A Great Day Enjoying Great Local Birds With Great People 27 November 2020

A few minutes’ drive just up the road and picked up Dan and Becky for some local birding, two Chough flew low over the car near their house but before picking them up. Down at Llandudno Pier we peered over the wall in the anticipation of seeing the high tide Turnstone roost, 191 birds counted here recently. Well the tide was high and the rocks were there but not one Turnstone to be seen, weird, but there were eight Common Redshank below us suggesting the area had not been disturbed recently - so where were the Turnstones? We checked the nearby rocks in case the flock had just moved around the corner but not one wader here, we did manage to spot two, yes two, Turnstones on the legs of Llandudno Pier but where were the other 189?

Scanning the sea we enjoyed a super close view of a Great Crested Grebe, nice spotting by Becky and a single Razorbill on the sea off the end of the pier but it was all rather quiet. On the cliffs just above us we had amazing views of Fulmars and admired their big black eyes and funky tube noses. But despite trying as hard as we could no sign of any Peregrine Falcons on the cliffs this time, frustratingly. Dan had really wanted to see a Peregrine as it is one of his favourite birds and usually we have a good chance here. We decided to try further around the Great Orme but didn’t get far, a Peregrine Falcon came flying towards us just above the road! Wow it passed really close and thanks to the glass roof we had a good look! The bird of prey seemed to land on the cliff so we shot back and tumbled out to try and see it, where had it gone? No sign of the bird sadly but at least we all seen it, so off we went again, we reached almost the same spot when we saw the Peregrine on the sly-line above us! We tumbled out again and soon had this most impressive bird in the scope giving us every feather detail views, just fantastic! Then the falcon was flying right above just amazing to see her this close and she landed again even closer than before though with a less than flattering view right up under her tail.

Very happy with the Peregrine sighting we continued around the Great Orme and we neared the lighthouse we noticed a lot of gulls over the water close to the cliffs and stopped for a look. A lady walking by casually said “dolphins down there” and walked on as though she had just seen a Herring Gull! But she was right and this explained the number of gulls they were feeding on fish chased to the surface by the bottle-nose dolphins. The dolphins were really close to the cliffs and oh and ahed at the show they put on, some leaping clear of the water! Hard to say how many animals were in the pod as of course they were underwater a lot of the time but a minimum of 14? It was fantastic to watch them just after our wonderful encounter with the Peregrine, it had seemed a little slow start to the day but now we were all elated at a fantastic day! That is wildlife watching for you it can turn in an instant, a “normal” day can suddenly become a very memorable one and every day is different and always rewarding, just get out there and enjoy whatever you see!

Teal drake Norfolk 2016 1

Teal are such beautiful ducks and now the drakes are back in their best plumage.

A short drive took us to RSPB Conwy and Dan almost at once spotted three Common Snipe on the first pool, how he saw them we don’t know! The birds blended in so well with the dead grass and reeds around them they were tricky to spot even through the scope. There were plenty of ducks to see on the lagoons and we enjoyed Goldeneye, Pochard, Tufted Duck, Wigeon, Shoveler and Teal on the clam water. The wildlife garden area held some great birds to with a gang of Siskins and a pair of Bullfinch showing really well just wonderful to watch. Becky loves Robins, we all love Robins, but Becky really loves Robins so she was delighted that the ones here on the reserve are friendly.

Time for tea and cake so visit to nearby Snowdonia Nursery was just the job, it was very busy but the staff managed the flow of people very safely and we were soon tucking into cakes and hot drinks, many thanks Dan.

We then headed down the Conwy Valley and the first stop we did a lot of scanning of the tree tops but no sign of any Hawfinches sadly. At the next stop we again scanned the tree tops and saw Redwings and Red Kites. Then Alan spotted a Hawfinch but it was flying away, luckily the big finch landed but in a tree that was difficult to view. Luckily a gap in the branches allowed the scope to focus on the bird and we all brief views before it flew out of sight. A view but not a great view and we all agreed a view is better than no view and can always be upgraded. A bit more scanning them a Hawfinch landed high in an oak and this time so better views, the light was good and the scope zoomed in to see this fantastic male Hawfinch. Over the next ten minutes or so we had Hawfinches, probably at least three birds, in view constantly moving around in this oak and the adjacent silver birch-tree; those upgrade views didn’t take long to appear, so lucky! What a wonderful experience to watch these huge billed, bull-necked finches.

We then had a lovely walk alongside a fast flowing stream and enjoyed lovely looks at Grey Wagtail but no luck with the Dipper today. Dan and Becky needed to be back in Llandudno so we headed back to the coast after a really fun and very exciting outing, looking forward to the next one.

Come and join us for a “Tour for Two” – very small group just two guests with two guides, tailor made itinerary, low risk in these COVID-19 times and of course lots of birds and an excellent chance of enjoying them all. Do drop us a line and we can make all the arrangements be it a day trip, two days, three day or as long a tour as you wish. Our recent Tours for Two have visited the Highlands of Scotland, North Wales, Norfolk and the Yorkshire coast and we are planning many more! Let us know where you would like to go and we can put together a proposal perfect for you.

We are so lucky to have so many species and habitats within easy reach here in North Wales 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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