and then the biggest ‘jam’ were 6 Cream-c-Courser, 5 of which within 10m of the car on the edge of Playa Blanca.  I had visited the area a few times 3 years ago whilst on holiday and didn't connect until the final day and we rock-up and see 6 within 10 mins.  Job done; off to Orzola to meet the others.  Lunch followed a tapas starter of ‘lapas’ and ‘papas’ (grilled limpets and salted new potatoes). Afterwards we took the opportunity to head out on a zodiac to try for the Red-billed Tropicbirds which had bred on the cliffs nearby but unfortunately the last sighting was just three days prior to our arrival and we soon concluded that the chick must have fledged and the birds gone out into the Atlantic.  A 2 metre Hammerhead Shark was a welcome ‘padder’.  Jose also had an added reason to be there as he was doing a ‘Big Year’ for Spain and was in the lead so any oceanic birds in Spanish waters were a bonus and we were all willing something mega, other than the swell.  The logistics for the trip were organised by Dani and Juan at Lanzarote Pelagics.
Flying fish-snuffed it after headbutting the boat!
Hammerhead Shark




 Loggerhead Turtle eating the chum!

After dinner on the harbour in Graciosa we set off to the NW through the night into the Atlantic with two teams on two boats.  Five minutes below deck was enough for me to decide that I might be better above deck.  Trying to ignore the motion I pulled my sleeping bag over my head and hoped for the best.  Luigi the skipper was on duty most of the night.  There was a crash 

gainst the awning next to where I was pretending to sleep and I didn’t have the energy to see what it was.  Luigi came over with his head torch and said “see, flying fish”.  I craned my neck over to see lying it lying on the outer deck.

Morning couldn’t come soon enough and with coffee and cakes for breakfast we were ready to ‘drop the chum’.  The swell was fairly big by my standards but was pretty calm to the regulars.  Cory’s and Bulwer’s passed the boat and several Maderian Storm-Petrel.  Martin was onto something way ahead of the boat……Dani was straight onto it…“PTERODROMA”!! They got everyone on it, and contacted the other boat.  We initially leant towards it being a Zino’s but remarkably Tony Blunden, on the other boat, 50m or so behind us rattled off a few shots which revealed it to be more Fea’s/Dessertas-type. Wow!
Fea's/Dessertas type Pterodroma by Tony Blunden
Pics by Tony Blunden
Next up were a couple of White-faced Petrels came into the chum; what magnificent birds and flight action.  More Madierian followed allowing comparison of moults; the method used to determine F.grants from F.madieria of which there were both.  Sailing in a triangle we covered more ground around El Banco de la Concepcion, an underwater ridge against which nutrients swell-up and the oceanic species gather.  For the second night we just drifted NW into the Atlantic with the sails open.  Moving with the swell, rather than through it as per the previous night, was even more like being in a washing machine and I didn’t venture below deck again resolving for a night on deck again.  Cory’s passed through the faint glow of the boat lights at night and some bioluminescent was visible around the boat.  What with this, the flying fish the night before, it was looking like ‘The Life of Pi’; and I wondered if there was a tiger on board.  Maybe that’s why I didn’t go down there.
Maderian Petrel
Dawn revealed itself once more and I, despite never being sick, was riding the crest that this evening my feet will be on land but before that there was a whole day soaking up more seabirds.  It was a slower start but we picked up better views of Maderian SP and a Wilson’s SP came into the slick.  A Great Shearwater flew into view followed by an adult Sabine’s Gull, remarkably only the 2nd for the Canaries and another find for Mr G!  We clocked a distant fishing boat (an obvious draw for pelagic birds) so we sailed over in unison.  The boat was fishing in an area of water we gathered it shouldn’t have been and with frightening efficiency pole fishing for Tuna.  There were many terns around the boat with flocks siting on the open sea, a behaviour which I hadn’t seen before.  Another Great Shearwater was sat on the sea but was still difficult to photograph!  A couple of Long-tailed Skuas also kept us entertained visiting each boat for whitebait.  That was pretty much it before heading back to land, apart from the 8 hours or so left to sail so there was still hope.  Cory’s gave amazing views and plenty more Bulwer’s zipped past.  We also saw a few more Loggerhead Turtles  
Ad Sabs
Comics on the sea!
The other boat had gained a good 30 minutes on us but still in sight.  We kept watching, in between the odd siesta in the blazing sunshine.  Now it was Marc’s turn; I heard “Get on this small shearwater”…(admittedly I may have been mid-siesta).  I was on my feet, bins-to-eyes to see a wing disappear into a trough and then emerge in all its Little Shearwater glory.  A nanosecond passed before Dani outburst with “BAROLO..BAROLO…get pictures!”.  It all happened extremely quickly, from a moving boat, getting onto a flying bird but all the features were pretty obvious even the little beady eye in a white face.  It seem to come in to check the boat, looked at it, then turned on its heels and motored away at almost right-angles in its very individual fluttery flight action on bowed wings.  The icing on the cake was that Jonnanes actually got some pictures.  What a finale.  Unfortunately the boat ahead missed out but they did see two Spm Whales at close range.  Looking out for those in its path we did see a Curvier’s Beaked Whale breaching a couple of times.  An Eleanora’s Falcon 10 miles out at sea chasing a Grey Phalarope was also new behavioural action for me; extreme survival.

