Custom Day Birdwatching Trips Tour Operation Goshawk 20 March 2020

We enjoyed wonderful close views of a pair of Red-billed Chough.

Mervyn and Fiona had a Birdwatching Trips voucher as a present and were keen to arrange a day out in North Wales. Mervyn was very keen to see Goshawk and we were happy to accept the challenge, when the day was approaching the weather forecast was dire, not good for any birds let alone Goshawks, the best chance of seeing one being a bird soaring over a forest. So, sadly we offered to rearrange the day and everyone agreed that was the best plan of action. The day was rearranged for 20th March and thankfully the weather forecast was much better.

Fulmar orme

The Great Orme is a super place to enjoy close views of Fulmars.

We met Mervyn and Fiona at Llandudno West Shore and 8am and thankfully the weather was pretty much spot on, dry and calm, whew! As we were in Llandudno we started with a look at the Great Orme and what a good idea that turned out to be. Soon were watching a wonderful pair of Chough collecting nest material on the cliffs just above us. So lucky to have these amazing birds so close to home and showing off so well. Peregrine Falcon also showed off nicely for us as Fulmar whizzed back and forth just above our heads, what a start to the day. Further around the headland we watched hundreds of Common Guillemots crammed onto the cliff ledge like northern penguins all standing alert and looking very dapper. Smaller numbers of Razorbills were here too with many more of these smart auks on the water below the cliffs. We were very pleased to see four handsome Black Guillemots bobbing about just off the cliffs again so wonderful to have these birds so close to home. Up on the limestone pavement area of the Great Orme Alan mentioned that it would be about the right time for the first Wheatear of the Spring to arrive and pointed to a concrete block on the short grass and suggested that is a good place to look for one. No sooner had the words been said a beautiful male Wheatear jumped up into sight right on top of the concrete block! We were all amazed at the timing if only that happened more often! Two Skylarks showed very well here too along with plenty of newly arrived Meadow Pipits. Offshore we could see distant flocks of Common Scoter on the calm sea.

We then headed inland and up to an area of conifer forest in the hope of seeing the most wanted Goshawk. On the way we stopped to watch a beautiful Red Kite and then super views of a Dipper at a lovely waterfall the day was going very well. As we neared the forest we saw a flock of Redwings and Fieldfares in a grass field next to the road, wonderful sight. Another car had stopped to watch the thrushes and it proved to be old friends of ours Simon and Eddie so good to catch up with them.

Further into the forest we stopped at a viewpoint overlooking a huge area of conifer trees and some open areas and set up the telescopes to scan for Goshawks. Simon and Eddie joined us and we chatted and scanned in the sunshine. A Peregrine entertained us along with numerous Common Buzzards and we had views of Common Crossbills on the top of a conifer, great start. Then Ruth spotted a Goshawk, panic as we all tried to pick up the muscular hawk but for once the panic was not needed, the Goshawk stayed in view! It was wonderful to watch this rare raptor for ages allowing everyone to see it really well in the telescopes and talk through the identification features. We were so thrilled to be able to see a Goshawk very well as it was “the” bird that Mervyn and Fiona had really hoped to see. This muscular hawk soared over the forest for ages and we had great looks through the telescopes and were left thrilled by the encounter, plenty of Common Buzzards and a few Ravens in the air at the same time which were handy for comparison with the Goshawk.

Not far away we watched a bird feeder on the edge of the forest and it was alive with birds just fantastic! Lots of Siskins were coming and going along with Great, Blue and Coal Tits. Then we saw a Brambling on the ground under the feeder and soon realised that there were three of these orange-breasted finches feeding there, what beautiful birds. Two Lesser Redpolls joined the mass of Siskins and it was a case of where to look next! We enjoyed our picnic lunch at another wonderful view point in the sunshine. Here we had three more sightings of at least two more Goshawks! Again we enjoyed prolonged views that we could really enjoy and get to know these wonderful raptors.

We visited a woodland pool where we enjoyed super views of a Goldcrest but very few other birds at this lovely spot. Driving north we stopped in the Conwy Valley to look for a very special bird indeed, Hawfinch, perhaps not the best time of day to be looking but we were passing and felt our luck was in. It wasn’t long before our feeling was confirmed, Hawfinch! We had long looks at one bird in particular, a total of at least four seen, on the top of a beech tree. This Hawfinch just sat there in the afternoon sun and showed off, the views through the telescopes were wonderful and unbelievably it stayed so long that we actually left it in view! We have before walked away from a Hawfinch sitting in full view, just crazy!

Next we headed back towards Llandudno and stopped overlooking the RSPB Conwy Nature Reserve and from this great position added a lot of birds to our day list. Lots of wildfowl on the lagoons including Wigeon, Shoveler, Gadwall and Tufted Duck, we also added Little Egret, Black-tailed Godwit and Great Crested Grebe to the list. A wonderful day and so pleasing to have such great views of Goshawk and we really enjoyed sharing the day with Mervyn and Fiona and do hope we can enjoy lots more birds together in the future.

We are so lucky to have so many species and habitats within easy reach here in North Wales we would love you to join us for one of our Best of North Wales Birdwatching Trips tours. 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 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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