Back To Bangor And Catching Up With Iolo Williams




Birders at Bangor Pier, North Wales, can you spot Iolo Williams.



A message from our great friend Iolo Williams, yes that bloke off Winter Watch, suggested meeting up at Bangor Pier. The Red-necked Grebe was still about and Iolo was coming up to visit his mum so good chance to meet up. As Ruth was up to her ears in admin Alan went over to Bangor and walked out on to the pier that gives great views over the harbour and Menai Straits. About ten birdwatchers were on the pier looking out to the east, but sadly no one had seen the grebe. Alan set up his Leica scope and joined the search for the bird. Plenty of Great crested Grebes on the sea, some of these were coming into breeding plumage and two birds even displayed briefly, Spring is coming! Goldeneye, Shelduck, Shag and Dunlin were all seen but no Red-necked Grebe.

Iolo arrived and it was great to catch up and hear about his adventures in the Scottish Highlands filming for Winter Watch. We also looked forward to our trip to Extremadura, Spain; we had such a great trip in Spring 2018 and are really looking forward to seeing all those amazing birds again.


Iolo on the pier with Leica Noctivid binoculars - the best bins ever!



Our chatting was interrupted by one of the birders; the Red-necked Grebe had at last been sighted! Unfortunately no sooner seen the grebe took to the air! Oh no. We watched this long-necked bird fly low and fast over the sea, at first flying away, but it turned and came towards us. Luckily the Red-necked Grebe splashed down and everyone scrambled to find it in their telescopes. Iolo and Alan helped other people see the bird in the Leica telescopes and were reminded of another recent telescope event. On one of our Best of North Wales tours, with Iolo co-guiding, Alan and Iolo were on the sea-front and looking intently down the Leica telescopes at a Red-throated Diver and giving directions to the assembled group in the hope everyone could see it. As divers do, it dived a lot, so the two guides were looking hard for it to surface and giving revised directions, the diver then stayed up preening and with great delight Iolo and Alan stepped back from the scopes declaring “quick look in the scope it’s showing nicely!” Imagine their surprise, no one there! The group had lost interest and gone into the café for a brew!! Priceless!



Back to Bangor Pier and the Red-necked Grebe swam closer, and closer, now clearly visible with the naked eye, amazing. The bird came right up alongside the pier much to the delight of the crowd particularly those that had remembered to bring their cameras!


A big fan! But does anyone know the young lady?



A young lady spotted Iolo and was so thrilled to see “the man from the telly” Alan suggested she had a photo with Iolo and took one. Great to see how excited she was hopefully she will see this and we can send a copy of the photo to remember her encounter with her hero!

If you can help us find the young lady, so we can pass on a copy of the photo, or would like details of any of our tours please email us here....

info@birdwatchingtrips.co.uk

We look forward to sharing great birds and wildlife with you!





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