Thursday, 22 December 2011
A Ring necked Parakeet has taken up residence in Deganwy, Llandudno. According to the locals there are two and have been around for several months. They come to feed in gardens on birdtables and feeders in the area. What a good Welsh bird and hopefully stay around to add to next year's bird list. They can be found on the Deagnwy to llanrhos road in the small wood to the north of Coed-y-Glyn estate.
Saturday, 5 November 2011
Monday, 31 October 2011
Only other birds of note today were a few Crossbills overhead.
Sunday, 30 October 2011
The strange sonogram of the Great Orme Water Rail call. Recorded with Remembird and sonogram created with Raven Lite 1.0
A total of six hours spent on the headland today taking advantage of the extra hour of light inthe morning. It was good to welcome mid-Wales birder Paul Leafe up there today and he didn't let me down, calling a Lapland Buning as it flew in with a few Meadow Pipits along the eastern edge of the headland. The bird called several times and showed overhead before continuing south. No sightings of the Snow Buntings today, hwoever at least one bird was heard calling over the sheep fields so could still be around. A female / imm Merlin showed well on a couple of occasions, once near the 5 barred gate and the other by Pink Farm.
At least seven Crossbills were logged along with two early morning Bramblings. Four Bullfich, 7 Mistle Thrushes, 5 Redwing, 3 Coal Tot, 2 Chiff-Chaffs, 6 Goldcrest and a flock of 11 Long tailed Tits meant that there was always something to look at. A nice flock of 5 Lesser Redpoll and several small groups of Siskin were intermingled with the Chaffinches and Greenfinch passing over.
Highlight was the third known Great Orme record of Water Rail (only the second alive bird) that was calling from the old reservoir. It called twice this morning and was at it again this afternoon, making a right racket.
Saturday, 29 October 2011
Another two Snow Buntings joined the four present yesterday. They are showing well in the same area as the pair have for the past week or so - by the cairn on the limestone pavements. Other migrants today included 2 Brambling, 2 Fieldfare, 3 Goldrests and a few Redwing, Blackbirds and Song Thrushes. Rather blustery and wet up there today.
The pictures above were taken by Pete Latham.
Friday, 28 October 2011
Four Snow Buntings are showing well by the cairn this morning. A quiet coupkle of days really, with only Treecreeper, 4 Bullfinch, Brambling, 10 Crossbill and a female / imm Merlin being of note.
Thrushes have been plentiful with 10+ Mistle Thrushes and and plenty of Blackbirds, Song Thrushes and Blackbirds on the headland.
Wednesday, 26 October 2011
Another good morning on the Great Orme. A total of seven birders were on the headland at dawn and this was reflected in the number of birds seen. The Richard's pipit was still present in the sheep fields, while two Black Redstarts were new in. One was near the limestone carpark (PA) and another in the cemetery (AD). The two Snow Buntings continued to show very well near the cairn. A nice selection of buntings produced at least one Yellowhammer along the wall, a good bird here as well as at least 6 Reed Buntings. Seven Bramblings were noted amongst the small passage of finches, while 10 Crossbills passed over head. Four Wheatears were dotted around the pavements, while a Golden Plover and two Snipe represented the waders. A female Merlin hunted a Goldfinch along the cliffs (PA).
Tuesday, 25 October 2011
Monday, 24 October 2011
Sunday, 16 October 2011
Bluetail - 40 miles to the east, Pallas's warbler - 40 miles to the west - oh well you can't win them, all!
A great feel on the Orme this monring with many birds grounded around the cemetery at first lght. 50+ Blackbird, 20+ Song Thrush, 20+ Redwing and 2 Fieldfare was the first significant arrival of thrushes. Finches were everywhere including 10 Lesser Redpoll, 6 Bullfinch and 20+ Siskin amongst the hundreds of Chaffinch, Goldfinch and Greenfinches. At least 50 Crossbill were counted this morning, including some 15 in the pines in the cemetery. A 'grey' Chiff-chaff near the Old Cafe was certainly one of the eastern forms, probably 'abientinus' but might just have been a 'tristis', unfortunately it did not call and quickly moved into dense cover. Along towards Powell's well a fine male Firecrest was present early morning (also seen midday), while the limestones held at least 5 Snow Buntings. A fine imm / fem Merlin showed well , while 7 Chough and great views of hunting Peregrine were to be had. This morning certainly had a good feel about it and even though we didn't score with the megas to the left and right of us, there was plenty to keep birders entertained.
The near miss! Hilbre was visible all morning and I'd just talked to Steve Williams on the phone talking about which one of us was going to nail the mega. Well done to Steve and the Hilbre lads - well deserved.
The goats were just too pretty not to take a photo of - they still stunk though!
