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Clwydian Hills AONB

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Old Friday 12th October 2018, 13:44   #26
glennmanc
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Oct 12th 2018. A adult male Sparrowhawk is now visiting the garden feeder every day, but without visible loss of Bullfinches so far. I checked my own records for Pantymwyn in the past 10 years and found only 5 Kestrel records compared with 71 for Sparrowhawk (for the whole UK, it was 258 Kestrel and 250 Sparrowhawk). There were 165 Common Gulls in a field north of Cilcain, my first big feeding flock of the winter and the Goosanders (8) are still at the Star Crossing pool, but there were no Lapwings there this morning. A walk near Moel Famau yesterday found 12+ Ravens taking advantage of the updraughts on a breezy day and 30+ Meadow Pipits on the heather. Down in the Clwyd Forest, there was an abundance of Fly Agaric mushrooms among the pines but the dominant bird is now the humble Robin.
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Old Wednesday 17th October 2018, 09:33   #27
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Nice thread, thanks for posting your sightings. My cousin lives in Nannerch and i pay them a visit from time to time. Great news about the Lapwings. Whereabouts is Star Crossing Pool?
I can only add one bird to your list - Hawfinch, seen in the churchyard at Christmas in 2014 and 2017 ( http://www.northwalesbirding.co.uk/f...php?f=5&t=7845 )
Ysceifiog lake sounds good, we sometimes go to the Fox so i'll have to have a look next time.
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Old Friday 19th October 2018, 11:52   #28
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Oct 19th 2018. Exasperated with the apparent absence of Redwings in Pantymwyn, I took off for the Cilcain moors and had no trouble locating flocks of 30+ Redwing and 30+ Fieldfare feeding on the rowan berries and on the ground. The surprise was at least 5 very vocal Brambling, mixed with Chaffinches, in a total flock of 30+. The Star Crossing pool, in contrast, was empty of all except a single Little Grebe, possibly because of some earlier disturbance (a one-sided Battle-of-the-Somme between Homo erectus and local pheasants was taking place within hearing distance).
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Old Friday 19th October 2018, 11:53   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jogresh View Post
Nice thread, thanks for posting your sightings. My cousin lives in Nannerch and i pay them a visit from time to time. Great news about the Lapwings. Whereabouts is Star Crossing Pool?
I can only add one bird to your list - Hawfinch, seen in the churchyard at Christmas in 2014 and 2017 ( http://www.northwalesbirding.co.uk/f...php?f=5&t=7845 )
Ysceifiog lake sounds good, we sometimes go to the Fox so i'll have to have a look next time.
Star Crossing is where the road to Cilcain turns off the main Mold-Denbigh road
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Old Saturday 20th October 2018, 09:04   #30
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Star Crossing is where the road to Cilcain turns off the main Mold-Denbigh road
Thanks, i'll try and have a look next time i'm visiting. Looking at aerial pics, it looks like there are 5 pools of varying sizes there.
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Old Tuesday 23rd October 2018, 11:26   #31
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Oct 23rd 2018. A cold and windswept morning but a Peregrine soaring along the Alun valley made the village walk worthwhile. Plenty of woodpigeons here, so the Peregrines probably hunt regularly and it's just a matter of luck if you happen to see one on their 20-30 second visits. Common Gulls crossing from the estuary all morning now and flocks of 100+ in the fields around Cilcain. Redwings are regular now in Pantymwyn but no large movements seen as yet. The Star Crossing pool was completely deserted; not even a Little Grebe! As I sat writing this post at 12 noon, a male Sparrowhawk crashed into the feeders outside my window, but so quickly that I couldn't tell whether it managed to carry off one of the Bullfinches.
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Old Tuesday 23rd October 2018, 11:47   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jogresh View Post
Nice thread, thanks for posting your sightings. My cousin lives in Nannerch and i pay them a visit from time to time. Great news about the Lapwings. Whereabouts is Star Crossing Pool?
I can only add one bird to your list - Hawfinch, seen in the churchyard at Christmas in 2014 and 2017 ( http://www.northwalesbirding.co.uk/f...php?f=5&t=7845 )
Ysceifiog lake sounds good, we sometimes go to the Fox so i'll have to have a look next time.
I haven't yet been able to work out how to edit an old post - in order to add Hawfinch to the list. But Hawfinches once nested in the Alun valley (40 years ago) and have been recorded in Pantymwyn in winter more recently, but not by me.
