Saturday, 23 July 2016

Two deaths and a Weasel

Recently, I have watched some House Sparrows behaving strangely in the garden, scuttling about like voles across the ground. I managed to scoop up a juvenile. I presume it was sickening with something though their was nothing obvious to see externally. A few days ago my wife watched an adult male behaving in this way too, only for it to be snatched by a large rat that sprang out of the vegetation, dragging its squealing victim with it. As I was driving through Llanfihangel (Carms.) this morning I saw a group of about a dozen House Martins settled on the road in a tight cluster. I thought they may be warming up on the tarmac but as I approached in the van I could see that they were huddled about a dead Martin, a road casualty perhaps. A robotic response devoid of feeling? It didn't look that way. Also in Llanfihangel I was lucky enough to spot a Weasel. Not in flight on the back of a Green Woodpecker as in that astonishing case a while back but 'twas a Weasel all the same.

Med Gulls at Llanrhystud

Only managed c.60 Med Gulls at Llanrhystud this morning. It wasn't that long ago that seeing a single Med Gull would be a real highlight of day's birding!

Passage waders at Aberystwyth

The tide was rising when I arrived for my usual Saturday morning visit to Castle Point.  Nothing to be seen at first but as the rocks gradually became submerged first a Redshank, then six Common Sandpipers and finally five Turnstones were revealed.
Manx Shearwaters were passing at ca1200 per hour at first, but the movement petered out after about 20 minutes.

Friday, 22 July 2016

Med Gulls in Aberystwyth

At 3.30 this afternoon Chris counted 186 Med Gulls on the rocks in the harbour.  He then had 241 on Blaendolau fields at 6.00pm.
As he had seen birds flying inland over the town in the interim, Chris assumed that some of the Blaendolau birds had also been part of the harbour gathering.

Little Ringed Plover at Llanon

A juvenile on the ploughed field behind the beach car park by Plas Morfa this morning.  A little further south a Common Sandpiper on the beach and 110 Med Gulls on the sea.  A Swift flew south offshore.
Earlier, on the beach at Llansantffraed were 34 Oystercatchers, four Turnstones, two each of Curlew and Whimbrel and a Redshank.
I had started at Llanrhystud, where there were 11 Mallards on the shingle ridge and 112 Manx Shearwaters went north during a 15 min count.

New Quay

Two groups of Common Scoter, eight and five, flew South off New Quay Head yesterday.
Viv Evans

Thursday, 21 July 2016


How did we miss you Harry? We saw that Knot in the company of 300+ Dunlin and nearby 22 Sanderling, 22 Ringed Plovers and 84 Sandwich Terns including several young ones.

High tide at Ynyslas again

Stopped off at the lifeboat station at Borth on my way to Ynyslas and found 18 Mediterranean Gulls on the beach, including my first juvenile of the year.
The tide pushed up a surprising number of waders, and I enjoyed great views as they all gathered together on the beach near the tern posts.  235 Dunlin, 15 Ringed Plover, five Redshank, three Sanderling and a Knot, still in partial summer plumage.
I didn't count the Sandwich Terns, but there were at least 80.
Finally, apologies to anyone who is sick of reading about Med Gull counts, but I couldn't resist stopping off at Blaendolau playing fields where lots of lovely gulls included 239 Meds. That was at 11.45 if anyone is interested in checking them tomorrow.

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Probable White Stork

Just after 8.00pm I glimpsed a movement through my front window and on looking out, had the very briefest of views of a very large black and white bird which could only have been a White Stork.
It immediately disappeared behind the trees in front of the house, and was flying low approximately NNW, i.e. In the direction of Llanilar and Aberystwyth (I live in Lledrod)
Not seen well enough to be 100 per cent certain, but will you please keep a lookout tomorrow morning.  It could be roosting in a field somewhere near you.


130 Sandwich Terns were at Ynyslas this morning.