Saturday, 14 March 2020

Friday am at Aberystwyth and Wednesday walk to Marian Mawr, Ynys Hir

At Aberystwyth for the high tide at 10:15 yesterday I was surprised by the ferocity and height of the waves hitting the sea wall. The wooden prom by the harbour was awash and I got wet feet just getting on it. A few Herring and Black-headed gulls around the harbour were the only birds at first then a lone Shag put in an appearance just off the end of the lighthouse wall. I had hoped for the Purps but the rocks were swamped by the waves.

Walking along the prom towards town I had a juv/1st w Little Gull twisting and turning in the strong wind, making its' way towards the pier before disappearing around the wall not to be seen again and plenty of Black headed gulls surfing the waves. I searched all along the sea wall from the statue of Vulcan with no sign of the sandpipers, I could see a small group of waders hunkered down by the pier steps so set off to get closer. As I walked along some of the spume from the waves was shooting as high as the guttering on the college roof. The waders turned out to be Turnstones, a group of 10.

Undaunted I made my way back towards the statue and had a further two Shags fly past, heading south, before I spied the Purple sands about half a metre below the wall top, in front of the mural with the two huge Starlings ( the only ones around). At that, cold and a bit wet, I made my way to Tesco to try and buy some rations, somewhat unsuccessfully

Wednesday at Ynys Hir RSPB

About 40 Redwing flying around the entrance by the cattle grid were a nice sight but the light was very grey so they didn't show their usual beauty. Pretty quiet, in terms of numbers of birds, heading towards Marian Mawr hide but lots of singing Robins, Great tits and Blackbirds to cheer up such a dull vista. The tide was very high boosted by all the rain on Monday night and most of the locality was under water. Two Barnacle geese were feeding on the river bank and 10 Great black-backed gulls broke the monotony of Canada geese.
Five Pintails were roosting on the central island with a lone female Goldeneye diving behind them together with a Little Grebe. A rather simple walk but full of expectation for the next few weeks as the migrants return. I spent a few days birding in southern Portugal last week and saw lots of Swallows, House and Sand Martins, Chiff-chaff etc so they are heading this way.