Thursday, 27 September 2012

Flood Ruffs

After my previous post about the Llanengan floods and waxing lyrical about ye olde records from there I've been either avoiding the rain, busy and/or away, but found myself staring at the site yesterday afternoon as massive thunder clouds rolled across the sky, the showers came down and brilliant rainbows appeared when the sun broke through.

Hundreds of large gulls, 80+ Curlew, 23 Eurasian Wigeon, an early Goldeneye, a few Teal, two fine Ruff, plus single Lapwing, Dunlin and Bar-tailed Godwit were making the most of the transient floodscape while a Grass Snake was dead on the road in Llangian - presumably 'washed out'. A minimum of 30 alba wagtails were around and a smart Yellow Wagtail flew north.

With the rarities coating the northern and eastern parts of the UK I reckoned that some must have made their way this far west and had a quick look in Porth Meudwy as the sun was setting. A couple of Spotted Flycatchers were the best sighting as most other species seemed to be getting their heads down ready to roost.

This morning I reached Porth Meudwy in much brighter conditions, although a cool NW was blowing. A couple of hours spent slowly grilling every bush revealed... not much!

Hirundines comprised 11 Barn Swallow and a single House Martin, Robins seemed to be eveywhere (especially in the upper valley) with a  minimum of 23 present, while three Blackbirds were lurking in the undergrowth. As was a large grey wabler that I saw enter and fail to reappear (it did look suspiciously like a Barred' on the brief flight views but will consign it to my large 'ones that got away' list).

Just six Blackcaps, three Chiffchaff, 13 Goldcrest and a single Spotted Flycatcher were logged. A few finches - including two Bullfinches - were the best of the rest, while a couple of hawker dragonflies, several Red Admirals and a lovely Comma represented the non-avian fliers.


  1. Hi Andrew,
    Good day out !
    Let me know what the Grass snake was like.ha ha
    Got to get out sometime for some birding.
    All the best

  2. Hi Gareth

    Long time - hope you're well. Despite the temptation I didn't bother sticking the snake in the fridge. Strictly tofu tonight, in a nice Green Thai Curry paste!

    Good Birding & Best Wishes


  3. Good stuff ,keep at it : )
    Porthdinllaen was pretty grim this morning - flyover alba was and one each RTD and Arctic Skua : (
    Ysgaden look ok Sunday-?

    1. Top marks for trying RJ - but 3 birds in total!?

      Fully concur, Ysgaden could be the place to be on Sunday morning - especially if the rain stays away.