A Surprise New Bird For The 2021 Lockdown List And A Long Walk

Pink footed Geese arrive Sept

February the 10th dawned clear and bright but very cold indeed with an easterly airflow over the UK temperatures were well below freezing across the country. With the car at the garage in Llandudno Junction it was another opportunity to venture a little further from home than our regular lockdown walks allow.

We set off east along the promenade here at Llandudno and felt that cold easterly air so glad we had wrapped up well. The sea was choppy and few birds to be seen – a close in Great Crested Grebe and a Cormorant – a gang of calling Oystercatchers flew low over the waves catching the sun.

Turning inland at the east end of the sea-front hotels we were quickly out of the wind and it felt so much better, a Stonechat hunted for insects along a fence line and in the distance a large flock of Eurasian Curlew stood hunched in a field waiting for the tide to drop so they could resume feeding on the shore.

Coal Tit 1 Leica

Plenty of birds coming to the feeders in Dave's garden including Coal Tits.

Heading up hill we met a friend of ours, Dave, and of course stopped for a chat. Dave is very lucky indeed and has woodland for a garden and showed us some wonderful photos from his camera traps of badgers and foxes how wonderful. Plenty of birds at the feeders here too with Long-tailed Tits, Coal Tits, Blue Tits and Great Tits what a brilliant garden! As we were chatting we heard geese calling! Not a place we would expect to hear geese but we could and scanned the sky then there they were! Pretty close and low passing almost overhead – Pink-footed Geese very unusual to see in this area! We guessed around sixty of the wonderful visitors from Iceland with their lovely “wink-wink” calls reminding us of our regular birding trips to the North Norfolk coast. We were all thrilled to just happen to coincide with these wonderful birds passing over. Later we learned the same flock was seen passing over nearby Nant-y-Gammer hill where a friend of ours managed to photograph the flock and count them later and we were surprised to learn there were actually 76 Pink-footed Geese in the flock. The birds headed off east along the coast and were also seen passing over Kinmel Bay and then Rhyl so nice when birds can be tracked along the coast.

Lovely views back towards Llandudno in the February sunshine.

Very happy with our “garden tour” and a new bird for our 2021 lockdown year list, the geese, we continued on our way towards the garage. Our route took us across fields; some very muddy indeed, and through some lovely woodlands but birds were very few and far between. Goldcrests did show well on a number of occasions and two Common Buzzards soared above us against the blue sky lovely to stop and watch. Three Grey Herons flapped low over the fields and a Sparrowhawk landed in the top of a distant oak tree.

Nearing the garage at Llandudno Junction we made a small detour to walk up to an obelisk on a hill and wow was it worth it! The 360 degree view from the hill top was just breath-taking and we just stood and drank it in. We could see over to the Isle of Anglesey in the west, to the south the snow covered mountains of Snowdonia, to the east right along the North Wales and to the north the Great Orme and home it really was a stunning vista. We reluctantly headed down the hill and collected the car from the garage a lovely long walk in winter sunshine and those views will live long in the memory.

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!


We look forward to enjoying wonderful birds with you as soon as it is safe.

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