With taking part in the Patch challenge this year I hope to keep this blog up to date. If anyone else wants to contribute with orme sightings please let me know and I can arrange for you to have access.
Keep up to date with the patch challenge here - http://patchworkchallenge.blogspot.co.uk/
August 24th, 2012
This morning was quiet on the Orme with very few mogrants at all. However, a cracking juvenile Golden Plover was sholwing superbly on the limestones. The bird has been present for around eight days and you virtually have to tread on it before you see it.
The past week (per Rob Sandham and Pete Alderson) has seen 2 juv Whinchat, up to 3 Spotted Flycatchers and good numbers of Willow Warblers moving through. Notable today was an increase of Meadow Pipits with at least two flocks of 40+ present.
August 25th, 2012
Highlight on the Orme this morning was a lovely juvenile Whinchat that sat around the thistles with a Stonechat. 10+ Willow Waeblers were scattered around the headland gorse bushes with a few seen coming in off the sea. 3 Whimbrel called as they flew over and a Little egret flying along the cliffs was a bizarre sight. 2 Whitethroats were behind the cemetery (per Pete Ald).
August 26th, 2012
After that excitement, Rob pointed out a flycatcher at the back of the cemetery and as we both watched it, it dawned on us that this was no Spotted Flycatcher - it was a cracking juvenile Red-backed Shrike! The bird showed quite well for ten minutes or so before flying over the top of the cemetery and off towards the sheep fields. I managed a few dodgy pics before it disappeared:-
August 28th, 2012
Unfortunately at the time of writing the bird had not been seen again. Fingers crossed it's lurking somewhere.
September 9th, 2012
After a fairly quiet week on the Orme a few bits and pieces this morning. Highlights were an imm/ fem Black Redstart on by the limestone carpark, a Common Crossbill (see below for sonogram), 2 Snipe (+ another 2 different birds seen by Pete Alderson), 4 Blackcaps, an influx of 10+ Goldcrest, 3 Chiffchaff, 1 Willow Warbler and a Great Spotted Woodpecker. Overhead were 5 'alba' Wagtails and 4 Grey Wagtails, while 50-60 Meadow Pipits were present. A nice flock of 10 Chough were also present with another 3 seen at the opposite end of the headland. Offshore, 45 Common Scoter flew east while 2 Grey Heron flew west.
At least five Northern Wheatears present, looking very fresh and smart .
October 2nd, 2012
Despite the "wrong winds" the Great Orme still produced some great birds today. Pete A had a Firecrest in the garden below the cemetry early morning. Raplph M had a juv or female Red backed Shrike in the bushes at back of cemetry early afternoon. No sign of either bird later in the afternoon but a Redstart below cemetry.
October 6th, 2012
A pleasant walk around the Great Orme this morning started off quietly until a nice Lapland Bunting gave some nice flight views on the limestone pavements continually calling. As the morning wore on more birds started to appear with a sprinkling of migrants - female Redstart in the cemetery, Whinchat on the limestones, 4 Crossbill overhead (which were earlier in the pines in the cemetery), Garden Warbler at the back of the cemetery, Wheatear (J Wheldrake), Merlin and late morning the Black Redstart reappeared in the fenced off area at the north end (P.Alderson)
This female type Redstart has been in the cemetery for nearly a week now.
This fine autumn Whinchat has also been around for a week on the limestones.
Good passage of Goldcrests this week with several moving through.
Tits have been on the move with good numbers of Great, Blue, Coal and Long tailed tit during the week. This Great tit was at the north end with the Whinchat.
Lapland Bunting sonogram. Click for larger image. The 'peeuu' on 11.5sec and 16, while the trill is on 13.5.
Brief soudn recording here - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PEFAaI0OPRA&feature=youtube_gdata
October 14th, 2012
A Richard's Pipit was picked up by Steve Culley and Tony White mod morning over the limestones and was later head calling along the northern edge. Five Lapland Buntings showed well at times. The three birds from yesterday were showing from dawn and another two flew in off the sea before hooking up with the original three. These were proving quite popular amongst visiting birders. A superb Short eared Owl appeared late morning during a rain shower, being mobbed by a throng of Jackdaws. A smart female Merlin darted along the Marine Drive at sunrise. Migrant numbers were as follows:-
Brambling 3, Goldcrest 20+, Long tailed Tit, 12, Coal Tit 7, Great Tit 10+, Blue Tit 15+, Black cap 1, Redwing 2, Pied Wagtail 3, House Sparrow 15+, Greenfinch 150+, Chaffinch 50+, Siskin 5, Lesser Redpoll 4, Great Spotted Woodpecker 3, Reed Bunting, Goldfinch 30+, Robin 10+, Blackbird 7, Song thrush 5, Jay 1 and Magpie 20+.
The Lapland Bunting are showing superbly with up to 5 on the limestones by mid-day. There will be much better pics than these..........
Common Migrants were on the move with good numbers of Tits. Long tailed Tits were on the limestones in the gorse and hawthorns - a sure sign that stuff is on the move.
A smart Short eared Owl appeared in a rain shower, not really knowing what to do it circled the pavements at some height before drifting west.,
A pod of 30+ Bottle nosed Dolphins entertained offshore - a great spectacle.
Unidentified Bird of Prey! This got birders going big style. Alex's voice increased in pitch by at least 2 octives as he shouted the bird. Stve will have better pics. 6 primaries, broad tail band, barred underwings. Any takers?
October 12th, 2012 part 2 by Steve Culley
October 21st, 2012
This fine male Snow Bunting appeared mid morning alongside the Lapland Buntings. At one point they flew into the air calling and were joined by a Reed Bunting; a nice hatrick of Great Orme buntings.
The Lapland Buntings are drawing good numbers of visitors from across the North West. With a little patience they give good views. Up to seven have been seen during the past week, with three birds staying faithful to a small area just south of the northern cairn on the limestones.
There has been an excellent movement of Coal Tits on the Orme over the past fortnight with sometimes upwards of 60 birds moving through. All I have seen so far have had lovely white cheek patches, like this one above taken this morning at the most northern gorse bush on the head land. Surely there is an outside chance of a 'hibernicus' Coal Tit from Ireland joining up with them. The Isles of Scilly have recorded birds that recall 'hibernicus' already thsi autumn. However, I'm not aware of any proven records in Wales. The bird below was on the Mullet, County Mayo and the buffy / off white cheek patches can clearly be seen. Now there's a challenge for any west coast vis-migger.
Coal Tit - coutersy of Dave Sudderby, Mullet, County Mayo, October 2012. Follow him on twitter @davesudds62
November 11th, 2012
As Julian has said - at least 45 Waxwings in and around B&Q this morning and seeminly more and more dropping in as the time went on. Superb watching the general public getting involved and enjoying the spectacle too. There's also another 10 in Conwy Road. The Invasion has started! NB 200+ recorded this afternoon!
November 18th, 2012
A small number of birds still moving over the Great Orme this morning- a single Lapland Bunting gave good flight views over the churchyard before pitching down in the sheep fields. A male Snow Bunting was in the small quarry above the lighthouse on the limestones, while a few Brambling, Reed Bunting and Siskin flew west amongst the Chaffinches. 2 Woodcock were a nice surprise, flushing from the bracken above the churchyard.
A look for Waxwings in Llandudno finally paid off early afternoon with a group of 12 near the hospital. Later, Pete Alderson had 17 by Liddell Park, Craig y Don.
Off Llysfaen, two drake Surf Scoters showed in the perfect sunlight, while 8 Velvet Scoter were also amongst the thousands of Common Scoters.
Not a bad morning all in all.