Day One Of Three Fantastic Birdwatching Trips Tour on Anglesey 6 September 2020

Brent Geese x 4

Wonderful to see Pale-bellied Brent Geese back on Anglesey for the winter.

We picked up Richard and Julie from their cottage in the Conwy Valley at 8.30am and headed for Anglesey, this was day one of a three day custom Birdwatching Trips tour of North Wales. Two Peregrine Falcons were seen as we crossed onto the island of Anglesey, great start.

First stop was at Beddmanarch Bay where we had left the sun behind and it was grey and a light rain began, not ideal. But the tide was perfect flooding in across the mudflats and pushing lots of birds towards us. Five Pale-bellied Brent Geese were on the water’s edge, wonderful to see these newly arrived winter visitors from Arctic Canada. Lots of waders here to with some sixty Red Knot, forty-five Dunlin, and three Bar-tailed Godwits along with lots of Oystercatchers, Curlew and Common Redshank. Out in the bay were Great Crested Grebes and good news the rain had passed over and blue sky was coming. An adult Mediterranean Gull was picked out on the mudflats amongst Black-headed Gulls.

Gannets in a row over sea 1

Superb sea-watching at Cemlyn today including wonderful views of Gannets.

We then headed north to Cemlyn Bay in a small inlet at the east end we watched a Pintail along with Wigeon - more signs of autumn. We parked on the west side of the lagoon. Walking out towards the beach Julie spotted three Dunlin in a wet field by the track and we enjoyed amazing close views of these beautifully marked waders. Reaching the beach we set up the scopes and began scanning the sea, birds were moving – great sign! Flocks of Kittiwakes and Sandwich Terns were passing all heading west along with Gannets some really close in. A few Manx Shearwaters were moving too and lovely to watch in the sunshine against the deep blue colour of the sea. Then a dark bird was picked up flying fast and low over the waves an Arctic Skua and we had a good look in the telescopes as it powered past our position. This was quickly followed by even more excitement as a juvenile Sabine’s Gull moved past what a wonderful bird! Again the superb light helped pick out this rarity as we could see the brown back and black and while wing pattern easily in the scope, such a graceful gull. Common Scoters, Razorbills, Common Guillemots, Shags and Cormorants added to the variety. On the rocks we enjoyed super views of Ruddy Turnstones and a Ringed Plover and Atlantic grey seals. Also great to catch up with local birders Ken, Reg and Tony.

We then checked the fields around the lagoon and had super views of a Little Owl sitting in the warm sunshine on a stone-wall. Three Chough flew over calling loudly and looking great against the so blue sky. Ravens were very active and vocal and we had many sightings. At eight Northern Wheatears were enjoyed and two Common Whitethroats showed in a low hedge. A Common Gull and two Mediterranean Gulls flew low west and dozens of Barn Swallows were on the move and great to see migration happening around us. We also enjoyed Rock Pipits, Stonechats, Common Buzzards and more. Back at Cemlyn lagoon it was lovely to see eight Golden Plover on the islands along with another Mediterranean Gull, Red-breasted Mergansers and a Bar-tailed Godwit.

A really lovely lunch was enjoyed at Catch 22 in Valley village and then we took a short drive to the Inland Sea. Our friend Mark Sutton had found a Graganey here the previous day and we heard it was still present – good to have so many great friends sharing bird information. Arriving at the small hide another local birder, Len, was looking for the rare duck but no luck. The views were pretty restricted but we could see some Teal but certainly no Garganey with them. Then Ruth spotted a lone duck over to the right and we had our Garganey! Good views through the telescopes and we passed on the news that the bird was still present. On the saltwater part of the Inland Sea we enjoyed watching 36 Little Egrets, lots of Great Crested Grebes, six Red-breasted Mergansers and another Mediterranean Gull.

Last stop of the day was at RSPB Cors Ddyga where it was good to catch up with more local birders – Jim Bach and Brian Iddon. Plenty of birds here too of course and we boosted our duck list with great views of Gadwall and Shoveler and we had good looks at two Barnacle Geese amongst a flock of Greylag Geese. A juvenile Ruff was with a flock of 16 Black-tailed Godwits and Ruth picked out four Common Snipe lurking in the rushes. Richard spotted an Osprey flying over the marsh towards the coast and next a Great White Egret flapped slowly over, turned and dropped down to land out of sight, fantastic birdwatching! Back at the car a Blackcap showed off nicely before we headed back to the Conwy Valley. Some really wonderful birds enjoyed in lovely scenery and in warm sunshine with great company. We had recorded an amazing ninety species of birds all at a very relaxed pace and with plenty of time to really enjoy them and learn about them.

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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