Sunday 1st April
Sunny with blue skies again but the persistent
cold NE of the last few weeks is still blowing. This morning I trod up
over Mynydd Rhiw taking in the fine views over to Anglesey and Snowdonia.
On the way up to the radar station a recently
cleared area of gorse held five Stonechat/Clochdar y Cerrig, two Magpie/Pioden
(scarce in the village as a result of a neighbouring farmer’s longstanding
trapping programme) and a couple of Kestrel/Cudyll Coch.
It was great to hear the mountain echoing with the
sound of singing Skylarks/Ehedydd. At least 11 birds were counted on the
way up to the top mast by the site of the ancient axe factory.
Nearby my first Wheatear/Tinwen y Garn of the year
dashed along the stone wall – four were counted in total. Two Chough/Brân
Goescoch flew north and a Linnet/Llinos was heard.
Tuesday 3rd April
Today saw me visiting a local section of coast
known as a good site for Peregrine/Hebog.
I was not to be disappointed because as I arrived
I flushed a superb male from a crag above the sea cliffs. The bird flew
down at high speed straight down at a Raven/Cigfran sat atop the cliff
then flew up, banked then immediately flew back down at another target – a
Buzzard which I had not noticed sat further along the cliff edge.
Presumably the falcon was staking out or defending
a breeding territory – I have seen them use old Raven nests in years past
while Buzzards also occasionally do the same so there was obviously some
competition for the best site going on.
Friday 6th April
This afternoon an old birding friend was visiting
for the weekend so we walked up over Mynydd Rhiw looking for migrants.
With clear blue skies, a warm sun and a cool breeze conditions were
Four Stonechat/Clochdar y Cerrig were seen on the
heath then a House Martin/Gwennol y Bondo headed north – the first of the
year for me. A Hare/Sgwarnog was disturbed from the rough grassland by the
top radar station then we had fine views of a bright green Common Lizard/Madfall
y Coed, which Rick saw seconds before I was about to flatten it underfoot!
We took the footpath down across the heath to
Ffynnon Saint, with the usual Yellowhammer/Bras y Melyn singing away and
several Peacock/Y Peunog and Small Tortoiseshell/Iâr Fach Amryliw
butterflies on the wing.
Reaching the well we paused for a drink then
continued down the track past Ty’n y Parc, recording two singing Siskin/Pila
Gwerdd in the conifers and eight Chiffchaff/Siff-saff in the willow scrub,
while a pair of charming Long-tailed Tits/Titw Cynffon-hir called from
some Blackthorn/Draenen ddu.
At Porth Neigwl it was time for some refreshments
and a scan of the bay, picking up a distant Red-throated Diver/Trochydd
Gyddfgoch way offshore. Heading back up past Plas-yn-Rhiw the obligatory
Green Woodpecker/Cnocell Werdd called with two Great Spotted Woodpeckers/Cnocell
Fraith Fwyaf in the churchyard at St.Aelrhiw’s.
Saturday 7th April
Today saw Eifion - another old friend, Rick and I
taking the boat across to Bardsey Island/Ynys Enlli. The weather was again
perfect for walking and wildlife watching.
The first Thrift/Clustog Fair of the year was
flowering in Porth Meudwy as we waited for the boat and after a
comfortable 20 minute journey we reached Cafn, the small inlet that serves
as a harbour. We were greeted by the wailing cries of the colony of
Atlantic Grey Seals/Morlo Llwyd, hauled out on the rocks in Henllwyn.
Enlli supports a significant proportion of the North Wales population and
the visitor is guaranteed excellent views.
We wandered over the island, recording my first
Swallow/Gwennol of the year amongst a range of other birds and wildlife.
Sitting on top of Mynydd Enlli looking back towards the mainland then down
at the seabirds whizzing around the cliffs is an excellent way to while
away one’s time and is highly recommended.
Sunday 8th April
Tony Jones reports two cetaceans (Dolphin/Dolffin
or Porpoise/Llamhidydd) off Rhuol, Porth Neigwl early this morning.
Wednesday 11th April
Two more House Martins/Gwennol y Bondo were over
A Little Owl/Tylluan Fach was calling above Ty
Eifion this evening. The local birds have been fairly quiet in recent
weeks, presumably they are busy nesting.
