Thursday, 19 April 2012


Some heavy rain showers and the ongoing strong, cold northerly wind kept me inside until mid-morning. I decided to concentrate on the lower slopes of Mynydd Mawr then walked back towards Uwchmynydd village.

After wrapping up in a variety of thermal layers, scarf, gloves and hat I discovered the weather to be quite tolerable. I am a bit of a wuss when it comes to the cold - I find it hard to concentrate on my nature watching if I can't feel my fingers or have a drafty midriff - never mind if I'm out on an empty belly! So having sorted the day's wardrobe out (today I was mostly modelling Ventile - which is "in" this season and most seasons around here) I was ready for a veritable avian smorgasbord.

Bird-wise the stars of the day were the Wheatears with a bit of a fall of 15 individuals - including several big orange Greenland race birds - between the car park and St Mary's Well. Overhead, a bit of migration was evident with a single Sand Martin, three gloriously blue Barn Swallows, 12 Goldfinch, a Lesser Redpoll and a Mistle Thrush (or was it a displaced local bird?).

A nice sit down, tucked out of the wind, gave me the opportunity to try a half-hearted bit of seawatching. What I mean is that I can never get properly into this strange but addictive aspect of birding unless I drag myself to some windswept headland at dawn when the waves are pummelling the shore and the salt spray covering your lenses and filling your nostrils. Starting any later tends to produce far less birds but can still be worthwhile.

Scanning the Swnt or Bardsey Sound immediately produced several sightings of Harbour Porpoise powering through the turbulent waters. I conservatively counted between 5-7 individuals but there could easily have been many more as they were popping up over a big area. Several seabirds were attracted by the cetaceans (which act as markers for prey) - several Northern Gannets, Manx Shearwaters, Razorbills, Lesser Black-backed Gulls and Kittiwakes. A classic MSFA or 'Multi Species Feeding Association' as it's known in marine ornithology circles.

Having only given it about 30 minutes ("slacker!" I hear you say) I walked back inland. Three Willow Warblers along the lane appeared to be 'fresh in' as they were voraciously consuming insects while the resident species (eg Blackbirds, Chaffinch and Greenfinch) were busy with their breeding season activities. Later, six Sandwich Terns fed in Aberdaron Bay on the way home as the weather began to brighten up.


  1. Hi Andrew,

    I've been following/enjoying your blog for a few weeks now.

    A pal & I thought we'd have a week on the Llyn this year and give it a 'go' for migrants. We are coming down on the 28th April, stopping at Tir Glyn by Porth Meudwy. Never birded this area before,- have done the usual research Ordnance survey, google earth, where to watch books etc but I've also gleaned a few pointers from your posts.

    Perhaps we might bump into you!


    Rob Swift

    1. Hi Rob

      Tir Glyn is a great location - overlooking Porth Meudwy!

      The whole area is grossly underwatched so I'm sure you'll have some fun.

      Drop me an email at: if you'd like some local gen

      All the best