Friday, 8 January 2016

Ramsey Sound and Newgale Marsh - bits and pieces

We did another watch at Ramsey Sound during a rather blustery day. There was no sign of the grey phalarope at St Justinian this morning or mid-afternoon when we left. During the morning, a single red-throated diver swimming through the Sound on the Ramsey-side was probably the only highlight. 

In the afternoon, a 1st winter little gull flew south through the Sound with a couple of 1st w. kittiwakes (presumably the regular little gull that seems to be wintering in the general area?). A single light-bellied Brent goose also flew south through the Sound. 

Numbers of chough feeding in the stubble were somewhat depleted today but a couple of coveys of red-legged partridges (3 and 7) were noted in two separate locations. A shame though that they weren't the native grey - are there any genuinely wild grey partridges still left in Wales these days?
These very wary birds didn't hang around long enough for a closer view
A couple of flocks of lapwing were flying over the Alun Valley mid-morning, probably in excess of 1,000 birds in total. A merlin was also noted perched on a gate-post near Treswny Moor. A female kestrel was hunting from a perch on the telephone cable near Trefeiddan. Rather than hover, she repeatedly watched the marshy grassland from her horizontal wire perch, occasionally dropping to the ground to catch something. She often missed but eventually caught a small rodent (possibly a young vole).

On the way back south, we called in briefly to the flooded Newgale Marsh. Apart from the usual bathing herring and GBB gulls and curlew and oystercatchers feeding in the damp/flooded grassland, it was nice to see two whooper swans resting in the flood zone.