Best Of North Wales Birdwatching Trip 13 September 2018

The view from the Great Orme, Llandudno this morning.

We met Roger and Liz at RSPB Conwy at 9.15am, as a custom day they suggested the start time as they needed to drop off their dog at a boarding kennel. We watched Little Egrets and Grey Herons feeding in the adjacent Conwy Estuary and then drove the short distance to Llandudno. At the Great Orme, the limestone headland north of the town, we scanned the sea. Sandwich Terns were passing west and a flock of Common Scoter whizzed past, two harbour porpoise also showed fairly close in. A young male Stonechat sat up on a nearby bramble bush in the sunshine, great views. Roger picked out two birds on the sea below us and we quickly had them in the Leica telescopes, two birds, two species, a Razorbill and a Common Guillemot! Lovely to see these two auks side by side. It was good to compare Cormorant and Shag both in flight and on the water as a Fulmar swept back and forth along the cliffs. Suddenly four birds tore through the air above us! A feral pigeon with three Peregrines in hot pursuit! Somehow the pigeon evaded the falcons, one very lucky bird indeed, the Peregrines swept back to the cliff all landing in sight! Through the telescopes we had wonderful views of these special raptors in the morning sunshine. Then the falcons were off again, tearing out across the sea after another feral pigeon but again the prey evaded capture by climbing above its pusuers. Back at the cliff the two adult Peregrines sat still but the juvenile screamed for food!

Moving further around the headland we had breath-taking views across to Anglesey and the mountains of Snowdonia, see photo above. It was very windy, though still sunny, so few birds were showing, though another Stonechat showed off.

The Conwy Valley was more sheltered than the Great Orme and very scenic.

Overlooking the Conwy River we enjoyed lots of birds at a wonderful 13th centuary church on the site of a Roman Fort. Red Kite and Common Buzzards showed for us and a Stock Dove was a nice record here. Lapwings were on the flood meadows and Linnets posed on a gate for us.

Red Kites 8 July 2013

We then climbed high above the Conwy Valley where again the views were wonderful in the Autumn sunshine but the strong wind was back and hardly a bird showed! Just a few Meadow Pipits, Linnets and a Mistle Thrush. Then, as often happens in birding, things took a dramatic turn, a large raptor soared close above us, a Goshawk!! This juvenile female Goshawk soared in the sunshine allowing superb views before powering off north scattering Woodpigeons as she went, another amazing raptor encounter!

Wonderful views but the strong wind denied us many birds.

We decided to head down and enjoyed a lovely lunch. Well fed we headed to RSPB Conwy to coincide with the high tide. The water had pushed lots of birds off the adjacent mudflats onto the lagoons of the reserve. We enjoyed a lot of birds here! Hundreds of Curlew were roosting on the islands along with even more Common Redshank and plenty of Oystercatchers. Careful scanning with the Leica telescopes allowed us to pick out less common species, a Whimbrel, a Greenshank, a Common Sandpiper, a flock of Dunlin and three Common Snipe. Wildfowl included Tufted Duck, Teal, Shoveler and Gadwall along with Little Grebes and lots of gulls, great birding.

All too soon it was time for Roger and Liz to head off to collect their dog from kennels. A great fun day and we look forward to enjoying more birds together again.

We would love to arrange a perfect custom Birdwatching Trip just for you, please email us here....

We look forward to enjoying great birds with you soon!

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