Forecast colder conditions may push songbirds and waterbirds west if ground conditions become icy and wetlands freeze. Skylarks, Fieldfares and Pink-footed Geese are among those likely to head into Wales if we remain milder than eastern Britain. A flock of Pink-feet flew over the Clwyd estuary, and perhaps the same were at Llanerchymedd, on Sunday. More Waxwings could arrive too. Sightings of the punk berry-munchers include flocks in Penmaenmawr, Connah’s Quay, Nannerch, Saltney, Mold, Bagillt, Rhuddlan and Rhyl.
A Snow Goose of unknown origin grazes with Greylags in the Dee Valley, south of Holt. It’s a ‘blue morph’ bird, plumage resulting from a dominant gene, so not the same as a white morph on the Dee estuary in the last couple of winters. Snow Goose was recently added to the national list by the Welsh Ornithological Society, along with Moltoni’s Warbler and Tennessee Warbler, all of which were recorded in Wales for the first time in 2022. You can download a copy of the Welsh List from their website.
A White-tailed Eagle seen in Meirionnydd last month remains in the area, reported by a farmer near Llanuwchllyn last week, and on nearby Llyn Tegid a Ring-necked Duck and Scaup are off Glanllyn. Black-necked Grebes were off Aber Ogwen and Carreg y Defaid, near Llanbedrog, at the weekend. Several Slavonian Grebes were off Harlech, with Great Northern Divers scattered around both coasts of Pen Llŷn. Near Pwllheli, a Glossy Ibis remains at Abererch, a Snow Bunting flew over the Great Orme, and an unseasonal Sandwich Tern was off Penmon on Saturday. A male Smew was in the Dee estuary.
Magpie has been removed from all General Licences by Natural Resources Wales, meaning that anyone with cause to kill the corvid requires a specific licence from NRW. That has been the case in relation to bird conservation for a couple of years, but now also applies to agricultural damage. The decision followed a review that could find little evidence of widescale damage by Magpies to livestock, feed or crops which could not be resolved by non-lethal methods. Details of the decision were published on the NRW website.
A weekly update of bird sightings and news from North Wales, published in The Daily Post every Thursday.