by Kathy James

Birthday Treats

Yesterday was my birthday and I felt that the bird world handed me a few presents.

Travelling back up the A55 after a night out in Bangor around 3:30am, I did my best impression of my 14 month-old nephew Jack by pointing silently at a Barn Owl as it flew across the road in front of us. The common denominator with me and Barn Owls is that i’m never sober at the time..are they really there??!! Obviously, I wasn’t the driver and a sober Ken saw it too so it wasn’t in my imagination. Birthday Barn Owl – great 🙂

In the morning as I lay in bed wondering why I was awake, I watched out of my window as a forty-strong flock of Meadow Pipits swarmed around the field in front of my house. This did rouse me from my bed and I got my binoculars on a female Reed Bunting sat on a shrub at the side of the field.

Next, I had a text to say that the first Sandwich Tern had been sighted at Cemlyn Bay on the north of the island so I dragged my friend Elizabeth (visiting me for my birthday), Ken and Cal up to see if we could spot it. Cal spotted the fella first and I re-found him again as we neared the lagoon. This was a very special birthday present as I will be working at Cemlyn this summer for the North Wales Wildlife Trust. We watched the tern fly off out to sea, he’d just come to wish me a happy birthday perhaps?!

As we drove back to Holyhead we thought we’d have a drive through Ken’s estate on the off-chance that the Rose-coloured Starling would make an appearance. We surveyed a few roof tops and about twenty birds later, bingo!! A lovely little chap. I’ve not seen one of these before and having heard that it was juvenile and therefore lacking in the distinguishing plumage, thought that I might find it difficult to identify. This was not the case however as it was much smaller that the other starlings, much paler and it’s beak much less pointed. I have been having banter with a birder/blogger ( on twitter about this bird, he’s says it’s scruffy and I’d like to confirm that he is wrong, it’s lovely :-p Then again, I do always go for the underdog.

Then, as Elizabeth left and my next guests arrived, we went for a walk around South Stack. South Stack is really coming into it’s own at this time of year, bursting into life…

Had a chilled out day yesterday and had some great birds, so a result!

Have a read of my walk to work on the South Stack facebook page!/RSPBsouthstack. I started this facebook page around a year ago when I started working for the RSPB there and am pleased at it’s popularity and the interactions we have had with our visitors, so check it out and keep up the good work!

Enjoy the rest of your day,

Kathy xxx

4 responses

  1. maenamor

    great write up love the back ground photo too 🙂

    March 12, 2012 at 3:50 pm

  2. Thank you. I can’t take credit for the photo of South Stack though, it’s from a series of photos available to advertise tourism on Anglesey. Have you been up to South Stack. It is a much photographed place…maybe you could put a new slant on it?!

    March 13, 2012 at 10:36 am

  3. Did you want to use my image of the said Starling,

    March 14, 2012 at 8:06 pm

  4. That would be great! Thank you. You can send it to Tis very kind of you!

    March 15, 2012 at 11:12 pm

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