Sunday, 1 March 2009


Managed to rise before Dawns crack (not a pretty sight) and having been told to ''get some birding done'' by the missess I sped off in a westerly direction to North Wales and attempted to boost the flagging yearlist. First stop enroute was the obligatory trek over to Worlds End (aptly named) and grip the Black Grouse that just clingon (no their not related to Spock) to this part of North Wales. Two cocks seen from the roadside hiding in the long grass!! . Second stop enroute through Clocaenog Forest was a bit of a tourist job. Hiked upto the monument at Pincyn Llys near Bontuchel the old ticker certainly getting a much needed workout. 100% cloud cover did not bode well for raptor spotting and the only bird I actually saw was a female Stonechat near the impressive monument.Me and a Welsh impressive stone monument to some local who'd sacrificed his forest during World War One for the good of mankind, top chap. Replanted we now have Clocaenog, here endeth the history lesson. If you won't to know who it was then get climbing.

In the deepest dark section of Clocaenog the good old RSVP have built a hide, from where you can observe 'lekking' Black Grouse. Typically for this covert organisation theres no signage until your 10feet from where you need to be. The hide is actually one whole Welsh mile from this informative sign. I trudged upto said hide and yes you guessed bugger'all, absolutely bird free not a sausage. Enroute back down to civilization I scanned the forest as the good old current bun had decided to come out and play. Whap up came every raptor for miles around and within ten minutes I'd seen a pair of Goshawks and 10 Buzzards. 8+ Ravens added to the ornithological thermal.

With the sun still shining I blitzed upto the Bron Banog mast and scored within minutes with the wintering Great Grey Shrike, seen just to the right of the access track before the mast.

Horrendous record shot (just to prove I was there) of the GGShike shimmering in the heat haze. What next well I had three hours to kill before the World Champions set foot at Wembley for yet more silverware. I know....Llandulas, cos its on the coast and the A55 Angelsey beltway is right on its doorstep. Having driven 5 miles down the road the pager informs me theres 6 Velvet Scoter at guess where? Llandulas...sorted or so I thought. Arriving at the seaside I walk to Llandulas beach to be met by a strong westerly wind, choppy sea and black dots miles out to sea. If there was a Velvet Scoter out there then well done the 'birder' who spotted them cos the only thing I could see was a Gas Rig, several wind turbine bases and said black dots. Ah well still had a good mornings birding/listing in Welsh Wales time for the match and a Guinness or three.

UK YL - 144

Oh yes by the way the World Champions WON (again)....what a team, what a manager. The first of the 'never been done ever before FOUR'....squeaky bum time for the bookies what?

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