We arrived back in Graciosa, then got the zodiac back to Orzola, then drove to the south of the island to find our apartment for the night exhausted but buzzing.  The next day allowed for connecting with other land birds still needed.  Marc was characteristically out before anyone else and had found a colour-marked Sanderling on the beach so we headed down to get a picture.  See its story here:
We then tried the rocky coastal area around the NE of the island where a Spotted Sandpiper had been seen during the few days before.  We didn’t find it but it was great exploring the volcanic coast in search of waders, in hot sunshine.  A bit different to home. We went out to a goat farm to see Trumpeter Finch, Hoopoe and showy Berthelot’s Pipits, which were wide-spread.  Heading into the hills we saw the African race of Blue Tit, Stone Curlew and Monarch butterfly.  Following that it was down to the coast at Orzola for a seawatch.  We ended up back at the apartment at about 9:30 and Jose said “we meet in 15 minutes to go out for dinner”!  Us Brits used to going to bed around then; we politely and defiantly accepted as you do and had a great meal in great company.  A couple of hours the next morning saw us at Teguise golf course spending an enjoyable morning looking for migrants picking up a flava Yelllow Wagtail, Melodious Warbler and a couple of Pied Flycatcher before our flight home

A huge thanks to Martin, Dani, Jose and Juan for making it such a great experience.  Hope to meet up again next year! 

Monday, 16 September 2013

North Anglesey Update -Cemaes Area

Dusted off the bins recently and squeezed in a bit of birding. A Hooded Crow was around Tregele for a week at the start of the month. Yesterday I went to Cemlyn to try and do some seawatching but got distracted chasing a Purple Sand and a Whimbrel over the rocks. There were plenty of Manxies offshore and 40 Gannets in view at one time.
Llanbadrig had 2 Leach's and a Sooty Shearwater today. I had a quick look but had to pick up the little'un so couldn't stay for long, but I always find things a bit distant here as Middle Mouse keeps most birds that little bit further out. I moved to Bull Bay headland, which I like as things are closer here, including a nice Summer Plumaged Red throated Diver. However its a bit un-nerving wandering around a windswept headland with a three-year old so I plumbed for Octel in Amlwch on the mound by the old Windmill, seawatching from the car, with Little Shaun in the back with a bag of Monster munch to give me a bit of time. This is one of Martin Jones's haunts and as expected he had arrived just before me. I gave it about 30 minutes and managed to pick out a Sooty Shearwater amongst the Manxies whilst playing I-spy with Sion. That was before the Monster munch ran out and the cries of "can we go home now" from the back of the car got too loud to ignore.

