The North Wales Wildlife Trust reserve at Cemlyn has seen a steady stream of visitors this week, coming to see the Elegant Tern and enjoying the sounds and smell of a busy breeding seabird colony. ‘ET’ spends each day on the lagoon islands, regularly taking to the air as neighbouring Sandwich Terns defend their tiny nesting territory from this Pacific Ocean interloper. The other tern species, Common and Arctic as well as Sandwich Terns, are busy commuting off North Anglesey, returning with small fish to feed their growing chicks. Up to three Roseate Terns have been at Cemlyn, and there was good news this week from Rockabill island in Dublin Bay, where a record 1,704 pairs have nested, 85% of the northwest European population. Birdwatch Ireland wardens report a productive season, with more chicks than in recent years. Three Roseate Terns were among the high tide count of Little Terns at Gronant on Sunday.
Autumn wader migration is underway, with Whimbrels dropping in from Iceland, four Spotted Redshanks at Connah’s Quay nature reserve, Wood Sandpiper at RSPB Cors Ddyga and 11 Greenshanks on the Alaw estuary. Three Great White Egrets are at RSPB Conwy and one at Connah’s Quay, perhaps from RSPB Burton Mere Wetlands, on the Dee estuary, where three pairs have raised ten young. A record number of Redshanks have nested on the reserve saltmarsh this year, and Bitterns and Marsh Harriers have nested in the reedbeds.
A Rose-coloured Starling remains at Moelfre, an unseasonal Black Redstart was reported in Rhos-on-Sea, an Osprey flew over RSPB Conwy on Saturday evening and a Spoonbill was at Connah’s Quay. Hooded Crows have been at RSPB South Stack, Amlwch and the River Clwyd south of Rhyl, and the hybrid offspring of a Hooded and a Carrion Crow on Holyhead breakwater. Mediterranean Gulls are starting to arrive in North Wales from across northern Europe, with 19 on Anglesey’s Inland Sea.