As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Friday, 13 May 2016

Warm weather brings rare birds to North Wales

00:20, 10 MAY 2016

Bird Notes columnist Julian Hughes of RSPB Conwy reveals what birds have been spotted in the past week and where to go birding in the coming days

Tony White

The Continental airflow that brought warm, humid weather over the weekend also brought rare birds from south-eastern Europe, and beyond.

The most remarkable was a Dalmatian Pelican found in Cornwall on Sunday, potentially the first wild one in Britain. But North Wales didn’t miss out.

Several Woodchat Shrikes were scattered across southern Britain, with one turning up in bushes west of Cemlyn Bay on Anglesey.

Woodchats are uncommon in North Wales, though seem to be arriving with increasing frequency. Nonetheless, finding one must be a heart-stopping moment.

A putative Black-headed Wagtail was found on the River Clwyd at Rhuddlan on Sunday, though these are notoriously difficult to identify with certainty since “yellow” wagtails hybridise frequently.

Remarkably, given there have only been four records ever in Wales, another Black-headed Wagtail was found in Pembrokeshire earlier in the day.

And late on Monday afternoon, an Eastern Subalpine Warbler was found on Bardsey, the same day that Turtle Dove was spotted there, sadly a sight all too rare in Wales now.

What else is around at the moment?

A White Stork remains on a farm near Caernarfon for its third week; the farmer reports he sees it regularly from his tractor!

RSPB Conwy recorded some scarce visitors last week, with a pair of Garganey for several days (the male was still there on Sunday) and the reserve’s first ever Wood Warbler.

A couple of Spotted Flycatchers and Whinchats here coincided with their arrival across North Wales.

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