A tale of nature, wildlife and birding from Cheshire, North Wales and across the globe....

A tale of nature, wildlife and birding from Cheshire, North Wales and across the globe....

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

A grey day in North Wales

After dipping the Grey Phal that had been found at Morfa Madryn NR near Bangor the previous weekend, a whole week at work had to be endured before we could give it another shot. Having previously seen this species twice before (one at Conwy RSPB and another at Pennington Flash) the fact that it was showing ridiculously well meant I was keen to catch up with this individual – and it didn’t disappoint. After a fruitless search in the direction of the marshes with just pipits and linnets knocking around, we heard that it was apparently being seen near to the white cottage right by the railway line. Retracing our steps (and ignoring suggestions to jump over the stream and in to the deadly looking quicksand on the other side!) I soon relocated the phalarope stood on the bank amongst several ducks. Waving over the small crowd that had now gathered to look for it, we enjoyed brief views before it swam off down one of the small channels intersecting the sand and out of view. Guessing it was heading towards its favoured feeding spot by the outflow, we set off in that direction to find it busy spinning around and actively picking up morsels out of the flow. For the next 20 minutes or so we enjoyed great views – some of my closest yet, and I was able to get some photos. My hands (having left my gloves in my car) were now absolutely freezing by this point, so we decided to call it a day, leaving the phal to bumble around in the shallow water.


Note the thicker bill than the similar Red-necked Phalarope (which this individual was originally mis-IDed as) an easy feature to look out for when separating the two species.


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