Saturday, 31 December 2011

Aberdesach Chough

More grim weather today with low cloud and some heavy showers. I spent a while at Aberdesach late afternoon in the hope of a few Great Northern Divers as it's the best site in the area for them. Unfortunately it was throwing it down as I arrived and all I managed were a couple of very distant unidentified divers while using my binoculars from the car.

Despite giving the sea a good scoping there was little to get excited about  - a lobster fisherman was busy checking his pots causing disturbance to the few birds that were present; just 9 Red-breasted Merganser, 3 Shag and a Cormorant, but as I was leaving the car park a flock of 10 Chough headed low overhead to the SW, presumably off to roost. It seems appropriate that the last bird species I recorded in 2011 was this iconic Celtic crow.

Good Birding & Best Wishes to all followers in the New Year!

Friday, 30 December 2011

Bar-tailed Godwits

Today was calm - at last, although still dull and wet. Late afternoon saw me checking part of the harbour in Pwllheli as the tide began to drop. A similar mix of species to the other day were seen; five Bar-tailed Godwits were the highlight while the Dunlin flock was up to c220 birds with small numbers of Curlew, Oystercatcher, Knot and Redshank. Three Little Egrets were feeding, while three Great Crested Grebe and a pair of Red-breasted Merganser were in the harbour channel. A flock of 50 Wigeon headed west whle small groups of gulls were dropping out of the sky to bathe before heading off to roost at sea.

It was good to hear two Song Thrush and a Great Tit singing as dusk fell while a Water Rail was again calling from the reeds.

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Blackbirds & Blackcap

I spent a couple of hours in Porth Meudwy this morning with Peter Kemis-Betty. The weather was again pretty grim with a freezing gale force westerly - although at least the overnight rain had eased off. I am getting pretty bored of the relentless depressions sweeping in across the Atlantic - there has hardly been a calm day for weeks!

Blackbirds were most evident with small groups everywhere, totalling 31 birds, most feasting on the remnanats of the sloes in the upper valley. A few smart Redwings were whizzing about - c18. A single Blackcap, Bullfinch and 7 Long-tailed Tits plus a couple of Goldcrest were sheltering by the stream and a Peregrine flew east. A single Chough and a couple of Raven were also overhead while Aberdaron Bay was quiet apart from a few Shag, Herring', Common' and a couple of Great Black-backed Gulls.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Pwllheli Dunlin

I travelled into town late afternoon - noticing big numbers of Golden Plover, Lapwing and gulls on the roadside fields at Penrhos but did not have time to check them out.

The light was fading and the tide incoming rapidly in the harbour, pushing a decent flock (for this site) of 207 Dunlin towards the Cob before thye headed off to roost. A handful of Curlew, Oystercatcher and Knot were also present with 58 Redshank. Three Little Egret, plus single Great Crested Grebe and Red-breasted Merganser were noted plus a couple of hundred small gulls dropped in.

A group of 15 vocal Teal were on the Cob Pool with a couple of Snipe, while a Water Rail squealed from the reedbed and 3 Long-tailed Tits added to the chorus.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Criccieth Black Redstart

Eddie Urbanski had a Black Redstart this afternoon over at Criccieth. The bird was by the sea front east of  the Moranedd CafĂ© by the WARNING: LANDSLIP sign. 

Friday, 16 December 2011

Goldies & Pewits

Have not done a great deal of birding in often inclement weather these last few weeks - so the blog has been quiet.

I've also been busy as I've become a grandad again (yes, I am way too young I hear you say). The still unnamed baby girl - 9 months isn't long enough to decide apparently! - and mum are both doing well.

Anyway, less talk of mammals and a snippet of bird news. With the drop in temperatures of late I've noticed some good wader flocks. Over 100 Golden Plover and 220+ Lapwing were wheeling over the fields by Saithbont, Botwnnog today while another 200+ Lapwings were over the usual fields at Penrhos which has also held some sizeable Wigeon flocks on the floods.