Rose-Coloured Starling

Rose-Coloured Starling

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Great Orme and Aber Falls

It was one of those days where you madly decide its a good idea to get up at pre 5am to look for birds for first light... and why not, the prospects were looking great for migrants. The day before, strong SW'lys blew followed by a weather front over night giving a fall of rain. Half asleep, myself and Chris Bridge stumbled onto the Orme hoping for big things, or atleast something decent. Maybe a Dotterel, or how about a Red Rumped Swallow?

Greenland Wheatears moved through in good numbers with many Swallows overhead. A Stonechat showed briefly and we managed to come by a lovely Whinchat which posed long enough for me to get a quick snap.
Female Wheatear
Whinchat braving the winds
As the morning extended, Swifts passed over in small numbers, auks in terms of Guillemots and Razorbills were able to be made out darting across the sea and the odd Gannet drifted passed on the now, cold, NW'ly wind. One or two meadow pipits graced over and we were able to pick out a singing Lesser Whitethroat from the cemetry. Four Siskins also moved through, but very little in the way of Redpolls or Pipits, or even birds in general!!

After a fry up, we moved onto the cracking little gem of Aber falls. Hidden away in a small area of North Wales, the area is known well for its population of Pied Flycatchers, and it didn't take us long to locate one. Chris carries out work on this reserve in terms of Pied Flycatcher surveying and monitoring, and was able to show me a Pied Flycatcher nest with 4 small blue eggs within. Fantastic!

Female Pied Flycatcher
Pied Flycatcher nest
We moved on and soon picked up Blackcap in its inital stages of nest building and a couple of cracking singing Garden Warblers. We also managed a pair of Willow Warblers, a small handful of Chiffchaffs and a few superb Redstarts. After, we made it up to the falls where we were very lucky to come across a fantastic looking male Ring Ouzel before it disappeared over the cliff face. On the way back down the valley, 3 Cuckoos were a great addition to the list showing distantly from up the valley.

Initial stages of a Blackcap nest
Garden Warbler- lucky to get a pic of this one!!

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