Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Country Diary

Nice to hear (cheers Steph!) that Mark Cocker of The Guardian newspaper published a Country Diary column about Uwchmynydd yesterday. He was mainly waxing lyrical about the noisy local Choughs - but also managed to enjoy some visible migration!

To be honest it's easy to get a bit blase about these corvids - I've even seen them in the garden at times - but they really are something special. According to the recently published paper 'Rare breeding birds in the UK in 2009' the total UK estimate was between 281-487 pairs, of which there were 222 confirmed breeding pairs of a total of 293 territorial pairs in Wales. The old Vice County of Caernarfonshire supported 74 confirmed breeders of a total 100 recorded pairs - therefore we support a big percentage of the total population.

Many of the local birds are colour-ringed by a dedicated team. I hear stories of boats and ladders entering sea caves and lots of dangling off ropes to reach the nest sites. Thus many of the local birds are wearing jewellery. If I carried my scope more often I might be able to forward a few more records to them.

Anyway, I did zero birding today but was fortunate to encounter a Hummingbird Hawkmoth and a Red Admiral flying around in gale force winds on a walk down to Aberdaron this afternoon; the first hummer - and I suspect the last - that I've seen this year.

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