A guest blog from Ken Croft (the other, more beardy, half of Naturebites!)…
What a day I had on Monday!? I drove over to Malltraeth early in the morning, it was calm and sunny but very cold early on. I parked up at the bridge in Malltraeth, lots of Wigeon were in the channel below with Little Grebes while on the shoreline Snipe had joined the Redshank, Curlew and Oystercatchers with the odd Little Egret and Grey Heron also present. Inland the fields were full of Lapwings and Golden Plover. As I walked along the Cob I was soon joined by a pair of Stonechats that flitted their way along the path ahead of me. On the Cob Pools good numbers of Pintail and Teal and amongst hundreds more Lapwing a group of 27 Black-tailed Godwits many Dunlin and Redshank plus a Spotted Redshank. As I walked along towards the forest Robins, Dunnocks and Wrens kept me entertained along with Greenfinch, Linnet and Reed Bunting.
On reaching the forest I headed straight for the feeders; Chaffinch, Great Tit and Blue Tit with Coal Tits and Nuthatch nearby on the squirrel feeders. After about 10 minutes 2 Red Squirrels appeared with one lifting the lid and climbing into one of the boxes whist the other danced up and down the tree trunks. Moments later 3 Jays flew in and fed on the ground below the feeders. Time to move on, I headed over to Llyn Parc Mawr. As I approached the pool all the Gadwall and Teal were moving quickly towards my end of the water. When I reached the viewing area I saw the reason, at the far end of the pool 3 OTTERS were playfully chasing each other around the small island. They continued to swim and dive around for a few minutes before vanishing and all the ducks were then able to resume their feeding in a relaxed manner.
Next I headed off through the forest making my way towards the mouth of the estuary, I found a flock of Long-tailed Tits with a couple of Goldcrests in attendance and a noisy Great Spotted Woodpecker. Moving on, my next surprise was a group of 4 Crossbills in the treetops and on the path in front of me 6 Siskins feeding on the ground and another gorgeous Red Squirrel.
I left the forest and moved out onto the saltmarsh, scanning round a flock of Starlings took flight closely pursued by a Sparrowhawk. On the saltmarsh I encountered Meadow Pipits, Linnets, Skylarks, Reed Buntings and Snipe as I made my way onto the shoreline. A Peregrine posed majestically on Bodorgan Headland, Red-breasted Mergansers were in the mouth of the estuary and as I walked on I found 10 Great Crested Grebes and a dozen Common Scoter offshore. As I approached Llanddwyn Island a Great Northern Diver and 3 Red-throated Divers were out in the bay along with a couple of Harbour Porpoise. A pair of Stonechats escorted me onto the island, with countless Cormorants and Shags on the rocks and in the sea plus 2 Grey Seals.
I made my way back through the forest passing the noisy Raven roost and settled down on the edge overlooking the saltmarsh. Just after 4pm a male Hen Harrier flew in and quatered the marsh for some 15 minutes before dropping in. On my way home I decided to drive along the track from Aberffraw towards Llyn Coron, it was now 5pm and quite dark but I was rewarded when I saw a Short-eared Owl perched on a roadside post, it flew off as i approached but after driving on and turning it was back on the post on my return. A fitting end to a magical day!
This was not intended to be a blog post, but when this email landed in my inbox this morning I just had to share! Anglesey at it’s best 🙂