11 April Groundhog Day With Mammals And An Osprey Bird Blog Llandudno Wales

Ring Ouzel male May 2015

More migrant Ring Ouzels were a wonderful sight on todays lockdown walk.

So the lockdown continues and sad to report not much good news on the war against the covid 19 illness with the USA becoming the first country to record 2,000 deaths in just one day, terrifying. Here we were watching a BBC News bulletin this morning, we had missed the introduction, on the screen was an Asian gentleman recounting the terrible story of his brother. The brother had fallen ill with symptoms of covid 19 but was told no hospital could take him and he would have to self-medicate at home, terrible. Sadly the man passed away, but no one was able to collect the body, the morgue was full and the authorities were snowed under with requests for burial. As a Muslim it was required the body should be buried within 24 hours of death, six days later the poor man’s body was still awaiting burial. As the report went on we realised with horror this was NOT a report from some far off land but from Birmingham right here in modern Britain. If you need a wakeup call on how serious this situation is then this is it. Our NHS is swamped and struggling to cope, please stay home, save lives, do not spread the virus.

In case you think everyone is doing this, they are not, yesterday on Anglesey a farmer came across a driver removing “Road Closed” signs on a lane. When challenged by the farmer the driver said “the restrictions only apply in cities” with this attitude many thousands will die.

We took our Groundhog Day permitted exercise walk from our home here in Llandudno on the adjacent Great Orme. Another beautiful day with blue sky and sunshine and it was a little frustrating seeing the hills of Snowdonia so near yet so far. Normally at this time of year we would have been looking for one of the highlights of the wildlife year – sky dancing Hen Harriers – but we will miss them this year and rightly so, staying at home saves lives.

The Turnstones were on the pier, check, the Chough were swooping over the cliffs, check, the Fulmars were laughing at us from the cliff ledges, check, the Black Guillemots were on the blue sea, check, all well with nature here on the Great Orme. But where were the Peregrines? We scanned the cliffs but no sign of a falcon, Rock Pipits, check, Stonechats, check, even goats, check. Then an ugly call split the still humid air, Peregrine, right above shooting towards the towering cliff. The male, carrying prey, he landed and the female took the prey from him, she scolded him and he flew to the nest and on to the eggs out of sight, she continued to scream at him, some things in nature mirror life, how many couples are feeling the strain in lockdown Britain? Many for sure, guys just make sure you aren’t late back with the shopping!

The sea was so calm and as we scanned offshore a dark shape broke the surface, harbour porpoises! How wonderful to see these animals such a short walk from home. Grey seals were close in below the cliffs and we again stopped to watch them, so elegant in the water compared to the sausage like lumps we see on the beach here. Baby rabbits produced awws especially as it is Easter weekend and the rabbit has become a thing at Easter. Just up the hill a Stoat popped out on the path in front of us and seeing us froze. We had a good look before this larger cousin of the weasel slipped away into cover mobbed by a Meadow Pipit.

A few migrants about, one Swallow flew low over us, four Chiffchaff sang at various points, three Blackcaps all silent, and best of all three Ring Ouzels were in the scrub near the Copper Mine. A male Ouzel gave really great views in a small hawthorn bush and lovely to hear his “chack-chack” call, time for cup of tea!

Osprey juv Sept 1

Amazingly our second "seen from the window" Osprey this Spring today!

The rest of the day was spent doing admin but late afternoon we heard Herring Gulls giving their alarm calls and went to the window to see what the fuss was about. A Sparrowhawk was soaring over the roof tops, not a bird to annoy the Herring Gulls usually and the gulls seemed to be calming down. But we kept scanning and were rewarded with an Osprey! This wonderful raptor was circling over The Grand Hotel, near Llandudno Pier, and the light was perfect to enjoy a really good look. The Osprey turned north and with a few heavy wing beats was on its way to, well who knows, Cumbria or perhaps further to Scotland but it certainly brightened up our lockdown afternoon.

We are so lucky to have so many species and habitats within easy reach here in North Wales, and once the world returns to normal, we would love you to join us for one of our Best of North Wales Birdwatching Trips days out. We expect to enjoy a lot of birds during these relaxed pace tours and we can tailor make the day to suit you. We would love you to join us on our Birdwatching Trips in the future just drop us a line to arrange a custom tour and please see our tours pages for set departure trips. If you have any questions at all please fire away here….


We look forward to enjoying wonderful birds in beautiful places with you soon!

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