The morning started well with a nice singing male Whinchat in the cemetery and a couple of Willow Warblers that looked new arrivals; things were looking up. I walked along the wall towards the limestones, checking the bushes as I went. A nice Goldcrest was an unusual June migrant and again gave me some hope that migration wasn't over. As I approached the main patch of hawthorns a small grey warbler flew into a hawthorn and immediately flew out and back along the wall from where I had come from. The brief view was enough to excite me and I retraced my steps. The Goldcrest was still present and I decided to attract it closer with a bit of pishing. What happened next, I didn't expect. A head popped out of the nearest hawthorn.........Subalpine warbler!
Luckily Pete Alderson was in the cemetery so I phoned him. I didn't actually see the bird again in the next 20 minutes as I waited for him to arrive. And as I had only seen the head, I started to doubt myself. I'm sure the bird uttered a quiet but harsh 'teck' sound from deep within the bush so was confident it was still there.
Pete arrived and after a short wait, the bird performed well and a few pics were obtained. Rob Sandham then jogged up the path and the bird showed well to the four of us present.
This is the first record for the Great Orme, and the third for the county of Conwy. The other two were in a Llandudno garden in May 2000, while the other was in Penmaenmawr, also in May 2000. Just six have been recorded in North Wales outside of Bardsey, which holds the monopoly on the species with an incredible 26 records! Surely the best site in the UK to see this species. This bird, follows hot on the heels of the popular Uwchmynydd male in April of this year.
Just goes to show, even when you feel like giving up, the good one might be around that next corner.
Back to the Great Orme this monring and a new bird for the year came in the form of a smart Hooded Crow in the Sheep fields. The bird, which looks every bit the real deal, is associating with a group of nine or ten Carrion Crows and seems to be frequenting the fence posts in the centre of the fields. It was also seen near the cairn. Two groups of Crossbills moved west early morning with one flock of 18 and another of 7 including some singing males! Very strange hgearing them sing in flight as they flew over.
Finally a smart female type Yellow Wagtail was on the limestone pavements, associating with some 5 Wheatears.
Still time for the biggie :-)
Plenty of local birds on show on the Great Orme at the moment, including Kestrels, Stonechats, Peregrines, Black Guillemots, Chough, Ravens and Wheatears.Up close and personal with a Dotterel - June 25th, 2013 I was up with the sunrise this morning on the Great Orme - stunning! Almost immediately after arriving I stumbled upon a point blank range Dotterel on the limestones. It was still there at 9.45am at least and looked settled.
A fine female type Common Redpoll flew into the hawthorns, part of a movement of 70+ Lesser Redpoll (of which a few others could have been Common too). Three Stock Dove were a patch year tick for me, which Great Spotted Woodpecker, Tree Pipit, a few Siskins and 10 Wheatears were also migrants.
Migrants this week have included Yellow Wagtails, up to four different Whinchats, max counts of 7 Tree Sparrow and a few Sedge Warblers amongst the usual migrants.
The feathers below were found and look like the sad end to a poor migrating Wheatear.