News archive

January 2014

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Male goldeneye

Trip to Malltraeth RSPB Reserve, Anglesey

As is always the way when we are going to somewhere new, there was excitement in the air as we drove to Anglesey. Whilst the morning on Wirral had broken sunny and fairly still by the time we reached Anglesey there was a storm force wind blowing from the west ! This reserve, renowned for good numbers of wildfowl, was reduced to a handful of Wigeon, Teal and Mallard !! Up to 8 Whooper Swan, a handful of Mute Swan and 3 Greylag Geese summed up the wildfowl on the site. To be fair the wind was unbelievably strong and everything was hiding from it ! A lovely male stonechat swayed in the wind as it perched on top of a fence post whilst 2 Reed Bunting fed low on the ground close to a ridge that gave them some protection from the wind. In virtually every ditch was a Little Egret - clearly this site is a mecca for this bird - but because of the wind there was no sign of any birds of prey or owls. 1, possibly 2 Raven, flew over us shortly after we arrived and 2 Fieldfare provided some splash of colour amongst the Starlings feeding on the marshy ground. The site has great potential and another visit in better weather conditions is certainly in order. After a quick breakfast (and a tremendous hail / thunder / lighting storm) we set off to Conway to look in a see what was there. Great views of a male and 2 female Scaup plus Goldeneye, Pochard,Tufted Duck and about 8 Snipe in the pools and 2 male Bullfinch below the feeders made the detour worthwhile. Finally we stopped off a Pensarn to look at the scoter flock and although we did manage to see a couple of Velvet Scoter in the thousands of Common Scoter offshore, we couldn't locate the visiting Surf Scoter. Oh well, there is always next month !