Friday 13th April
A group of four Lesser Redpoll/Llinos Bengoch flew
over the house this morning.
Saturday 14th April
Today dawned warm with the sun breaking through
some high cloud. The first Swallow/Gwennol of the year was a welcome
visitor to Lôn Las.
I ventured uphill past Ty Eifion, where three
Mistle Thrush/Brych y Coed were engaged in a noisy territorial dispute,
out along the top lane towards Carreg Lefain and the sewage works,
counting five Yellowhammer/Bras Melyn (including four singing males) and
three singing Willow Warbler/Telor yr Helyg.
Two House Martin/Gwennol y Bondo, a Swallow/Gwennol
and a Wheatear/Tinwen y Garn were around Mynydd Penarfynydd with two more
Mistle Thrush/ Brych y Coed by the trip point and my first Wall Brown/Iâr
Fach y Fagwyr butterfly of the year at the very end of the mountain
overlooking Trwyn Talfarach.
Visiting naturalist Andrew Spottiswood (read his blog
here) reports the
following sightings from the north coast of Lleyn.
Aber Geirch to Porth Towyn
5 Purple Sandpiper/Pibydd Du at Aber Geirch
10 Golden Plover/Cwtiad Aur
5+ Sandwich Tern/Morwennol Bigddu
1 Manx Shearwater/Aderyn Drycin Manaw
5 Wheatear/Tinwen y Garn
2+ White Wagtail/Siglen Wen
Monday 16th April
Two Shelduck/Hwyaden yr Eithin flew east over the
house – a nice garden tick!
Tuesday 17th April
This evening I walked down towards Porth Ysgo,
enjoying superb views of two tame Hares/Sgwarnog in a silage field near
Bryndol on the way.
The beach was fairly quiet bird wise, with two
male Pied Wagtails/Siglen Fraith and a singing Grey Wagtail/Siglen Lwyd.
Three Yellowhammer/Bras Melyn sang from the coastal gorse, with another
three in Nant y Gadwen and a male Kestrel/Cudyll Coch on the return trip.
Thursday 26th April
Today the sun was warm, the sky was blue and the
breeze was cool – perfect for a stroll to Graig Fawr.
First sighting of note was my first Orange Tip/Boneddiges
y Wig butterfly of the year – a fine male.
A Garden Warbler/Telor yr Ardd sang from a
hawthorn thicket near Bryn Hyfryd – another returning migrant.
At least two different pairs of Raven/Cigfran
wheeled over Mynydd Penarfynydd, presumably non-breeding birds, while a
Wheatear/Tinwen y Garn was on Graig Fawr.
Friday 27th April
Gwenllian saw another male Orange Tip/Boneddiges y
Wig at the mouth of the river in Aberdaron this morning.
Saturday 28th April
After a sleepless night I was up at dawn and
stumbled up onto Mynydd y Graig. The red globe of the sun rose straight
over the Moelwyn mountains at Blaenau Ffestiniog –superb.
Birding highlights during the walk towards
Penarfynydd included three Wheatear/Tinwen y Garn, a Sparrowhawk/Gwalch
Glas, Kestrel/Cudyll Coch and two Chough/Brân Goesgoch. Another Garden
Warbler/Telor yr Ardd, three Chiffchaff/Siff-saff and five Willow Warbler/Telor
yr Helyg sang from the plantation here.
A Lesser Redpoll/Llinos Bengoch flew over Lôn Las
later in the morning.
Visiting naturalist Andrew Spottiswood (read his blog
here) reports the
following sightings between Aber Geirch and Porth Towyn:
89 Whimbrel/Coegylfinir (an excellent local
count) in one field at SH259399 accompanied by
2 Bar-tailed Godwit/Rhostog Gynffonfrith one of
which was a male in summer-plumage.
3 Kittiwake/Gwylan Goesddu on rocks at Aber Geirch
10 White Wagtail/Siglen Wen at Aber Geirch
8 Wheatear/Tinwen y Garn
3 Sedge Warbler/Telor yr Hesg
1 Wall Brown//Iâr
Fach y Fagwyr