Saturday, 6 October 2012

Continental Jays?

I set the alarm for another unearthly hour and was rewarded by a brilliant starscape and silver moon on waking. The ritual of breakfast, gathering food, flask, optics etc was quickly over and I was out on the road again, heading west. After some very heavy showers the morning dawned dry and cold with the wind in the northwest and expectations high.

Visible migration was again on the agenda but sadly the results were a little disappointing - click the Trektellen screengrab below for full details:

The two Jays were seen by an unknown birder who I met in Porth Meudwy after completing the count where I was pleased to see another couple of these smart corvids - presumably they're Continental birds as big numbers are presently being reported from both sides of the North Sea.

With the sun hitting the top of the valley after a cold night plenty of birds were busy flycatching and eating the blackberries, haws and elderberries. Blackcaps were most evident with 19 logged plus a total of three Chiffchaff. I was fortunate enough to refind both the Yellow-browed Warbler and the male Firecrest and was able to view both from the same location at one point (in the bottom section of the valley in the willows by the stream). By this time the sun was really warming the place up and it tuned out to be a gorgeous day.

Overhead, hirundines were passing through with 19 Barn Swallow and 25 House Martin. While watching these a group of Common Buzzads were located very high up in the clouds (two adults and four 1st years - presumably also on the move).

The usual suspects were around the valley including twenty Robins, two Blackbirds and a single Song Thrush were also seen. Where are all the Redwings and Fieldfares? Very late arriving this year. Small groups of Chaffinch were again dropping in, a Lesser Redpoll buzzed overhead and a few more Skylarks headed over. A couple of Coal Tits could also have been migrants as they were the first I've seen here for a while.

After bumping into Eddie again I was relieved when he connected with the Yellow-browed' before we had a drive around Uwchmynydd, checking Pwll Cyw (quiet apart from a few Goldcrests, Chiffchaff and a nearby Northern Wheatear) and Ystolhelyg. A nice Red Kite was a bonus bird drifting overhead. After dropping him back in the valley an Adder slithered across the track as I departed.

On reaching home received a message that a probable Richard's Pipit was at Porth Colomon today (no further details) and a Firecrest was at the crossroads by Ffynnon Saint just west of Aberdaron. This was still showing late afternoon.

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