A New Route And New Birds Great Orme Llandudno Wales 20 May 2020

mute swan conwy

Not very often Mute Swans feature in our blogs, strange times in lockdown!

After the excitement of the Alpine Swift over Llandudno, see previous blog, it was time to get back up the Great Orme this morning. Looking out of the window and a new bird for the lockdown list Greylag Goose, eleven of these big hefty geese were flying low west over the town brilliant start to the day. Out at 5.30am and turned right down the pier at Llandudno and then along the Marine Drive. Male and female Peregrine were out hunting but didn’t see them bring in a kill, Common Whitethroat, Rock Pipit, Stonechat and Fulmar all showed well in the warm sunshine and the sea was flat calm. Seven Black Guillemots were on the water right below Marine Drive great to see so many! Further along at Pigeon Cove a first-summer Common Gull was lingering offshore getting late for this species to be around our coast, mostly a winter visitor.

The female Peregrine come in to land in the early morning light so not really sharp sadly.

Honestly those dots on the water are Black Guillemots and seven of them!

Just beyond Pigeon Cove a footpath climbs up above Marine Drive to Pink Farm, not far from the cemetery, puffing up hill was tough going but a singing Lesser Whitethroat at the brow of the hill made it worthwhile. Common Whitethroat and Willow Warbler were also in full song in the hawthorn bushes here, lovely to hear all these birds and more singing in the sunshine.

This Goldfinch posed by the path on the way up to Pink Farm today.

Taking the path from the farm to the cemetery a few Barn Swallows whizzed about and more Willow Warblers showed nicely as a Blackcap sang unseen. Reaching the cemetery a message came in from Marc, who was on the Little Orme to the east, he had five Mute Swans flying west towards Llandudno and wondered if we could see them from our window. Now this is “lockdown birding” normally Marc would not be excited about Mute Swans but in lockdown every bird counts even more and with no freshwater on the Great Orme or in view from our window he knew the significance of five Mute Swans! What is more I could not help feeling a little sad that I was not at home to possible see the swans fly by, bonkers! So feeling a bit “gripped off” I headed into the cemetery to see if there were any migrants in the bushes. Then “whoosh, whoosh, whoosh,” wing beats, swinging around and there were five Mute Swans flying past! Wow amazing sight over the Great Orme and a second new bird for the lockdown list today.

Male Linnet looks great in the beautiful sunshine this morning on the track to the pavement.

Plenty of common bugle in flower on the Great Orme at the moment.

Up through the cemetery and along the wall out to the limestone pavement and now it was hot under the clear blue sky, down to a T-shirt and still too warm. Not so many birds a few Northern Wheatears, Common Whitethroats with small numbers of Common Swift, Barn Swallow and House Martins. Out on the pavement area two pairs of Chough were lovely to see and a Peregrine cruised up in the blue as Ravens flapped over.

Looking west along the North Wales coast from the Great Orme this morning.

The views from the cairn, the highest point of the limestone pavement, were spectacular across Conwy Bay to Snowdonia it was crystal clear in the early morning air. Out in the bay a huge flock of Common Scoter, thousands of birds, were way out but their mass made them visible. Closer in were Sandwich Terns and Gannets diving for fish into the glass like sea, gorgeous to be up there in these conditions and not a sole in sight.

Dozens of rabbits were out and about this morning enjoying the warm sunshine.

A new route back, following the stonewall on the south side of the Great Orme back past the summit to the copper mines and then back into Llandudno along the tram tracks. Few birds along this return route but lovely looks at more Chough, lots of Stonechats and two more Northern Wheatears.

Back home a nice message from Allan Archer from “talk Wildlife” to let us know an interview he recorded with Alan, Birdwatching Trips, was now live on the “talk Wildlife” website. The Alan’s had chatted about all sorts of bird related topics and hopefully you can tune in and have a listen here…


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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