Byline: BIRD NOTES With Julian Hughes
NEXT year thousands of column inches will be written about the UK's role in the Eu. Before your eyes glaze, read on.
Earlier this year, Bird Notes featured a campaign that brought together conservation and shooting groups across Europe. It was a response to EC plans to review legislation that provides the bedrock our laws that protect birds and their habitats.
More than 500,000 people across Europe responded to the consultation, including many in North Wales.
This must have been a surprise to politicians - it is more than three times more than any previous consultation, on any subject.
In recent weeks, many governments have declared support for the Birds and Habitats Directives, but from the UK, there was silence.
Until last week, when Defra minister Rory Stewart announced that "the UK does not wish to renegotiate the Nature Directives".
It was a strong signal, but campaigners will be watching to ensure that governments do not try to dismantle protection by the back door.
If you're planning to get out over Christmas, long-stayers include a Long-tailed Duck on Llyn Llywenan, Slavonian Grebes off Penrhos Coastal Park, Great Northern Divers on Glaslyn Marshes and a female Scaup at Parc Eirias boating lake, Colwyn Bay.
Five Black Redstarts are on the Little Orme and Penrhyn Bay breakwater, with a Twite feeding in a Promenade storm drain and Purple Sandpipers roost on sea defences towards Rhoson-Sea.
Farther east, five Surf Scoters are among 10,000 Common Scoters on the sea off Old Colwyn. Firecrests were at RSPB Conwy and at Rhyl's Brickfields Ponds last week, a Black Redstart remains on Caernarfon rooftops and Water Pipits feed in storm-driven seaweed along the Conwy estuary.
Penrhyn Bay's black |redstart PIC: DAVE WILLIAMS