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Clwydian Hills AONB (1 Viewer)

glennmanc

Well-known member
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.
 

glennmanc

Well-known member
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.
 
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glennmanc

Well-known member
Oct 21st 2019. No posts since spring, so a relatively uneventful summer, although the local Peregrines did breed successfully. Now things are starting to pick up. The Common Gulls are back with a roost of 470 in a field near Cilcain this morning and visible migration of Redwings in flocks of 20-40 was underway. In Pantymwyn village, I counted 54 Redwing yesterday, mixed with Song Thrushes, Mistle Thrushes and Blackbirds, feeding on haws and rowans. On the Star Crossing pool, only a couple of Little Grebes so far, but the Fforest Farm pool near Cilcain had 20 Mallard and a Wigeon this morning. Large numbers of Woodpigeon are also on the move in the area
 

glennmanc

Well-known member
Oct 6th 2020. A year since my last post and, apart from being locked-down in Flintshire, notable how little has changed. The influx of Blackbirds, beginnings of Common Gull overflights and Goosanders (20 redheads today!) on the Star Crossing pool are happening again. One "new" species for the list was a brief Green Sandpiper at Star Crossing a couple of weeks ago. Raptors did well this year and I can't wait for the proposed release of Golden Eagles in Snowdonia (they will certainly be looking for somewhere a bit more peaceful).
 
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