30th May 2017
Bird Notes columnist Julian Hughes of RSPB Conwy reveals what birds have been spotted in the past week and lists 20 birding events in the coming days
Of the dozen or so birds that we’ve lost as breeding species in Wales in the last century, the Red-backed Shrike is one of the most striking.
It is suspected that a changing climate combined with new agricultural practices to end its presence here.
Regular nesting ceased in Wales in the 1950s, though a couple of nests in the 1980s gave false hope of a return.
A few Red-backed Shrikes turn up as passing migrants, brought on southeasterly winds, as we experienced last week.
A male at Anglesey’s Penrhos Coastal Park was a Bank Holiday weekend surprise, with some birders lucky to hear it singing, as well as getting views of this smart bird.
While some birds have been lost, others have arrived; the RSPB revealed last week that Cattle Egrets are nesting on the Dee Estuary , just a few hundred metres beyond the Welsh border.
This follows an unprecedented influx of the Mediterranean heron into western Britain. Burton Mere Wetlands is only the third location where Cattle Egrets have nested in Britain.