Tuesday, 31 August 2010

August 31st update - Hen Harriers

Alan's just had 2 'ring-tail' Hen Harriers on the limestones! still present around 1pm. Golden Plover there too. These strange 'August' birds keep arriving.
Also a report of a smallish game bird this morning. Be good to re-locate it!

More Lapland Buntings

Pics by Robin Sandham (Sept 2009)
At least four Lapland Buntings on the Orme this morning, possibly up to six. Three lots of two were seen, four in off the sea at the limestone pavements (Mike Duckham) and 2 over the cemetery. This unusual August influx is most interesting, with birds being recorded all over the country and other local birds at the Range, Anglesey and on Bardsey recently.

Other migrants today included 2 Spotted Flycatchers in the ecemetery, 6 Goldcrest, 10+ Wheatear, 8 Chiff Chaff, 3 Willow Wabler, 3 Blackcap and a Whitethroat.

Great Spotted Woodpeckers are on the move with at least 2 birds seen on the limestones and another two by the cemetery. One poor juvinile bird was attacked by a Peregrine on the limestones andthen by a Kestrel when it had reached the safety of the Churchyard. After much squawking and feather shuffling it recovered and continued on its way. 4 Bullfinch, 4 Mistle Thrush, 100+ Meadow Pipits, 20+ Chaffinch and 2 Grey Wagtail also noted.

Monday, 30 August 2010

Wheatears on the move.

At least Twenty Wheatears were on the limestone pavements in a small movement this morning. a Tree Pipit flew over 'buzzing' away, while warblers were represented by 2 Whitethroats, 6 Blackcap, 10 Chif chaff and 3 Willow Warblers.
Great Spotted Woodpecker and 4 Bullfinch were also present, with Peregrine and Buzzard showing superbly.

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Full day's Seawatch on the Little Orme

6.30am-5.30pm - Force 6 North Westerly gusting force 7 and swinging more North during the day. A bit slow much of the time today but what it lacked in quantity it had in quality and a great showing from the local hoping birders. After several drenchings during the morning the sun came out and it was a great afternoon. Sightings included:

1 Grey Phalarope flying west at 15.25, 1 Black Tern (adult winter through in the morning between rain showers), 1 Black Guillemot, 7 Great Skuas, 6 Arctic Skuas (3 d.p., 4 p.p. birds)
2 Red-throated Divers (early returning sum.plums.), 50+ Manx Shearwater, 3 Great Crested Grebes, 4 Teals, 35 Common Scoters, 1 Arctic Tern, 24 Common Terns, c700 Sandwich Terns, c150 Manx Shearwaters, c1000 Kittiwakes, 1 Redshank, 7 Curlew, 6 Oycs, 2 small wader sp

Hats off to Henry Cook who put in a ten hour plus stint today - a hardcore seawatcher, and to Adrian Foster for the photos (some challenge in a force 7 North westerly!)

Saturday, 28 August 2010

Long tailed Skua star bird as winds pick up.

Long tailed Skua by Dan Brown (off Co.Mayo Aug 2010). Today's Little Orme bird was a little further away!
The winds picked up this afternoon and a few birds began to pass the Little Orme. Star bird was found by Chris Jones when an adult Long tailed Skua passed west at 5pm. It (or another bird) passed again between 5.25 and 5.30pm.
A dark phase Arctic Skua was also noted along with several Kittiwakes, Common Scoter, Gannet and Manx Shearwaters. Sandwich and Common Terns were also seen in smaller numbers. Three Harbour Porpoise plaued benneath the cliffs and were captured on camera by Dave Williams. Pictures can be seen here:-

Lapland Buntings

Autumn is certainly yere! My first ever August Lapland Buntings were on the Orme this morning, with four birds calling and giving reasonable flight views around the cemetery.Othe migrants included 5 Blackcap, Grey Wagtail, Great Spotted Woodpeckler and a scattering of Willow Warblers and Chiff chaffs.

Saturday, 21 August 2010

Summer Flowers

Henry Cook has been busy looking at wild flowers during the queit months of June, July and early August and he's build up a healthy list.
Here's a link to the flower page of northwalesbirding where he notes the species. Some nice photos too.

First fall of the Autumn

This morning had a good feel and we had the first fall of the autumn. A few birds must have been grounded after yesterday's torrential rain and thunder storms.
Passage birds included 3 Spotted Flycatchers, a superb Whinchat above the cemetery, a Yellow Wagtail over, 2 Tree Pipits, a Grasshopper warbler flushed from the limestone pavements, 30+ phyllosc warblers with many bright juvenle Willow Warblers amongst them. 20+ Wheatears were also on the limestone pavements. Usually associated with later autumn passage, a female Reed Bunting was a surprise alng the limestone wall. 2 Grey wagtails were the first of the autumn while Blackcap and Whitethroats were also present. Hirundines were on the move with 50+ Swallows through and a few House Martins.
Large flocks of Goldfinches are building up with an estimated 200+ birds around. Chaffinches, Greenfinches, Linnets and a single Bullfinch were also present. Autumn has started!

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Manxy Madness!

After a few weeks away the Orme beckoned once again this morning. Things are slowly starting to happen with a single Tree pipit overhead and seven autumn plumaged Northern Wheatears dotted around the limetone pavements. Three Chiff-chaffs, two juvenile Whitethroats and 50+ Swallows were all evidence hat birds are on the move.
Off shore an impressive spectacle of 1000+ Manx Shearwaters and 100+ Gannets were in a feeding frenzy and after a short wait a hoped for Balearic Shearwater flew in.

Saturday, 7 August 2010

Spot Fly - first proper migrant

A brief walk around the Orme mid morning produced the first true passerine migrant of the autumn - a fine Spotted Flycatcher in the cemetery. 5+ Willow arblers were also present and a single Chiff Chaff.

Thursday, 5 August 2010

First visit of the autumn

Inspired by the Hippo Warbler on Hilbre yesterday, Tony Kearney and I set off up the headland for our first visit of the autumn this morning. A few Willow Warbler, a Chiff Chaff, Blackcap and 3 Whitethroats were present along with good numbers of Meadow Pipit, Goldfinches and Greenfinch. Offshore 100+ Sandwich Terns, a few Manxy and Gannets as well as teo Porpoise and a couple of Atlantic Grey Seals. The Orme is very underwatched during this months so It would be good to spend some time up there seeing what does pass through at this time of year.