Day Two Of Roger And Rita Custom Birdwatching Trips Tour 18 March

Wheatear male June 2017 1

The first Wheatear of the year is always a real thrill to see.

We collected Roger and Rita from their Llandudno B&B, early, and an hour later we were all thrilled by the fantastic display of male Black Grouse. This was something that they had really wanted to see, having seen Black Grouse before but always distant. Now they had sixteen beautiful males in full display so close they filled the binoculars! And the noise was just as good as the views, fantastic spectacle on a clear dry morning, but it was cold! We soaked up the views of these wonderful birds before moving further across the moors. We soon found our next target bird, Red Grouse, and again enjoyed super close views of these stunning upland birds, how could anyone take pleasure from killing such an amazing creature? We enjoyed more Black Grouse too and then Ruth spotted a Wheatear! Wonderful to see this migrant bird back on the uplands after spending the winter in Africa, always a thrill to see the first of the Spring. Skylarks, Meadow Pipits and Stonechats were all back up here too after a winter at lower altitude and had great looks at them all.

Spoonbill April 2016 1

An unexpected bird for us to see in March - a Spoonbill at Parkgate Marsh.

A full breakfast went down very well indeed and then we were all ready for more birds. First stop was at Parkgate Marsh, on the Dee Estuary where we quickly found the hoped for Spoonbill, a fine adult complete with breeding plumage crest that blew in the wind, super bird. Also on the marsh here we watched three Great White Egrets and lots of Little Egrets.

The sun was out and it felt almost warm down at sea-level as we arrived at nearby RSPB Burton Mere Wetlands. One bird Roger and Rita had hoped to see was Cattle Egret, we had seen one several times at the reserve recently but sadly the egret was not in its favoured field near the entrance. Lots of birds on the reserve from the Reception Hide though and it was difficult to know where to look first! Avocets, Black-tailed Godwits, Redshank and plenty of wildfowl all looking great in the sunshine. One of the volunteers mentioned that two Cattle Egrets had been seen on The Mere, the pools off to the right of the hide. We dragged ourselves away from the bird filled vista in front of us and went for a look, sadly no sign of the egrets. We walked on down to the viewing screen; overlooking reed fringed channels and had a super close view of a Cetti’s Warbler right out in the open, so lucky.

Down at the Marsh Covert hide we watched more Avocets, Black-tailed Godwits some coming into breeding plumage and a close view of a Little Grebe. Heading back we again stopped at the viewing screen and this proved very lucky indeed! Three Bearded Tits were busy whizzing back and forth between the blocks of reeds really close! This was just fantastic, usually hard to get good looks at these reed bed dwellers but here they were showing off! One female in particular came so close we could see every feather detail just some of the best views we had ever had of Bearded Tits. On a high we walked back to the reception hide, pausing to watch a hunting Marsh Harrier, and went out the far side towards the Bunker Hide. From the path we could see the field near the entrance that had been bird less when we arrived. Now there were six white birds in the field, telescopes were on them instantly and we could see four Little Egrets and two Cattle Egrets! Great to see these rare visitors and in lovely sunshine showing off their buff breeding plumage, Roger and Rita were very pleased indeed. From the Bunker Hide we again scanned the main lagoon and wet grassland beyond, enjoying Mediterranean Gulls, plenty of Avocets, a lovely flock of Golden Plover and much more. What a fantastic mornings birding!

There was still one bird that Roger and Rita wanted to try for, the ever elusive Hawfinch, so we headed back west. Walking along the lane we were not optimistic about looking for these scarce finches mid-afternoon but we were here and going to give it a good go. Well it didn’t take long! Ruth spotted a Hawfinch in a bare tree within minutes and we got it in both our telescopes for a good look, wow! This day really was so lucky, with so many of the special birds all falling into place. We had a number of views of the Hawfinches over the next half hour or so including a lovely male right on top of an oak tree just superb!

Great Orme

We are so lucky to have the magnificent headland of the Great Orme so close to home.

We finished the day with a look at the Great Orme back in Llandudno and enjoyed super views of seabirds to boost the day list and wonderful views along the North Wales coast and to the mountains of Snowdonia, what a vista. In just two days Roger and Rita had enjoyed well over one hundred species of birds but more importantly had really enjoyed a lot of really special species and been able to have super views of them in beautiful places. We look forward to enjoying lots more birds with both in the future.

That evening we enjoyed a lovely dinner with Roger and Rita and were able to relive the highlights of two bird filled days – just wonderful.

Black Grouse Bryce 1

One of THE birds to see in the UK - male Black Grouse in full display.

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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