A Great Selection of Birds
Guiding in North Wales (12th Jan) with Alan Davies was a blast. Great to visit some favourite old haunts, especially in the fun company of Mark, Steve, Ian, Tony and Dave (see here). The Hawfinch and Lady Amherst’s Pheasant were long gone from Halkyn Churchyard, but the usual suspects showed well. It’s a stretch of coastline that can get you 100 birds in a day all through the year. We were only interrupted by that effort by our Kumlien’s type Gull. Headline birds included 3 diver species, 3 auks (including Black Guillemots), Chough, Peregrine, Slavonian Grebe, Dippers, various Sea Duck, Iceland Gull and of course that high Arctic Gull species that looked scary.
Oh Yeah, and Alan really goes in for luxury guiding ; ) – just check out our mini-bus at the bottom!
2nd winter Kumlien’s or Iceland Gull, yes it really is a different bird from the one in the photos above. Of course field experience nearly always trumps a single photo. See the dark tips to the primaries on the far wing.
Pale-bellied Brent Geese. Beddmanarch, Anglesey, 12th Jan 2012. These are part of the same population I’m very familiar with from Northern Ireland. The High Arctic ones which sometimes contain Grey-bellied Brent. The legendary Ken Croft had been reading the rings from the flock and we did indeed see at least 3 ringed birds. Here’s the current stats with grateful thanks to Marc Hughes:
Thought you might be interested in the Pale bellied Brents that are ringed at Beddmanarch Bay, a few of which we saw last week.
These are the rings read by Ken Croft before Christmas –
Right=Red K, L= Blue L ringed 05.08.07 on Axel Heiburg Island, N Canada. It’s a returning bird resighted in Iceland, Foryd Bay and Beddmanarch
Right=Red K, L= Blue I ringed 05.08.07 as above
Right=Yell I, L=Yell T ringed at Wexford Slobs 13.02.08 resighted in Iceland, Dublin and N Ireland.
Right=White C, L=White 2 ringed in Dundrum Ireland 09.01.08 resighted in Iceland, Strangford Lough-N Ireland and new in from there to Holyhead.
Right=Red J, L=Blue C ringed 05.08.07 Axel Heiburg Island only resighted Strangford Lough and Beddmanarch
Right=White D, L=White P ringed 09.01.06 at Strangford, N Ireland resighted Iceland, and interestingly from Isle of Lewis April 2010.
Luxury Birding. The minibus we ordered wasn’t available so we got an upgrade for the ‘Magnificent 7’. Photo thanks to Angelsey legend: Ken Croft. There was a v. nice Black-throated Diver feeding in Holyhead harbour (in the background).