Day One Custom North Wales Birdwatching Trips Three Day Tour

Fulmar Great Orme

We enjoyed wonderful views of Fulmars on the Great Orme, Llandudno.

We picked up Barry and Wendy from The Empire Hotel, here in Llandudno for day one of their three day custom Birdwatching Trips tour of North Wales. They had enjoyed a delicious breakfast and were now ready for lots of birds. Just a few minutes later we were watching Fulmars on the Great Orme. These lovely seabirds were on the ledges just above us, frame filling views in the telescopes, and flying stiff-winged over the bay. It was still windy but at least it was dry. We also added Razorbill to the growing year list along with the Fulmars. Red-throated Divers showed well on the sea and another Kittiwake was enjoyed (see previous blog).

We had a nice surprise for Barry and Wendy at RSPB Conwy where we met up with our lovely friends, of all of us, Michael and Elizabeth. We had all become firm friends years ago on one of our Norfolk House Party tours and remained in touch ever since. We are really looking forward to having us all together again in Norfolk this October for another wonderful week of birding together, come and join us, still two places free. Having all had a good hug and caught up with news we all set for Anglesey.

Burton Mere Wetlands RSPB lapwing teal

Lots of birds on the flooded fields of Malltraeth Marsh and great light, even if a gale.

First stop was at Malltraeth Marsh where it was blowing a real gale but it was bright and dry. We donned warm layers and set off across the marsh. Seven Whooper Swans flew slowly west of the pools and a few brave Skylarks tried to sing against the wind. But the highlight here was a fantastic breath-taking display put on by a Peregrine and a Marsh Harrier! These two exciting birds seemed to be working as a team, repeatedly diving at the masses of ducks alongside the track. Each time one of the raptors tore down towards the flocks they exploded into the air in a mass panic of wings! Again and again the birds of prey attacked the wildfowl spreading mayhem and thrilling us watching. Finally the Peregrine hit a Shoveler and it dropped into the marsh but neither bird of prey went down after it? Maybe the duck was still alive and they would play a waiting game for their food? We were left stunned by the fantastic spectacle of these superb birds hunting so close to us, a real wow experience.

Norfolk Grey Plover

Lots of waders on the mudflats at Beddmanarch Bay including Grey Plover.

Next we visited a flooded field near Valley where we watched Black-tailed Godwits feeding with Redshank and lots more ducks. At nearby Beddmanarch Bay it was even windier, if that could be possible! But we used the car as shelter and scanned the mudflats and incoming tide for birds. Lots of waders feeding here and we enjoyed Bar-tailed Godwits, Grey Plovers, Ringed Plovers, Knot, Turnstones and lots of Curlew and Oystercatchers. Two beautiful adult Mediterranean Gulls gave us lovely views. A Slavonian Grebe dived on the choppy waters, already showing signs of breeding plumage reminding us that Spring is coming! Barry spotted a Black Guillemot, another of his most wanted birds for his visit, so well pleased. Ruth somehow saw the head of a Greenshank above the esge of a creek, amazing spotting! Luckily this scarce bird moved into view so we could all enjoy it, don't remember seeing one at this site in winter before.

A short drive took us to the Inland Sea where at least the walk down to the shore was sheltered and the sun felt almost warm out that bitter wind. We scanned the choppy waters and found three Great Northern Divers always a thrill to see these big “battleship” divers. But we could not pick out the Scaup that had been seen here recently. A wonderful Peregrine hung in the sky right above us allowing super views before drifting away. We then all tucked into a wonderful lunch – many thanks Michael for treating us all. Then back to the birds.

At RSPB South Stack the scenery was a stunning as ever but the wind was so strong hardly a bird to be seen! A few photos overlooking the lighthouse and then we headed inland. Luckily we found two Chough feeding in a field, we very rarely miss these wonderful birds on our Anglesey tours.

At Holyhead Harbour we enjoyed super views of another Great Northern Diver and at least five more Black Guillemots mostly in their very smart black and white breeding plumage. Nearby we immediately saw the hoped for Hooded Crow on top of a lamppost hanging on in the gale.

Pochard drake Welney

Pochard were amongst the birds on the choppy waters at RSPB Valley Lakes.

On again this time to nearby RSPB Valley lakes and picked up a nice selection of ducks including Pochard, Tufted Duck and Goldeneye. Also lovely views of Great Crested Grebes and our only Meadow Pipit of the whole day!

We then headed south to Aberffraw and at the lake Barry spotted a drake Scaup! This was brilliant after missing the one on the Inland Sea and yet another new bird for Barry’s fast growing list. We also enjoyed great views of Goosander here and nearby Fieldfares, Redwing, Goldcrest and Long-tailed Tits were all new for the day list.

We marvelled at a swarm of Golden Plover and Lapwing over farmland, the masses of birds catching shafts of sunlight that lit them up like liquid gold, just jaw-dropping stuff. We also saw many these beautiful birds on the ground where many Skylarks fed and another Peregrine gave us a great view. Our last stop of the this bird filled day was at Malltraeth where we finally saw a Little Grebe and upgraded our previous views of Pintail with wonderful close ups. More Golden Plover, Lapwing and Black-tailed Godwits fed in the flooded fields here. As we headed for home and Llandudno a Bullfinch flew along in front of us, species number 92 for the day! A wonderful variety of birds enjoyed with lovely company, perfect day.

In the evening all six of us enjoyed a really wonderful meal at The Empire Hotel. Looking forward to us all having a week together enjoying wonderful birds, and food, in Norfolk in October.

We would love you to join us on our Birdwatching Trips, please see our tours pages and 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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