Sunday, 17 January 2016

Quality birding in the Cowny Valley

Quality birding in the Conwy Valley today with three very special birds all seen well. We started at Llanbedr-y-cennin where the hawfinches performed much better than usual, with at least 10 birds seen, often flying around or high up in the trees, but we did see one bird on the ground. Then we moved down the valley to Conwy RSPB where a water pipit had been reported. There's been one around the reserve for a few weeks but mainly seen on the saltmarsh where it has been rather elusive. Today however we found it on one of the scrapes in front of the Carneddau hide and it showed very well.

Highlight of the day though was at least one firecrest in the reedbed from the board walk. We waited for hours and kept seeing "crests" flitting into the reeds and disappearing before we could identify them, until finally just as we were about to give up, a firecrest flew up onto the reeds right in front of us. I didn't see the eyestripe, but was reliably informed that it did have one, but the bird disappeared as quickly as it had arrived. By this stage we were frozen to the bone and the cafe beckoned so I decided to make do with that view because a cup of tea was more enticing than another long wait. We headed back, but hadn't gone more than a few paces when another (or the same) firecrest hoped onto a reed in full view and gave us both stonking views. No missing the eyestripe this time!

Year: 121 (hawfinch, firecrest, siskin, nuthatch)


Water pipit - distinct eyestripe, double wingbar, white underparts, white outertail feathers.

Conwy RSPB

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