Friday, 27 November 2015

Back on the castle again

As I had to go into town this morning I couldn't resist a seawatch, but on arrival even Constitution Hill was hardly visible in the gloomy drizzle.
Luckily it cleared somewhat and soon a Gannet flew south to be followed by the first of 16 Red-throated Divers, again mostly going south.  A few other divers passed during the session, too distant for positive i.d. but one of them looked quite like a Black-throated.
After a while I was joined by the wanderer returned, none other than John Valentine.  As the visibility improved, a couple of the distant smallish gulls came close enough for i.d as Kittiwakes and we both enjoyed a Peregrine perched on the ridge at Consti.
A couple of Common Scoter and a male Red-breasted Merganser to round off then we had a short walk to the Old College where the male Black Redstart was showing nicely.
View north from the castle as the rain cleared (temporarily)

Thursday, 26 November 2015

Borth and Ynyslas

Like Bob I too was at the turn car park this morning, though our visits didn't coincide. I had fewer Red-throated Divers, though our two Great Crested Grebes  and ca30 Common Scoter agreed.  I also had another five G C Grebes later off Borth plus two on the estuary.  Best of all, a late Gannet (I am determined to get the last one this year: beat that, Davis).
At Ynyslas,  not a breath of wind and the estuary like a millpond.  Among a party of around 30 Oystercatchers on the saltmarsh at the mouth of the Leri I found a little group of waders comprising three Grey Plover, Three Dunlin and a Knot.  Nearby, five Redshank and 10 Curlew.  Shuffling about on the saltings were ca 90 Linnets and a few Reed Buntings.
Lots of birds on Ynys Tachwedd fields, including 115 Lapwings, 25 Curlews, and six Little Egrets.
Finally, after wondering where they were, a last look over the estuary towards Aberdyfi produced a flock of ca 600 Golden Plover.


Just back from the Turn Car Park, having spent about 90 minutes watching the sea.
It was very mild, and the sea was flat calm which enabled me to see quite a few birds on it.
There were about 16 or 17 Red-throated divers, 25-30 Common Scoter, 2 Great crested grebe, 7 or 8 Guillemot and 1 fly past Great Northern diver.  A couple of seals popped up, one of them had caught a fish which seemed a bit too big for it.  It surfaced several times with the fish and at one stage a couple of Great black backed gulls dive bombed trying to relieve it if it's meal.  I was also thrilled to see 3 Bottle nosed dolphins which stayed in view for about 20 minutes and put on quite a show.

Wednesday, 25 November 2015


On the far side of our scattered hamlet to me, Kate and John Spencer have 3 Bramblings (2m and 1f) visiting their garden.


   There are few Med. Gulls around in the winter but Chris noticed one last Wednesday at Aberystwyth with a colour-ring: White RN41.
   It had been ringed prior to fledging on 23/6/13 at a colony to the south east of Paris. Very interestingly, it soon flew north and was seen 15/9/13 at Lochgilphead, Argyll, Scotland.      Early in May 2014 it was seen over a few days in southern Brittany, moving to western Brittany by 23/7/14 where it was next seen 1/3/15.
   On 24/10/15 it was at the Nevern estuary, Newport, Pembrokeshire before moving north to Aberystwyth the following month.

Sightings from Jerry Moore

Peregrine at Craig-y-pistyll, my first sighting there for quite a while.
Copious droppings and pellets of barn owl in an outbuilding at Llawr-y-cwm bach, downstream of Craig-y-pistyll.
A stonechat under the cliff and another about half a mile inland.
At Aberystwyth, a large number of the starlings went northwards as if to roost somewhere else on Sunday at dusk. It could have been in the area below the camera obscura, or they could have come back to the pier after dark.


Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Aberystwyth seawatch

A stiff WNW wind tempted me to the castle this morning.  Visibility wasn't too bad as the threatened rain held off for the first hour and didn't get  heavy until after I'd left.
Two Great Northern Divers flying south together was the highlight. Also a total of six Red-throated Divers heading south, three of which dropped onto the sea, conveniently within scope range. I was hoping for a late Gannet and two went past, one of which lingered, plunging into the sea repeatedly. Also, three Common Scoter.  Still six Purple Sandpipers in the roost.

Monday, 23 November 2015

Ynys-hir today

If only I could have been closer...

Little Egret on Llansantffraed Beach

There was a Little Egret feeding in a rock pool at Llansantffraed this morning, an unexpected sight on this part of the coast. Other birds on the beach included Common Gull, Grey Plover, Ringed Plover, Turnstone, Redshank and Lapwing.


This is one of the three Jays currently on and around my feeders.