West Sussex

G. away skiing so early start to Farlington Marshes. Very cold, some rain, but mostly bright and clear. Trying out the Canon SX50…

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What’s that over there on the grass?
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Looks like it’s some Brent Geese…
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Yep… Definitely Brents!

A tagged Blackwit…

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A nice bright Greenfinch…

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Also of note, a number of RED-BREASTED MERGANSER, and my first CHIFF-CHAFF of the year.

Later to Pucks Cottage, Knutbourne… A nice tagged GREENSHANK…

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In the afternoon a twitched (via birdguides) GREAT GREY SHRIKE, shot at pretty extreme range…

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and a (too far to photograph) juvenile BLACK-NECKED GREBE. Both at Watersfield, W. Sussex, near Pulbourgh. Went to Pulbourgh Brookes after, but not but much happening, except for more Chiff Chaffs heard, and a Bullfinch “just seen”, but not by me.

Thursley Common

Misty clear cold moring. Couple of Dartford Warblers + Hundred of Fieldfare over and stopping off – very definite vismig, wave after wave.

***GREAT GREY SHRIKE*** – getting mobbed by Redpoll

***WOODLARK*** – crest and eye stripe clearly visible + short tail

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Snowdonia

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4am start to meet Alan ‘Biggest Twitch’ Davies. Drive to Worlds End (between Llnangollen and Wrexham) for dawn lekking¬†***BLACK GROUSE***. Various leks, on very near road with 5 or 6 grouse. Amazing looking birds doing the full lekking behaviour. Later worked down valley for *Winchat, Cuckoo, redstart, M&F Pied Flycatcher, Willow Warbler, *Garden Warbler, *Siskin, *Grey Wagtail.

Then to Llangollen where ***DIPPER*** easily viewed from bridge. Adult feeding juvenile. Lots of dipping – ‘flys’ underwater in strong current. Also *Mandarin.

Breaskfast back along A5. Feeder at Cafe *Yellowhammer, *Lesser Redpoll, ‘Brown’ or leucistic¬†Chaffinch.

Clacaenog forest area, didn’t find Goshawk, did find ***TREE PIPET*** – bigger, strong eyestripe & wing bar, call distinctive.

To Capel Curig, just south by river ***WOOD WARBLER*** Great clear views. Bigger, bright green, clean white, unmistakable, Beautiful bird. *Common Sandpiper, Pied Flycatcher.

Then to ‘Ogwen Cottage’ along old road in the rain, eventually for ***RINGED OUZEL*** Grass slopes among rocks, bigger than Blackbird otherwise looks and behaves v. similar. Good clear views ending in a flypast.

Long. very tired drive home to London.

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IMG_1342_1000Staying in converted church Capel Curig (airbnb) – OK, not amazing, bit weird as family home and they had photographer doing shoot of their daughter in the afternoon and freinds over for dinner party in evening. Location great – ideal for mountain walking some other time.

5am start, Weather v. windy + hard rain.

Caerhun Chruch yard:
**HAWFINCH**
Single, female, not seen well (straight-on, light behind, but beak unmistakable)

Great Orme lashing with rain, so on to Aber Falls:
*Redstart / *Wheatear / *Raven / *Mistlethrush / *Willow Warbler / *Cuckoo

Back to Great Orme:
*Jackdaw / *Peregrine / *Chough / *Guillemot / *Cormorant / *Shag / *Razorbill / *Coal Tit

Penychant Nature Reserve (Conwy Mountain):
**PIED FLYCATCHER** – F. seen well in the right kind of woodland / *Chiffchaff

Finished the day with a walk up mountain near Capel Curig