As hard-working staff from Bardsey Bird & Field Observatory prepare to leave for winter on the mainland, their final week’s ringing included a Pallas’s Warbler and their third Red-breasted Flycatcher and Long-eared Owl of the autumn. And just before taking down the nets for the last time, they caught a Red-flanked Bluetail, an eastern jewel whose breeding range has spread west from Siberia. This was only the seventh recorded in Wales, although it’s the third on the island off the tip of Pen Llŷn.
On the mainland, a Grey Phalarope was pushed inshore by strong winds in Cardigan Bay and fed off Borth-y-Gest on Friday, another was reported off Traeth Dulas on Saturday, while a Leach’s Petrel passed Criccieth. Firecrests have been found at Holyhead, Benllech, Moelfre, Brynteg, Bangor Mountain and RSPB Conwy, where a Jack Snipe and Long-tailed Duck were seen over the weekend. A Yellow-browed Warbler has spent a week at Llangfairynghornwy, a Tree Sparrow was with Linnets at Point Lynas and a Spotted Redshank at Morfa Madryn. Late Swifts over Prestatyn and Groesffordd at the weekend may have been Pallid Swifts, of which over 30 have arrived across Britain on the plume of warm air from North Africa that have dropped unusual moths across the country, including five 'firsts' for Britain in a week! A Pallid Swift was over the Little Orme last Monday, but quickly disappeared out to sea.
A Cattle Egret brings a touch of the Mediterranean to the outskirts of Rhyl, beside the Clwyd estuary, and a few terns remain, including Sandwich Terns off Rhos Point, Arctic Tern at RSPB Conwy and Common Terns past Penrhyn Bay and Bangor. Late summer migrants included a Sand Martin over Traeth Lligwy and a Little Ringed Plover in Pwllheli Harbour. Thoughts of a ‘Waxwing Winter’ are being fuelled by large numbers crossing south over the Baltic last week.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, a Bar-tailed Godwit has made an astonishing flight, equivalent to flying from Llandudno to Papua New Guinea. Read more here.
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A weekly update of bird sightings and news from North Wales.