Fantastic Falcons A Cuckoo And A New Species For Lockdown 13 June 2020

This wonderful Common Cuckoo really showed off on the Great Orme.

Woke early to be greeted by rain and low cloud so decided not to do the planned early morning walk on the Great Orme here in Llandudno and hope for better weather later. Then a message from our friend Marc telling of an Osprey over the cemetery on the Great Orme made that seem like a bad move. But the weather did improve quite quickly and the sun broke through and the wind dropped so headed out to see what was about.

Taking the Marine Drive around the headland we soon heard the distinctive calls of the young Peregrine Falcons from the cliffs. Two of the juvenile birds, recently fledged see previous blogs, were trying out their new found flying skills and what a thrill to watch! A truly breath-taking display put on the young falcons as the chased each other across the blue sky, just wow! The birds mock attacked each other time and again almost touching but so hard to photograph they are just so, fast but a total joy to watch. One the young Peregrines also chased Herring Gulls just for fun we were sure and amazing to watch both species diving and twisting towards the sea before the falcon relented and pulled up steeply calling as if laughing at the poor gull. The show went on and on with the birds of prey whizzing over the ridge only to return seconds later and perform more stunt flying just so wonderful to see.

The Air Display was cut short when the adult female Peregrine appeared over the cliffs carrying prey, the noise level went up and one of the youngsters flew at the female so fast! The female gained height with junior closing in fast and the two birds almost collided but the female released the prey at the last second and the hungry juvenile caught it in mid-air another wow moment so soon after so many wow moments.

We then took the path uphill from Marine Drive towards Pink Farm and as we reached the crest of the steep hill and paused for breath Ruth spotted a Hobby zooming along low over the hawthorn bushes, wow again. Scarce birds in this area it is always a real thrill to see a Hobby for us, sadly the falcon was on a mission and didn’t miss a wing-beat as it headed off towards Llandudno.

Just beyond Pink Farm and a falcon like bird was on a fence post, but no bird of prey this time, a Common Cuckoo! Wonderful and only the second sighting in lockdown so a real thrill to find one showing so well. The Cuckoo just sat there posing in the hazy sunshine and we soaked up the views and managed a few photos before the raptor like bird flew further along the fence-line. Cuckoos are really special birds and have sadly declined greatly in the UK so always a memorable day when you see one.

Heading back over the ridge back towards Llandudno, and home, a beautiful male Common Kestrel treated us to some close views and what a stunning falcon he was. Just after watching the Kestrel our attention was drawn to “caw,caw” calls of Rooks, you might be thinking why mention Rooks? A common widespread bird in much of the UK, well yes, but not on the Great Orme! This was a new species for our lockdown list and great to watch three Rooks fly east over the Copper Mine, a very good walk indeed!

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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