Monthly Archives: April 2011

Back on’t Patch

Well its been a week of a few firsts on’t Patch with my first Sand Martins yesterday, Orange-tip at work, and Swallow near home. Friday saw me at Ingbirchworth Reservoir first thing 7:30am to hear my first Willow Warbler of the year.  A few Pied Wagtails were knocking about with Tufted Ducks, Mallards and Canada Geese on the water but not the hoped for Swallows, and Martins, so I decided to move off into the grasslands around Whitley Common. I pulled up in a favoured spot to find Wheatears and Meadow Pipits galore, I stopped counting the Pipits but there  were over 20 Wheatears knocking about, and then a Commmon Snipe drumming over head, Skylarks and Linnets started singing things were beginning to wake up then I found about a dozen Golden Plovers. Moved on then to Lower maythorn to find more Wheatears well over 20 birds again along with more Meadow Pipits, Cheesagate Nab was my next port of call hoping to find Ring Ouzel on passage but I only found more Linnets and Willow Warblers. Broadstones reservoir was my last port of call and there I found very little that I already hadn’t seen during the morning.

Today Species List in no particular order:-

Coot, Moorhen, Mallard, Canada Goose, Tufted Duck, Pied Wagtail, Greylag Goose, Willow Warbler, Common Snipe, Wheatear, Meadow Pipit, Skylark, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Yellowhammer, Stock Dove, Jackdaw, Linnet, Oystercatcher, Curlew, Chiffchaff, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Blackbird, Reed Bunting, Swallow, Lapwing, Golden Plover, Sparrowhawk

Jackdaw

 

Goldfinch

Bat Night

At last I managed to get out with this years  Christmas present the Bat Detector, Sands Lane was the destination but the birds came first with this years Patch firsts Sand Martins there were only a handful but there they where, also present a pair of Tufted Duck, Goosander, Mute Swan, Canada Goose, Chiffchaff, Robin, Blue Tit and a few Mallards. At a about 8:30pm my wife caught the glimpse of a small bat passing by the car out I got Bat Detector on and then a wait of a couple of minutes and I heard my first bat, the frequency was 45kHz so with this, the size and place  I believe I heard my first Common Pipistrelle, but much to learn,  I have now a few more questions  that need answering a few bat walks with the experts are in order I think.

Conwy RSPB

We decided on taking the coast road back home and of course a stop off for dinner at the RSPB Conwy reserve [Website Link] the weather was now once again showers but not to be deterred off we set on to the reserve. At Conwy we found more summer migrants Willow Warblers, Chiffchaff and Blackcap overhead once again hundreds of Sand Martins, a few Swallows in and amongst, and ya I found a single House Martin as well. The reserve pools held good numbers of Red Breasted Mergansers  [Video Link] pairing up and displaying before their move in to the mountains to breed, waders included Redshank, Common Snipe, Curlew, Black tailed Godwits and Lapwngs, wildfowl were represented by Shelduck, Mallard,Tufted Duck, Pochard, Gadwall and Teal. We found more Wheatears 2 male and a female, a Little Egret, and on the Estuary Grey Herons, Wigeon and Redshank , that was the end of a splendid weekend 70 species in total visited some splendid reserves saw some splendid birds and eat some splendid chocolate cake. More photos can be seen by using the Flickr tab on the right side.

Full Species List can be found by clicking this > Page Link

Little Egret RSPB Conwy

Female Wheatear RSPB Conwy

 

Male Wheatear RSPB Conwy

South Stack

Our stay on Anglesey was in a self catering cottage on a working farm called Parc Yr Odyn on the east coast at Pentraeth, they also offer a Bed and Breakfast facility at the Farmhouse [Official Website]. We had the pleasure of the Dairy Cottage which we found meet our needs comfortably [read more on my B&B tab]. Saturday the 2nd saw us heading off to South Stack in better weather than yesterdays rain showers, the day turned out sunny but windy. We parked in the bottom car park and headed off towards Ellin Tower finding a few Wheatears on the way through only to find the Tower was shut but found the cafe was open, which is now run by the RSPB, they do a great chocolate cake and coffee, it was with the great help of the assistants that we located the Choughs quite easily and had great views of the birds passing by with nesting material along the cliff top. We had a good look around finding more Wheatears they were now moving thru in good numbers seeming to be in every field we looked in, Pied Wagtails, a couple of Willow Warblers, Stonechats, Meadow Pipits, Swallows, the familiar sound of Ravens overhead giving off their deep crronk crronk calls, a pair of Peregrines buzzing the cliff tops searching for the next meal, Gannets passing by low over the sea, Herring Gulls in abundance, Linnets  moving thru in small flocks, what a day, we decided  to finish off our time at South Stack with another coffee, cake??

On then to Cemlyn Bay near Wylfa Power Station to finish the day off, here we saw Buzzard and  Little Egret as we approached the bay, we found more Wheatears in the field, Sand Martins and Swallows moving thru, we did find a handful of Sandwich Terns in the bay giving themselves away by their familiar call. Red Breasted Mergansers in the bay along with Oystercatchers and Redshanks, in the sheltered bay Lapwings, Golden Plovers, Pied Wagtails, Shelduck and Mallards

Male Stonechat

 

Llandegla Forest

We were off to Anglesey for a weekend break and it was whilst we were on the A525 road that we can across this site purely by accident it was the RSPB sign on the road side that drew us into the site for a coffee stop. The forest is mainly a Mountain bike centre but the RSPB do have a presence and have one of the biggest Black Grouse leks around [to late in the day for us to see them] plenty of forest trails for bike or walk so walk we did. We came across Meadow Pipits and Common Crossbill and the common forest stuff to early in the year for summer migrants, apparently it’s also a good place for Nightjars and Tree Pipits. On site there is a centre with cafe, toilets etc so the place could be worth checking out again at the right time of year, more info at Wildlife Extra [Website Link] and of course the RSPB [Website Link]

The Black Grouse we did see