Always Something New Every Time You Go Birdwatching 15 January 2021

Grey Heron BB

A Grey Heron was new for the local patch 2021 Year List today.

One of the oh so many great things about birdwatching is that every day is different. Folks sometimes say “you must get bored spending so much time watching birds?” the answer is always the same “never!” and that really is true. Each outing is different in some way, you never see exactly the same mix of birds on the same walk – birds are highly mobile!

Northern Fulmars are masters of the air pretty cool to watch them from the kitchen sink!

Today got off to a good start a lovely sunrise looking east from the window with bands of orange cloud across a mostly clear sky. Two Northern Fulmars were flying near the cliffs visible from the kitchen window while filling the kettle and a few minutes later a Peregrine made heavy going of getting back to cliffs after a successful “breakfast shopping trip” over the town, one less feral pigeon in Llandudno.

Setting out for lockdown exercise I took the Leica telescope and tripod, don’t very often lug the scope on our walks, as the sea was like a millpond and hoped for some seabirds to watch. Down at the pier a gang of Ruddy Turnstones and Common Redshanks roosted on the rocks above the high tide line and it was wonderful to listen to the Turnstones muttering away to themselves such a lovely call.

Arty Shag

A Shag on a calm sea an attempt at an "arty" bird photograph!

Having carried the scope down here it was time to have a good scan of the bay between Llandudno Pier and the Little Orme to the east. First scan of the calm sea produced four Great Crested Grebes and two Shags, scan again, same, scan again and this time two Red-throated Divers popped up into view but no sign of the Great Northern Diver seen here recently despite the ideal conditions. Further along past the pier and stop for another scan and things had changed in just a few minutes, the Great Northern Diver was pretty close dealing with a freshly caught crab, now five each of Red-throated Diver and Great Crested Grebe in view with at least eight Shags and one Great Cormorant.

Along the Marine Drive plenty of Fulmars were on the ledges above giving their chuckling calls that echo off the limestone cliffs. A Stonechat posed on small hawthorn bush below the road and then a Rock Pipit flew and landed on the wall very close, sadly no camera today. On the sea below a Razorbill was really close in and allowed wonderful views when it wasn’t under searching for fish. A Grey Heron, new for the Great Orme 2021 year list, was hunched up on a cliff ledge not far above the sea looking miserable, herons do that look so well. Great to add a new bird to the local patch year list – running out of easy wins now. Offshore three Common Scoter sped past heading east just above the glass like sea but even with a lot of scanning with the scope no more new birds were found.

Retracing the route back along the Marine Drive a Peregrine Falcon dashed along the cliff face and then up to land on the skyline above the scope came in very handy and wonderful frame filling views of the super raptor were enjoyed. Back in the streets of Llandudno and almost home a Red-billed Chough called loudly, but where was it? The crow called again and again then at last it was seen on the roof of one of the hotels! What a crazy place to see a Chough sitting on a rooftop calling away, then in a tree behind we saw a Sparrowhawk, maybe the Chough was mobbing the hawk? Anyway two very nice birds to finish this particular lockdown walk on.

Back home and looking out of the window a small bird flies over the roof tops and luckily lands on a TV aerial and of course the scope is handy and luckily the bird stays put long enough – Black Redstart! Wow a wonderful bird to see from the living room window and it just sat there in the sunshine quivering that rusty-red tail before dropping down out of sight, superb. Not long after that excitement a flock of fourteen Curlew flew west over the town a bird we don’t see very often from the window. Llandudno is a pretty good place to spend lockdown though that said really craving new places now.

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 tour for you!

Please see here for dates of Tours for Two in September and come and join us..


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