News archive

November 2012

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Male goldeneye

"Anglesey Ecstasy"

Setting off in the clear sunny skies made everyone just that little bit more cheerful and the first port of call did nothing to dampen that cheeriness. The old fish quay at Holyhead proved as reliable as ever with great close up views of up to 6 Black Guillemot - although these were all in winter plumage. A single Great Crested Grebe was in the bay together with a number of Cormorant and a few Shags. Turnstone ran between Herring Gulls squabbling over the bits of crabs left by the trawlermen on the dock side. On ward (and upwards, we hoped !) to the Holyhead harbour but except for another Black Guillemot and a few Shags there was nothing in the harbour - perhaps the recent weather had been too nice to push the expected divers and grebes into the harbour for shelter. The tide was very high and had covered all the mud so waders were not present in any significant numbers. A change of plan was called for and rather than checking the Inland Sea we decided to dash to Cemlyn Bay to look for the finch flock. Sadly what had been a large stubble field containing a massive flock of finches including several Brambling last time we visited, was a turnip field with nothing in it, except for some pretty unwelcoming looking Bulls ! We did manage to find a small finch flock but it only contained Chaffinch although we did find a pair of Stonechat. The tide was still high and the bay contained a number of Red breasted Mergansers; 4 Goldeneye and 6 little Grebe. Again waders were in short supply with only a few Redshank and Oystercatchers although there was a very large flock of mainly Herring Gulls feeding in the fields or roosting on the calm sea. Despite our best efforts we couldn't find any rare gulls amongst them. A quick check on Birdline and we discovered Firecrest at Conway and Waxwing at Queensferry but we only had enough daylight to go for one of them. Decisions, decisions! Conway won and for some it proved the right decision with (depending on who you were!) great views, ok but short views or no view at all !!!! Brian finally saw a Kingfisher for this year .... but it doesn't count, as it was on the screen of another birder's camera ! Oh and we forgot to mention the bacon butties and cup of teas in a cafe in Holyhead Harbour - lovely !