Sunday, 11 March 2012

A Rosey day indeed

A fantastic day was had with Stephen Menzie first starting out at Llandulas with the what seemed an impossible task of disecting a Surf Scoter from a flock of 20,000 Common Scoter. 20 minutes passed with a couple of Velvet Scoters flashing the white on their wings occassionally. Amazingly, soon after I managed to pick 2 Surf Scoters out of the thick of the flock. Stephen managed to get an eye on one of the birds before they quickly vanished back into the depths!
Common Scoters - Imagine this times by about 200. The surfs should be in there somewhere... I think

Next stop was at Aber Ogwen, The Spinnies NR. We scanned the gulls and ducks on the water adding Red Breasted Merganser, Goosander, Greenshank, 2 Slavonian Grebes and a handful of Little Egrets to our day list. No sign of the Tundra Bean Goose that I saw a couple of weeks ago or the recently reported Iceland Gull.

Then came the 'twitch', the Rose Coloured Starling - this bird has been knocking about Holyhead for a few weeks with the local gang of Starlings. After a couple of slow drives around the neighbouring roads checking every starling-type bird, we decided to settle in one place and scan. Luckily Stephen managed to pick the bird up at the top of some trees a couple of hundred metres away. The dirty-looking 2cy bird didn't hang around for long and didn't give us the chance to get any closer.

Rose-Coloured Starling (2cy)
Holyhead Harbour failed to produce the 'guarenteed residents' of the Black Guillemots.  Following on, a very foggy Holyhead released four Choughs and a few handfuls of Meadow Pipits. My search for a Wheatear sadly ended in tears as the visibility was down to a few feet and Stephen had to drag me away! We then moved on to Penrhos country park and added another 3 Slavonian grebes to the list.
One of the five Slavonian Grebe's
It was then back to the Spinnies just to check nothing else had sneaked in throughout the day. To our suprise, an Iceland Gull showed releatively well on the water just offshore.
Iceland Gull
 Keeping on the Gull theme, we managed to get in some last minute birding at Pensarn on the way back. 3 Med Gulls showed briefly before getting flushed by a random guy with a hood. One adult, and two 3cy birds were present. Overall, an excellent day's birding!

Mediterranean Gull (Adult)

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