15 December 2012

St Davids Hd Autumn Summary 2012


Back from Spain the Autumn started for me on 31st August when 55 Barnacle Geese flew over and around Ramsey before returning to Cardigan Island from where they presumably originated. On the 5th and 6th Grey Wagtails went through (5 & 3+), the best numbers of a good Autumn. White Wagtails were present early in the month, mainly on the Golf Course, but in low numbers. The first Pied Flycatcher appeared at the Youth Hostel on 7th. On 13th a Long-eared Owl was roosting in the withies in Porthmelgan Valley, a rare bird these days with no known winter roosts. After a break on Skokholm, a walk around on 22nd turned up a Firecrest at The Youth Hostel while the next day, a flushed Grasshopper caused a missed heartbeat or two. An unremarkable September, the weather really wasn't helping!

Long-eared Owl  13th September


Just a couple of days birding on the 4th and 5th produced 4 Light-bellied Brents on 4th and Grey Wagtails both days: then it was off to Scilly for a couple of weeks. Arrived back to some vis mig which was nice, mainly Chaffinches with fewer Skylarks and Redwings as well as a Brambling in with the Chaffinches. A Woodcock at the Burial Chamber was good. The Bests' Scaup was still at Penberi Res, remaining on and off through the rest of the Autumn. BD had a Snow Bunting out at the Fort the next day when I had a possible Irish 'hibernicus' Coal Tit at the Youth Hostel, looking very like birds I had seen on St Agnes a little while before. The 23rd was rather quiet but brightened by a Yellow-browed Warbler in the Porthmelgan Withies and a Willow Warbler looking good for 'acredula' along The Pencarnan Track. Another Yellow-browed Warbler was in willows along The Cabin Track the next day and there were 1st yr male and female Ring Ouzels out in the Porthmelgan Withies but, unfortunately, no sign of yesterday's Yellow-browed there. The Ring Ouzels were present on the 25th when 700 Chaffinches went over along with 4+ Bramblings and a selection of other regular migrants. A Black Redstart, oddly keeping to the sycamores at the Youth Hostel, was the first of the Autumn. The 26th was notable for a Jack Snipe found by MH, the first site record for me, and 2 Short-eared Owls with a newly-in 1st w male Ring Ouzel up on the Western Rocks as well as 'abietinus' Chiffchaffs in the Porthmelgan Withies and later at Porth Clais. Another was at the Youth Hostel on the 28th. The first Merlin appeared on 27th, no doubt the first of many sightings till late Spring.

Ring Ouzel   Oct 26th 

October finished for me on 30th with some movement apparent including 3 Bramblings over and a close-in Great Northern in Whitesands Bay.


Maybe 1200 Golden Plovers and 600 Lapwings were back around the fields at nearby Crug Glas on 2nd though proving impossible to pin down this year. A Short-eared Owl, at the Burial Chamber, a Woodcock in the Porthmelgan Withies and a new Black Redstart at the Youth Hostel were good but pretty much the sum of the day on the 3rd. The first big arrival of Thrushes occurred on 4th and a couple of Bramblings with the Chaffinches. There were two Bewick's Swans on Penberi briefly, found by LL. Again Thrushes were around in numbers on 6th, especially Blackbirds and Song Thrushes. Another Black Redstart was around on 8th when a Snow Bunting went over. A Short-eared Owl was present next day, a good autumn for them. Again Thrushes were in evidence on 14th, a lively day when 2 Crossbills went over as well as 3+ Bramblings and another Short-eared Owl was present.There were Bramblings again on the 15th and 2 Stock Doves, on 16th, these being very unusual migrants here. An adult male Merlin also started a prolonged stay on this date.
A Black Redstart on 5th December (the 10th of the year)  brought a slightly disappointing autumn to a close.