A Very Blustery Day On The Great Orme North Wales 27 December 2020

Great Northern Diver Mull 1

Lovely to see a Great Northern Diver just a few minutes walk from home - libary photo.

After a full on gale last night we ventured out to the local patch here in Llandudno, the Great Orme headland. It was still windy but mostly dry just a few showers pushed through by the wind. At the pier 32 Ruddy Turnstones were hunkered down on the rocks just above the high tide. On the jagged rock just west of the pier eight Shags were resting and nearby the resident pair of Great Black Backed Gulls were loafing on the water near “their” Atlantic grey seal carcass that had washed up on the rocks here a few days ago.

Out in the bay a Great Northern Diver was reasonably close on the sheltered water and we had super views of this “battleship” of a diver. As we watched a second Great Northern Diver flew west behind the first. Further out we picked up five Common Eider riding the waves, three smart drakes and two females.

On the cliffs above the Marine Drive a few Fulmars whizzed back and forth and a male Stonechat perched high on the skyline. A pair of Chough flew along the limestone rock face calling loudly and swept high into the strong wind surely purely for fun? A second pair of Chough joined the first and all four birds cavorted through the air as though riding some invisible rollercoaster and sheer joy to watch! Birds really are brilliant to watch these four corvids perform like this was just wonderful and really lifts the spirits.

Eider 1 Ythan

Common Eider are such wonderful birds and so good to see them close to home - libary photo.

At the first corner in the Marine Drive more scanning of the grey turbulent sea and there was plenty to see. Red-throated Divers were all over the place at least 14 birds with five really close in below the cliffs so we could enjoy every detail of the plumage. Along with these winter visitors were Common Guillemots mostly in breeding plumage, Great Crested Grebes and we again saw the five Common Eider further out amongst the waves. A harbour porpoise showed briefly in an area where there were lots of Guillemots and a few Shags were feeding presumably a good fishing spot. A Rock Pipit flew along the cliffs as a pair of Raven swept past below us and a lovely female Stonechat posed against the sea.

Climbing up past the church and then taking the path past Pink Farm it was really windy and hardly a bird to be seen. Reaching the area above the ski slope the views were dramatic looking across Llandudno Bay towards the Little Orme and south down the Conwy Valley but too windy to stand and stare for long. We dropped back down to home and it was good to be out of that wind.

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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