Sunday, 15 January 2017

Early January 2017 - Anglesey, Venus Pools and Staffs

Well mid January and here is the first blog. As I said, we are taking it easier this year and have decided to do far less birding than last year. We have even decided to make up trips and ticks, so don't be surprised at the end of the year when you suddenly find out we've seen birds x, y and z this year but obviously you won't read about them on here or see any photos of the birds. Its a lot easier and cheaper that way and your list still grows. We're becoming "Ghost listers".

So this year on January 1st we decided to see how many species we could see in a day on Anglesey. Something a bit different to do, but we managed to see 84, a new personal Jan 1st record for me. It was just a shame that the strong N wind hampered out day a little. We saw the Cattle Egrets again near Malltreath, Great Northern Diver, Pale-bellied Brent and Slavonian Grebe at Beddmanarch / Penrhos / Inland Sea, three auk sp sheltering in Holyhead Harbour, a nice Yellow-browed Warbler at Soldiers Point, four Long-tailed Ducks in Trearddur Bay and a Jack Snipe flushed from Malltreath Marsh.

CJW and The Stalker managed to open their accounts for the year with a trip on the 2nd to Venus Pools to see the excellent female Pine Bunting. By all accounts it was a bit of a looker and showed really well. He is CJW's video.

And here is one I saw earlier, way back in 2004 in Norfolk. 

Pine Bunting, Choseley Barns, Norfolk. March 2004
Locally, obviously the Long-tailed Duck was still present at Westport until the 7th, plus there were a few Waxwings about and three Tundra Bean Geese at Bent Lane.

Tundra Bean at Bent Lane taken by CJW
We then had two consecutive Saturdays spent in Staffordshire, mainly due to the weather. Saturday 7th was forecast to be foggy, but it lifted in time for us to see Staffordshire's first ever winter record of Temminck's Stint, found at Branston GP. Here's a remarkable video clip by CJW considering the distance it was showing at.

We caught up with the Velvet Scoter again at Chasewater and Scaup at Gailey but dipped the Bittern at Belvide, probably due to the incredible noise created by one party assembled in the hide.  

Last Saturday, the 14th, we had several plans thwarted by the recent snow. In the end, we popped up to Sandbach Flashes and managed to catch up with one of the Iceland Gulls there, before we headed down the M6 back to Belvide.

And that's the first half of January completed.