A Flurry Of New Birds For The Lockdown List After A Drought 27 May 2020

A good day for Spotted Flycatchers on the Great Orme, Llandudno.

Lockdown here in Wales continues unabated so movement is very limited so the Great Orme it still is. Almost daily walks, missed two days due to gale force winds, of varying lengths but very few new birds added. Migration it seems has just about stopped but we are lucky having some real star resident and breeding birds on the headland. Daily encounters with Peregrine, Flacons, Chough, Black Guillemots, Stonechats and Common Whitethroats are wonderful. So this morning setting off again up the Great Orme expectations were pretty low despite the glorious weather, clear blue sky and flat calm. It was very still on the bird front too, a pair of Chough flew over near Pink Farm and then taking the footpath towards the cemetery a pair of Bullfinches popped into view near Powell’s Well a new bird for the lockdown list! Great to see a new species of bird after days without any additions to the lockdown birding list.

Carrying on into the cemetery two Spotted Flycatchers were in the hawthorn bushes at the back, great to see these late migrants still coming through. Willow Warbler, Blackcap and Common Whitethroat all sang providing a lovely sound scape in the natural amphitheatre of the cemetery. Then up onto the limestone pavement area but very few birds despite the beautiful weather. Family parties of Stonechats were a delight to watch and still two Northern Wheatears. The view from the highest point on the pavement area was as breath-taking as ever and with the sea so calm we could see flocks of Common Scoter a long way out, closer in two harbour porpoise were lovely to watch breaking the glass like surface.

Heading back towards Llandudno the path runs past the Copper Mines and a juvenile Mistle Thrush was in an ash tree, only second one for the lockdown and great to see a youngster. Movement in an adjacent tree, two more Spotted Flycatchers zapping around doing what their name suggests wonderful to watch. We headed down hill and along by the Copper Mines only to stop dead in our tracks, “cuckoo, cuckoo” wow our first Cuckoo of the year! Now where was it? The calls were coming from the ash trees where the flycatchers were but no sight of the calling Cuckoo. We waited, and waited, the calling stopped and then there it was! A wonderful Cuckoo over the ash trees just clearing the tree tops being mobbed by Meadow Pipits. This was just wonderful we thought we had missed our chance of seeing Cuckoo this month. This falcon like bird swept across the hillside leaving the pipits behind only to then be chased by a Jackdaw before flying fast over a ridge, wow! Two new birds for the lockdown list, the Bullfinches and the Cuckoo amazing after a long drought with no new ones.

Back home in Llandudno and a bit of sky scanning from the window produced a flock of 14 Black-headed Gulls flying west, late for these still to be moving. Then a large raptor over the ridge to the south, pretty distant but even at that range clearly not a Common Buzzard! Dash for the scope as Ruth keeps tabs on the bird and yes it is a Red Kite as we suspected! A very long overdue addition to our window bird list and of course also new for lockdown birding list, brilliant. Three new birds for lockdown in one day!

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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