Tag Archives: roseate tern

More Welsh Wandering – Ospreys and Roseates

22 May

Further to my last post about my trip to North Wales, I managed to pick up a few new year ticks… some expected and some less so.

Most unepected perhaps was roseate tern at Cemlyn lagoons… I went to see the nesting colony of sandwich, arctic and common terns and I was not let down. Thousands of birds swirling in the air from time to time in a screaming dread I could see all three species in abundance when in the middle a single markedly pale individual floated past me with long flowing tail streamers and a dark beak. I snapped off a couple of shots to double-check later as I lost it out to sea.

Also on the lagoon a dozen red-breasted merganser including a pair obligingly close. After watching them for a while and taking a few more photos I returned out of the biting wind to the car whereupon I checked my photos. “No card in camera” the screen cheerfully reported. What? I opened the hatch for the memory card and there was my memory card in situ, but unlatched. D’Oh!

Anyway, an hour later the pager report chirped up.. roseate tern at Cemlyn Lagoon, so I at least I had confirmation even if no photos.

Also at Cemlyn I picked up my first ringed plover of the year.

The Llanberis pass offered up plenty of raven, pied wagtails, a pair of dipper and a single common sandpiper.

Also slightly unexpected were a pair of nesting osprey not far from Snowdon, a male circling around before heading for a nest atop a large pine tree… further down the road by a mile or so a big bold RSPB sign for “the Glasyn Ospreys” indicated I probably wasn’t the first to find them!

Back at South Stack I found choughs to be much more obliging than my last trip to anglesey – numerous individuals evident on each of four visits, including a pair nesting in a cave inside the cliff face. On the top of the cliff a cuckoo was reported eagerly being fed by an unwitting and long-suffering rock pipit.

I missed out on black guillemot at Holyhead Harbour, and also little owl which I was hoping for, but it was still a most enjoyable trip.

Bar-headed geese, Roseates, a Skua and return of the bunny

13 Jul

I had a very rapid trip around Druridge bay today with some interesting stuff around.

First at East Chev I had my first ever roseate tern (remember I’m not from round these parts!) fishing close off the beach, so that was a good start. Around the reedbeds between the two ponds it was sedge-warbler central with birds all around scratching out their calls.

Sedge Warbler

Next stop Cresswell and the bar-headed geese photographed by Ray Scott last week were still kicking around. Obviously they aren’t kosher but the only place I’ve seen them in the region is Washington WWT – I wonder if they are missing a few? Also there one adult avocet – no sign of the youngster but I didn’t have time to stop too long.

A quick check of the beach at Newbiggin revealed eight mediterranean gulls mingling with the black-headed gulls and sandwich terns.

Mediterranean Gull

Walking up the beach to Beacon Point had masses of sand martins nesting in the banks and plenty of sandwich terns and gannets fishing off the rocks but no sign of any more roseates.

My first skua of the year came in the form of a single arctic skua heading north just as I turned for home.

Speaking of home… my chance sighting of a wild rabbit a couple of weeks ago in our front garden in a suburban housing estate has now been backed up by two more sightings in our back garden in the last two days. I now think the little chap is living in the dense undergrowth of the border in the garden having seen where he scarpered to when he spotted me watching him at around 7am. Not that rabbits are especially rare, I just don’t expect to see them in our garden. He’s definitely not an escaped pet, and so long as he can avoid the clutches of the local moggie that was stalking him yesterday and he doesn’t eat too many shrubs in the garden he’s welcome to remain.

By chance his appearance this morning also coincided with the return of linnets to the back garden – also spotted for the first time the same day I first saw the rabbit. Easily overlooked or dismissed out on a coastal walk they do add a little interest in the back garden.