Sunday, 19 August 2012

Back after a short break on Anglesey 7th - 11th August

It is over two months since my last post, this has been largely due to protracted problems with my broadband connection which was only finally resolved after I changed service provider. Pressure of work and the miserable weather also playing a part. Hopefully I will be able to post more regularly from now on.

Back to the subject of the post and a recent camping trip with my youngest son, Jack, and the dog on Anglesey. It wasn't a birding trip and was just a chance to get away and relax for a few days. My holidays coincided with a spell of fine weather so we packed the car and headed off to our favourite camp site near Malltraeth. We arrived in the late afternoon and were greeted by 3 Little Egrets on the pool by the entrance to the site. This pool held up to six Little Egrets and 3 Grey Herons over the next few days.

Once we had set up camp we went for an evening walk at Aberffraw. We hadn't gone far towards the beach when I noticed a Short-eared Owl flying over quite high. This was a bird I hadn't expected to see so I was really surprised when it was followed in quick succession by another two.

One of 3 Short-eared Owls at Aberffraw
I didn't take a moth trap but the lights are left on all night in the camp site toilets and usually attract a variety of critters. Pick of the bunch was a Small Blood-vein.

Small Blood-vein
We made our usual pilgrimage to St Cwyfan, the Church in the sea, on what turned out to be another glorious day. The Sand Martin colony in the earth cliff at the top of the beach was still quite active. I tried to get a few shots of the birds in flight but failed to get anything other than record shots. Two Grey Herons made easier subjects when they had an aerial battle over a feeding area.

St Cwyfan's, near Aberffraw

St Cwyfan's, near Aberffraw
Juvenile Sand Martin.

Adult Sand Martin preening on the wing.

Grey Herons

Grey Herons
The first longish walk of the trip was along the beach from Newborough Forest to Abermenai point on a scorcher of a day. Best of birds here was a Merlin attacking a small flock of Linnets at the point.

Bryn enjoys the beach off Newborough Warren

and the impressive dunes

View to Snowdonia from Abermenai point.
Field Grasshopper picked up in the dunes
We also made a couple of visits to Red Wharf Bay and explored the southern side below Pentraeth Forest. The habitat along this section of coast looks really good for holding migrants and is an area I will visit again.

Red Wharf Bay

Yours truly with Bryn

An obliging Common Darter

An obliging Common Darter
One constant of any visit to Anglesey are the Hawk trainers flying out of RAF Valley and there are great viewing areas near Rhosneigr.

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