Sunday, 19 June 2011


I am having problems replying to comments so I am posting them here:

Thanks Ruth! I hope you have enjoyed your weekend on Anglesey, you would be hard pushed not to though!

Thank you Mike, much appreciated.

Great minds indeed Rob! I have just viewed your video, well done it is brilliant. A great choice of music as well to compliment the video! You saw 3 Puffins then, I only manged 2!
Keep up the brill work yourself!

Thank you all for your kind comments.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Fox trot!....11/06/2011

With sunshine and a clear blue sky I set off early for a walk around Brake Lane. Plenty of songs and calls were heard throughout the walk. The usual birds were seen today with the highlights being the Swans with their four cygnets, I was pleased to see the cygnets had stayed safe! Other highlights were Treecreeper, Green Woodpecker Common Whitethroat and a Corn Bunting! The Corn Bunting had been sighted the previous evening so I was thrilled that it was still there and giving good views, my first Corn Bunting in this area! Now the title 'Fox trot' is to do with the sightings I had of foxes, six sightings of definately three or possibly four individual foxes. The first fox was sauntering in the wooded area next to the bridleway and probably after one of the young rabbits that I had been viewing, the fox spotted me and trotted off into the woood. The second sighting made me jump as I was quietly watching an area which has a stream running through it when there was a scrambling sound which made me turn to look and a fox was giving chase to another fox, they both raced up and over a dead tree that crosses the narrow stream. The chaser then spotted me and stopped momentarily, long enough for me to get a shot of it! I then had three sightings of one of the foxes at hunted in the vegetation, no doubt after one of the mallards that were in the stream. The last sighting was in a nearby area and the fox once it had seen me trotted away towards the old tree, so maybe a fourth, I am not sure but they were super to see. I have only ever seen one sighting of a fox in this area before today. In the same area that the last fox was sighted I stood for a few minutes watching a Wren feeding a chick, a lovely sight to see. It is a lovely time of year with so many fledglings being seen and also heard when nagging their parents for!

Sunday, 12 June 2011

The Isle Of Anglesey....2nd-5th June 2011.

First stop was RSPB Conwy and a bite to eat and a coffee! Viewed from the cafe were House Sparrows on the feeders with a selection of Feral Pigeon hoovering up the dropped seed on the ground, a good sized flock of Oystercatchers and Canada Geese were on the far side of the water and a small flock of Starlings were seen in the grassed area. The reported Curlew Sandpiper was next on the agenda and what a beauty it looked in breeding plumage! This was the best views I have ever had of this wader. It was a dull day so I struggled for a decent photo however it was great to see the Curlew Sandpiper foraging for food with a Dunlin also in breeding plumage following it's every move! The birds looked so small compared to the Canada Geese that had joined them in the water.The usual waterbirds were seen with highlight birds being Little Egret, a lone Golden Eye, Sedge warbler, Reed Bunting and Hirundines. Next stop was Menai Bridge Town where we would be based for the weekend.

RSPB South Stack Cliffs on a sunny warm/hot day...wonderful! There were plenty of seabirds on the water and even more on the cliffs! The sight and sounds of the birds were a joy, being landlocked a trip to the coast is always a pleasure whatever the weather though sunshine is an added bonus! Guillemots, Razorbills, Kittiwakes and Fulmars were nesting on the cliffs (well they wouldn't be in a tree I supppose would what a sight to see, especially so the Guillemots which were in huge numbers! A Puffin was viewed on the cliffs through one of the RSPB scopes and one found on the sea! The habitat isn't suitable for Puffins to breed so hopefully the few pairs that do attempt to breed are successful. The heathlands were a delight to walk through. Common Whitethroat were seen several times along with Meadow Pipits, surprisingly a Stonechat was not seen. After refreshments from the spanking new cafe (highly recommended) walking back to the car along the road I spotted a Brown Hare in a field, a lucky find as looking into the adjacent I found a pair of Choughs probing in a muddy area! Several times whilst at South Stack I had spotted small brownish looking butterflies and fortunately managed to find one settled. It has kindly been ID'd for me as being a Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary!
On next to Cemlyn Nature Reserve and the sights and sounds of the Terns! A few pairs of Common and Arctic Terns were well outnumbered by the Sandwich Terns! Relentlessly the Terns flew over the shingle ridge to the sea to return to their hungry chicks with freshly caught fish. An amazing sight to see! A few Oystercatchers were seen on the shingle and a couple of sleepy Bar-tailed Godwits woke to have a bathe in the water, a Mediterranean Gull was pointed out to us on one of the islands in the lagoon and good scope views were had of a Black Guillemot on the sea! A great day with some super birds seen and the sun shone all day!

