Common Lizard, Whooper Swan at Porthmadog and more from North Wales

Tuesday, August 31, 2010 Adam Tilt 0 Comments


I spent this past weekend up in North Wales on the Llyn Peninsular making a long overdue visit to a family friend who is also the current custodian of my 1962 Reliant Regal. On the journey up from Swansea we stopped off at the Dyfi Osprey project to catch up on the Ospreys progress. As usual we were very lucky and had an excellent view of one of the pair sat on the pole at the nest, with the other bird just out of view in the nest itself. This year was another non-breeding one as far as I am aware but surely it can only be a matter of time. The nearby feeders were packed with Chaffinches as well as a couple of juvenile Siskin, one of which was being fed by an adult. With the exception of a couple of Coal Tits and a Greenfinch things were relatively quiet. We walked out onto the board walk that comprises the rest of the reserve and were quickly greeted by a very fresh juvenile Chiffchaff. It unfortunately looks like we were too late to catch the masses of warblers that breed here as the reeds were silent. Typical really when you consider that our first visit earlier in the year was too early for the warblers! I must try harder next year as it looks like a cracking location to get some good photographs. I can't be too disappointed though as there were lots of Common Lizards out sunning themselves on the path allowing some good macro shots. Interestingly if you look at the pictures below you will see that both individuals have lost their tails. In fact I didn't see a single complete lizard anywhere.

22347 - Common Lizard

22344 - Common Lizard

There were plenty of butterflies flitting around including this Speckled Wood.

22343 - Speckled Wood butterfly

The next day we were in North Wales proper and it was great to be back in the big country. A walk around Beddgelert was the plan of action for the day which despite the ever present risk of rain turned out to be mainly dry. We saw a good number of Buzzards and Ravens as well as a couple of Dipper on the river through the village. Birds were very much secondary though to the stunning scenery.

22350 - Bedgellert

Sunday came all too quickly and it was once again time to head back South. Before going our separate ways we spent an hour walking along the cob in Porthmadog. The estuary held numerous Redshank and Curlew as well as a couple of Black Tailed Godwits and Oystercatcher. At the far end though we stumbled upon the unexpected in the form of a couple of Whooper Swans.

22359 - Whooper Swan, Porthmadog

22360 - Whooper Swan, Porthmadog

The swans were clearly a pair and stayed close together at all times. These birds seem quite early for winter visitors so I wonder if they have spent the whole summer in the area. I did notice that one had a pretty seriously damaged wing which could add weight to this theory. Despite the injury the bird looked well and was feeding and behaving normally. Even if it is stuck in Porthmadog I doubt there is any risk to its survival. If anyone can shed any light on their presence I would love to hear from you.

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