EPARATED FROM CAERNAR­FON

Bird Watching (UK) - - Go Birding - DAVID SAUN­DERS

SBay by the Morfa Din­lle penin­sula, the almost land-locked Foryd Bay pre­sents a su­perb mo­saic of in­ter­tidal habi­tats. There are mud flats and salt­marsh, river chan­nels and a shin­gle spit which nar­rows the en­trance to this won­der­fully shel­tered es­tu­ary. Here the Me­nai Strait is at its nar­row­est, just 350 yards to Aber­me­nai Point on the south-west­ern shores of An­gle­sey. Guard­ing the en­trance to the Bay is Fort Be­lan, built in 1775. Dwarf Eel­grass Zostera noltei, a sea grass grow­ing on the in­ter-tidal zone, is a ma­jor food plant for Brent Geese, most of those win­ter­ing here be­ing of the ‘pale-bel­lied’ race which breed in Arc­tic Canada, Green­land, Spitzber­gen and also Franz Josef Land. Shar­ing much the same feed­ing ar­eas will be Wi­geon – sev­eral thou­sand win­tered in the Bay when num­bers in Wales tre­bled from the early 1980s, though have more re­cently fallen by about a fifth. Scarce visi­tors which have pro­vided much plea­sure in­cluded Amer­i­can Wi­geon, a re­minder to care­fully scru­ti­nise the flocks of its Euro­pean cousin. Like­wise the gulls – Ring-billed, Glau­cous and Ice­land Gulls have all been re­ported. For those with pa­tience (and per­haps a touch of good for­tune) the dis­cov­ery of a win­ter­ing Wa­ter Pipit or the flush­ing of Jack Snipe can round off a very sat­is­fy­ing day at Foryd Bay – so good luck!

Green­shank

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