Sunday, 5 February 2012

Whooper Swan

Had an hour in town today before heading off for my morning appointment. The timing was perfect with the tide receding and the waders appearing. The Dunlin count was 192 with 11 Bar-tailed Godwits, 10 Oysteratchers, 9 Redshank and 4 Knot, plus the usual gulls, Shelduck etc so not the best selection but all showing well on this calm, dry morning.

I was interrupted from the waders by a good ten minute burst of Skylark song from the rough ground opposite the council HQ - fantastic! Greenfinch, Song Thrush, Robin and Dunnock were also clearing their throats in preparation for the breeding season while the single Great Crested Grebe in the harbour was moulting into summer plumage.

After lunch a brief drive-by stop at Aberdesach resulted in another Great Northern Diver, 3 Red-throated' and 12 Red-breasted Merganser.

A detour on the way home to Llanengan proved worthwhile with good numbers of birds on and around the flooded fields between here and Llangian. This marsh looks excellent for Bittern (and I've heard of one flushed from there in recent years) but none were seen today. A single Whooper Swan was associating with a handful of Mutes while 110 Teal were nearby. Decent numbers of waders were noted; 15 Dunlin, 120 Curlew, 660 Golden Plover and 770 Lapwing plus hundreds of Starling. Several hundred Herring' and Black-headed Gulls, plus a single LBB Gull, were also around.

Steve Stansfield also called to report a fine adult Mediterranean Gull showing from his temporary base down the road from me in Rhiw - where he'd also discovered a wing-tagged Red Kite heading over my house on Friday - fortunately I was in when he called and managed to connect with it!

The long-staying Surf Scoter is still showing well at Porth Dinllaen today, as is the adult Iceland Gull at Rhyd-y-clafdy. With the near Continent and the eastern part of the U.K. frozen I have to wonder what else might be lurking out there?

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