A Rosy Day On Our Best Of Anglesey Birdwatching Trip 2 July 2018

Puffin July 2017 3

Everyone loves Puffins they are the super stars of the seabird world.

We picked up Louise and Julia from the Stella Guest House here in Llandudno at 6.30am for some pre-breakfast birding. At RSPB Conwy we were soon enjoying lots of birds, Little Egrets feeding in the shallows of the estuary and Curlew feeding on the mudflats. On the lagoons we enjoyed watching Redshank, Lapwing and Common Sandpipers in the warm sunshine, still not a cloud in the sky. Warblers were on show with Sedge, Reed and Common Whitethroat all seen.

After Louise and Julia had enjoyed a wonderful Stella breakfast we headed out again this time over to Anglesey. First stop was at RSPB South Stack, where the sun still shone, and loads of birds were on view. We spent a wonderful time soaking up the views of all the activity, birds on the sea, birds on the cliffs, birds in the air! Of course, it was the Puffins that were the stars and we were very lucky with prolonged views of birds outside their nest holes, so often they do not linger, either straight down the burrow or fly off out to sea if leaving. The Leica telescopes really came into their own allowing frame filling views of these super little seabirds. Manx Shearwaters and Gannets passed offshore, a large bull grey seal swam at the base of the cliffs below us. A family of Linnets landed near the top of the cliffs and allowed great looks.

We visited another section of cliffs nearby and finally saw Chough, three birds flying along the coast it seems they don’t show off in hot weather! But we did enjoy great looks at Stonechat and Skylark here.

At Holyhead we quickly found the hoped for Black Guillemots and enjoyed wonderful views of these dapper auks. Next up we visited a freshwater lake and quickly boosted our list with wildfowl including handsome Pochard and elegant Great crested Grebes. Louise and Julia spotted a raptor over the reeds and we were thrilled to see a Marsh Harrier! A Marsh Harrier is a rare sighting at this site so a great bit of spotting by the ladies.

After all that excitement we were ready for lunch and enjoyed a lovely meal at Catch 22 in the village of Valley. After our food we headed north to Cemlyn Lagoon and the busy tern colony. Even more Sandwich Terns than on our last visit and great to see hundreds of these noisy birds wheeling over the islands. We again checked the birds on the rocks around the edge of the islands and compared Arctic and Common Terns in the wonderful light. A stunning full adult summer Mediterranean Gull was picked out on the water a really cracking bird with jet black hood, scarlet bill and white wings. We then walked out onto the headland and watched another large bull grey seal, this one basking on the rocks. Waders here included Dunlin and Curlew and a Meadow Pipit was amazingly tame, this bird was on a fence post right by the path and just posed for photos. Walking out onto the shingle ridge on the north side of the lagoon we could get much closer looks at all the terns, wonderful birds. As we watched we suddenly saw an adult Roseate Tern on a rock amongst loafing Common and Arctic Terns a real wow bird! So few Roseate Terns are seen in North Wales these days and here was one right in front of us in the sunshine. We called over a group of ladies that were looking at the Sandwich Terns and they also all enjoyed great looks at the rare tern. What a wonderful bird to finish our Birdwatching Trip on? We headed back to Llandudno very happy indeed! Great birds, stunning scenery, wonderful weather and super company, perfect day.

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