a beautiful day and I’m working outside. Three Ravens, three Chough, a
Sparrowhawk and two Linnets are noted over the house.
evening stroll and I call to see Mike and Iris Crick at Bryn Hyfryd.
Iris reports a family party of Willow or Marsh Tits coming to their well
stocked feeding station a few weeks ago. This is most intriguing. These
closely related species are difficult to tell apart and are increasingly
scarce in Gwynedd. I can vaguely recall old records of Marsh Tits from
Plas yn Rhiw but would be interested to hear from anyone else who has
recorded them around the area.
getting late by the time I make my way along to Graig Fawr but it’
very warm. The Wicklow Mountains are showing well across the water but
Cardigan Bay is rather cloudy in places. I disturb a roosting Raven off
the crag here and sit down to rest at dusk by the footpath which
overlooks Porth Neigwl.
I rise to go home I’m delighted to see a small bright green light in
the grass here – a Glow Worm! Walking back up towards the stile to the
lane another two were seen. It’s several years since I’ve seen these
absolutely amazing creatures. I know friends who’ve recorded them over
at Porth Meudwy before but this is a Llŷn first for me.
anyone else recorded them in the area previously?
Barn Owls call as I make my way home.
to the wonders of the web I’m soon sending in my record and learning
more with a great site which tells you all you need to know about these
jewels of the night and the UK Glow Worm Survey (http://website.lineone.net/~galaxypix/#Counties).
trip to Penarfynydd with neighbour Pete and my daughter Aisha.
family of Stonechats are calling from the gorse below the farm as we
make our way towards the sea.
a few Pollack are caught and Pete lands a couple of decent size Wrasse.
The journey back up the hill is a nightmare as it’s become the hottest
day of the year. I did notice a Grayling butterfly amongst a few other
species but I must admit that my mind is on cold drinks!
enjoyed superb views of Barn Owl over the back of the house at dusk. I
have friends who are collating information on Barn Owl records and are
ringing the young birds so if you know of any breeding pairs or just
have general records to contribute do let me know and I’ll pass them
Noted a Painted Lady, two Red Admirals and a Meadow Brown butterfly
around the back of the house. Little Owls are still calling regularly in
saw a Brown Hare in the recently cut hay field by
Eifion. This field has attracted a couple of hunting Kestrels,
and small groups of gulls and crows - no doubt after the voles and
A cacophony of small birds were mobbing a Little Owl by Meillionydd Bach
this morning. A Sedge Warbler sang from a ditch by the lane near
Reed Bunting was seen near Pen-y-caerau.
Golden-ringed Dragonfly was patrolling the lane by Meillionydd Bach.
a fine start to the day with blue skies and hot sunshine; a party of 5
Raven drifted over the radar station and two Chough flew south over Lôn
Las while a Painted Lady butterfly was in the yard. The sunshine was not
to last with a bank of sea mist rolling in after lunch and the
temperature dropping rapidly.
species of butterfly were sheltering in the corner of my bottom field
– Small Tortoiseshell, Red Admiral, Meadow Browns and a Large Skipper
- a new species for the site.
has passed on details of a report of a flock of Crossbills (numbers
unknown) from Nant Gwrtheyrn, Llithfaen today.
yesterdays gale I ventured out after lunch for a walk along the coast to
Aberdaron. The wind was still strong but at least it was mild with no
notable sighting was a male Broad-bodied Chaser dragonfly by the pool at
Ysgo farm, with a Skylark singing overhead. A group of at least 8 Chough
wheeled over the cliffs by Gallt-y-Môr and a Buzzard flushed a flock of
24 Curlew here, with a couple of Raven also present.
valley at Cadlan Isaf has a scattering of trees and bushes along its
course (uncommon on the peninsula!) with a Chiffchaff, Mistle Thrush, 2
Linnet and a juvenile Kestrel in the area.
was low as I worked my way along towards Maen Gwenonwy. Here three Grey
Seals sheltered in the water and the beach hosted a couple of
Oystercatchers and 8 Black-headed Gulls. A Yellowhammer was carrying
food, indicting a nest nearby, while several Whitethroats sang in the
cliff top scrub – the latter species were a feature virtually all the
way to Aberdaron.
two Gannets were coasting west and further out a steady stream of Manx
Shearwaters headed in the same direction, with three Common Scoters also
along towards Penrhyn Mawr was very overgrown although a couple of
ponies were grazing parts of it. I understand that these have been
introduced to benefit the local Chough population by creating a mosaic
of open areas for feeding. The bracken supported several noisy family
parties of Stonechat and Linnet.
Clog Cidwm I almost sat on a Hare dozing in the bracken, while several
Skylarks, a Chough and a mixed flock of 30 Linnet and 3 Goldfinch were
eating thistle seed heads on the clawdd.
Puffins, Cormorant, Shag and Guillemot were visible around Ynys Gwylan
Fawr while my presence on the headland disturbed the local Herring
brief stop in Aberdaron I followed the path up the Afon Daron to the
small footbridge north of Morfa Mawr. Here I noticed an Otter dropping
(or spraint as they are correctly called) on a large stone in the river
here. Although I’ve never seen a wild Otter I understand that these
animals are widespread in Llŷn, though seldom seen due to their
nocturnal habits. I was reminded of a story told by my neighbour Belinda
Hughes in Ty Meirion of a large Otter working its way down over one of
their fields a few years ago in broad daylight!
