Friday, 5 August 2016

A couple of days on Anglesey

We counted at least 100 Manx shearwaters a minute going past Bull Bay late evening, all heading west. Over the 50 minute period we were there, that means that around 5000 must have past the headland.

It was a glorious sunset at Bull Bay. This is one of my favourite spots on the whole island, and fortunately for me, it's exactly the place work tend to put me up for the night when I'm working here! It's like being on my holidays!

We were on the island to do a bat survey and during the survey we came across this dead Arctic tern. What smacked me in the face immediately about this is the fact that it clearly has a dark carpal bar, yet it appears to be an adult Arctic tern with a full, black crown. Fortunately the bird was also ringed, the details of which will be forwarded to the BTO, so we will get an answer to the birds age and where it was ringed. Arctic terns are famously  one of the longest distant migrants in the World, so excitingly this bird really could have been ringed anywhere, though chances are it was somewhere on Anglesey!

We went back the following day and had another look at the bird. I've never seen an Arcic tern in this plumage before. There's the possibility that the bird is an immature (1st or 2nd summer?), though the presence of a full black cap is a little confusing. Since immature Arctic terns usually remain in their wintering grounds (i.e. the southern hemisphere) they are quite unusual aound Britain, and are sometimes given the name 'portlandica' Arctic tern. There's a bit of speculation in there at the moment, but the information returned from the ring will answer a lot of questions.

There were a few cracking turnstones at Cemlyn Bay.

This ringed plover was quite aggitated, and then we discovered why, it had at least one chick runnning around amongst the pebbles.

Ringed plover chick.

On the way back from Anglesey we called in at Conwy RSPB for a look at a reported great white egret which was with around 35 little egrets.

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