Custom Day Birdwatching Trip On Anglesey 29 January 2019

Norfolk Pink footed Geese snow

Pink-footed Geese were a nice surprise today, scarce on Anglesey.

We picked up Jayne is Llanfairfechan and headed for Anglesey, the weather was cold and grey and looked even worse up ahead. We crossed the bridge over the Menai Straits on to Anglesey and the rain and sleet began. Pushing on we reached our first stop, RSPB Valley Lakes where we stepped out in to the bitter cold. Pochard and Shoveler were the main birds we hoped to see here and both were quickly seen, thankfully. Back in to the warmth of the 4x4 to thaw out. North towards Beddmanarch Bay, near the village of Valley we were distracted by a flock of geese in a roadside field. We stopped for a look, as expected most were Greylag Geese. But we were in luck two Pink-footed Geese were feeding amongst their common cousins. As we were about to continue on our way Ruth spotted a few geese in the next field and exclaimed “White-front!”. We jumped out and through the Leica telescopes had super views of two Russian White-fronted Geese, rare birds on Anglesey.

Reaching Beddmanarch Bay we could see straight away there were a lot of birds here, great! Lots of Pale-bellied Brent Geese were feeding close to the car-park and just beyond them hundreds of waders. We set up the telescopes and carefully worked through the feeding birds. Grey Plover, Ringed Plover, Knot, Dunlin all showing well, Turnstones were feeding in the rocks and further out Bar-tailed Godwits and lots of Curlew.

Scanning the water in the bay we soon saw three Slavonian Grebes, one of the species we really hoped to see here. Also in the bay a breeding plumaged Black Guillemot, Red-breasted Mergansers, Great crested Grebes and Shelduck.

Into Holyhead and we called in at Mc Donald’s, no not a second breakfast but to look for a Hooded Crow seen here recently. It was raining, cold rain, very cold rain. Alan braved the weather and was soon tapping on the steamed up windows to get everyone out, the Hooded Crow was walking about in the car-park, great views.

Black Redstart Great Orme September 1

Black Redstarts are such lovely birds and we had great views.

With rain still coming down Trearddur Bay next and birding from the car, to wet to get out, Shag and Little Egret were new for the day list. Just to the north we checked another bay, still raining, but we did get out and soon found the Black Redstart we had hoped for. This lovely bird showed off on the rocks and the fence above the beach.

Up at RSPB South Stack conditions were even worse, gale force wind with stinging sleet, yuck, but we did see three Chough, along the cliff tops. A very welcome hot chocolate in the café here thawed us out a little.

A short drive to Holyhead Harbour and the rain had just about stopped. But it was so cold, our latest bit of kit hand-warmers by Celestron, thank you Focal Point Optics, Cheshire, were very useful keeping our fingers moveable to use our scopes and bins. Two Black Guillemots, Common Guillemot and a Red-throated Diver were enjoyed here, with our warm hands!

Next we headed to the Inland Sea, a tidal area south of Beddmanarch Bay, as we walked down to the shore we stopped to watch a Bullfinch always great to see. Scanning the relatively sheltered water Ruth soon found a Great northern Diver and we had good views through the scopes. Lots of birds here with Goldeneye, Wigeon, Teal and Great crested Grebes. Suddenly we saw lots of birds lift into the air, we scanned and saw a Peregrine tearing low over the beach! The falcon had a Teal pinned down in the water and repeatedly stooped at the duck. With each stoop the Teal ducked under water and the Peregrine pulled out, time and time again, thrilling for us to watch. All this commotion had flushed a flock of Mediterranean Gulls out from behind an island and we counted twenty-two of these lovely gulls, high number for here in January. Further around the Inland Sea we were delighted to see a Long-tailed Duck and a flock of at least ten Scaup – both very scarce birds here on Anglesey. Lots of Pintail here too and more waders, a nice bonus here was the sighting of two red foxes showing very well along the beach.

Time for a rather late lunch and we tucked in to huge plates of delicious hot food, just what we needed. Out again and we drove south towards Aberffraw and picked up a large flock of Skylarks and Fieldfares in roadside fields and then Stonechat and at last our first Woodpigeon and Pheasant of the day. Llyn Coron added a lovely pair of Goosander and nearby we came across a huge flock of Golden Plover, beautiful birds. As we watched the plovers we spotted a Merlin on a nearby low stonewall. This “pocket-rocket” falcon tore across the field and flushed all the Golden Plover before landing on a fence-post, a thrilling sighting.

We ended the day at Newbrough Forest where we added some woodland birds and watched Ravens coming into roost. Our day ended with ninety species enjoyed. A super day, with so many wonderful birds, despite some grim weather at times. Huge thanks to Jayne for her wonderful company and we look forward to sharing more birds again soon.

Come and join us soon and enjoy the very best birdwatching experience. To arrange your special day out please drop us a line here…

We look forward to enjoying great birds, wildlife and scenery with you soon!

Finally a little sunshine late afternoon, at the Cefni Estuary.

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