A Wet Morning But Luckily Things Got A Lot Better In The Afternoon 20 November 2020

Norfolk Water Rail

Water Rail was the highlight at a wet RSPB Conwy this morning.

After a couple of days cooped up doing admin it was time to get out despite the steady rain. At RSPB Conwy Nature Reserve the rain was heavier than back home in Llandudno but that is why we have great waterproof kit so we can keep birding.

On the first pool a nice flock of Gadwall were showing nicely with a few Teal and Moorhens. At the start of the boardwalk, that skirts a reed-bed, a Water Rail popped out from under the boards and slipped between the reeds – as thin as a rail indeed!

On the second lagoon nice views of Pochard and Tufted Duck with a rather distant Goldeneye but the rain made it difficult to see much on the far side. A single Common Snipe was on top of one of the islands bobbing up and down but definitely a Common Snipe. Little Grebes also dived for fish in this lagoon and a Grey Heron stood hunched against the weather looking miserable as only a heron can.

In the willows and scrub near the Bridge Pond it was lovely to see a flock of five Bullfinches including three wonderful handsome males. Ten Siskin flew in and showed off really well and a single Goldcrest hovered over the path.

A quick stop to look over the adjacent estuary produced good views of Wigeon and Common Redshank and three Red-breasted Merganser flew low over the incoming tide as the rain still came down.

This lovely Lapland Bunting showed off on the beach at Llandudno this afternoon.

Back home and a call from local birder Pete had us grabbing bins and camera and dashing down to the West Shore here at Llandudno. Amazingly Pete had gone to look for the male Snow Bunting, see earlier blog, but no sign of it but he did find a smart Lapland Bunting in exactly the same place! Wonderful to have two rare buntings turn up in the same spot within days of each other. As we reached the beach we let Pete know we were on our way but the message came back the bird had flown off over the sand-dunes and was lost to view. We carried on along the beach and met up with Pete and other local birders Daf and Neil and chatted about what an amazing record it was. Then Pete shouted “it’s back!” and there was the Lapland Bunting! This lovely bird was right at the base of the sand-dunes on the far edge of the shingle and we all enjoyed wonderful views. The light was good now with late afternoon sunshine but still a strong wind so a few rather distant photos were taken and came out ok – hopefully you agree. Great to enjoy this lovely bird that was so close to home and it was great to see other local birders all smiling happily on the beach. The sky was impressive too!

A beautiful sky this afternoon at Llandudno West Shore what a difference to the morning.

Happy Lapland Bunting watchers on Llandudno West Shore beach.

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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