Best Of North Wales Birdwatching Trips Tour 9 October 2019

Chough June 2015 1

We are very lucky to enjoy seeing Chough on many of our Welsh tours.

We met Rob and Bryan at the Princes Arms Hotel, Trefriw in the Conwy Valley at 7.30am and joined them for a lovely breakfast. Heading south down the beautiful valley we then turned north-west through the spectacular scenery of Snowdonia, the autumn colours adding to the wonderful scenery. Our first stop was in the wild Nant Ffrancon Valley, we hadn’t even got out of the car when we spotted Chough on the rocks close to us! There were twenty-one of these wonderful crows feeding on the hillside here, a fantastic sight, and sound. Stonechats posed along the fence-line in the valley here and Ravens soared above us.

Dunwich Marsh Harrier

Wonderful that we can see Marsh Harriers in North Wales on our tours.

We crossed the Menia Straits onto Anglesey and visited RSPB Cors Ddyga nature reserve, it was windy with some heavy showers but we carried on and walked down to the Cefni River past the wet-grassland areas. Plenty of wildfowl here with flocks of Teal and Wigeon taking to the air as two Marsh Harriers passed over them, spectacular! A few Shoveler and a single Pintail here and small gangs of Common Sniper whizzed over the marshes. Rob spotted two Goosander in the river channel where we also watched Little Grebes and Kestrel perched on a straw bale in an adjacent field. Skylarks and Meadow Pipits flew above us as we headed back to the car.

Slavonian Grebe Cemlyn Ruth

Nice to see the first returning Slavonian Grebe of the winter back.

Next stop was Beddmanarch Bay, welcome loos, and lots of birds! The tide was starting to drop and two adult Mediterranean Gulls showed amazing well in the sunshine really close. As the mudflats appeared so did waders and we enjoyed Bar-tailed Godwits, lots of Oystercatchers, Curlew and four Grey Plover flew over. Alan spotted a Skua over the bay, very unusual indeed, and panic broke out as directions were given and luckily everyone locked onto this exciting bird. Luckily the bird came right into the bay and we could see it was lovely pale Arctic Skua, fantastic! Next we picked out a Slavonian Grebe on the sunlit water and through the telescopes enjoyed great views of this “first of the winter” bird. Then another unexpected bird as a female Common Scoter flew in landed near the grebe, bonkers! Just as we were about to leave a flock of sixty-six Pale-bellied Brent Geese flew in and landed right in front of us, a lovely finish to a very memorable visit to this great bay.

Up at RSPB South Stack it was really wild, perhaps a force eight gale, so we didn’t linger but did enjoy the view and managed to add Kittiwake and Gannet to our ever growing list of birds. A roadside stop gave us a flock of eight Rock Pipits in a small cove, lovely views of these sometimes tricky birds to find. We enjoyed a lovely lunch, and were impressed by the speed of service, so we were soon back enjoying birds.

Heading south our next stop was at Malltraeth at the bridge overlooking the Cefni Estuary and river channel. A Whimbrel was a nice surprise on the mud near the bridge, it was chasing Curlew about! Lovely views of Wigeon here too and amongst them a gang of Pintail including a fine adult drake. A Greenshank was feeding in the river, gleaming white in the afternoon sunshine. In nearby Newbrough Forest we quickly found a Great Spotted Woodpecker and saw a red squirrel.

Back onto the mainland we made a stop at Aber Ogwen where the tide was a long way out but we set up the scopes and had a look. A Common Gull in the river channel was our first of the day and three Black-tailed Godwits were feeding not too far out. More scanning and we picked out three Eider Duck in the channel, a long way away, but luckily the drake stood out in the good light. Another quick stop at Llanfairfechan and Bryan spotted a Turnstone amongst the stones on the beach and amazingly we saw our first Pied Wagtails of the day, nine of them!

Just time for a look from the viewpoint overlooking RSPB Conwy and we added three new species for the day! We were very surprised to see two Knot roosting with a group of Redshank on the lagoons. Two species of diving duck were our last additions, Tufted Duck and Pochard, before returning Rob and Bryan back their hotel in Trefriw. A really fun day enjoying a lot of great birds including some nice surprises.

We would love you to join us for a day out or perhaps one of our longer trips? Please email here and we can make all the arrangements for you….

We look forward to enjoying lots of wonderful birds, beautiful scenery, lots of fun and great food with you soon!

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