Best of North Wales Birdwatching Trip 4 April 2018

Ring Ouzel male May 2015

Ring Ouzel just one of a host of great birds on todays tour.

Our second day with Birdwatching Trips regulars Trevor and Jan here in North Wales and it was another great day. Starting on the Great Orme, the headland behind their Llandudno B&B, we were soon watching a Peregrine on the cliffs. Fulmars were back and forth to the ledges, many Common Guillemots and Razorbills were on the calm sea and we picked out four lovely Black Guillemots. Further out Common Scoter splashed down and both Cormorants and Shags dived for fish. A Rock Pipit showed by the roadside and many Rock Pipits were on the area of limestone pavements. Five Chough, showed off very well and often calling their wonderful “Cheeow” calls. In a patch of hawthorns we found four Chiffchaffs and our first Willow Warbler of the year, great birding.

Next stop RSPB Conwy and lots of new birds for Trevor and Jan’s trip. Shoveler, Teal and Gadwall were all additions as were Tufted Ducks and lots of Common Snipe. Another Willow Warbler, this one singing, and lots more Chiffchaffs were lovely to see, Spring is coming! To underline this three Sand Martins, our first of the year, swooped low over the lagoons. A pair of Great crested Grebes displayed on the calm waters of the lagoon. A pair of Bullfinch wowed us with super close views and Reed Bunting perched high in a bare willow.

At Llanfairfechan we set up the amazing Leica telescopes and scanned the millpond like sea, lots of birds offshore here! Two Slavonian Grebes were lovely to see, the birds beginning to moult into their breeding plumage. A Great northern Diver was loafing on the flat calm water and at least a dozen Red-throated Divers were here along with lots of Great crested Grebes. Common Eider were here with some fifteen birds and flocks of Common Scoter. Several adult Gannets were on the sea – huge white birds dwarfing the Razorbills alongside them. On the beach here we added Turnstones and Bar-tailed Godwits to our already impressive day list.

We then headed up into the hills but the weather went downhill! We scanned the rocky hillside but only Meadow Pipits, then it began to rain. Heavily, very heavily! Alan stayed scanning under the shelter of the car boot lid. A Stonechat popped up, then a Wheatear and then Ring Ouzel! Luckily this mountain thrush stayed in view long enough for everyone to have telescope views in the rather poor light. The Ring Ouzel then flew down the slope a little way and joined two more! Brilliant to see three of these scarce thrushes in one telescope view. The low cloud then rolled in and the hillside vanished, whew! We were out of there! Two Fieldfare were a nice surprise as we dropped down in altitude.

We enjoyed a lovely lunch at Tu Hwnt I’r Bont tearoom in Llanrwst by the Conwy River as the rain hammered down. We savoured the good food and warm tearoom watching the rain bounce down outside. With rain still falling we headed into an upland conifer area and luckily the rain just about stopped. Here we picked up more good birds including Common Crossbills, posing on top of larch trees, Siskins, Long-tailed Tits, Goldcrests and more! At a fast flowing river we enjoyed super views of a Dipper dipping.

Our last stop of the day gave us prolonged views of two Hawfinch right in the top of a bare tree. But the rain came back in torrential style so we headed for Llandudno very, very happy with a wonderful selection of birds. We look forward to lots more wonderful birds with Trevor and Jan soon.

We would love you to join us on one of our Birdwatching Trips, we can tailor make a tour perfect for you!

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