Petrel Spill on the Wirral! - 16th September 2013

I arrived back in Bangor yesterday to start my upcoming Research Masters. Given the weather conditions, I thought I'd give the Mersey a go in the hope of that I'd connect with some Leach's. I met Andrew Kinghorn at Lime Street Station and then heading off to the Wirral.
After a rocky start with almost no birds at all, we picked up 8 Leach's Storm-petrels moving West past Leasowe (heading towards Wales, hence the blog post...(a slim link, I know!)).
We also had nice views of an adult winter Mediterranean Gull in my favourite plumage at New Brighton.

A nice first day back in the rainy land!

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Connah's Quay

A visit over the hide tide to DNS reserve today revealed 2 of the hoped for curlew sandpipers. Two smart 1st year birds. No other small waders though let alone anything rarer! c3000 redshank, c200 blackwits, c1000 teal, 14 little egret and 2 early pintail in horrible weather. Surely there must be a yank wader in North Wales somewhere!

Leucistic Oystercatcher at Llanfairfechan

I'm staying with a friend at the moment in north Wales.
I took a trip to Llanfairfechan today, and found the leucistic Oystercatcher opposite the promenade.
A couple of pictures if you're interested, for the blog.
holdingmoments. (Keith O'Hagen)

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Lanzarote Sanderling - amazing migration

While Rob and I were birding in Lanzarote at the end of August we came across the colour ringed and flagged Sanderling below.
I sent the information to J.W.H. Reneerkens who carries out Sanderling ringing projects and he sent me the following info about the bird:-
Ringed on 16/8/2012 at Giend high tide roost Netherlands.
Sighted 8/3/2013 at Las Palmas beach, Lanzarote, Canary Islands.
Sighted 28/05/2013 at Ameland, Netherlands.
Sighted 29/08/2013 at Puerto del Carmen, Lanzarote, Canary Islands

Amazing to think this bird probably travelled to and from it's breeding grounds in Greenland via Netherlands in between the two Lanzarote sightings too!

Little Stint - Conwy RSPB

Rob Sandham found a lovely Little Stint at Conwy RSPB this morning. He used his iPhone to iphonescope a couple of images to local birders while out in the field. Great to receive pics like that on your phone- makes being in work much more interesting.

Black Tern - Rhos Point

A quick look at Rhos Point on the way to a meeting this evening produced a superb juvenile Black Tern amongst 150+ Sandwich Terns. The flock was roosting on the tideline in front of the small church. Several of the Sandwich Terns were ringed- two colour ringed and at least 8 with a BTO ring.

Saturday, 7 September 2013

River Clwyd - Little Stint and Yellow legged Gull

A nice walk down the length of the River Clwyd this afternoon produced the following good numbers of birds - A presumed 3rd winter Yellow legged Gull at the Rhuddlan end with 500+ large gulls. juvenile Mediterranean Gull with Black headed Gulls in the fields. Little Stint with 70+ Dunlin by the overturned boat. 4 Knot and a Sanderling on the mud too. Common Sandpiper along the river bank along with 4 Wigeon, 50+ Common Teal, 9 Goosander and 50+ Cormorants. 530+ Sandwich Terns were making a racket roosting on the saltmarsh south of the pumping station.

RSPB Conwy in the rain

Well the hoped for big fall did not happen sadly. A trudge around RSPB Conwy early morning, in steady rain, was worth while though. Still three Curlew Sandpipers with a small flock of Dunlin from the boardwalk screen. A Green Sandpiper dropped in from the Tal-y-fan hide as a Golden Plover circled over calling. A Greenshank and 63 Wigeon from the Carneddau hide. The bridge pool was good for warblers with many birds feeding on the north side of the bridge in the reeds. Brilliant views looking down on Reed Warblers and Chiffchaff here, looks good for something better! A call from Glyn later told of an Osprey drifting south over the reserve late morning. We have three places left on our Extremadura, Spain trip next March if anyone fancies looking forward to Spring migration seeing as Autumn seems to be passing us by! Alan and Ruth

Friday, 6 September 2013

Big weekend coming up?

