Wednesday 31 January 2024

Thirty Years Ago - January 1994

2nd January:

An overnighter with Adrian Wander to Anglesey in appalling weather to get 1994 started.  The sun was just contemplating getting up as we arrived at the roadside parking just north of Holyhead and fortunately within just a few minutes we had the Killdeer in view. Perhaps my most sought after of waders and it performed exceptionally well in its chosen boggy field.  It was larger than I expected.

Killdeer #399

A drive around the headland produced two Chough, various waders, Little Grebes, Mergansers, Stonechats, a male Peregrine and was followed but a good session around the harbour where we had good views of Great Northern and Black-throated Diver as well as a few Auks and a fine Slavonian Grebe.

We left the Island and went up the coast to Llanfairfechan where the Blue Winged Teal eluded us but our seawatch was excellent with three Auks and Divers, Great-crested, Red-necked and another Slav Grebe, Eider, Scaup, Common Scoters, Mergansers and several Long-tailed Ducks.  A dapper Dipper bobbed on the stream that entered the sea here. 

On again and through the Conwy Tunnels where we stopped for fuel and up above I saw a very large Herring Gull sized Falcon circling round but I quickly lost it from view. Oh well – time to head home.

5th January:

A quick afternoon visit to Fishers Green to look for the Bitterns was successful with two birds seen very well along with Kingfisher and Water Rail.

23rd January:

Having been at Wat Tyler CP for nearly a week it was about time I paid the Olive Backed Pipit a visit.  It was gloomy and drizzly but I persevered and eventually very good views were had as it grovelled through the grass under the bushes.  My 7th in the UK.

Olive Backed Pipit

A few Thrushes, Pipits and Buntings passed over the Hawthorn scrub. Pleased with our efforts, Pete and I moved onto Rainham Marshes where Rock and Water Pipits were seen on and around the barges before heading to The Chase where a Long-eared Owl was seen lurking at the bottom of a Willow.

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