Best of Anglesey Birdwatching Trip 5 April 2018

Black Guillemot

Black Guillemots are always a thrill to see in breeding plumage.

We met John and Lis at Menai Bridge and spent the day exploring the Isle of Anglesey. Lis had been bought a Birdwatching Trip voucher for her birthday by her family and today was the day to use it. John and Lis are fairly new to birdwatching but keen to learn more and enjoy a great day out.

First stop was Beddmanarch Bay where we scanned the mudflats as the tide crept closer. Lots of birds here! Flocks of Pale-bellied Brent Geese mixed with Shelduck the geese soon to leave for Canadian breeding grounds. Bar-tailed Godwits probed the mud alongside Curlew and Oyestercatcher, a single Grey Plover was nice to see and Dunlin rushed past the plover.

At RSPB South Stack the sun shone down from the blue sky and sea was calm perfect conditions. A Skylark sang above us as we walked to the cliff edge, Wheatears bobbed on the heather, stunning in the sun, a Sand Martin circled around us, it felt like Spring at last. Four lovely Chough showed off right in front of us and we loved their happy calls. Walking along the cliff top we enjoyed lots of seabirds both on the water and on the cliffs. Lots of Razorbills with smaller numbers of Common Guillemots, Fulmars glided on stiff wings and some sunned themselves on the ledges, Kittiwakes were on the calm sea. A Rock Pipit flitted along the rock faces and amazingly we saw Goldcrests feeding here on the towering rocks cliffs, a very odd record, migration happening! At nearby Holyhead Harbour we enjoyed a coffee out in the sunshine and watched a handsome Black Guillemot diving for food. A Shag, complete with breeding plumage crest also showed nicely here.

A freshwater lake next, still under cloudless blue skies, and again a Skylark sang above us as we walked to the viewpoint overlooking the water. Great Crested Grebes were looking wonderful in the sunshine, Tufted Ducks were paired up, a gang of Pochard flew in and splashed down, lots of Shoveler here and a Little Grebe lurked in the reed edge. An otter put in an all to brief appearance, but great to know one is here. A Kestrel and Common Buzzard added to the scene and a Willow Warbler showed nicely while a Cetti’s Warbler sang hidden in the reeds.

We enjoyed a really lovely lunch at Catch 22 café in Valley – highly recommended. North to Cemlyn where we stopped to scan the lagoon and were delighted to see a beautiful flock of some 200 Golden Plover! What a wonderful sight in the sunshine, many of these gorgeous waders were in near full breeding plumage, black, white and gold, just wow! We also soaked up views of second-summer Mediterranean Gull surely one of the most handsome looking gulls on the planet?

Out on the headland the birds just kept coming! A Red-throated Diver was offshore and we had good views through the Leica telescopes. Three Purple Sandpipers were on the rocky shore along with Ringed Plovers and we were thrilled to see a Whimbrel fly in and land near the sandpipers. More Wheatears and White Wagtails fed along the shoreline and a House Martin whizzed past, just brilliant birding!

Sadly it was time to head back to John and Lis’s car and say our goodbyes. A super day with lovely people and well over eighty species of bird enjoyed. Great to see migration happening, it really is Spring!

We had a lovely message from John and Lis this evening....

Dear Alan and Ruth What a great day we had today ! Thank you so much for taking us on an excellent birdwatching trip. It was lovely to see so many species and have such expert help with identification ! It was wonderful to be able to look through the telescopes and see the birds in such detail - the golden plovers were one of the highlights. We certainly learnt a lot - it's lovely to be with people with such knowledge and experience. Thank you very much for a most enjoyable and memorable day.

We would love to put together a perfect Birdwatching Trip tailor-made for you!

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