Firstly I must apologise for my tardiness. This week has been hectic work wise and I just have n ot had the chance to sit and write up Monday’s birding
Last Monday my friend John and I set out for Anglesey with high hopes of some good birding our first target was a report of a rare Sandpiper at Traeth Dulas a lovely little inlet near the village of City Dulas, On Anglesey’s northern coast. When we arrived on site several other birders were already scanning the mud flats so we quickly set up our scopes and searched away. We were delighted to see a least three Curlew Sandpipers along with a good group of Dunlin and a great mixture of Gulls including at least one Med Gull, but no sign of our target. A fellow birder then told us how shortly before our arrival a dog had been let out of a car and had just run across the salt marsh disturbing everything in the area. Fortunately we were not to be disappointed as eventually our target for the morning the Baird’s Sandpiper re-appeared and we enjoyed great views in our scopes. unfortunately my photo does not do the bird justice. In case you are wondering Baird’s Sandpipers are Vagrants from either North America or North East Siberia who end up here having got lost probably in a storm several appeared around the british coast last week.
After Traeth Dulas we journeyed up to Llanbadrig for a quick seawatch here we were able to see plenty of Manx Shearwaters and Gannets flying around with Auks, Fulmer and Gulls, but nothing to create any more excitement, so we moved on to the Cemlyn. At Cemlyn the sea watching produce similar birds to Llanbadrig but it was the lagoons that held the interesting birds. A knot had us confused for a while simply because it looked out-of-place, a Grey Plover was also a delight to see along with other more common waders such a Turnstone, Redshank, Oysercatcher, Ringed Plover and Dunlin. Then as we scanned through the Curlew flock we realised that a couple of Bar Tailed Godwits were searching the far bank for food. These are the first Barwits I have seen for months a sign that autumn is quickly approaching. I should note that the reserve held the usual coot and swans as well as a Grey Heron and a few little Egrets. We were also pleased to see several Goosander here.
So we moved on the Alaw Estuary area as the tide was now dropping and we hoped to find some birds on the receding mud. Sadly we got our timing slightly wrong and the tide had dropped a bit too much for us to see man birds. There were plenty of curlew and Oystercatcher with a few other smaller waders about. On the mouth of the river there were various gulls and little Egrets as well and we found a family of Red Breast Mergansers which are alway good to see. In the bushes there were several Goldfinches to entertain us.
From the Alaw Estuary we decided to drive round to Penrhos Country Park to see what was on the mud round there. On the way we passed a flooded field which a few weeks ago contained a Ruff. This week there was no Ruff but there was instead 24 Black Tailed Godwits obviously enjoying themselves looking for food.
So our last port of call was the car park at Penrhos. We had a good scan of the mud where we were delighted to find lots of waders mainly Oystercatcher, Dunlin, and Curlew. After a good scan we also found a couple of Bar Tailed Godwits. We were also delighted to find 38 Knot. Unfortunately the photos don’t show
up the birds very well as they are camouflaged against the mud. The best bird here was probably the 2nd winter Mediterranean Gull which was stood on the mud banks.