Saturday, 15 October 2011
Sunday, 9 October 2011
Seabirds on the other hand have been good with Friday being the best day. Records from the Little Orme and slightly further west at Rhos Point (which means the birds pass the Little Orme a couple of mnutes later) were as follows:-
2 Sabine's gulls
2 Long tailed Skuas (juv
3 Pomerine Skuas
15+ Leach's Petrels
5 Arctic Skua
30+ Pale bellied Brent Geese
6 Bottle nosed Dolphins.
Saturday, 1 October 2011
Tuesday, 27 September 2011
Sunday, 25 September 2011
Things started to hot up this morning after a dire fortnight up the headland. A male Blackcap was a good start in the northern gorse bushes, along with 3 Goldcrest here -always a sign that birds are moving. The first hint of vis mig produced 50+ of chaffinch, Goldfinch and Greenfinch while 2 Reed Bunting and 2 Snipe were the first of the autumn. Upon reaching the hawthorns, the pulse quickened as a familiar, yet exciting call flew overhead, the 'schreeep' of a Richrd's Pipit. Scouring the sky, Pete Alderson and I finally connected as several Meadow Pipits intercepted it and started to mob the monster Pipit. It soon dissapeared down by the by barns only to readppear just south of the summit later on. Views were better from here. The churchyard produced a stunning Firecrest in the pines along with 15+ Goldcrest, 3 Chiff-chaff and 2 Coal Tits. Another Firecrest was a nice surprise by Powell's well along the track to Pink Farm, while 2 Blackcaps, 3 Mistle thrush and a Stock Dove wee present here. 7 Wheatears were also dotted at various parts of the limestones.
Friday, 2 September 2011
Thursday, 18 August 2011
A few more migrants on the move today with the autumn's first Tree Pipit and Golden Plover over the headland, while two Curlew in the field were unusual here. 15+ House Sparrow on the approach road were also notworthy. A single Redstart along the wall was very vocal, while two smart fresh juv Willow Warblers fed in the thistles amongst the 100+ goldfinch. 5 Wheatears and 2 Whtethroat also present. Chough are very easy to see at the moment with six birds allowing close approach. Two of the birds are the juveniles that have arrived from Llanbadrig on Anglesey (ringed N2 and N3 black lettering on white rings, with pale green over pale green on one bird's right leg and light green over dark green on the other bird's right leg, while the two pairs are also present (one ringed out of each pair).
Monday, 15 August 2011
A few migrants trickling through the Great Orme this morning. The first two hours of light produced 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers in gorse at the north end of the limestones, while a sngle Whitethroat and a single Willow Warbler were also grounded in these bushes. Also in the limestone area, another 5 Willow warblers and 8 Wheatears were along the wall. A single juvenile Redstart was a different bird here from two days ago. Around 50 Meadow Pipits were present as well as 80+ Goldfinch. 13 Rock Pipit along Marine Drive was also a notable count. Seven Stonechat also around including four young.
Offshore 30+ Manx Shearwaters, 10+ Gannet and 33 Common Scoter flew west in a short watch from the cindertrack valley.
Saturday, 13 August 2011
Highlight though were three ringed Chough which were extremely tame and their close approach made me quite sure they weren't local 'orme' birds. A quick text to those in the know revelaed that all three were this year's birds from Anglesey- 2 from Llanbadrig and the other from Rhoscolyn - superb, some post breeding Chough dispersal.
Monday, 25 July 2011
Saturday, 9 July 2011
Lots going on around the headland at the moment with many young bird saround - Families of Chough, Buzzard, Kestrel, Wheatears, Stonechats, Rick and Meado pipits, Linnets and Auks giving a super spectacle. Butterflies inlude many Graylings and Silver-studded Blues. Here a couple of pictures from this morning.
Saturday, 11 June 2011
One of many juvenile Linnets on the Limestones today.
Sunday, 8 May 2011
Saturday, 7 May 2011
Up the Great Orme before 6am and it calm and mild, had rained over night so hopes were high with a southerly airflow. Parking above the cemetry I headed for the limestone pavement, following the wall.
A few Wheatears moved ahead of me and small numers of Siskin and Redpoll headed north overhead. A Garden Warbler was in the hawthorns along with a Sedge Warbler and a scatter of Willow Warbler and a Chiffchaff.
Reaching the pavement I walked across to the area above the lighthouse, two Ring Ouzel shot across in front of me! Luckily they landed near the concrete road. Near the car park I met Ivan and got him on the Ouzels and we watched them a Short eared Owl floated over the gorse and rocks mobbed by Jackdaws, a lovely bird, very pale.
I headed back to the wall, fly over Yellow Wagtail and Tree Pipits. Just before the valley, near hamburger rock, a female Pied Flyctacher was in the hawthorns, rare bird here. Dave Nivert and friend arrived and Ivan joined us to see the flycatcher. I continued on my way and soon heard a Dotterel calling and it swept over heading for the pavements! I legged it back and was glad that the others had picked it up.
