Monday, 31 August 2015

Nant Ffrancon

An early morning walk in Nant Ffrancon yesterday morning produced a flock of over 50 Mistle Thrush plus 6 Song Thrush and 2 Ring Ouzel,2 Chough. Good numbers of juvenile Stonechats.

RSPB Conwy sightings board

Evening visitors to the reserve are enjoying quite a spectacle this week, with thousands of Swallows coming in to roost in the reedbed. Check out the reserve blog or RSPB North Wales Facebook page for a short video of the pre-roost action by Ian Collier. Thanks to Bob Garrett for the excellent photo too.

There are small numbers of sand martins among the house martins each day, and we've still been seeing swifts most days (most recently yesterday, 30th). A juvenile stonechat has been here for a couple of weeks, presumably a locally nesting bird, and was still present this morning along the Ganol Trail.

Finally, we're hosting Binocular and Telescope Open Weekends at Conwy on 5/6 September and at Burton Mere Wetlands on Sunday 27 September - great opportunities to try out a good range of optics (including the new Swarovski ELs) in the field.

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Julians Bird Notes this morning in the Daily Post refer to the mass killing of migrants in Malta and other Mediterranean countries and I applaud any effort to get this issue over to the general public. Unfortunetly this problem is a lot closer to home,but thankfully not on the same scale. On a visit earlier this year to Bangor hospital I saw a bloke with a green T shirt on. It had the logo of a harrier on the front and the phrase Julian refers to in his notes 'IF IT FLIES IT DIES'


For around 10 minutes or so, at high tide at Aber Ogwen this morning, we watched a Black Tern flying back and forth, often quite close in.

Monday, 24 August 2015

RSPB Conwy sightings board

This week's waders include green sandpiper, up to 20 black-tailed godwits and 35 dunlins, ruff, ringed plover, whimbrel, greenshank, knot and snipe. Up to 90 little egrets have been feeding on the estuary this week, while three Sandwich terns were a surprise addition to the monthly Wetland Bird Survey and a Mediterranean gull was a bonus on Friday (14th).

We've seen more lesser whitethroats over the weekend, and it's been a good autumn for redstarts, with one or two on several dates over the last couple of weeks. Other highlights include spotted flycatcher, stock dove and stonechat, but perhaps bird of the week was a hobby on Friday evening (14th).

For more sightings, visit the Conwy reserve blog

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Hoopoe at Nant Gwrtheyrn?

I've just had a phone call from the Caernarfon Herald. A reader reports a Hoopoe yesterday around the car park at Nant Gwrtheryn, near Llithfaen.

I'm not sure whether this refers to the top car park (by the forestry) or the lower one near the buildings, but I'm guessing the higher one because the person was heading off up the adjacent mountain.

Might be worth a look for anyone in the Trefor/Nefyn area

Thursday, 13 August 2015

RSPB Conwy sightings board

As the water level drops, the lagoons are a magnet for waders, and you never know what will have arrived during the night.  Visitors over recent days include knot, green sandpiper, little ringed plover, common sandpiper, up to 40 dunlins and several black-tailed godwits, including one wearing coloured leg-rings (from Iceland we guess, but we are waiting to hear).

August is a month in which anything can appear, though often briefly: a first-summer little gull was a great find among the black-headed gulls during the evening roost on Monday (10th),  a scaup on Tuesday (11th), a whinchat and red kite were both seen on Sunday (9th); a spotted flycatcher was here on Saturday (8th), but that it's the first this year is a sad sign of their huge decline.

We've also had two new species on the reserve this week: check our blog to find out what.

North Wales Twite Recovery

I have made a number of visits to Nant Ffrancon and have yet to find any Twite. The late wet spring did not help as there was very little growth early on to provide them with their staple diet of seeds.

Has anybody else seen or heard Twite this spring?

The birds in the Pennines are beginning to form post breeding flocks, so presumably our should be doing the same in the next few weeks.

Your help would be appreciated, if you see any let the team know.

Kelvin Jones
BTO Cymru
North Wales Twite Recovery Project

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

RSPB Conwy sightings board

Wader movement evident at the reserve this week, attracted by the falling water levels on the lagoons.  One or two green sandpipers have been here most days for the last fortnight, a curlew sandpiper and ringed plover were seen yesterday (3rd), and there are several whimbrels on the estuary which come onto the lagoon islands at high tide. Up to 14 dunlins and 10 black-tailed godwits have been seen this week, a turnstone was reported last Wednesday (29th), two greenshanks and a grey plover on 25th.

These and other sightings on our updated blog:

Thanks to Aled Williams for the black-tailed godwits photo.