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Old Tuesday 6th November 2018, 14:23   #33
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Nov 5th. A walk up the north face of Moel Findeg near the Owain Glyndwr pub uncovered a very large flock of winter thrushes with 250+ Redwings and 10-30 each of Fieldfare, Mistle Thrush and Blackbirds (I suspect a few Song Thrushes may be among the Redwings, but they are hard to pick out in large flocks). As I reached the top of the hill, a large Sparrowhawk flew past me, hugging the ground, and put up a second Sparrowhawk, also a large female which succeeded in seeing the intruder off. Up at Moel Arthur car park the day before, a similar Sparrowhawk had flashed across the road, barely a foot above the ground and so easily overlooked by the casual walker. Pipits and chats had largely deserted the moorland here, but I saw a large bird flying low along the Cilcain ridge, long, strong and direct, like a duck, but the binoculars revealed a Red Grouse landing in the heather. Ironically, grouse are much easier to see on shooting moors than here, where they run safe and free, but where the populations, both Red and Black, seem to be at least stable.
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Old Sunday 11th November 2018, 13:04   #34
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Hi Glennmanc.........please see my Private Message........thanks
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Old Tuesday 4th December 2018, 13:48   #35
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Dec 5th Not a lot happening here in winter, so I'll leave off this post until closer to Spring - but please do your own posts here if you seen anything of interest. The Chwiler valley pools have been devoid of waterbirds for some time and the Redwing/Fieldfare flocks have mostly moved on, although Blackbirds are still present in good numbers in the villages.
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Old Friday 1st March 2019, 10:52   #36
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I managed to escape the North Wales winter by spending it in VietNam (13 new birds bringing me up to 540 for that country!) but am now back on a very pleasantly warm St David's Day. Pantymwyn village has (at least) 4 Bramblings, 4 Siskins and 4 Redpolls at the moment, coming occasionally to garden feeders. In the Chwiler valley near Cilcain this morning, there were 580 Common Gulls in a single flock - these are the gulls that fly over Pantymwyn and surroundings in the early mornings (but they will leave us soon). A young male Sparrowhawk made a half-hearted pass at a couple of House Sparrows crossing the road, though it didn't seem to bother them unduly (no doubt they saw it coming). Up at the Hendy pools, there were 20 Teal, 6 Shoveler, 4 Mallard and 4 Coot, a very respectable haul for such small ponds.
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Old Wednesday 6th March 2019, 10:53   #37
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March 6th 2019: I've always had the impression that Brambling numbers in Pantymwyn built up during March and early April and this was supported by a count of 10 this morning along the Cilcain Road-Cefn Bychan ridge. They were all attracted to nearby garden feeders though we haven't had them in our own garden yet. As I climbed the path from Devil's Gorge to the village, a Sparrowhawk glided towards me just inches above the tarmac and passed me only a yard in front of my feet.
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Old Sunday 24th March 2019, 11:26   #38
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Still a good variety of birds in Pantymwyn, with winter visitors like Brambling, Siskin and Redpoll still present around bird feeders. A Kestrel this morning (chased off by two Jackdaws) was a pleasant surprise, though they are common enough across the valley around Cilcain. Although I've yet to hear a Chiffchaff in Pantymwyn village, good numbers have been singing in surrounding areas for nearly a week and a male Wheatear was back at its regular nesting site above Cilcain yesterday. The large daytime flocks of foraging Common Gulls have left us already but the ducks (4 species) at Star Crossing pools show no sign of dispersing yet.
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Old Tuesday 2nd April 2019, 08:53   #39
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The last day in March brought my first Swallow in the Chwiler Valley and my first Blackcap in Pantymwyn, while Chiffchaffs are singing everywhere now. Although Brambling (at least 7), Redpoll and Siskin are still visiting Pantymwyn bird feeders today, the Star Crossing pool had lost its Shovelers by Mar 31st and Teal numbers were down to 5. On a trip north to Morecambe last week, I was surprised to find Tree Sparrows common in the town and Eider ducks common along the seafront - another world out there.

Last edited by glennmanc : Tuesday 2nd April 2019 at 09:27. Reason: update
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Old Wednesday 10th April 2019, 11:23   #40
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Apr 10th. Brambling numbers were up to at least 21 this morning and the road down to Devil's Gorge was alive with their buzzing and squeaking. As I climbed back to the village, a Badger lumbered down the road towards me. I was downwind, so it continued towards me and passed by just a couple of feet away. Remarkable to see this mainly-nocturnal animal so active at 10.30am. Spring is almost upon us in spite of the cold weather - the blackthorn blossom continues its blindingly-white display and one might almost forgive its intrusion onto the orchid-rich pastures of Pantymwyn (almost, but not quite). Yesterday, I found my first Willow Warblers of the year around the old lead-mine workings at Rhes-y-cae (along with singing Skylarks) and on Sunday, my first Redstart at the Connah's Quay Reserve.

