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A Rose-coloured Starling here in Llandudno?!

Well our six weeks in Uganda were just mind-blowing! We led two very successful Birdwatching Trips tours along with our superb local guide, Crammy. We enjoyed wonderful birds and amazing encounters with mammals including two meetings with mountain gorillas, never to be forgotten.

Back home in Llandudno, North Wales, it was cold, grey and damp after the warmth and colour of Uganda. But, of course, we had plenty to do after six weeks away! A mountain of post to open, many thanks for all the lovely Christmas cards we have only just got to see! With the central heating and washing machine both on full blast and the kettle working overtime we were fairly happy indoors.

But as so often with birds things can change quickly! A rare Rose-coloured Starling was being seen just the other side of Llandudno, we had figured it had been there ages so no rush to see it, let's wait for better weather. Our friend Mike, finder of the said starling, was watching the bird near his house and made another discovery! Mike was thrilled to see a Waxwing in the same narrow alley in the streets of Llandudno! Amazing to see one of these species in such a location but to have both at the same time was simply wonderful.

Not an obvious location to look for rare birds?!

As soon as we heard the news all thoughts of staying in the warm and dry were forgotten, binoculars and camera were grabbed and we rushed out into the cold. A few minutes later we turned into Victoria Street, Llandudno and looked for the alley where Mike had seen the two rare birds. It did not look like a top birding site! A very ordinary urban street, not even much in the way of greenery, were we in the right place? Luckily, we spotted another friend, Dylan, also just arriving so we jumped out and joined him. Dylan had seen the Rose-coloured Starling previously so knew where the alley was. We hurried into the narrow passage behind the houses and it looked even less likely a place to see birds. A rather grim concrete alley complete with dog mess and litter, really? Up ahead a thin bush was on the left and there was the Waxwing! Amazing sight in such a location, a beautiful bird in a horrid place. We were thrilled to see this scarce visitor from Scandinavia so close to home. But things quickly got better, the Rose-coloured Starling then flew in and join the Waxwing, both birds really showing off very close to us. Cameras were in over-drive despite the very poor light, to record this once in a life time meeting in Llandudno. A rare starling from the east meets a berry eating Scandinavian in an alleyway, birding really is unpredictable that is for sure!

Waxwing, always a thrill to see, even better close to home.

What a sight, two rare birds in the same alley way just minutes from home!

It was great to see Mike and several other local birders that arrived to see this very unusual rare bird double act. A wonderful way to kick off our 2019 UK birding year and so close to home! Huge thanks to Mike for finding these great birds and for sharing the news so quickly.

We have some fantastic Birdwatching Trips coming up in 2019 and would love you to join us! We have two places on our Morocco tour in April, two places on our Georgia tour also in April and one place on our Finland and Norway tour in May. All these tours are packed with great birds, small groups, three guides and a lot of fun! Check out our tours pages above or do email us here….

We look forward to enjoying great birds and wildlife with you soon!

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