A Fantastic Day Out With Mike And Tony In North Wales 3 September 2021



Cemlyn Lagoon

Cemlyn a wonderful place to start any Birdwatching Trips custom day out.



Mike and Tony had arranged a custom “Tour for Two” and after exchanging a few emails to plan the day trip it was agreed a very early start would work best as the guys were keen to do some sea watching.

Alan picked up Mike and Tony from their Llandudno hotel at 5.30am and the three headed for Anglesey. First stop was Cemlyn Lagoon and they walked out to the beach and set up the telescopes to scan the sea. It was pretty clam so not many birds passing but they kept scanning picking out a few Manx Shearwaters, Gannets and Kittiwakes passing then Mike picked up a skua! Luckily the bird was off to the right but coming left so plenty of time for all three to get on it. It proved to be a Great Skua a wonderful bird to see passing the beach. Then more excitement as they spotted large dorsal fins in the water – Risso’s Dolphins! These big mammals were slowing moving west past Cemlyn and surfacing regularly showing those tall fins – wow!

Gannets in a row over sea 1

Sea-watching is always fun and you never know what might fly past next - here Northern Gannets.



Next at look at Cemlyn Lagoon and a Great Egret was showing very well indeed by the bridge on the west side of the lagoon. Then a Grey Heron appeared and chased the Great Egret away allowing great comparison of these two huge birds. Out on the water two Red-breasted Mergansers loafed about.


Red-billed Chough were one of the birds Mike and Tony hoped to see.



Then onto RSPB South Stack where Mike and Tony hoped to see Red-billed Chough, parking in the first car park the three set off for the cliffs. One of the first birds encountered were Stonechats quickly followed by three Northern Wheatears. At the cliffs a Hooded Crow, a rare bird in these parts, showed well on the rocks below the path almost constantly calling. While the Hooded Crow was still in view Alan spotted four Chough on a roof top, not the place you expect to these corvids that inhabit wild rugged coastlines! Luckily the Chough stayed put and great looks were enjoyed in the scopes.

At South Stack lighthouse the sea was flat calm so not a lot going on so it was a real surprise to see a Red-throated Diver flying east and that was followed by a flock of Common Scoter going west. Then a pod of bottle-nosed dolphins surfaced on the mill-pond like sea – wow – second species of dolphin in the morning!

An experiment next, trying a new café in Holyhead and all three were soon tucking into huge plates full of great food, the café was voted a success! Nearby at least five Black Guillemots were seen in Holyhead Bay these were now grey and white guillemots rather than black as they moulted into non-breeding plumage. Just around the corner, at Beddmanarch Bay, great close up views of two adult Mediterranean Gulls and a good selection of waders including Red Knot and Bar-tailed Godwits. Also an unexpected sight of five Goosanders flying over the bay here – don’t remember seeing them here before.

A short drive to RSPB Valley lakes where it was great to see three Greenshank roosting on a rock by the water it is strange how these waders are here as there is no edge for them to feed. Pochard dived out on the main lake along with Tufted Duck and Great crested Grebes but the numbers of birds here were very low.

On again and the next stop was at Malltraeth and the Cefni Estuary here you can scan the estuary from the bridge on one side and look up the Cefni River from the opposite of the bridge. Mike did really well spotting a Grey Plover, a species Tony really wanted to see, it was very well camouflaged against the grey mud. A Kingfisher on the other hand was a fantastic splash of colour perched above the river channel.

Little Stint juv Sept 2

Little Stint are always a thrill to see and live up to their name - little.



A walk along the Cob Embankment south from Malltraeth proved very worthwhile indeed, the water level on the pool was low making it ideal for waders to feed. Three beautiful juvenile Little Stints were feeding with a flock of Dunlin and was fantastic to compare these wader species at pretty close range. Also on the pool were juvenile Black-tailed Godwits, Common Redshank, Lapwings and some gorgeous Common Snipe. Walking back to the car and a real surprise a white Barn Swallow – totally amazing! This beautiful bird was flying with regular Barn Swallows between the pool and the bridge, none of the three shocked birders had seen such a bird before. A quick look in the woods at the end of the embankment produced Coal Tit and the first Robin and Chaffinch of the day.

Then back to the mainland in the hope of picking up some more new species for the already very impressive day list. First stop was at Aber Ogwen but what an insane sight here – car park jam packed with lorries, vans, minibuses and cars with a horde of cockle pickers out on the mudflats! If they need huge trucks to transport the shellfish away how much are they taking out at one go? How on earth can such industrial removal of a natural organism be sustainable? Well of course it can’t possibly be!

So a change of plan and the day ended in great style at RSPB Conwy where a Garganey and a Spotted Redshank were the star additions to the day list along with Common Sandpiper and Pintail making a very pleasing 90 species of bird enjoyed on the day!

A really brilliant day’s birding and a huge thank you to Mike and Tony for their superb company – oh and for the massive breakfast – looking forward to more birding adventures with them both.

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!

info@birdwatchingtrips.co.uk

We look forward to enjoying wonderful birds with you soon.





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