7 April 2020 Groundhog Day With Ouzels Bird Blog Update Llandudno Wales

Ring Ouzel, surely a harbinger of spring

The day began, just for a change, with some “window-watching”, not a lot moving over Llandudno despite a beautiful morning. Three Black-headed Gulls gave a surge of adrenalin and then two very high birds were seen coming towards our position from the south. What on earth were they? As they came closer they became Magpies. What on earth were they doing so very high and flying directly north? Excitement over, nothing happened for a while so we called it a day. Then all the Herring Gulls in Llandudno, that is a lot of gulls, were alarm-calling! This only happens when something unusual goes over the town; they are used to seeing our local Buzzards, Peregrines and Sparrowhawks. Rushing to the windows we scanned the blue sky, the gulls were going crazy but we could not spot the cause, most likely an Osprey? While scanning we did pick up two Kestrels, a Sparrowhawk, a Raven and then a Swallow, lovely, followed by a House Martin! So no big raptor was sighted but it gave a nice boost to the lockdown birding day list.

With the weather so beautiful we headed out for our once-a-day permitted exercise walk. Just for a change we walked to the Great Orme just behind the house. It was pretty much Groundhog Day to start with. A flock of 40 Turnstones were roosting on the rocks near the pier and the now-regular pair of Eider was in the bay beyond. At the cliffs, we watched Fulmars, Black Guillemots, Rock Pipits, Stonechats and Chough, reassuring to see this lovely mix of birds were still where we expected them to be. With the tide being in, there was no beach for the grey seals but a few of these wonderful animals were loafing around in the water just below the cliffs and offshore here we could see Gannets, Kittiwakes, Razorbills, Common Guillemots all feeding on the calm sea.

We then headed onto the limestone pavement area where we were delighted to find at least 14 Northern Wheatears, such beautiful birds and of course a real sign that spring is gearing up. As we sat and watched these newly-arrived migrants, we first heard and then saw a Golden Plover circling over the area giving its beautiful mournful call. As we headed for home a dark shape rocketed across the heath in front of us, a male Ring Ouzel! Luckily this wonderful migrant landed in a patch of gorse near the cliff edge and after a few moments jumped up into full view. What a fantastic sight! This cross between a Blackbird and a vicar perched with the blue sea behind on top of a golden-yellow gorse bush to our delight. Then the ouzel was flying and luckily, towards us. It landed several times allowing us to soak up views of this special bird.

We continued back towards home and were amazed to see another male Ring Ouzel flying ahead of us. This one again landed though this time in a bare ash tree and showed off beautifully in the sunshine with the cobalt blue sky behind. As we watched, a Chiffchaff jumped up in the hawthorn beneath the thrush and sang its distinctively repetitive song. What a wonderful walk, all just a short distance from our front door.

As we descended back down the hill on the last leg of our walk, it was good to see that North Wales Police were patrolling the area ensuring that tourists were turned away. Do please remember: stay at home and save lives! 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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