Great Excitement Today A New Lockdown Walk And Great Birds Enjoyed

Great northern Diver

So good to have a Great Northern Diver wintering in the bay at Llandudno.

Radical here today, 12th January 2021, a new lockdown walk route tried out! Turning right out of the front door it was a beautiful winter morning with blue sky, sunshine and most importantly no wind, amazing how birds seem to vanish on windy days. Three Northern Fulmars were flying back and forth in front of the cliff above the street and always super to watch these “mini-albatrosses” on their stiff wings. A little further along the street and small bird darted from a garden behind us, looked interesting, we turned around and saw “our” Black Redstart again whizzing around the crossroads a hyper active little bird that soon gave us the slip just like the last time we encountered it.

Oystercatcher Cemlyn

Eurasian Oystercatchers are always a delight to see such great birds.

Down the promenade we turned right, wild, we usually turn left for the Great Orme, but today a new route was being tried. We followed the promenade east and soon picked out the wintering Great Northern Diver riding the waves like a small black and white battleship such sturdy looking birds. At least four Great Crested Grebes were also fishing in the bay but we only saw one Shag usually plenty here. Towards the east end of the seafront a flock of forty Oystercatchers rested on the shingle, waiting for the tide to drop so they could feed and in the field on the opposite side of the road a gang of fourteen Eurasian Curlew probed about with their crazy long de-curved bills. We then took a footpath inland with fields on our right and houses on the left. We had not gone far when all the birds in the fields lifted up alarm calling and we scanned the blue sky above, a Goshawk! This big muscular looking raptor was gliding east over the fields against the blue sky and we could see it a juvenile female Goshawk. Two big deep slow wing-beats and this wonderful bird was gone over the ridge a real wow bird and in a most unexpected location, and what is more it would have been visible from our window at home – still not on our “from the window list” rather surprisingly. A few yards further along the path and lovely male Blackcap popped up into view and allowed wonderful views in the sunshine.

The path then climbed up onto a limestone hill that gave super views looking back towards Llandudno and the Great Orme and Anglesey beyond a really stunning vista. A muddy field on the west side of the hill was alive with birds and wonderful to see, about forty Redwings were feeding here along with Song Thrushes, Mistle Thrushes and Blackbirds. Add to these a mixed flock of Goldfinch and Greenfinch and it was easily the most birds we had seen in one spot this year! The adjacent scrub held a female Bullfinch that posed in the sun eating the seeds from a bramble bush. Reaching the edge of a wood we stopped to watch a Eurasian Nuthatch and also had wonderful views of two tiny Goldcrests that were to intent on fighting each other to notice how close we were. Into the wood and we enjoyed watching Coal Tits, Great Spotted Woodpeckers, more Nuthatches and were surprised when a Common Buzzard flew in and landed very close to us allowing wonderful views.

Climbing back over the hill we dropped back down to the east end of Llandudno promenade again and back to home. We stopped to watch a lovely pair of Stonechats in the fields on the inland side of the promenade and enjoyed close views of a Rock Pipit along the pebble beach, last bird for the walk list were Turnstones visible feeding on the barnacle encrusted legs of the pier. A great walk and the views from the hill were just breath-taking a pretty good 46 species enjoyed and all in sunshine, be doing this route again for sure.

Please see here for dates of Tours for Two in September and come and join us..

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Lovely to see so many Redwings on today's new route lockdown walk.

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