Saturday, 25 August 2012

Painted Lady

Yesterday we enjoyed some rather wet and windy summer weather -  a strong SE with heavy rain showers. I decided to check Pwllheli harbour and arrived as the tide was dropping during late afternoon.

It was good to bump into and put a face to a name in the shape of blog reader Dave Elmley who was checking the waders on the Cob before the increasing torrential rain drove both of us away. I went around to the large shelter on the north side of the harbour and waited to see what would appear.

Waders were the main attraction, comprising: 31 Oystercatcher, 181 Great Ringed Plover, 2 Knot, 2 Turnstone, 9 Dunlin, 2 Common Sandpiper, 61 Redshank, 2 Bar-tailed Godwits and 8 Curlew.

This morning the wind was in the north and I hit Porth Meudwy for a couple of hours. I might as well have stayed at home with very little avian activity although some nice butterflies included an immaculate Painted Lady (seen v few this year), Red Admirals, a blue spp, some Walls and a Speckled Wood.

Small numbers of phylloscopus warblers included a couple of Willow Warblers and 5 Chiffchaff, 3 Goldcrests were calling and just two Blackcaps were noted. Small numbers of alba wagtails seemed to be on the move and a few hirundines. A flock of 12 distant presumed Golden Plover flew high to the south but there was very little else to report.

With the wind easing and some welcome broken sunshine later I decided to head for the harbour again and managed just an hour here as the tide began dropping early evening. Fantastic views at point-blank range are guaranteed here as the mud is exposed and the flocks arrive to feed!

Total counts were: 35 Oystercatcher, 119 Great Ringed Plover, 2 Knot, 3 Turnstone, 20 Dunlin, 52 Redshank, 1 Bar-tailed Godwits and 7 Curlew.

Again I was left wondering - what passes through here undetected!? At times like this I wish we had a few more active birders in the area.

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