Beautiful Weather Makes For Wonderful Birding And Stunning Landscapes

Snow Bunting Feb 2017 1

Snow Buntings are such wonderful birds always a thrill to see - library photo.

The 25th November 2020 was one of those days that you dream about and hope for! The weather was perfect for birding, not a breath of wind, mild and clear sky; mist was low over the marshes – just wow!

Picked our lovely friend Helen up and we set off to see what birds were about on this perfect late Autumn day. First stop was at RSPB Cors Ddyga on Anglesey where the mist was just being burnt off by the early sun making area look magical, the calm conditions allowed perfect reflections in every area of water with the clouds and blue sky mirrored; a lot of photographs were taken!

A stunning start to the day at RSPB Cors Ddyga on Anglesey.

But of course it was the birds we had come to see and there were plenty to enjoy, Common Snipe were zooming all over the places, ones, twos, threes and small flocks everywhere we looked. Lapwings rose up and swirled over the marsh before dropping back down to join Black-tailed Godwits and hundreds of duck – Teal, Wigeon, Shoveler and a lone Pintail. Two White-fronted Geese flew over and dropped down towards Malltraeth in the distance, Reed Buntings and Meadow Pipits showed off in the sunshine and a Water Pipit crept about on a grass area near the river. A strange sight was that of nine Lesser black back Gulls flying east very unusual to see here in late November.

Next stop was at Holyhead Harbour as Helen really hoped to the Snow Buntings that had been here recently – a new bird for her. As we walked towards the area where the birds had been seen we saw our friend Jonathan ahead of us and he pointed, good sign! The Snow Buntings were feeding on the side of a bank and giving wonderful views through the telescope, frame filling! We spent a good time watching these lovely little visitors from the Arctic feeding and coming down to a puddle to drink such delightful birds. A Black Guillemot, in winter dress so more of a white guillemot, was in the harbour as was the new Antarctic Exploration vessel Sir David Attenborough no doubt along with its tender the famous “Boaty McBoat-face”.

At nearby Beddmanarch Bay the conditions were perfect with wonderful light and the tide just dropping. Hundreds of Pale-bellied Brent Geese were feeding at the tide edge and thousands of waders were scattered across the bay, Bar-tailed Godwits, Knot and Dunlin all showing very well in the sunshine. Further out we picked up a Slavonian Grebe but it was a good way out, it was nice to this scarce bird right next to a Great crested Grebe for comparison.

Next stop was at nearby Four Mile Bridge where we were treated to fantastic close views of the Great Northern Diver and Long-tailed Duck. Both these scarce birds were so close we had frame filling views in the beautiful sunshine. Further out a gang of seven Scaup showed on the calm water and we watched Goldeneye, Red-breasted Mergansers and eleven Mediterranean Gulls here.

We enjoyed our picnic lunch at Aberffraw but not many birds interrupted out eating but the sun still shone and there were amazing fluffy clouds to photograph! Nearby we stopped to watch a huge flock of Golden Plover rising up and then falling back into the grassland to join lots of Lapwings what a beautiful thing to watch.

At Malltraeth we were very lucky to spot a Kingfisher in the river channel and this gem of bird just stayed in view! The Kingfisher was intent on fishing and repeatedly plunged beak first into the water to pop up with a shrimp or small fish; it bashed the prey on the wooden perch then swallowed it whole. We felt a little guilty walking away with the Kingfisher still showing. Again the water was so still here allowing amazing reflections of the blue sky and clouds – lots more photos. Two Greenshank also showed here along with hundreds of Wigeon.

In the nearby woodland we enjoyed Nuthatch, Coal Tit and a Bullfinch before walking to the forest edge to scan the huge marsh. The sun was sinking towards the skyline and it looked so beautiful. A Merlin was out on the marsh on a post and stayed there the whole time allowing us plenty of time to enjoy this pocket-sized falcon. Raven “cronked” overhead as they headed off to roost and Grey Plover walked amongst flocks of Shelduck and then a flock of Golden Plover fell from the orange sky just wonderful! A lovely end to a bird filled day, totting up the day list it was quite a surprise to see we had enjoyed ninety species and some wonderful views of many of them.

Come and join us for a “Tour for Two” – very small group just two guests with two guides, tailor made itinerary, low risk in these COVID-19 times and of course lots of birds and an excellent chance of enjoying them all. Do drop us a line and we can make all the arrangements be it a day trip, two days, three day or as long a tour as you wish. Our recent Tours for Two have visited the Highlands of Scotland, North Wales, Norfolk and the Yorkshire coast and we are planning many more! Let us know where you would like to go and we can put together a proposal perfect for you.

We are so lucky to have so many species and habitats within easy reach here in North Wales 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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