Monday, 26 December 2011

North Wales update and Rhyl's GND

It's not very often we get the privalige to see such a fantastic bird so close to us on a small inland lake. Rhyl's marine lake is giving us this great opportunity and here's a short clip of the Great Northern Diver, video'd by Adrian Foster


An update of what else is worth looking out for around North Wales at the moment:

Rhos point is putting on a good show of Purple Sandpipers with atleast 23 counted within the last day or so.

A count of up to 12 Snow Buntings and 2 Short Eared Owls at Kimmel Bay

3 Firecrests at Conwy

Spoonbill at Point of Ayr (Talacre) on 24th Dec

Approx 10,000 Common scoter with a small handful of Velvets at Llandulas

And for the people who would like to add a splash of exotic colour to their christmas, a Ring Necked Parakeet has set up home in the Deganwy area!

Thursday, 22 December 2011

The Spoon-Billed Sandpiper story so far...

Ever since day 1, the project to save the Spoon Billed Sandpiper has grown global as more and more people have become aware to critical status of this charasmatic bird. Earlier in the year, a collection of Spoon Billed Sandpiper eggs were transferred to Moscow zoo from Eastern Russia. 13 chicks hatched from the eggs and the plan was for them to form a breeding programme at Slimbridge WWT in Gloucestershire to help save them from extinction.

There are thought to be less than 100 breeding pairs of Spoon Billed Sandpipers left in the wild with a 90% decline within the last 10 years. The staff at the WWT are adiment to continue this ambitous project to help this truly amazing bird from extinction. Here is a short film about the story so far.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Clwyd Winter Cycle

Seeing as I have no car, I have been rather frustrated that I have not been able to get out as much as I'd liked. Busses and trains cost money so I turned to my old bike, the same one that I'd had when I was 12, which was now looking in a bit of a sorry state with flat tyres, and rusting. A quick spur of the moment and the bike looked as good as it did 10 years ago. Now, for the birds... The destination was Rhyl's marine lake where a Great Northern Diver had settled within the last week, but I'd only get there if my tyres remained pumped!

I got to Rhuddlan, where the recent development of the new nature reserve was looking good. Redwings and Fieldfares were present in good numbers and the resident Mute Swans seemed happy enough too!
Redwing
The tide was out, so the Clwyd was also relatively low. A handful of Oystercatchers, Redshanks and Curlews made themselves known. A Grey Plover was a nice bird to come across with 12 Dunlin and a Ringed Plover. 3 Little Grebes were also present along with Teal, Mallards and a couple of Goosanders.
Grey Plover (at quite a distance)

The path I was following were littered with finches: Goldfinches and Chaffinches were the commonest followed by a small handful of Linnet which occassionally attracted both Kestrel and Sparrowhawk. A couple of Skylark remained low in the undergrowth which was probably the best option considering!
Goldfinch


Finally I made it to the marine lake and the Great Northern Diver popped up right in front of me a matter of meters away. Unphased by me, it swam past diving down to occassionally bring up the odd crab to eat. At one point, it was too close to digiscope the bird.

Great Northern Diver


Sunday, 18 December 2011

Great Northern Diver and Snow Buntings, Rhyl

The Great Northern Diver found a couple of days ago on the Marine Lake in Rhyl is showing very well. It has been showing best towards the back of the lake and seems to be feeding well especially on crabs! Its a good record, especially for the county. Let's hope it stay around into the new year!

The Snow Buntings are still hanging about on the mouth of the River Clwyd too, with up to 12 being seen at once. Worth a look at both birds if your in the area.


This is a picture of a Snow Bunting taken at the same location at the start of the year.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Yellow Browed warbler at Conwy

Conwy has been very lucky to hold stay to a lovely little bird that should really be hundreds of miles South by now. A Yellow-Browed Warbler has remained loyal to a small patch of trees at Conwy RSPB for the last week.

To be fair, the weather has been unsually mild for this time of year and this could be one of the reasons why this bird has chosen to stay put. With weather turning more wintery this week, I do fear for it!

Yellow Browed Warbler - image taken by Bob

Via North Wales Birding forum, Bob managed to take a couple of shots of this lovely bird on Saturday morning as it showed very well in the sun among the Willows. This could be the same bird that was reported a month or so back at Llandudno station.



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