Yellowhammers sang by the road on the walk home just west of Pen-y-caerau.
birder Dave Lamacraft reports a Quail singing at Awelon, Neigwl on the
evenings of the 13th & 14th. Apart from the
belated report from Anelog/Porth Oer in June and a calling bird on Ynys
Môn I’ve heard of no others in the region this summer despite the
superb weather conditions for this scarce migrant.
been regular sightings of the resident Sparrowhawks recently; presumably
they’re busy feeding brood of youngsters nearby. As usual the local
Swallows are quick to mob them as soon as they’re on the wing and
today I counted 43 (including many recently fledged young) chasing the
male which did a spectacular dive into the adjacent wood, either to
surprise prey or escape the crowd!
flock of 13 Chough headed north east over the village.
I awoke to
the sound of a Green Woodpecker calling from the nearby fields.
Golden-ringed Dragonflies wee seen today over towards Rhoshirwaun –
one by Meillionydd Bach and the other by Felin Uchaf, where a near
albino Hare was present.
Green Woodpecker was yaffling (as its laughing call is known) by the
house. A Grey Wagtail overhead was the first for a few months and a lone
Swift was also seen.
delighted to see a superb male Comma butterfly in the yard today. These
are quite spectacular with their ragged wings and rich golden orange
afternoon a bank of high cloud rolled in from the west and almost
immediately a range of birds were on the wing, presumably catching the
wind. Within the space of a few minutes I counted four Buzzards (over
Mynydd Penarfynydd), three Ravens heading north, five Chough circling
the village, a Peregrine and 15 Lesser Black-backed Gulls.
was crazy hot this afternoon so I decided to head down to Porth Neigwl
for a dip. On the way a group of Rooks were lined up on a fence gasping
for air with beaks wide open! I’ve seen the odd bird doing this before
but never a whole group.
was dropping and there was the usual assemblage of birds present on the
rocks at the west side; amongst the Herring and Lesser Black-backed’
were 15 Great Black-backed’, a couple of Black-headed Gulls and c.65
Curlew. At least three Whimbrel were associated with the Curlew flock.
Green Woodpecker and a single Bullfinch called by Bryn Foulk. On the way
home a Hummingbird Hawkmoth was by St.Aelrhiw’s church with 11 Mistle
Redpoll flew over the house.
butterfly feeding on bramble flowers in the yard.
fledge from the garage.
Comma butterfly was near Felin Uchaf and a Little Owl called from a new
site (old barn) on the way to Rhoshirwaun, with two Lesser Redpolls
flying south over here.
the west side of Porth Neigwl this evening included a 2nd
year Mediterranean Gull, a Whimbrel, Sandwich Tern and 4 Common
An evening walk to Rhoshirwaun produced 6
Hare sightings. Two (including one juvenile) Little Owls called by
the farm at Meillionydd Bach with another youngster calling by the barn
site near Rhoshirwaun. At least three Comma butterflies, amongst a
number of other species were seen – again favouring the dense hedges
and sunny lane by Meillionydd Bach, with a Lesser Whitethroat also
present. Two Yellowhammers were singing near Ty Croes Bach.
A rare Great White Egret was sighted briefly on Ynys
Enlli this morning before flying off SW, reminding me that its common
cousin the Little Egret has been reported over at the east end of Porth
Neigwl last week.
evening I walked from Porth Ysgo back along home via Penarfynydd farm.
Down at the coast small numbers of Gannets were visible through the
binoculars plunge-diving miles offshore, presumably into shoals of
Mackerel. A few flocks of Manx Shearwaters headed west towards the large
breeding colony (16,000+ pairs) on Ynys Enlli. An amazing spectacle
awaits any observer who ventures over to Mynydd Mawr at Uwchmynydd at
dusk in late summer as thousands of these birds make their way towards
the island and gather in huge rafts before returning to their nesting
burrows at night in order to avoid predators. A true avian spectacle!
Some birds from Welsh colonies are known to make feeding trips over
several days as far as the rich waters of the Bay of Biscay, although
most feed closer to home.
couple of Oystercatchers and small flocks of Black-headed Gulls and
Curlews are noted inshore. Two Grey Wagtails fly over calling, then
three Linnets. Carpets of stunted Wild Carrot are in peak flower on the
cliff slopes while the various grasses are now bleached and golden
catching the evening sun. Two Yellowhammers sing near the bottom of
Porth Ysgo with at least another cracking sulphur yellow male in Nant y
On the way home I count an amazing total of 15
Brown Hares, including 11 together in a recently cut silage field by the
plantation at Penarfynydd farm. I recall John Ty Croes telling me he’d
seen over 30 one night back in late winter in the area. I’ve never
been anywhere with such a high density of hares as Rhiw. Are they this
common throughout the whole of the peninsula?
31st July 2006
Two Green Woodpeckers spent the morning in
the field around Lôn Las.