April 30, 2006

Ynys Môn

... that's Anglesey to non-Welsh speakers.

A good start today before we even reached the island. Stopped at a likely-looking spot in the Ogwen valley near Bethesda, and found a singing male Redstart (Brit-tick for Darren) and a couple of scrapping Peregrines just by the road.

Having to learn songs as I go along - just don't hear things like Pied Fly or Redstart anywhere near often enough to get used to them. But I think I've got them sussed now. It helps that I realise I don't know something pretty quickly... (if that makes sense).

The first planned stop was Fedw Fawr, in the north-eastern corner, for Black Guillemot. Finding it was easier said than done. No signposts and lots of very narrow roads meant it took a very long time indeed to reach the spot, as we didn't have the right OS map.

However, once we were there, the Black Guillemots performed rather nicely on the sea. There was a lot of chasing and calling as they went about their courtship. Shag, Peregrine, Raven, Fulmar and Rock Pipit also seen here.

Next, on to RSPB South Stack on the westernmost part of the island. We dropped into Holyhead to grab something for lunch, which was a bit of a mistake. Wandering in search of a Co-op or similar, a crying teenage girl nearly bumped into me. I'm a kind person so I asked 'Are you OK?'

As she walked past me I noticed:
  • she had lost one of her shoes
  • she was seriously out of breath
  • her T-shirt had a big shop label still attached to the back
Shoplifter!

Hmmmm. Let's get out of here...

It was a bit more civilised at South Stack, with Choughs diving over the cliff-edge, Razorbills and Guillemots on the cliffs and Stonechats perching on the gorse.

Had to do a quick bit of twitching before we left Anglesey. American Golden Plover at Cemlyn. A scattered flock of 138 Goldies to pick through in the murk made it not-very-straightforward... bumped into LGR Evans ('Britain's top twitcher') who had just seen it as we were arriving and there it was on the beach.

A tad underwhelming, if you ask me...

Species added today:
142. Redstart
143. Black Guillemot
144. Chough
145. Razorbill
146. Sandwich Tern
[American Golden Plover]

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