Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Porth Ysgaden Seawatching

The howling gale and heavy rain kept me awake most of the night so I decided that Porth Ysgaden might be worth a look. Virtually the first bird from the shelter of the old gable end was a mighty fine Sooty Shearwater at close range. These birds really are not that common around North Wales and always bring a smile.

Fortunately the rain had ceased by the time I arrived although the wind was still blowing a SW gale, decreasing slightly and heading more WSW later when a front with heavy rain had me heading for shelter. 

Total counts (all heading SW) between 0750-1220 hrs were:

1 Teal
1 Common Scoter
12 Fulmar
7 Sooty Shearwater
305 Manx Shearwater
1 Balearic Shearwater
168 Gannet
5 Shag (local birds)
4 Ringed Plover
2 Whimbrel
3 Oystercatcher
4 Arctic Skua (2 distant dark phase, 2 pale phase and a ginger juvenile heading NE)

5 Great Skua
122 Kittiwake
15 Herring Gull
3 LBB Gull
2 GBB Gull
5 Sandwich Tern
8 Common/Arctic Tern
18 Razorbill
4 Guillemot
10 Auk sp

Two Wheatear and 3 White Wagtails fed on the fields.

I've included below a few entries from the start of September for completion.

Sunday, 4th September

Uwchmynydd, 0700-0900 hs.

Calm, dry broken high cloud.

Worked my way around Mynydd Mawr logging the visible migration etc

Highlights were a mixed flock of 17 White Wagtails, 30 Meadow' and 5 Tree Pipits feeding on the sheltered south side of the mountain. It's unusual to see Tree Pipits on the ground here - most simply fly over calling (which another one did). 

A few other migrants included a Grey Wagtail, 15 Chaffinch and a Whimbrel heading south over the Swnt.

Several Chough were around - probably 8 in total. A Peregrine was screaming away manically for ages from the seacliffs but refused to show itself!

Nearby, Rhys, Simon and Jesse had Lesser Whitethroat, several Blackcaps, Garden Warbler, redpoll sp and a Golden Plover in/over Porth Meudwy.

Later I checked Pwllheli again, the tide was even higher and most of the Cob Pool was submerged. Again I wandered the whole area.

Seven Teal fed on the pool, plus a lone juv Shelduck. Waders here comprised single Greenshank, Ruff, Snipe and Dunlin with 2 Knot and 3 Black-tailed Godwits. Four Med' Gulls (3 ad plus a 2nd winter) were commuting between the flock of commoner gulls on the pool and the fields by the school.

A Whimbrel and 87 Redshank were roosting near the marina in the area I call the inner harbour plus 2 Wheatear.  

Friday, 2nd September

I headed into Pwllheli this afternoon and checked the harbour.

The tide was just beginnng to drop so I walked out onto the former 'island', dodging the dog walkers, and checked the marina area, main harbour and Cob Pool.

Three Wheatears were around the boulders on the shore with a Skylark flushed from the long grass.

Waders included 68 Redshank, 17 Oystercatchers, 14 Ringed Plover, 4 Knot, 12 Dunlin, a juvenile Ruff and a Black-tailed Godwit.

The Cob Pool was looking good with a fair amount of mud. This held 6 Teal, an early Wigeon, a Greenshank plus a smart adult Mediterranean Gull amongst the usual Black-headed', LBB's and Herring Gulls.

Thursday 1st September

Enjoyed a couple of hours in the sunshine in Porth Meudwy this morning.

Quite a few passerine migrants around including 2 each of Lesser Whitethroat and Whitethroat, 13 Blackcap, 14 Chiffchaff, a Willow Warbler and 4 Goldcrest. Swallows were on the move with 45 through plus 6 alba wagtails.

Three noisy Chough headed over while a Sparrowhawk was hunting the valley.

Typically, the peace was shattered by news from Bardsey of a Western Bonelli's Warbler caught and ringed on the island!

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