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BIRD NOTES With Julian Hughes.

Morfa Madryn's Pectoral |Sandpiper PIC: BOB GARRETT AUTUMN migration is a big challenge for birds: as well as bad weather and food shortages, habitat loss and illegal hunting increases the likelihood of an early demise.

Malta has come under considerable pressure to bring its hunting laws and policing into line with the rest of the EU, highlighted by birdwatchers Chris Packham and Bill Oddie.

In a surprise move last weekend, the Maltese government closed the hunting season until mid October, but this doesn't mean Europe's migrating birds are safe. One hunter responded on Facebook by urging "everyone to go out and shoot anything that flies," reported Malta Today newspaper.

Back home, a Pectoral Sandpiper, a wader that nests on the boggy tundra of northern Canada and Russia, is at Morfa Madryn nature reserve near Llanfairfechan. It was identified by its call as it flew over the Great Orme last Monday.

Other waders of note include a Dotterel on the Great Orme, Curlew Sandpiper at RSPB Conwy and Spotted Redshanks at Connah's Quay.

Migrants through Bardsey include a Barred Warbler, Lapland Bunting, Yellow-browed Warbler, Grey-headed Wagtail and a Richard's Pipit. Across the sound, a Wryneck was at Aberdaron on Sunday.

The first Redwing of winter was in a Pen Llyn garden on the 13th, and more were with Fieldfares in Conwy Valley's Caerhun churchyard.

Ring Ouzels near Penrhyn Quarry were probably locally-bred, feeding on the rich supply of berries before heading south, while singles on the Great Orme and Bardsey probably came from Scotland or Scandinavia.

On Anglesey, a Great White Egret on the Braint estuary was, perhaps, the bird recently in the Menai Strait. A Black-necked Grebe in Afonwen quarry, Bodfari, remains for its third week, and a Garganey at RSPB Conwy for its second.

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Publication:Daily Post (Conwy, Wales)
Date:Sep 25, 2014
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