Best Of North Wales Five Day Tour Day Three 4 March 2019

South Stack Square

Day three of our amazing Birdwatching Trips tour and we headed for Anglesey.

Female Goshawk, what a way to start a day! Photo by Indy Kiemel Greene, he is a brilliant young photographer, not taken on this tour.

Sunday morning and finally good weather. Stepping out of the hotel at before 7am Alan saw Wilf already out and looking up, a female Goshawk right overhead! Wow! This muscular raptor circled right overhead allowing wonderful views what a fantastic start to the day. Now joined by Paul, Val and Ray they walked down to the river bank enjoying the early morning sunshine. Buzzards were already up soaring and a Sparrowhawk flew along the forest edge above the hotel. Then the Goshawk was back, this female bird circled low over the ridge before moving off out of sight. But a second Goshawk was soon in view, this time a displaying male, really showing off in the perfect light. We even had time for everyone present to enjoy the bird in the telescope amazing!

Immature Goshawk, we had amazing prolonged views. Photo by Indy Kiemel Greene, he is a brilliant young photographer, not taken on this tour.

Ringed Plover Kinmel

Ringed Plover blend into their habitat so well, tricky to spot.

Back for a wonderful full Welsh breakfast but Brian and Rita had only just come down so had not seen the amazing Goshawk display. During breakfast Alan kept scanning the blue sky and suddenly jumped up “Goshawk! Not kidding, outside now!” Everyone bundled out of the front door, Alan grapping a scope, and there over the valley was an immature female Goshawk, our third of the morning, fantastic! Brian and Rita both had good views of this huge hawk in the scope and we were joined by Lindsay, the hotel owner, who also saw it, a new bird for him. What a fantastic start too day three of our tour! Breakfast resumed and finished we headed through the Snowdonia National Park, enjoying the wonderful scenery under blue skies. We crossed the Menai Strait on to Anglesey and our first birding stop at Beddmanarch Bay. The tide was very high so not a huge number of birds but that said we picked up some very good ones. Four adult Mediterranean Gulls were on the water, before flying west, beautiful pale gulls in the sunshine. A female Red-breasted Merganser showed nicely and Great crested Grebes were in the bay, waders flew in and landed on a spit, Grey Plovers, Turnstones, Knot and a single Bar-tailed Godwit, very nice. As we left we spotted Ringed Plover and Dunlin amongst the shingle, they blended in so well we almost missed them.

Hooded Crows hanging out in the streets of Holyhead, rare birds in Wales.

Into nearby Holyhead and we immediately found the hoped for Hooded Crow, this smart looking corvid was on top of a lamp-post and we enjoyed really close views. Next we were very lucky again, quickly finding a flock of twenty Purple Sandpipers roosting on rocks really close, wonderful views. Twenty was a really good count of these wintering waders, numbers are declining here in North Wales. RSPB South Stack next but it was very windy so very few birds showing and again no auks on the cliffs sadly. We did see some Chough in flight and a lovely pair of Stonechat near the cliff top and of course breath-taking views of the sea-cliffs, always worth seeing. Then down to Holyhead Harbour where thankfully much less wind. Scanning the harbour we soon saw Black Guillemots, with at least five of these handsome auks here. Two Common Guillemots were nice to see too as there had been none on the cliffs. On again to the Inland Sea where three drake Scaup were a nice bonus, these diving ducks scarce visitors to North Wales and showing in the bright sunshine. A Merlin shot over the inlet but was so fast not everyone managed to see it. We tucked into a great pub lunch all those birds had given us all a real appetite even after our hearty breakfasts with added Goshawk!

Goosander drake 1

Goosander, here a drake, are scarce birds on Anglesey so great to see.

We then headed south to a freshwater lake where it was windy again and the sun had gone. A pair of Goosander were our first of the trip and a Chiffchaff was in the willows along with a Goldcrest. We had hoped to see the huge flock of Golden Plover in this area but sadly not a single one, perhaps they had migrated north in the warm weather last week? Malltraeth next stop where we enjoyed wonderful views of Pintail, surely one of the most beautiful ducks? We also enjoyed watching Wigeon, Shoveler, Teal, Little Egret and close views of Redshank here. In the nearby forest we picked up some woodlands birds and on the small lake here Gadwall, Tufted Duck and Little Grebes.

Just time for one more stop overlooking Malltraeth Marsh, a flock of swans were on the wet fields below and with the telescopes we could see a Whooper Swan amongst the Mute Swans nice bird to finish the day. Back to the hotel for another wonderful dinner, we did the checklist for the day and were very pleased with 88 species enjoyed including some really special birds.

Check back soon for more blogs about our Best of North Wales Birdwatching Trips. Our next one, in May, is already fully booked but we do have space on our September tour – peak migration time!

Come and experience North Wales for yourself and enjoy the wonderful variety of birds, the beautiful scenery, great food and great fun!

We would love you to join us on our Birdwatching Trips please email us here to book your tour or for more information….

We look forward to sharing amazing birds and wildlife with you soon!

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