The wintry weather has paused the start of spring for some. Several Stonechats alongside the Conwy estuary on Saturday had perhaps been pushed downhill from nesting territories they had already established. In Bala, a flock of finches included 20 Bramblings, forced to take on extra food from a garden during spring migration to Scandinavia. The first Curlews were on territory in Mynydd Hiraethog last week but may have had second thoughts as the snow fell. This young Robin had probably left its nest several days prior to being photographed on the Prestatyn-Dyserth Walkway on 9 March. The egg from which it hatched would have been laid in early February.
Local readers have also seen Blackbirds carrying food to garden nest sites this week. Juvenile Crossbills in Clocaenog are less surprising since they time their breeding to the availability of pine seeds and so frequently nest in mid-winter. A Swallow at Felinheli, Sandwich Tern in Holyhead Bay and Garganey at RSPB Conwy are early returnees from Africa, while the first Wheatear and Sand Martins are in southern Wales.
The Baikal Teal remains at Foryd, near Caernarfon, Surf Scoters off Llanddulas, Snow Bunting at Kinmel Bay and five Ruddy Shelducks on the Clwyd estuary. A Black Redstart was near RAF Valley on Sunday, two Long-tailed Ducks off Llanddona and a dozen Twite at Gronant.
Bird Book of the Year, judged by the British Trust for Ornithology and British Birds, has been awarded to Low-carbon Birding, an anthology edited by Javier Caletrío. It shows how birdwatchers are responding to the climate and nature emergency by changing their behaviours. It is a timely decision to give the country's leading bird book prize to a work about how our interest affects the birds we love. The latest Sunday evening BBC nature blockbuster, fronted by Sir David Attenborough, highlights that Britain & Ireland can match wildlife anywhere on the planet. Coinciding with the series, WWF-UK, The National Trust and RSPB have kicked off a bilingual campaign to Save Our Wild Isles which calls on people to act for nature, and demand that business and political leaders do the same.
A weekly update of bird sightings and news from North Wales, published in The Daily Post every Thursday.