At the cemetry Spotted Flycatcher and by the car a cracking male Whinchat, a great morning in the "back garden"!
Friday, 6 May 2011
First bird of the day was a superb Cuckoo in the gorse at the north end before flying over the limestones to the wall area. Cuckoo is less than annual up here so it was a great way to start the day. There was a good feel to the morning and the first couple of hours of light produced a Garden Warbler in the Hawthorns, a gorse bush Lesser Whitethroat that got the pulse racing, 5+ Yellow Wagtails, 7+ Tree Pipits, 5 Willow Warbler, Chiff Chaff and 20+ Wheatear. Hirundines were constantly on the move with several hundred on the move.Amongst them were at least ten Swifts. A Robin in the furthest gorse bush was unusual and must have been a bird on the move. Unfortunately work called and I had to leave a promising Orme soon after 8am.
Thursday, 5 May 2011
Each year, both Ormes are lucky to have many breeding Cormorants and Shags. The spectacle on the Little Orme can be quite something as they leave and arrive at their cliff roost sites each evening and morning. At this time of year there is another impressive spectacle - the gathering of nesting material from the roadside fields. A big thank you to Mr Gareth Pritchard who lives overlooking the spectacular Little Orme cliffs and captured the event on camra. One Cormorant even mis-judged its landing and ended up in the road outside Gareth's house! He reports that up to a hundred Cormorants circle above the fields and they swoop down in groups of about a dozen at a time to collect he nesting material. The wonders of bird behaviour....! Diolch Gareth.
Less birds on the Orme today despite the torrential downpour late afternoon. This morning produced great views of 3 Yellow Wagtails, all males, while 6 Tree Pipits buzzed overhead too. 25+ Wheatears were still present while a single Sedge Warbler was in the churchyard this evening. The Black Redstart was very obliging and showed well along the wall. Although put out as a female Black Redstart initially, could it be a very dull 1st summer male? Do females show such an obvious pale panel on the tertials. I'd be inetersted to hear your thoughts - any ringers out there got a spring trap handy?
Hirundines were on the move all day, with many moving through after the 4pm heavy shower. Mostly Swallows but several of both Martin species amongst them.
Wednesday, 4 May 2011
The female Black Redstart was still present along the wall and showed well as it fed by dropping down from the wall onto the path to feed on some big fat juicy grubs. Ather birds included 5 Whinchats, 6 Tree Pipits, Yellow Wagtail, 2 Sedge Warblers in the gorse, Grasshopper Warbler in the further gorse bush at the north end, 25+ Wheatear, 15+ Willow Warbler, Chiff-chaff, Blackcap and Whitethroat. With the wind turning SE overnight and some rain over the next few days, it could be exciting!
Tuesday, 3 May 2011
Another good morning on the Orme - these eastelies are certainly starting to kick in. I only managed to do the limestone pavements as today was back to work day. Totals prior to 8.15am included - female Black Redstart, 7 Whinchats (6 males!), 5 Yellow Wagtails (including 3 on the ground), 3 Tree pipits, singing Lesser Whitethroat, 30+ Willow Warblers, 50+ Wheatears with many arriving as I left. 7 summer plumaged Dunlin were also unusual. Let's hope it continues!
Monday, 2 May 2011
Sunday, 1 May 2011
There is a recording here - http://soundcloud.com/marcbuzzard/mixed-singer-2
Try to ignore the noisy Blackcap. The chiff chaff bits can be heard at the end of the first and second Willow Warler phrase, while in the third Willow warbler phrase, it sings a couple of chiff-chaffs in the middle.
Here is a sonogram showing where it sings it. I've pointed the red arrow to the Chiff-chaff bits, and the blue lines generally show the Willow warbler phrase - the rest is Blackcap, Gulls, an easterly wind and me breathing noise. Is this is what is classed as a mixed singer?
Click on sonogram for larger image.
It's been hard work on the Orme over the past five days with just a trickle of migrants. The cold brisk easterlies and bright sunshine have put pay to any falls of migrants. Bits and Bobs have been seen though with 2 Ring Ouzels present on Friday 29th, 2 Yellow Wagtails today, May 1st, a singing Lesser whitethroat, a Swift (30th) amongst a stead passage of all 3 hirundines, a female Merlin (28th and 30th) up to 4 Crossbills around the cemetery, around 15-20 Wheatears a day, small numbers of Tree Pipits and a trickle of phylloscs. Today (May 1st) saw an interesting arrival mid morning with a male Blackcap, Whitethroat and 3 Willow warbler in the furthest gorse bush at the north end - evidence things are still on the move and it's cetainly not ime to give up yet.