The new designs of coin from the Royal Mint will enter circulation in the coming weeks, each inspired by the natural world. Birds appear on the 10p and 20p, in the form of Capercaillie and Puffin, both birds at risk in the UK. Red Squirrel on the 2p and Atlantic Salmon on the 50p are among the other species featured. But while we all get to put some wildlife in our pocket, the most recent State of Nature report showed that UK spending on wildlife conservation has fallen by 24% in real terms over the last five years. That the UK spent just 0.031% of GDP on biodiversity in 2021/22 is hard to square with the nature and climate emergency declared by the Senedd in June 2021. This week’s Welsh Government budget will be pored over by farmers and conservationists, keen to see how funding matches the needs of nature.
Waxwings continued to draw crowds this week, with 38 still in Llysfaen and seven in Rhuddlan, but a dozen in Holywell were seen only briefly. A Ring-necked Duck has returned to Llyn Tegid for another winter, arriving with three Scaup. Two Slavonian Grebes are off Llanddulas, with others off Benllech and in the Menai Strait off Church Island. Cattle Egrets remain in Anglesey’s Cefni Valley, with two at RSPB Cors Ddyga, while a group of White-fronted Geese here may be the flock from Greenland that winters on Anglesey.
A Bewick’s Swan fitted with a satellite-tag in The Netherlands paid a night-time visit to North Wales recently. It flew across South Wales to Co.Wexford in Ireland on 30 November. but two days later followed the coast north to Dublin and crossed the Irish Sea after dark on 2 December. He paused in the Cymryan Strait, between Holy Island and Anglesey, for just an hour after midnight before flying across Liverpool Bay and up the Mersey valley. See the map, shared by Dutch PhD student Hans Linssen on X (formerly Twitter), here. It is more than a decade since a Bewick’s Swan was seen on Anglesey, and in some winters none is seen in Wales, as the Russian population now winters farther east as the climate has warmed.
A weekly update of bird sightings and news from North Wales, published in The Daily Post every Thursday.