Rhiw Natural History




Andrew Clarke


October 2006

Sunday 1st October

A Little Owl/Tylluan Fach called from the hill above Ty Croes Mawr at dusk.

There was a report of four Mediterranean Shearwaters/Aderyn Drycin Mr y Canoldir off Porth Meudwy, Aberdaron today.


Monday 2nd October

A Green Woodpecker/Cnocell Werdd was very vocal from below the house this afternoon.


Tuesday 3rd October

Thomas Jones had a Barn Owl/Tylluan Wen scare the living daylights out of him when it swooped low over his head at Ty Croes Mawr this evening.

A single Snipe/Giach flew SW over Ln Las, the first for a while.


Wednesday 4th October

A fine Merlin/Cudyll Bach chased a flock of 30 Linnet/Nico by the sewage works above Bytilith this morning. Nearby a Peregrine/Hebog Tramor was sat on an ivy covered rock overlooking Porth Neigwl.

Visible migrants included 14 Skylark/Ehedydd and 3 Grey Wagtail/Siglen Lwyd.

A small herd of five ponies have been introduced onto Mynydd Penarfynydd in order to control the bracken and gorse and improve the habitat for species such as the Chough/Brn Goesgch and Dark Green Fritillary/Britheg Werdd.


Saturday 8th October

Theres a report of a Black-throated Diver/Trochydd Gyddfddu from Traeth Penllech today via the superb birding website Birdguides (www.birdguides.com).


Monday 10th October

Im out the back of the house at an hour past midnight (dont ask) and hear the distinctive shreep of a Redwing/Coch Dan-aden overhead. These small thrushes are on their way back here from their Scandinavian breeding grounds for the winter.


Tuesday 11th October

I get a message from Eddie Urbanski telling me that hes found a female/immature Common Rosefinch/Llinos Goch in Porth Meudwy. The prospect of a rarity on the mainland (rather then Ynys Enlli for a change) finds me soon getting eye strain as I work my way down the valley.

Alas, no grotfinch (as these rather dull finches are known in the trade) just a few Chiffchaff/Siff-saff and Blackcaps/Penddu to see.

Down on the beach at Aberdaron I come across a fine Grey Plover/Cwtiad Llwyd and three Mediterranean Gulls/Gwylan Mr y Canoldir; a fist-winter and two adults, one of which is sporting a colour-ring. I reach for the telescope and make a note of the number.

Enquiries on the web show the bird to be of Polish origin and I receive the following information.

Colour ring number: RED P97 metal ring number: Gdańsk FN 16022

Colour ring position: right tarsus metal ring position: left tarsus

Ringing data caught as a breeding adult on 20.05.2003 at SKOKI DUZE - GRAVEL PIT, WLOCLAWEK, POLAND.


Talking of colour-rings, I saw a few colour-ringed Choughs/Brn Goesgch in the village yesterday - part of a flock of 11 - including one bird from Aberystwyth.  There has been a huge flock in the Uwchmynydd/Aberdaron area in recent weeks holding up to 80 birds!


Wednesday 18th October

Plenty of migrants were visible today including a steady passage of Skylarks/Ehedydd, Meadow Pipits/Corhedydd y Waun and various finches including two Lesser Redpoll/Llinos Bengoch, 1 Reed Bunting/Bras y Cyrs, 10 Siskin/Pila Gwyrdd and 61 Goldfinch/Nico. Better still were the two Lapland Bunting/Bras y Gogledd which flew calling over Graig Fawr.

Four Mistle Thrushes/Brych y Coed were the first for a while. Starling/Drudwen flocks have appeared over the last few weeks with 600 in the village today.

A group of 18 Chough/ Brn Goesgch were seen over Bytilith then on the field below Penarfynydd farm, including a number of colour-ringed birds from Ynys Enlli, Aberdaron and Aberystwyth.

The Curlew/Gylfinhir flock on the pasture above Porth Llawenan hosted 36 birds while a party of 6 Golden Plover/Cwtiad Aur headed SE over Mynydd Penarfynydd.

Both Painted Lady/Ir Fach Dramor and Red Admiral/Y Fantell Goch butterflies were still about as were two late Swallow/Gwennol.

Later a Great Spotted Woodpecker/Cnocell Fraith Fwyaf flew SE over the house.


Thursday 19th October

I spent a few hours this morning walking up to the radio relay station on Mynydd Rhiw as the rain came pouring down. Things started very well with a fine Ring Ouzel/Mwyalchen y Mynydd flying over then dropping in the field above the house - a great garden tick!

A few Redwings/Coch Dan-aden were calling before dawn but I only counted 4 during my walk. Parties of Chaffinch/Jbinc were struggling SE into the wind and rain and a Wheatear/Tinwen y Garn lurked in the mist on the mountain (as well as a Skylark/Ehedydd and a total of 40 Meadow Pipits/Corhedydd y Waun).

 It really was precipitating down by now and the amount of water in my boots was slowing my progress... optics were misting badly, notebook soaked and I saw little else on the way home apart from a couple of Stonechat/Clochdar y Cerrig.

Friday 20 October

Had brief views of a female/1st winter type Black Redstart/Tingoch Du this afternoon by Bryn Hyfryd.

Things were fairly quiet during my afternoon stroll, other notable birds being Lesser Redpoll/Llinos Bengoch, Grey Wagtail/Siglen Lwyd and the odd calling Redwing/Coch Dan-aden.


Tuesday 24th October

The plantation and game cover crops at Penarfynydd farm hosted a good number of birds today including 161 Chaffinch/Jbinc, five Lesser Redpoll/Llinos Bengoch, another Siskin/Pila Gwyrdd and a Chiffchaff/Siff-saff. Small groups of Redwing/Coch Dan-aden headed SW.


Saturday 28th October

Llandudno birder Marc Hughes found a Lapland Bunting/Bras y Gogledd at Llanengan today, with eight Mediterranean Gulls/Gwylan Mor y Canoldir in the same area at the east end of Porth Neigwl.


Sunday 29th October

I visited several patches of game cover crops to the east of the village. Highlights were two Brambling/Pinc y Mynydd, a Twite/Llinos y Mynydd, Reed Bunting/Bras y Cyrs and 280+ Chaffinch/Jbinc. Most birds were in a large Quinoa crop above Plas-yn-Rhiw.

The usual Green/Cnocell Werdd and Great Spotted Woodpecker/Cnocell Fraith Fwyaf called nearby with a Peregrine/Hebog Tramor overhead and Chiffchaff/Siff-saff in willow scrub by Bryn Foulk.

Five Mediterranean Gulls/Gwylan Mor y Canoldir were again at Llanengan.


Monday 30th October

Marc again counted five Meds at Llanengan with another two in the harbour at Abersoch. At least ten individual birds of various ages have been noted over the last few days; there is now a regular autumn influx of this once scarce species to the region. 


Many thanks to Andrew for this section of Rhiw.com

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