Sunday, 26 September 2010

Pure frustration!

What a morning of frustration. A 'locustella' Warbler was flushed from alongside the wall and was subsequently seen three times in flight as it flitted from clumps of bracken. Initially flushed from the short grass it remained hidden in a clump of bracken for a few minutes before flying to a second clump and again remaining hidden. Disaster struck just before the first birders arrived when it flitted out of cover across the track into thick undergrowth. Despite searching the bird did dot show again. At works a Grasshopper Warbler, but at bets ....wo knows? 2 Lapland Bunting over the cemetery and one showed well in the ploughed field. Six Crossbill over and several Tits on the move with 30+ Blue, 10+ Great, 2 Coal and 7 Long tailed Tits. 3 Chiff-chaff, Goldcrest, 2 Grey Watails and 9 Dunnock (including a flock of 6 appearing out of the sky) were on the move. Mike Nesbitt flushed a Short eared Owl from the limestones twice in a space of ten minutes.

Saturday, 25 September 2010

4 Lapland Bunts today

A showy Lapland Bunting seen early on the small hill to the east of the car park. 3 birds seen later on by Chris Bridges. One Goldcrest and 2 Chiff-chaff best of the rest on a cold morning. Great picture by Mike Nesbitt.

Friday, 24 September 2010

Laplands still present

The seven Lapland Bunting are present going into the weekend. They can be elusive but those willing to give a little time are generally rewarded with good views. North end of the Limnestones and the area near the small quarry above the lighthouse seem to be best. Very little else up there during the latter past of the week, with up to 3 Common Snipe being the best of the rest.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Buntings pose for cameras

The seven Lapland Buntings were still present today and showed very well at times at the north end of the limestones. Bob captured these lovely birds with the camera and the pictures have to be some of the best taken of this species on the Orme. Two of the pictures can be seen above. Other birds on the Orme today included a Nuthatch seen by David Dixon on the limestones, drinking from the small pools on the limestone pavements, 25+ Blue Tits, 3 Great Tits, Coal Tit, 11+ Pied Wagtails, 3 Grey Wagtail and a Chiff -chaff all on the limestone area.

Monday, 20 September 2010

Even more Lapland Buntings!

Seven birds today just west of the picnic tables at the North end!

Sunday, 19 September 2010

More Lapland Buntings

There were fout Lapland Buntings on the Great Orme limestone pavements this morning near the fenced off area at the northern end.

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Lapland Buntings and Snow Bunting

The Great Orme held two Lapland Buntings this morning, including a bird which showed on and off for most of the day. Visible migration was evident with the first flocks of Chaffinches and Greenfinches making their west. Threev Redpoll and 2 Siskin also flew overhead while a scattering of Goldcrests, Chiff-chaff, Blackcap, Willow warblers and Wheatear could be seen.
Henry Cook was up the Little Orme where he logged another two Lapland Buntings, while the first Snow Bunting of the autumn flew west. A suingle Leach's Petrel was offshore which was caught and devoured by a Great Skua! An adult Mediterranean Gull was offshore, while 10 Bottle nosed Dolphons passed west at the Great Orme early morning with several jumping right out of the water.

Last day of seawatching.

Birders were assembled at Rhos Point due to the North westerley wind that pushed birds into the bay. As they round the Little Orme they pass Rhos Point and the comfort of watching from he car tempts many here. 200+ Leach's Petrels again today along with adult Pomerine Skua, 7 Arctic Skua, 4 Bonxies, Balearic Shearwater, Great Northern Diver, Velvet Scoter, 6 Black Tern and several Kittiwakes, 10+ Red throated Diver and a movement of Auks, Sandwich Terns, Common and Arctic Terns, Gannet and Fulmars. The wind continued throughout the day but by evening had calmed considerably. Adrian Foster did really well to capture these images in the evening gloom.

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Even more seawatching! best day yet.

An incredible 240+ Leach's Petrels were counted throughout the day off Rhos Point between 06.45 and 19.30 (therefore must have passed nearby Little Orme). Five juvenile Sabine's Gulls were seen including one seen by Chris Jones and Jon Clarke that landed on nearby Penrhyn Bay beach beklow the Little Orme! Two juvenile Long tailed Skuas, 2 Pomerine Skuas, 6 Arctic Skua, 3 Bonxie, Balearic Shearwater, Storm Petrel, 50+ Red throated Divers, 5 Black Terns, Golden and Grey Plover, 4 Pintail, 300+ Common Scoter, 70+ Manx Shearwater and many kittiwakes, Auks, Terns and Gannets.
A Little Shearwater was reported to the information services flying past at 18.33! The person who claimed it did not tell the other 10+ people present and even phoned it in while standing next to them. Bit strange that...?Must go down as one of the best all day counts at the Point. Any one up the Little Orme?

