A farmer in Cwm Prysor, the hills east of Trawsfynydd, filmed a subadult White-tailed Eagle last week, which was seen again at the weekend from the main road to Bala. It has no identifiable marks and the Roy Dennis Wildlife Foundation has confirmed that it was not a satellite-tagged bird released in southern England, where a pair last summer fledged the first English chick for 240 years.
The bird seen above Llyn Celyn is assumed to have originated from either Scotland or a reintroduced population in Ireland. The last breeding pair of White-tailed Eagles in Wales was probably a pair at Nefyn in 1880, and there have been only a handful of Welsh records in the last century. Young eagles roam widely, and it is quite likely that another farmer or a walker will be the next person to see this one. Identification is fairly straightforward given a good view, with its large size (a female’s wingspan is more than two metres, almost twice that of a Buzzard) and parallel-sided wings that earned it the nickname “flying barn door”. That reputedly was the wry observation of a crofter on Fair Isle, where a reintroduction attempt was made in the late 1960s.
Elsewhere, a pale-cheeked American Wigeon was relocated on the Cefni estuary, downstream from its initial location several weeks ago, and a Long-tailed Duck remains at Glan-y-môr Elias near Llanfairfechan. Three Slavonian Grebes are in the Menai Strait off Aber Ogwen and another three in Anglesey’s Beddmanarch Bay. The Waxwing flock remained throughout the week in Llysfaen, numbering 40 on Monday, when a flock of 20 was found on Denbigh Road in Rhuthun. Two or three Firecrests are at Llyn Parc Mawr, a vocal Siberian Chiffchaff at RSPB Conwy and a Hoopoe was reported between Bangor and Caernarfon on Sunday.
A weekly update of bird sightings and news from North Wales, published in The Daily Post every Thursday.