Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Old Oyc!


I’ve been out catching Woodcock for the last few winters and as yet I haven’t had any long distance controls but have had returning birds showing site fidelity, as ringers find at other sites.  Being out at night (well evening for me) also gives the chance to catch other species and see different behaviour of birds and other mammals.

I concentrate at two different sites with one having a higher diversity of species.  This winter has not been that productive due to super moons, clear skies, calm weather, flu etc but things picked up this week.  I was out on the fields and caught a couple of woodcock plus a retrap from a month ago.  I missed a few more and saw Snipe, Jack Snipe and Common Sandpiper.  A Barn Owl calm into my torchlight and hunted around me on a few occasions which was exhilarating.  I spotted a couple of Oystercatchers and as I got closer they settled and I noticed a ring on one of the birds.  I almost caught them both but made sure I went for the ringed bird.  On inspection the ring was very worn, thinned and the gap had opened.  I had a feeling it was quite old and that it was best to replace the ring.  I measured the wing and released the bird within a couple of minutes.  I contact a friend who inputted the ring number into the BTO database and within a few minutes discovered it was ringed on 21/06/1986!

The following day the full details had been submitted and the details of the bird came back.  It was ringed by SCAN RG at its regular wader catching site near Abergwyngregin, only 16km away but 32 years (11559 days) prior and it was aged as being in its 3rd year then so it was born in 1983!

According to longevity records online the GB record is 36 years 11 months and Europe-wide is 43 years so at 35 years this bird might yet make it a bit longer.  Inspiration for me and others of you ringing low-ish numbers- you just never know what’s out there.   
  

Friday, 9 February 2018

From Gronant to Brazil in Bangor

At Bangor Birdgroup the next two talks are as follows

14th Feb The Gronant Little Terns by Henry Cook (Tern Warden)
21st Feb The Atlantic Rainforest of Brazil by Julian Hughes (Conwy RSPB Warden)

At Bangor Birdgroup we meet on Wednesday nights in the University of Bangor Brambell Building, Deiniol road opposite Asda just down from the Train Station. Costs are £2 per meeting (non members), or even better join as a member. Membership costs are as follows- Waged = £15, £12 for concessions and £10 for students. Not bad for 24 talks!
Doors open at 7 for a 7.30 pm start. Talks last for around 1 hour. All members of the public are welcome. 






Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Venture into the North-West Passage with Rhion Pritchard






Rhion Pritchard will be giving us a talk at Bangor Birdgroup this week on his trip last year to the North West Passage. We haven't had a talk at birdgroup before about this part of the world so why not come along and see what wonderful Wildlife and scenery is on offer up there in this Arctic wilderness. Rhion has been the Bird Recorder for Caernarfonshire for a long time now and has written and Co-written books on the Birds of Caernarfonshire, the Birds of Meirionnydd and the Breeding birds of North Wales. He also has a passion for World Birding and Travel.

At Bangor Birdgroup we meet on Wednesday nights in the University of Bangor Brambell Building, Deiniol road opposite Asda just down from the Train Station. Costs are £2 per meeting (non members), or even better join as a member. Membership costs are as follows- Waged = £15, £12 for concessions and £10 for students. Not bad for 24 talks!
Doors open at 7 for a 7.30 pm start. Talks last for around 1 hour. All members of the public are welcome. 

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Surf Scoters in North Wales

There are usually small numbers of Surf Scoters in the Winter months amongst the 1000's of Common Scoters off the North Wales Coast between Colwyn Bay and Pensarn. There have been at least two males recently and it is always worth checking for Velvets, Long tailed Duck, Scaup or even rarer species.
To be fair they are usually pretty distant as shown in my 400mm shots below. However if it is flat calm and sunny you can get a fair but distant view through a telescope of this unusually but strikingly plumaged Sea-duck.
Working from East to West it is worth checking from the shore at the following sites 

1. Abergele/Pensarn...................................................
2. Llandulas ...............................................................
3. Station Road between Llandulas and Old Colwyn
4. Porth Eirias (Colwyn Bay).....................................

I have put some maps below in case any birders who aren't familiar to the area will have a better idea where to go.











Saturday, 27 January 2018

Black-throated Diver, Llyn Llygerian, Anglesey

Have been hoping that this bird would stay.  Working week at this time of year is setting off in the dark and returning in the dark.  Got out in the rain this morning to see the bird, but went back this afternoon.  After a short wait the bird flew onto the small lake, but missed flight shots.  Cracking views thereafter.













Paul French Double Bill at Bangor Birdgroup this week


Paul French is the Chairman of the British Birds Rarities Committee, a Tour Leader for Sunbird Bird-tours and he is also an Associate Ecological Consultant at Stuart Thomas Ecology. This week Paul has kindly agreed to give us two separate talks over two nights at Bangor Birdgroup.
On Wednesday (31st Jan)  he will be talking about the Birds of Spurn Bird Observatory.
On Thursday (1st Feb)  he will be talking about the Birds of Japan.
So come along if you can, these should be two cracking talks!


At Bangor Birdgroup we meet on Wednesday nights in the University of Bangor Brambell Building, Deiniol road opposite Asda just down from the Train Station. Costs are £2 per meeting (non members), or even better join as a member. Membership costs are as follows- Waged = £15, £12 for concessions and £10 for students. Not bad for 24 talks!
Doors open at 7 for a 7.30 pm start. Talks last for around 1 hour. All members of the public are welcome. 

Steller's and White tailed Eagles

Hooded Cranes

Pallas's Warbler

Siberian Accentor

Siberian Accentor

Friday, 26 January 2018

Black throated Diver near Cemaes





This cracking Black throated Diver was found by David Wright near Cemaes this week on Llyn Llygeirian. If you want good views or photographs it's well worth a visit. If you stand on the south end of the causeway by the X mark, it can at times come to within a few meters. Occasionally it sometimes flies onto the larger side of the lake (but can still be close). There is limited parking for about 4 cars on the road where I have circled the letter P. If you do go please park sensibly to avoid any friction with the locals and good luck if you go.