Back To The Great Orme And A Real Mix Of Winter And A Promise Of Spring



Black Guillemot

Black Guillemots are now in their very smart breeding plumage sure sign spring is coming.



Two more Lockdown walks on the local patch here in Llandudno and a wonderful mix of birds enjoyed. Yesterday a long walk all the way to the far end of the headland on a calm cloudy mild day produced a lot of birds. All the regulars were about with super views of Peregrine, Chough, Ruddy Turnstones and Fulmars on the first section and a very smart full breeding plumaged Black Guillemot on the calm sea.

Further along the beach was again like a scene from Benidorm, Spain on an August day, covered in bodies all lying around chilling out, but these were Atlantic grey seals not Brits abroad!

Guillemots 2 Hornoya 2015

After being empty for the winter months the cliffs are coming back to life!



At the cliffs there was lots of activity on the sea below with hundreds of Common Guillemots in rafts on the millpond like water. Amongst them smaller numbers of Razorbills and we picked out another six Black Guillemots as in smart black and white breeding dress such lovely birds. It was great to see so many of these wonderful seabirds back near their breeding grounds as early as 21st February.

Walking up from the Marine Drive onto the limestone pavement it was exciting to see a flock of 22 Meadow Pipits, no it really was, the beauty of local patch birding! Now normally a flock of Meadow Pipits would not quicken the pulse that much but in lockdown things take on new significance, these were migrant pipits new in and a sure sign of spring being on the way. Then things got even better, we were watching a pair of Rock Pipits which were pottering along the cliff edge when two small brown birds flew in and landed near the pipits, Skylarks! Not only more evidence of spring migration these wonderful birds were also new for our 2021 year list!

Walking up to the cairn on the limestone pavement we looked around for the Snow Buntings seen here recently but no sign sadly, perhaps these winter visitors had headed north. However the view was well worth the long walk, Anglesey, Snowdonia and the Conwy Valley were all laid out before us just stunning! We sat down and drank in the vista and tucked into homemade cake – so lucky to be able to enjoy views like these within walking distance of home, all be it a long walk! Then four mostly white birds flew up from the slope below us and landed not far away, Snow Bunting! Just shows that taking time to enjoy homemade cake while out birding is such a great idea! Had we walked on after our initial search for the buntings we would have missed them. These delightful birds shuffled about amongst the rocks on the pavement and we enjoy them even more than the cake, all be it a close contest!


A Snow Bunting on the Great Orme limestone pavement, perhaps looking for cake crumbs?



Walking back we enjoyed more wonderful views of Red-billed Chough, another flock of Meadow Pipits, more Stonechats and lovely pair of Long-tailed Tits. A lovely walk without getting wet, cold or windswept!

But the day had one more lovely experience, just as it was going dusk a male Blackbird landed on the TV aerial that is at eye-level with our flat living room window and began to sing! Oh what a wonderful sound never ever fails to make you smile and feel so much better. Birds, they really are brilliant.

Today the 22nd February 2021 got off to a great start with a pair of Eurasian Sparrowhawks displaying over the town seen from our window here in Llandudno more signs of spring.

A walk along the Marine Drive from the pier was again very rewarding, even a much shorter walk today. Ruddy Turnstone were busy exploring the barnacle encrusted legs of the pier and Shags dived out in the bay. Fulmars whizzed back and forth at the cliffs in the beautiful sunshine under a stunning blue sky and not a breath of wind, perfect. A Rock Pipit parachuted down below us giving its song as it dropped – spring is in the air literally. Stonechat flited from rock to rock and a pair of Red-billed Chough showed off just above us and even though we see them regularly we always stop and admire these stunning corvids.

Three Mallard were on the sea below the cliffs quite a rare bird here and again a sign of spring, two drakes following a single duck very closely! A whoosh of wings above us distracted us from duck watching as a huge Raven landed on the cliff and “cronked” loudly just wonderful!

A short walk but so much to enjoy and so good to feel real warmth in the sun today, spring really is getting closer.

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 custom tour for you!

info@birdwatchingtrips.co.uk

We look forward to enjoying wonderful birds with you as soon as it is safe.





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