News archive

June 2010

Saturday, 5 June 2010

Puffin perched on rock, Isle of May

'Birding in the mist'

First 'port of call', as always, was the fish Quay at Holyhead Harbour to look for the Black Guillemot and we were not disappointed with at least 2 birds being seen, one only a matter of 25 yards or so off the Quay. We even had an opportunity of watching one bird catch and then swallow a small flat fish! Having left the Wirral basking in sunshine, we were a little surprised to find South Stack hidden by a sea mist that made viewing the cliffs impossible. After a quick cup of tea in the café, we decided to run over to Cemlyn Bay in the hope that the sun would burn off the mist at South Stack by the time we returned. Not only do you see the terns at Cemlyn but hear and smell them too!! Large numbers of Sandwich Tern are breeding there with Arctic and Common Terns as well. The birds were constantly going to and from the sea bringing in food for their growing young. A Mediterranean Gull was breeding on one of the islands ( a first for Wales apparently !) but only poor views could be gained of it as it was hidden by vegetation. However, bird of the site was a beautiful male Common Rosefinch which had that day been found in wet scrubland about 300 yards from the car park. Although it was a singing male it was a 1st year bird and so was lacking the lovely red of the adult male of the species. It's lovely 'pleased to meet you' call carried far and was heard by all - even by our 'auditory challenged' Leader ! With spirits lifted, we returned to South Stack only to find that the sea mist was still present. It lifted for long enough periods for people to get good views of Puffin, Razorbill, Guillemot, Chough, Kittiwake and Fulmar. Another visit to the café before we raced to the Valley Lakes for our final site with Reed Warbler, Reed Bunting, Pochard, Tufted Duck, Little and Great Crested Grebe being seen plus a Cetti's Warbler singing. All in all a cracking days birding which even the sea mist at South Stack couldn't dampen.

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