Wednesday, 29 January 2020

29th January 2020

Weather: W force 3
A typical mid winters day with snow visible on the distant Carnedd hills and a strong westerly wind whipping the waves.A seawatch was in order and observers settled in to the sea watching hide and started scanning. Good numbers of Great Crested Grebes & Common Scoter were recorded but disappointingly only 2 Red-throated Divers were seen.  Five Shags were fishing together & the group comprised 3 juvs & 2 adults. These were probably blown into the area by the strong westerly winds yesterday. Star birds in the first sea watching session were two Slavonian Grebes, loosely associating with a Great - crested Grebe, that were picked up drifting  south west before disappearing out of site down the west side of the island. After a quick lunch back at the Obs observers returned to the hide as the tide ebbed. The two Slavonian Grebes were seen again but the real surprise was a Grey Phalarope that flew in from the east, dropped on to the sea & then flew west towards Point of Ayr.
Good numbers of waders were recorded with 7 Purple Sandpipers using their high tide roost. 
Thirty two Ringed Plover roosted at the north end, 

and a good number of Turnstone and Redshank roosted in Niffy bay. Kite surfers were disturbing the roosts on bird island and as a result large numbers of Knot were seen milling around with 100 eventually settling on Middle Eye. The long staying Magpie was seen a number of times and a female kestrel hunted voles in the paddocks. A Peregrine successfully made a kill, after spooking all the waders on Middle Eye, before carrying it to the mainland to eat. Two Song Thrushes, a Blackbird, Robin and Dunnock were also recorded. A ringed Wren was retrapped and 2 others were seen. Mammels were represented by the resident Atlantic Grey Seals and a single Short-tailed Vole.  
photos PSW

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