Most waders live on the shoreline, close to water. Except those that don’t. In a few short weeks, Woodcocks will arrive in woodlands and pastures in number, to winter in Britain after nesting in Russia and Scandinavia. Another wader lives at altitude, high on the Scottish and Norwegian mountains, and the tundra of northernmost Europe: the Dotterel. Three were seen on coastal headlands in North Wales at the weekend, two at Mynydd Rhiw and one on the Great Orme. These juveniles are typically unwary, and photographers were able to sit and wait for the birds to walk to them. Having hatched a couple of months ago, it’s quite possible that the birders of North Wales were the first humans they had seen.
Fine weather brought waterbirds from farther south. Two Glossy Ibis are at RSPB Cors Ddyga, one was near Cemlyn over the weekend, and one roosted on Porthmadog’s Cob pool last week. Great White Egrets have been reported from two dozen locations in Wales this week, including two at Cors Ddyga, up to five at RSPB Conwy, and singles at Cemlyn, Porthmadog Cob, Harlech and Llyn yr Oerfel near Trawsfynydd. Signs of autumn came with the first Yellow-browed Warblers at Pengroeslon and on Bardsey. The island also hosted a Woodlark, Wryneck, Jack Snipe and several Lapland Buntings; and there were Lapland Buntings on the Great Orme and at RSPB South Stack.
Garganeys were at RSPB Conwy, Llyn Maelog and Glan y Môr Elias, and Hooded Crows at the latter site as well as at RSPB South Stack and on Bardsey. A Rose-coloured Starling remains a regular sight on rooftops in Anglesey’s Bull Bay, an Ortolan Bunting was near Aberdaron, a Yellow Wagtail at Holyhead’s Breakwater Country Park, and a Surf Scoter among Common Scoters off Uwchmynydd may well winter in Cardigan Bay.