A Beautiful Morning On The Great Orme Llandudno 30 March 2021

Such a lovely morning here in Llandudno and no gale force winds!

After several days of non-stop gale force winds finally a calm day and a chance to get up onto our local headland, the Great Orme, in search of migrants. An early start was rewarded with some beautiful skyscapes looking east towards the rising sun and way too many photos were taken. In the dawn light a pair of Red-billed Chough was on the cliff face very close and preening away, getting ready for their day. Two male Rock Pipits were having a face-off just a few feet away – funny to watch like rival stags pacing alongside each other sizing up the opposition. At the lighthouse the cliffs and sea below were thick with birds and calls of Kittiwakes echoed off the limestone rock faces just a wonderful sight and sound scape in the still morning area with sea like a millpond. Razorbills, masses of Common Guillemots along with two Black Guillemots and plenty of Eurasian Shags were all here and great to enjoy them in perfect viewing conditions.

Stunning skyscape walking up towards the cairn on the limestone pavement complete with Carrion Crow.

Time to get up to the limestone pavement and see if any migrants had arrived and there were already three cars in the small car-park the “resident” Lapland Buntings are proving popular! Again the sky was just stunning walking up towards the cairn where the buntings had been hanging out. One Lapland Bunting was quickly found amongst their favoured rocks and as we watched two more birds flew in but scurried around mouse like and tricky to see well. One of these “new” birds was a male well advanced into his handsome breeding plumage and a few poor photos were taken in the still low morning light. Just a few yards away our friend Mike had located two Snow Bunting and they were showing very well between the cairn and the cliff edge, such wonderful birds.

One of the two "new" Lapland Buntings sadly the light was still very poor for photography.

One of the original two Lapland Buntings taken a few days ago in good light.

With more birders arriving to see the famous Lapland Buntings time to explore the wider area on this glorious morning and so lovely not to have to bend double against a gale! A Barn Swallow flew west and always a thrill to see these long distance migrants coming “home” from Africa. A few Northern Wheatears were scattered over the area and some showing very well on the stonewalls again so exciting to see newly arrived birds. Two Sand Martins circled over a small valley and in the nearby hawthorns at least five Goldcrests were feeding away. A gang of 17 Magpies were a strange sight and seemed to be lost circling over the area and backwards and forwards across the pavement area, migrants? One flock of Woodpigeons flew west followed by another Barn Swallow and another Sand Martin.

Two shots of Northern Wheatears on the Great Orme this morning - quite the black and white?

Red-billed Chough showed off in the morning sunshine as did Stonechats, displaying Meadow Pipits and a Peregrine peered down from a cliff what a wonderful morning!

Later a trip east along the North Wales produced great views of seven Sandwich Terns at Rhos-on-Sea and further east thousands of Common Scoter but frustratingly no Surf Scoter amongst them. Even more frustrating was the fact that the Surf Scoter was seen later! Oh well just have to go back. It was great to see lots of Red-throated Divers, two Common Eider and Red-breasted Mergansers amongst the rafts of scoter.

Of course a wonderful way to see more birds is to join one of our Birdwatching Trips and learn a lot about the birds you are enjoying too. We have tours suitable for all from beginners to experienced birders that are seeking particular species. Just drop us a line here and we can arrange a perfect custom tour for you!



We look forward to enjoying wonderful birds with you as soon as it is safe.

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