With the weather going down hill fast today could we be in for an up turn in the birding? Been pretty slow recently with all active birds walking around with long faces! It is the same on Bardsey so it is not just lack of people looking. But if we all get out there this weekend surely with these NE winds there will be birds to find? A few birds turning up on the east coast, including a Yellow breasted Bunting on the Farne Islands! Curlew Sandpipers are still coming through and a Spotted Flycatcher at RSPB Conwy today gives us hope. See you out there! Do text your news in on 07778 677141 and we will do our best to get the word out as widely as possible. Alan and Ruth

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Cyber birding

Found a Semi palmated Sandpiper in Wales today! Sadly it was a cyber find not the real thing. Noticed a picture labelled "Little Stint" on the Pembrokeshire Bird blog and contacted local birders. The identification was confirmed as a Semi P this pm. Nice but now need to find a real live bird here in North Wales! Melodious Warbler on Bardsey today. Curlew Sandpipers still coming through in small numbers. Alan and Ruth

The Great Orme

Sorry for the late update, this was the Dotterel from the Great Orme taken on the 31/08.

A Dotterel yawning, well you don't see that everyday!

Also got an adult Med Gull from the Little Orme along with Manxies and Gannets and two Arctic Skua from Llanddulas.

Monday, 2 September 2013

Stilt Sandpiper on the move

The Stilt Sandpiper has been relocated at Sandbach Flashes in Cheshire today, where next? Wales would be nice! No sign of the Dotterel on the Great Orme today but 4 Curlew Sandpiper still at RSPB Conwy. A few Leach's Petrels past the Wirral but looks like wind dropping and more warm waether coming, a Yank wader might be best bet? If you fancy some great Norfolk birding we have space on our 23rd - 25th September trip, sure to be loads of great birds! Alan and Ruth

Sunday, 1 September 2013

August in the Sun - Part 1 Crete

Not many North Wales posts this month I'm afraid as I've been on my travels as many of the regular contributors have. The first few weeks of the month I spent in western Crete with the family. Based in Chania we travelled west and south from here seeing many species. I concentrated my efforts each day on Agia Lake, the only major freshwater lake in the far west. Here are a few of the main species seen during my visit and a few photos:- - adult Lammergeier seen at the Samaria Gorge - 200+ Wood Sandpipers daily with up to 70 at Agia Lake and 200 along the coast. One melanistic type (picture below) - 12+ Eleanora's Falcons at the Lake - 3 juv Little Crake at the Lake - Marsh Sandpiper at the Lake - Ruff, Little Stint, Little Ringed Plovers, Green Sandpipers at the Lake - Night and Squacco Herons at the Lake - Osprey at the Lake - Golden Eagles and Bonelli's Eagles in the White Mountains - Eastern Olivacious Warbler seen at several locations. Also met some great locals including Nikos who is a great photographer and very helpful with local species. A few birds and butterflies taken in Crete earlier this month......
Good numbers of Alpine Swifts seen on the move - upwards of 100+ in flocks
Eleanora's gave great displays chasing dragonflies and hirundines
Three juvenile Little Crakes were present at Agia Lake
This Squacco Heron was a right show off for most of the fortnight

A couple of beautiful Cretian butterflies.
A strange Wood Sandpiper got me going for a while, seen here with a Hooded Crow. It was either melanistic or was heavily oiled. Seemed to be in good health though.

Dotterel still present on Great Orme

The showy juvenile Dotterel was again performing on the Great Orme limestone headland this morning. Whinchat, 2 Wheatear and one Whitethroat the only mogrants of note. The Dotterel favours the short grassy area just north opf the cairn. Be careful where yolu walk as you can almost step on it before you see it. Many birders walked past it this morning totally unaware that it was sitting only feet away! Nearby at Conwy RSPB, four Curlew Sandpipers are showing amongst the regular waders.