Sunday, 5 July 2015

13th June unlucky for some

June 13th 2015.
On arriving home from a couple of nice relaxing days away with my better half I received a phone call from Brendan insisting I went Bardsey Island the very next morning. Dave J and Paul F were already or soon recruited and they all agreed it was best if I did the driving. Paul and Brendan met at my house at 1 am and we picked up Dave a few minutes later. Nothing much in the way of traffic but lots of cones and a couple of diversions meant it took a little longer to get to Porth Meudwy than anticipated. Oops forgot to mention the reason for our trip was to see a Cretzschmar's Bunting.  On arrival Porth Meudwy we parked up and wandered down the track to the small port. A few birders were already here and one boat to Bardsey had just left. No news of the Cretzschmar's Bunting was on any of the news services. A pair of Chough kept us entertained as we waited in light rain for the boat to return. After about an hour the boat returned and luckily for us "Colin the Boatman" already had our names on his passenger list, so we climbed aboard. Plenty to see on the 30 minute crossing including; Gannet, Kittiwake, Fulmar, Razorbill, Guillemot, Puffin, Manx Shearwater, Shag. We were met on Bardsey by the warden Steve. He told us the Cretzschmar's Bunting had not been seen so far that morning. Over the next few hours we and 30 or 40 other birders searched the island but no sign of our target bird. The best we could manage was a Cuckoo! We admitted defeat and went for a consolation pot of tea. Time to leave Bardsey now and although we didn't see the Cretzschmar's Bunting a more than worthwhile visit to such a beautiful place. As "Colin the Boatman" manoeuvred the boat out of the port some of the Grey Seal colony appeared to be waving goodbye, flipping p*ss takers! Back at the car park and we decided to break our trip homewards with a stop in the midlands, hopefully to see a Melodious Warbler. On route and somewhere on the moors of North Wales a female Hen Harrier was seen from the car. We eventually arrived at Mercote Mill Farm, Cornets End. A half mile walk and we were straight onto the singing male Melodious Warbler. A new bird for Paul and myself. We spent some time enjoying this very showy bird and then headed for home.  A long day and although we didn't see the Cretzschmar's Bunting a most enjoyable trip.

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