The British Trust for Ornithology and Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust are calling for volunteers to survey Woodcocks this spring. Males conduct a distinctive ‘roding’ display flight to attract a mate, and finding these is the best way to monitor breeding populations of a woodland wader that is superbly camouflaged on the ground. The Welsh population declined by almost 50% in the decade to 2013, so this is an important opportunity to understand what has happened recently. There are several dozen 1-km squares to cover in North Wales, each of which needs three visits in May and June – full details on the BTO website.
A flock of Twite is at Connah’s Quay nature reserve, although numbers are far smaller than used to winter on the Dee, reflecting the fall in breeding population across Britain. Despite windy conditions at the weekend, Firecrests were seen at Borth-y-Gest, Penrhyn Castle, Colwyn Bay rugby club and RSPB Conwy, where a Scaup, Spotted Redshank and Jack Snipe are on the lagoons.
Among Common Scoters off Llanddulas are a Surf Scoter, Velvet Scoter and Long-tailed Ducks, while another Velvet Scoter and two Little Gulls were off Criccieth and a Little Gull at Aberdaron at the weekend. A Snow Bunting remains on the beach at Kinmel Bay, with a Black Redstart there last week and two more at Amlwch Port.
In the Glaslyn Valley, a Greenland White-fronted Goose is with the flock of over 50 Whooper Swans near Garreg. A flock of Pink-footed Geese remains in the Cefni Valley, with a couple of Whooper Swans at RSPB Cors Ddyga and a Mandarin last week. In mid Wales, a Baikal Teal at Llangorse Lake is potentially the first in Wales, although it will require a close look to see whether it shows any signs of having escaped from a collection.
For a longer read about work by volunteer ringers to understand more about migrating Woodcock, read this Daily Post article from 2016.
A weekly update of bird sightings and news from North Wales.