Last edited by glennmanc : Wednesday 10th April 2019 at 11:27.
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Old Sunday 14th April 2019, 14:22   #41
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Apr 14th. It looks as if the easterly winds are holding back the departure of the Bramblings, so if you have the chance, take a look at the 15-20 birds that are haunting the hedgerows on the paved path from Pantymwyn down to Devil's Gorge - just follow the buzzing and squeaking. I did my "Early Visit" to Gwysaney near Mold for the BTO-Breeding Birds Survey this morning, and found a strange combination of winter (bitterly cold!) and spring: to confuse the BBS, 6 Bramblings and a Redpoll were still winter visitors along with large flocks of Herring Gulls and a remarkable couple of Little Egrets in a field by the Mold-Denbigh road. For spring arrivals, there were singing Redstart, Blackcap, Chiffchaff and (probably migrating) a single Willow Warbler.
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Old Sunday 26th May 2019, 14:56   #42
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Late April-Late May
It looks as if April 25th may have been my last date for Brambling in Pantymwyn but pairs of both Redpolls and Siskins continue to visit feeders throughout May. A male Pied Flycatcher had already returned to its stronghold in the Chwiler Valley by April 19th and another was at Loggerheads on May 1st. Wood Warblers returned to Bryn Alyn in good numbers by May 3rd, easy to locate by their distinctive song, but less easy to spot among the new leaves. On May 15th, a male Mandarin Duck was on the river Alyn at Devil's Gorge, the first I've ever seen in Pantymwyn.
The Annual Bird Walk on May 5th this year ranged over Mynydd Hiraethog, the Clwydian Hills and Connah's Quay Nature Reserve (the last of which failed to provide the hoped-for abundance of wildfowl and waders), starting with the NWWT Dawn Chorus at 4.30AM.
Trying to get a high score of birds, 80 species were found (a better day at CQNR would have given 90+):
Canada Goose
Greylag Goose
Mute Swan
Shelduck
Mallard
Tufted Duck
Black Grouse (Brenig)
Red Grouse (Brenig)
Red-legged Partridge
Pheasant
Little Grebe
Great Crested Grebe (Brenig)
Grey Heron
Little Egret
Cormorant
Sparrowhawk
Osprey (Brenig)
Buzzard
Moorhen
Coot
Oystercatcher
Whimbrel
Curlew
Little Ringed Plover (Brenig)
Common Sandpiper
Greenshank
Black-headed Gull
Great Black-backed Gull
Herring Gull
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Common Tern
Stock Dove
Woodpigeon
Collared Dove
Cuckoo
Swift
Tawny Owl
Great Spotted Woodpecker
Peregrine
Magpie
Jackdaw
Rook
Carrion Crow
Raven
Coal Tit
Blue Tit
Great Tit
Skylark
Sand Martin
Swallow
House Martin
Willow Warbler
Chiffchaff
Wood Warbler
Blackcap
Garden Warbler
Whitethroat
Goldcrest
Wren
Nuthatch
Starling
Blackbird
Song Thrush
Mistle Thrush
Robin
Pied Flycatcher
Whinchat
Stonechat
Wheatear
House Sparrow
Dunnock
Pied/White Wagtail
Meadow Pipit
Chaffinch
Bullfinch
Greenfinch
Linnet
Lesser Redpoll
Goldfinch
Siskin
Patience can be rewarded at the road bridges over the river Alyn around Mold. On April 21st, a Dipper flew 10ft above my head before dropping down to the river, while on May 22nd, I had to wait only 5 min before a Kingfisher flashed over the surface and under the bridge. The same day at the Star Crossing pool, a Fox had caught a large male Pheasant just as I arrived and was carrying it off to feed its young. As I approached some nearby woodland, I heard frantic calls from blackbirds and chaffinches, so I knew what to expect, but I've never had such a good view of a Tawny Owl, perched erect on a tree branch only 10 yards away. It looked at me for about 5 seconds before dropping down.

Last edited by glennmanc : Sunday 26th May 2019 at 14:59. Reason: corrections
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