Chough Put On An Amazing Display On The Great Orme And Much More 20 June 2020

Red-billed Chough taking off from right above today on the Great Orme.

Another lockdown walk from home on the Great Orme this morning just for a change. The Welsh Government have announced that of the virus continues to decline they will ease the lockdown five miles from home restriction in two weeks-time so fingers crossed this can happen. It was a lovely warm sunny morning with only a gentle breeze as we took the Marine Drive from Llandudno Pier around the headland. Even as we walked past the pier we could hear Red-billed Chough calling from the limestone cliffs up ahead. Fulmars were also gliding back and forth at the cliffs and their wonderful “chuckling” calls echoed off the rock walls such an atmospheric sound of the Great Orme. More loud “cheeow” calls above us and four Chough came bouncing through the air on their broad fingered wings, wow! The birds swooped around right away us making a right racket before two headed further along the headland and the two others landed on the cliff directly above and began to call loudly a fantastic sight and sound. This duo really performed for us and so lovely to be able to watch them this closely and hear them calling almost constantly. Every now and then one or sometimes both birds would fly out right above us calling and then return to the same ledge an enchanting encounter with these lovely red-billed crows. On the sea behind us were three Black Guillemots and like the Chough they too were very active flying around and calling loudly before splashing down on to the calm sea. These lovely members of the auk family swam in so close to the cliff base we could no longer see them. Rock Pipits showed off in the warm sun along with Linnets, Goldfinch, Pied Wagtails and Wrens.

This smart Black Guillemot was very close to the cliffs below the Marine Drive.

Further along the Marine Drive we watched an adult Raven fly in with a large part of a rabbit carcass and feed it to a fully grown fledged youngster on the cliff top bit gruesome but great to see. In water below the Ravens was a large bull Atlantic grey seal loafing about in the warm sunshine. A flock of Common Scoter flew west and a few minutes later, perhaps the same flock flew east. A surprise sighting was the sight of seven Shelduck flying west low over the calm sea.

We puffed up the steep hill from the Marine Drive up to Pink Farm, a juvenile Chough flew over calling constantly, and then took the path past Powell’s Well towards the cemetery. Not a huge number of birds about on this now very warm but overcast morning though a pair of Bullfinch were a lovely surprise and we had a great view of the colourful male in particular always a delight. A juvenile Chiffchaff popped up in a dead tree and we had super views before it moved back into dense cover. A little further along the path a lovely recently fledged Song Thrush posed on a fallen log such a great view.

Lovely to see so many juvenile birds including this lovely young Song Thrush.

We then walked up the hill past the cemetery and over to the Copper Mines seeing Common Whitethroat, Stonechat, Common Buzzard and a flock of eighteen House Martins feeding over the scrub on the slope an unusual sight here on the Great Orme, late migrants or local breeders feeding further afield than usual?

Then back down into Llandudno adding a singing Blackcap to the walk list before returning home.

We are so lucky to have so many species and habitats within easy reach here in North Wales, and once the world returns to normal, we would love you to join us for one of our Best of North Wales Birdwatching Trips days out. We expect to enjoy a lot of birds during these relaxed pace tours and we can tailor make the day to suit you.

We would love you to join us on our Birdwatching Trips in the future just drop us a line to arrange a custom tour and please see our tours pages for set departure trips. If you have any questions at all please fire away here….

We look forward to enjoying wonderful birds in beautiful places with you soon!

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