Another Wonderful Trip Of Dotterel On The Great Orme 13 May 2020

A wonderful third helping of Dotterel on the Great Orme, Llandudno today.

An early start for our longer Great Orme walk here in Llandudno, North Wales and we set of at 5.45am. It was chilly in the early morning and down at Llandudno Pier there was a stiff easterly wind making the eyes water and the hands numb. No sign of any Turnstones on the Pier, there were just three the day before, so we may have seen the last of these lovely winter visitors. Both the male and female Peregrine Falcons were above the cliffs hanging in the breeze hoping for a prey item to fly below them. Both birds made spectacular stoops towards the town but returned empty taloned.

At the lighthouse huge numbers of birds on the cliffs and on the water below and so good to see such numbers despite the distinct winter feel to the weather. Choughs swooped low overhead and a few Gannets flew east past the headland. A Kestrel hovered at eye-level and amazing to see how still the head remained as the raptor twisted tail and wings in response to the wind.

Up on the limestone pavement it was colder with no shelter from the east wind and very few birds were in evidence. A group of four Dotterel had been reported the previous day so hoped they would still be about. Then a couple of walkers came over the horizon complete with a crazy spaniel dog tearing around ahead of them, so sad that people can’t control their dogs particularly in the breeding season. The walkers carried on past us with dog completely out of control ranging all over the area, then suddenly four Dotterel were flying up just in front of the marauding dog! The poor birds have had quite a fright with the dog charging towards them at high speed. We watched the waders climb into the sky and thought well that’s them gone, but no, luckily the Dotterel swung round and dropped down on to the pavement again whew!

We watched from a distance and we saw the birds began to feed again after a spell of standing still, perhaps getting their breath back after their fright? Very slowing moving forward we sat down on the limestone pavement and watched these gorgeous birds as the fed on the grass areas between the rock outcrops coming closer and closer. What a delight to see more of these rare visitors so close to home. Another dog walker approached but thankfully this beast was on a lead and though the Dotterel turned away they did not fly. The four birds seemed to be two females, brighter birds, and two males a little duller plumaged. We wondered where these amazing birds were bound, perhaps the high tops of a Scottish mountain or the fells of Arctic Norway where we have had the pleasure of seeing them on their breeding grounds.

The cold wind was still blowing and keeping the temperatures well down despite the sunshine so we headed back. Two ladies were heading towards the limestone pavement and asked if we had seen anything interesting. Of course we shared the news of the Dotterel with them and hoped they managed to see these beautiful waders.

All the photographs of the Dotterel were taken today, 13th May 2020.

We are so lucky to have so many species and habitats within easy reach here in North Wales, and once the world returns to normal, 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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