Sunday, 27 March 2011

Looking for William..

Starting year 1 at Bangor University, the workload was nothing to complain about, with only the odd essay and report to worry about.. However, at the start of 2011 and well into the 2nd half of my 2nd year; the workload increased, birding stopped and stress levels rocketed.. It's now March 2011 and I'm in the last few months of my 2nd year and as far as I'm concerned, the workload has now tripled and my time for birding is almost non-existent. The only birding I'm managing to do at the moment, seems to be the daily walks to lectures and whilst I'm out ringing, which now seems to be pretty regular.

In the last post, in which I was catching Pied Wagtails at their roost site in Bangor, now seems quite a long time ago and 3 weeks on, the amount of ringing I have been able to do has been great, with a couple of memorable catches, which will soon follow.. After 2 weeks of daily lectures and numerous essays and reports, it was time to head out and do some proper birding, for the first time in 2011. So early on Saturday morning {19th}, I met up with my dad and friend Ted Preece at Rainbow Bridge in Old Colwyn, in search of the 2 Drake Surf Scoters that had been loafing around by the turbines for a few weeks now. Seeing as though neither of them had seen this species before, I was rather keen to find them for the both of them. However, the conditions weren't exactly perfect and with a chop on the water and birds miles out, there wasn't much chance of seeing them. Unfortunately after an hour's worth of scoter grilling, we gave up and headed east to Llanfairfechan, in search of some Slavonian Grebes.

Luckily 4 individuals were present on arrival, with a couple in summer-plumage and the other 2 birds, still in their winter plumage. Several Red-throated divers offshore but nothing too exciting here.. News that the Bonaparte's gull, {hence the title 'Looking for William' - {William Charles Bonaparte} was showing well on the beach over on Anglesey, at Traeth Lligwy near Moelfre, the 3 of us hopped in the car and headed over sharpish.. This bird has been present for a few weeks now, showing on and off during high and low tide. More importantly, it was a lifer for my dad and Ted so they were both pretty happy with the views they had.. Leaving the gull to it's own devices, a short walk to the headland revealed a stunning summer plumage Black Guillemot, ending a pretty successfull day's birding, apart from dipping the Glaucous Gull near Menai Bridge. Seeing as though it was late afternoon, we called it a day and after being dropped back off in Bangor for a shower and a sleep, the others headed for home.

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