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Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch

Alan is having a bit of a bad week, missing some very good birds here in North Wales. On Monday he headed west to Aberdaron and Uwchmynydd Headland over looking Bardsey Island. The plan was to look for migrant birds. Arriving just after dawn he met up with Mike Duckham, Andy Clarke, Rhys Jones and Marc Hughes out at Uwchmynydd. Surely these crack birders could find a rarity between them? The morning began watching the visible migration over the headland, birds flying west for a mild winter in Ireland. Most were Chaffinches, Andy logged over 700 in the first hour, and amongst them were smaller numbers of Brambling and a few Reed Buntings. Starlings, Skylarks and Fieldfare were also heading out towards Bardsey. Resident Chough and two Peregrine added to the scene.
As the migration slowed the guys decided to split up and search the area for any grounded migrants, hoping for a mega rarity, perhaps an American bird? It is always the same here; the anticipation is electric first thing in the morning. Being out on the peninsula with so much great looking habitat in late October, surely rarities must be round every corner?
Several hours later and the best the team could come up with was two Ring Ouzel, two fly over Great Northern Divers and a few Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps.
The guys had gone high-tech and were using walkie-talkies to keep in touch. Suddenly Andy’s voice came over the speaker
“Black Kite seen over Bardsey Island heading for the mainland!”
Mega news! Alan and Mike sprinted back to the car and with wheels spinning tore back to the headland overlooking Bardsey. It was a hair raising drive through the very narrow lanes but they did not want to miss the rare raptor.
Screeching to halt they leapt and scanned the huge sky desperate to locate the Black Kite. Andy and Rhys had made it to another headland to the south but the radios confirmed no sign at either place. Where had it gone?
Andy telephone Bardsey for more information, the news was all bad, the Kite had been seen over two hour ago, when they were all stood on the headland! Had they known then they would have surely seen the bird. The team was gutted. But it got worse, news then came from back home, a Yellow-browed Warbler and three Lapland Buntings were on the Great Orme.
First light the next morning saw Alan on the Great Orme but no sign of either the warbler or buntings and no other good birds either. Then came news from Marc Hughes who was again at Aberdaron, Yellow-browed Warbler showing well. In the afternoon it got worse, Red-rumped Swallow near Aberdaron!
Wednesday morning and Alan was back at Aberdaron again meeting up with Andy and Marc but again they drew a blank, a Merlin was the best they could find.
Talk about bad timing!
We are giving another talk at RSPB Conwy on Friday the 11th December at 7pm. The talk will be about our adventures during The Biggest Twitch but we are putting together lots of new images and stories to share with you. Contact the reserve now to reserve your seat, space limited! There will also be the chance to register for your signed copy of the forth coming book “The Biggest Twitch” the print run for the first edition will be limited and demand is already high so if you don’t want to miss out come along and guarantee your signed copy. We hope the book will be published in April 2010.


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