Day Two Of Three Day Custom Birdwatching Trips North Wales Tour 6 March 2020

Twite Thornham Rectangle

Twite are rare birds these days in North Wales so a thrill to see them on this tour.

We picked up Tony and Eva from their Llandudno Hotel at 8am for the second day of their three day custom North Wales tour. Jayne, our great friend and often helper here at Birdwatching Trips joined us today as Ruth had an exam – part of her Blue Badge Tourist Guide training. It was a lovely morning, calm and bright, so we decided to head for the nearby Great Orme as Tony and Eva were keen to see more sea birds; they live in the Midlands so love to see these special birds. We were soon enjoying great looks Turnstones and Redshank roosting on the rocks then lovely views of Fulmars on the cliffs and Shags on the sea. A Peregrine Falcon gave super views high on the cliff above us, our superb telescopes allowing every detail to be seen. Suddenly two more Peregrines were in the air right overhead! These master fliers tore across the sky and we watched open-mouthed what a fantastic sight. Further around the headland we had another treat in store, masses of seabirds on the cliffs! Huge numbers of Common Guillemots were on the ledges and on the flat calm sea. Amongst them we were able to pick out plenty of Razorbills and a gang of dapper Black Guillemots were close to the base of the cliffs. Hundreds of Kittiwakes here to and lovely to hear their calls drifting across the still air making a wonderful spectacle. Two Rock Pipits flew in and landed on a large boulder close to us giving super views.

On the limestone pavements area we saw two Chough swoop over the heath and admired the stunning views of Snowdonia and Anglesey. On the calm sea we could make out flocks of Common Scoter but very distant indeed. Meadow Pipits flew around as we headed back to the car.

Next we drove east to RSPB Burton Mere Wetlands on the Dee Estuary and even as we were on the entrance track we saw one of our most wanted birds here, Cattle Egret. This small yellow-billed egret was in a field with cattle, as it should be! We had pretty good views on the lovely sunshine before continuing to the Reception Hide. Here we could see a lot of birds on the pools in front of the building and where to look first? A Great White Egret was in the small pool just outside the hide and we had super views of this long-necked heron. Plenty of Avocets here and looking beautiful in the sunshine, Black-tailed Godwits, Common Redshanks and three Common Snipe all enjoyed. Two stunning breeding plumaged Mediterranean Gulls were amongst many Black-headed Gulls on the central island.

We walked the path left of the hide and enjoyed more views of the Cattle Egret and here we could set up the telescope and have a great long look. A Skylark sang above, a Stock Dove posed in an oak tree and a Sparrowhawk soared against the blue sky.

A short drive took us to Burton Marsh overlooking the vast Dee Estuary where shimmer was a problem for more distant birds, sunshine eh! Hundreds of Pink-footed Geese were out in the distance and at least four Great White Egrets were in view. Two Marsh Harriers showed off back and forth over the huge marsh as two Common Buzzards soared above. Linnets and Stonechats showed very well close to where we stood and both Skylarks and Meadow Pipits flew over the marsh.

We had lunch at nearby Ness Garden and then headed back west to the Welsh side of the Dee Estuary. At Deeside NT Reserve, access by permit only, we visited the north hide giving a panoramic view over the estuary and nearby pools. Again we could see thousands of Pink-footed Geese out on the marsh beyond the River Dee channel, better views, luckily five of these lovely geese flew across to our side of the channel and good telescope were enjoyed. Our friends Julie and Geoff were also in the hide and it was Julie who spotted a flock of Twite flying in and landing in a bush. We all quickly moved to see these rare finches, luckily the Twite had landed in a bare bush in the sunshine and we enjoyed wonderful views. Through the telescopes we could see the pink rumps and their lovely yellow bills a real thrill as Twite are sadly rare birds these days.

From another hide we watched two Greenshank, wading through the shallows, and enjoyed wonderful close views of Teal here. Plenty of Stock Doves were on the reserve and good to see plenty of finches coming to the feeders. On the way back to Llandudno we stopped at Llanddulas beach where hundreds of Common Scoter were offshore, some of these sea-ducks were close inshore and we had super views of them. A pair of Red-breasted Mergansers came right to the beach and we had frame filing views of these “punk-haired” birds in the afternoon sun. Three Red-throated Divers were trickier to see as they kept diving no sooner had we got one in the telescope!

A really great day with a wonderful variety of birds enjoyed and all in sunshine!

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 five day Best of North Wales tours. We expect to enjoy over 120 species during these bird filled tours and stay at a lovely hotel and enjoy great food.

We have one space, due to a cancellation, on our five day Best of North Wales tour 21 -25 March 2020 based at a lovely hotel in Trefriw, Conwy Valley. Lots of birds, superb scenery, great food and lots of fun await you. Come and join us!

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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