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gardening: bird notes.

Byline: ROBIN SANDHAM

THERE was a good mixture of scarce birds through the region this week with the ortolan bunting remaining at Soldier's Point, Holyhead, until September 17.

Ortolan buntings seem to be turning up less frequently in the UK than they used to, perhaps due to changes in habitat and trapping in parts of southern Europe. Wales usually only gets two or three records each year.

The Great Orme at Llandudno continued its good run with a Lapland bunting (bras y gogledd), dotterel and short-eared owl (tylluan glustiog).

Bardsey saw a rare red-throated pipit (corhedydd gyddfgoch) briefly on September 18 whilst barred warbler and firecrest were also on the island. The Great Orme then produced a yellowbrowed warbler briefly last Sunday although it did stay long enough for a couple of cracking pictures to be taken.

On the same day the Lapland bunting remained as did more common migrants including pied and spotted flycatchers, goldcrests, skylark, redpoll and reed bunting.

The yellow-browed warbler (telor aelfelyn) is a classic Siberian autumn visitor, more so on the east coast and northern isles but a few do get seen over on the west.

They weigh-in at only 7g and it's thought the genetic migrating programme of a tiny percentage of birds sends them west instead of east, hence a few birds heading our way to winter in western Europe.

Despite the fine, settled weather, the region still did well last week but this is peak time for an autumn rarity to be discovered so at least a small minority will be hoping for a change in the weather.

GET SPOTTING

Conwy RSPB is holding a family green games event today from 2pm-4pm. On October 12 there will be a wildfowl and wader guided walk from 11am-1pm. Call 01492 584091 for details

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A yellow-browed warbler on the Orme Pic: ADRIAN FOSTER
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Sep 27, 2008
Words:310
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