News archive

November 2010

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Tree sparrow on twig

Who says Anglesey is no good in the winter !

Arriving just after dawn at Traeth Lligwy we found the tide well in but a calm sea. Just after we arrived 2 Raven flew over the car park, their hoarse call being heard in the still morning air. Whilst looking for divers and grebes in the bay, Stan found a lovely female Snow Bunting feeding on the beach just in front of us. Although flighty, we all managed to get excellent views of this lovely little bird. The sand dunes were also home to a wintering Stonechat that provided good if fleeting views. Out on the sea were Razorbills and Guillemots; Common Scoter; Goldeneye; a few Great crested Grebe; the obligatory large numbers of Cormorant as well as up to 8 Red throated Divers, some of which came quite close inshore.
Off to Cemlyn Bay looking for the Lapland Bunting that had been seen there, which would have been a new bird for a number of the group, but alas despite searching each and every field we couldn't find them. We did manage to catch up with a large flock of birds feeding in a potato field which contained Chaffinch, Green Finch, Goldfinch, up to 6 Brambling and Tree Sparrow. The opportunity of being able to compare these birds together was brilliant and by the time we had to move on everyone felt comfortable in being able to separate the various species. Whilst watching a dare devil sheep seeming to defy gravity as it walked down a cliff we managed to locate and identify 3 Rock Pipit feeding around the rooks and sea weed. Just off shore a pair of Wigeon sat on the calm sea basking in the weak November sun.
But still the draw of the Lapland Bunting could be felt and we decided to make a mad dash to the Great Orme where Lapland Bunting had also been reported earlier that day. By the time we arrived the sun was low in the sky and the temperature was rapidly dropping. Spreading out we combed the 'Limestone Pavement' area and whilst we amazingly flushed a Woodcock - a very unusual bird for this area - we saw little else.
We had a wonderful day. Perhaps for some it would have been that much better if we'd seen a Lapland Bunting. For others, the day would have been 'crowned' had we found a café open that did bacon butties and a mug of tea !