Today was to be a chill out day! A boat trip around Puffin Island was booked in Beaumaris for a relaxing hour. Though the sun was shining a warm jacket was needed on the boat. The sea was calm....that is until the boat had to turn on the return trip around the island, the two tides meeting gave for a rocky ride for a couple of! Guillemot, Razorbill, Kittiwake, Shag and a large colony of Cormorant nest on the Island. A couple of Puffins did a flypast and the head of a Grey Seal was spotted in the sea. It would have been good if the boat had anchored for a few minutes so as to have had better views of the birds on the Island. Cormorants were numerous but I could not distinguish if I had seen any Shag as we were too far away and moving! Nevertheless it was an enjoyable trip. On terra firma I received a couple of texts informing me that a Common Rosefinch had been reported at Cerrig-man.....what to do? Have a relaxing walk around a Nature Reserve or go for the Finch? Decisions, decisions! It seemed a shame to be on the Island and not 'twitch' the bird! After lunch we set off for Cerrig-man which fortunately was only a twenty minute drive away. It was easy to spot where the area the bird was in as a small group of birdwatchers (sounds better than plain to see lined up along a short service road off the A5025. After waiting in the hot sunshine for around 30 minutes the Rosefinch was heard singing a couple of times and then briefly showing as it perched and sang in a couple of conifers. Not long afterwards it flew to a telegraph wire...brill! Such a striking bird and with a very distinctive and loud song! After having bins and scope views I tried for a photo and managed a ropey photo as the sun was in the wrong place but a record one so I was more than happy with that and happier still to have seen such a stunning Common Rosefinch. Green and Goldfinch were also seen and heard in the area.
Another great day in hot sunshine!


I was informed at the 'twitch' that a Red-backed Shrike had been reported (4th) at RSPB Conwy so a visit was made enroute to home. We were told that the bird had not been seen today but it was still worth looking'just in case'! It was an enjoyable walk despite no sign of the Shrike. A Grey Wagtail and Raven were nice additions to my weekend sightings.
After a coffee and cake at the cafe it was time to head for home after a busy and enjoyable long weekend.

Several Buzzards and Kestrels were seen over the weekend.

Anglesey is a lovely Island with still many areas to be visited and is on my 'to do again' list for 2012!

RSPB Conwy. Curlew Sandpiper & Dunlin.

RSPB Conwy.

RSPB Conwy.

RSPB Conwy.

RSPB Conwy.

RSPB South Stack.


RSPB South Stack.

Bell Heather.

Common Valerian.


Sheep's Bit.


Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary.
Cemlyn Lagoon.

Sandwich Tern.
Sandwich Tern.
Sea Kale and Sea Campion.
Sea Kale.
Beaumaris Castle.
Finances and material ran out when King Edward turned his attentions towards Scotland, and the castle was not completed.

Penmon Quarry, Limestone & Marble. Quarries in Penmon have provided stone for many important buildings and structures, including Birmingham Town hall and the two bridges that cross the Menai Strait.

Penmon Lighthouse.
Puffin Island.
Puffin Island.

Menai Strait.
Menai Strait.
Menai Bridge Sunset.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

A singing Sedge and a pretty Phalarope! 28th & 29th May 2011.

My enthusiasm for a walk this morning was marred somewhat by the gusty wind still blowing! Though still feeling the effects of a head cold I decided to have a mosey around the car boot sale and possibly afterwards a short walk at the Fisheries. It was blowing a gale at the car boot as the field it is held in is at a high altitude and exposed, it is just a hop, skip and a jump from the Clent Hills. I purchased four French Lavender plants for a tenner, great value! With their wonderful perfume and colour I am hoping to attract plenty of bees and butterflies into my garden with these plants and my existing plants and not forgetting the Buddleias which attract loads of insects when in flower!

A Yellowhammer flew across the track on my down to the Fisheries and a Skylark was in-flight singing. Blue and Great Tits were feverishly gathering insects, I would imagine their young are close to fledging soon. House Martins c 20 were a delight to see as they hunted for insects over the paddocks and nearby fields, a sight I could have watched all day. Other highlights were a male Bullfinch, Wren , Common Whitethroat, Chiffchaff and a splendid Sedge Warbler whose singing was a joy to hear as it perched on the outer branches of a small Oak tree.
Buttercups were now plentiful and looked a treat in the sunshine (when it shone), it seemed a shame to have to walk amongst them down the path, I trod! The only butterfly seen today was a Common Blue which was settled in low vegetation where I had parked my car, no doubt the cool air and winds had taken it's toll, hopefully it perked up as the day warmed up slightly.


An afternoon visit was taken to Upton Warren to see the reported Red-necked Phalarope, a super little wader. It was distant but scope brills of it were splendid to see. Other highlights were Ringed and Little ringed Plover, Peregrine, Hobby, Oystercatcher and chick, Dunlin, Common Tern, White Wagtail and a grumpy looking Great Tit!


A bad hairday for this Blue Tit!

Upton Warren.

Bee Orchid.