Black Guillemot in the Fish Quay, Holyhead
The tide was on its way in at Penrhos/Beddmanarch Bay, and the only birds of note were two Pale-bellied Brent Geese and two Slavonian Grebes. We popped into Llyn Penryhn at Valley and eventually found the female Long-tailed Duck, but the water was choppy in the strong wind and views weren't great as it dived frequently.
Pale-bellied at Beddmanarch
Then it was back to the mainland for another session at Llandulas in my quest for the SURFIES. I headed straight for the high road this time. Viewing was good, the sun was out, female Common Scoters were easily picked out from the flock and the flock was nice and close in. But there was no sign of any SURF SCOTER for some reason. And worse was to come as we finished the day at Rhos Point for the PURPLE SANDPIPERS. We planned the day around the high tide just before 14:00hrs. We waited for over an hour but there was not a single wader on the rocks where they usually roost. All the waders were on the breakwater, but not the PURPS. They could have been on the other side of the breakwater, but I'm not up to swimming yet.
Westport was quite good again this week. On Wednesday 5th, I found a female Common Scoter. Not my first in December at Westport, but when it was still there the following day, it was the first time I'd ever seen a Scoter stay overnight. Eventually it became the longest staying Common Scoter ever at Westport (not hard, as there had only ever been two records previously of birds staying two days). Goosander were also increasing this week, highest count being 16.
Common Scoter by Dave Kelsall
and Goosander by Phil Jones
And so onto Saturday. Unfortunately, yet again, we headed out of Staffordshire. Now I appreciate I haven't been pulling my weight in Staffs recently, but we had a nice tripped planned for Thursday or Friday, and for one reason or another it didn't come off. So we decided, as Staffs was a little bit quiet again, to head to West Yorkshire for the AMERICAN WIGEON.
We were led to believe it was easy to get to Anglers CP near Wakefield, but our sat nav thought differently and it seemed to take ages to get there, twisting and turning through endless country lanes. We finally parked up and walked round to view a fairly smallish lake, only slightly bigger than Westport. In the week, there had been 15 species of duck recorded here, so the challenge was on. We soon found the female Long-tailed Duck(1), plus the drake American Wigeon (2) was feeding with Wigeon (3) on the bank. An immature drake Scaup (4) was asleep with Pochard (5), plus there were plenty of Tufted Duck (6), Goosander (7) and Goldeneye (8) around. We walked round to the hide to get closer views of the American Wigeon, adding Gadwall (9), Teal (10) and Mallard (11) to the list. We did see 11 species in all.
Above two pictures show the American Wigeon
Female Long-tailed Duck
An awesome sleeping Scaup