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

More seawatching

A slow start to the day with just one Arctic Skua and a Red throated Diver between 6.45 and 8.15am. However things got slightly better as the day wore on. 4 Leach's Petrels flew past the east side of the Little Orme along with 2 Bonxie and an Arctic Skua as well as 20+ Manx Shearwaters and a steady passage of Kittiwakes, Auks and Gannets.

Nearby, Rhos Point produced a Sooty Shearwater (Adrian Foster), 14 Leach's Petrel, 2 Bonxies and 2 Arctic Skuas (Alan Davies and Rob Sandham).

Tuesday, 14 September 2010


Between 4.40 amd 5.20pm the following birds flew west off the Little Orme- juv Long tailed Skua (lingered in the Kittiwake flock for a while), 2 Bonxie, 2 Leach's Petrels, 50+ Manx Shearwaters, 15 Common Scoter and a few kittiwake, Gannets and Fulmars. Unfortunately I had to leave at this point. The Manxies were quite close with some settling on the sea.
Later on Chris Jones had another 2 Leach's Petrels.

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Grim few days rescued by Lapland Bunting!

The last few mornings have been rather grim up the Orme, with lots of rain, low cloud and a brisk south westerly. Highlight on Thursday and friday were a single Lapland Bunting near the sheep dung on both mornings, both times giving away its presence by calling overhead.
This morning there was a small fall of phylloscs around the cemetery along with 3 Blackcap, while the limestones held 2 Wheatear, 2 Goldcrest and one each of Willow Warbler and Chiff-chaff.
Good news is that the Swallows nesting near the church have started to leave the nest with above vieo footage being taken yesterday and this mornong only one was left..

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Osprey tops off fine morning

*Evening update - Wheatear numbers rose from 7-8 pre 8am to an impressive 35+ birds later in the morning. This evening 2 Swifts were near the Little Orme.
There were a lot of birds up the Great Orme this morning with many birds arriving an hour after first light. Willow Warblers were bird of the day with 30+ birds on the limestones alone. A single female type Common Redstart was in the gorse at the north end, while Blackcap, Great Spotted Woodpecker and Whitethroat were in the Hawthorns along the wall.
The cemetery was also full of Willow Warblers, with just one Garden warbler the only 'different' bird (per A.Davies and P.Alderson).
Later on, a fine Osprey flew over Llanudno Town Centre and Craig y Don causing every gull in town to rise to the air and make a racket.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Lesser Whitethroat

This morning's birds included the following - Lesser Whitethroat in hawthorns on limestones and showing very well, 2 Whinchat - one at north end and one above cemetery, 2 Golden Plover dopped in by the picnic tables at the north end (per PAlderson), a sprinking of fresh looking Willow Warblers and a few Chiff-chaffs, while 8+ Wheatears were vocal on the limestones.

Monday, 6 September 2010

Weather looks perfect

Wow! Check out the weather charts. The weather lokms perfect for a fall of migrants over the enxt few days and hopefully a scarcity amongst them. The next few days through to the weekend could be promising. However, the past few days have been a bit quiet. Yesterday produced a Golden Plover and a Lesser Whitethroat (per alan Davies), while todays highlight was a Balearic Shearwater offshore with 100+ Manx Shearwaters (per Henerz). Migrants included 7 Goldcrests, a Golden Plover, 5 Northern Wheatears and a scattering of phylloscs. Resident birds include 4 Choughs on the limestone pavements while the Peregrines are showing superbly including two adults and a juvenile bird. Those migrants better wach out...!

Saturday, 4 September 2010

A few days of migrant trickle

A few migrants have been trickling through over the past few days. Highlight this morning was a Nuthatch found by Julian and Henerz in the cemetery. These birds are a scarce visitor to the summit area with only a few records each year. However, if you want it for your Orme list there is a pair that frequents Happy Valley and Invalids Walk.
Other migrants today included 2 Spotted Flycatcher in the churchyard, a Whinchat on the limestones as well as a Golden Plover, Merlin, 6 Wheatear and 3 Commin Snipe. Up to six Snipe have been present over the past few days. Three Tree Pipits flew over on Thursday morning while yesterday's highlight were 3 Great spotted Woodpeckers.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

September driving me Batty!

A quiet morning on the whole with six Common Snipe being the highlight being flushed from the limestone pavements. A strange call heard independently by two observers sounded like a possible Common Rosefinch - certainly one to look out for amongst the Linnets and Greenfinches on the headland at the moment. 10+ Wheatear and small groups of Meadow Pipits still moving through. Goldcrests are also pickeing up with eight birds today - nearly as many as were seen for the whole of last autumn!

This evening an amazing 'flock' of 15+ Noctule Bats were near Craigside, commuting between Bodafon fields and the Little Orme. These truly impressive 'giant' bats seemed to be feeding on flying ants which had attracted hundreds of gulls to these fields earlier in the day. The spectacle started at around 8pm and the bats were still present, sometimes just yards overhead, at 8.30pm when they had been joined by a few Pipistrelle Bats. Worth a look at the same time tomorrow, especially as the Space Station pases over head at this time and can clearly be seen from this spot.