Tuesday, 1 April 2014

200th Blog Post - Peregrine, Choughs, Wheatear and More!

Today is 1st April 2014 and one year eight months ago I started my WildeAboutBirds blog on the 8th of July 2012. And the reason I'm mentioning this is because you're currently reading my 200th blog post; a huge and important special leap in my network of birding and enjoying wildlife on both the computer and more importantly the great out doors. However, I wouldn't have got this far without all the support and help given by my parents and all of you fellow bloggers and supporters out there, commenting kind and helpful messages, all of which continue to inspire me to enjoy and protect nature as much as I can. 

Now, because this blog is rather special, I am going to be basing it on my first day at the Angelsey this year. Because it was Mother's Day last Sunday we as a family were suppose to be spending the day on the beach, however I couldn't help resist persuading mum and dad to take us all to South Stack to see what wonderful wildlife was hanging about. As well as there being lots of nature on South Stack , the actual journey through the country lanes and by the sea shore really blew me away. 

To start with, as soon as we reached the moorland leading up to South Stack. My ears were soon filled with the mating and usual call of the Stonechat, all together through out the whole day I counted a record number of 11 Individual birds (most of which were males). In a day of birding I'm usually lucky if I see one.

The Stonechats you can see in this picture were sat up perfectly on a fence next to a field full of gorse; perfect habitat for this species. As you can see in the picture there is a male (right) and a female (left) the handsome male was performing rather spectacularly it's courtship dance in front of the female.  

As you can see I was really intrigued by all the wildlife, and  even decided to lie down on the rather wet grass (I have got to say I got some great views).

All of a sudden I though I saw a glimpse of a Wheatear; but it wasn't a single Wheatear, it was in fact about 9 on them. A group of 7 males and 2 females.

The Wheatear were flitting across the grassy bits near the edges of the cliffs. They didn't seem too bothered by me.

And then suddenly my eyes got distracted by another bird and a first for me.......a Rock Pipit. Well I think it was, what do you guys think?

And then it was back to those stunning male Wheatears.

Even though it was a bit hazey, the view from the cliffs was amazing. 

As we approach the really high cliff at South Stack, something bobbing about in the sea caught my eye. A sleek Grey Seal gliding through the water, but stopping to have a good look round every now and then. Then it disappeared round the corner so it was time to look for something else, and that something else turned out to be epic.

A beautiful Peregrine Falcon sitting high up the cliff on a grassy ledge, watching us. I thought my heart would stop for a minute. I have never seen one so close for so long. The Peregrines do nest on the cliffs at South Stack.

Here it is again having a good look round. And then it was time to drive back round to some of the bays, but I had to shout S T O P!

In one of the fields near to South Stack I spotted a Hooded Crow, but on closer inspection it was a Hybrid Hooded Crow. I have contacted Ken Croft who knows everything about the birds on Angelsey and he said it was one of the offspring of a pure Hooded Crow that lived on South Stack for about 15 years. Don't you just love facts like that.

Here it is next to a normal crow.

And then the day got better still as 2 Choughs flew straight in front of us. I nearly exploded at this point.

After all the amazing birds and scenery, we sat on the beach for a bit to think about how lucky we are to be able to enjoy all this. The sun on the waves was the perfect end to a more than perfect day.

I hope you enjoyed my 200th blog, I can't think of a more perfect one.

From Findlay


  1. happy 200th post! and i believe you had a GREAT mother's day. ;)

  2. Interesting serie! Great work!

  3. Great stuff Findlay happy 200th post.

  4. Sounds like a great day! The pipit sure looks rocky to me



  5. Congratulations on 200! I love the falcon and both species of crow! Nice photos!

  6. fantastic peregrines and 200 blog posts, top work

  7. Super stuff. South Stack is a great place to see some great birds.

  8. Brilliant Findlay.
    Sounds fantastic. Some cracking shots.

  9. Looks like a great day out! Lots of birds to see and photograph. Congratulations on your 200th post!

  10. HI Finley

    What a wonderful post, the way it is written and these fantastic photographs. Congratulation on your 200th post and it was indeed a great way to celebrate and I am glad you persuaded your parents to take you out to South Stacks for the day.

  11. Incredible day Findlay, and a great way to celebrate your 200th post.
    So much to see in Wales and Anglesey; one of the best birding places.
    That Peregrine is an excellent capture. Far better than any pictures I've managed of this bird.
    I hope you spoilt your mum on Mothers Day; and of course, your dad. :-)

  12. Would love to see that Peregrine at South Stacks - great collection of images Findlay! and congrats on your 200th post

  13. great set of photos Findlay, glad you showed them.


  14. What a brilliant day Findlay and congratulations on reaching the 200th mile mark. I really enjoyed the seals and Wheatears. BUT my favourite has to be the Peregrine, dead jealous.

  15. Beautiful photos Findlay! The peregrine is my favourite as well. Such a gorgeous bird.

  16. Congratulations on 200 posts!

    Peregrines were so rare when I was a young'un that I thought that they were extinct! What great views (and pictures) you got!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

  17. What a brilliant 200th post, Great place isn't it. I only get there once a year, must go very soon.

  18. Another excellent blog Findlay. Lots of birds around the garden at the moment. Including a male Yellow Hammer and a Red Poll. no sign yet of the Pied Flycatcher. I keep an eye on its nest box. Badgers still calling every evening for supper and a dig around the hen houses.

  19. Congratulations on 200 posts! Loved your shots of the falcon, and enjoyed seeing all the other birds and scenery. Keep up the good work.

  20. Hi Findlay, Congratulations on your 200th post. I'm a newcomer to your blog and I'm a real admirer of your photography and your love of birds and nature in general.
    Those Stonechats are quite beautiful in their distinctive markings. They put me in mind of the Eastern Spinebills we have here in Eastern Victoria, Australia. Your captures of the Peregrine Falcon must have been a breath-holding moment for you! Love seeing the Grey Seal too.
    Thank you for sharing all those great happenings :D)