On Friday, after work, I had a walk up to a site near High Bradfield to see if I could find a grasshopper warbler that had been reported there on the SBSG site. Sadly no signs of it, but I did get a pair of stonechats, several curlews including a particularly agitated pair, some juvenile goldfinches, a linnet feeding young, 8 stock dove, and a large flock of around 110 lapwings. Not a bad little walk at all.
The rest of the weekend has been taken up with a return trip to Anglesey – we were offered a free room in a cottage on Saturday night and decided it would be rude and foolish to turn it down! On the way I persuaded Laura to take a rather windy detour to a place called Fedw Fawr to look for black guillemots, which once the practical problem of squeezing into the tiny car park was solved were quickly found. Five were seen at once at one point, and it’s a great location to see a bird that’s annoyingly scarce in England and Wales. Despite the photo below they were actually showing very well, it’s just they were moving too fast or diving before a decent photo could be taken!
Fedr Fawr itself is quite a nice spot, but it was marred slightly by campers taking up the main vantage spot and having a rowdy barbeque. Surely this can’t really be allowed on National Trust coastland? (Sorry going all “Angry from Tumbridge-Wells there!).
In the evening we had a walk round the town of Moefre, which turned up good numbers of sandwich terns, and overlooked a kittiwake colony out to sea.
Today I got up early and had a walk from the cottage, which was located near Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch, would you believe. A number of lesser whitethroat could be heard around the area of the cottage, and I was about to put this down as a “heard only” year tick, when I finally tracked down the little bandit below peering through the leaves. Great to actually get a good look at one!
The cottage was fantastically close to the Menai Strait, which housed the usual things you’d expect such as oystercatchers and shelduck.
Most of the afternoon was taken up with a walk around the vicinity of Breakwater Country Park near Holyhead, where we ended up looking out over the stunning view of North Stack. Birds seen in the area included several noisy ravens (below), a flyover peregrine falcon, a single chough, and several razorbills and guillemots out to sea. Laura also won the small £1 wager to be the first person to see a seal (probably a common).
A great weekend, and I’m knackered now! Time for bed…