Great Orme, Anglesey And RSPB Conwy Day Two Of Three Day Tour 14 March 2020

One of many star birds on this super Birdwatching Trips tour - Snow Bunting.

We picked up Andrew and Bryan from their Llandudno hotel at 6.30am for some pre-breakfast birding and just minutes later we were watching Fulmars on the Great Orme, wonderful! A pair of Chough swept in and we had super views of them too, next a Peregrine that stooped at a Carrion Crow below us! Not often you have the chance to watch this ace raptor from above, it tore through the air and left us open-mouthed at its power and speed! Great close views of Rock Pipits were quickly followed by masses of seabirds! The cliffs and the calm water below the cliffs were covered with Common Guillemots and Razorbills, amongst them we picked out Black Guillemots and rafts of Kittiwakes a wonderful sight and sound! Shags and Cormorants added to the scene before we headed back for breakfast.

After breakfast we headed for Anglesey and first stop was at Red Wharf Bay where despite the rain we immediately saw our target bird, male Snow Bunting! This beautiful bird, a male in near breeding plumage, was feeding on the shingle ridge close to where we parked, and visible from the car! We had super close views and as we watched the bunting we also saw Greenshank, Dunlin and Wigeon.

A short drive took us to Benllech where the rain had stopped but the sea was rather choppy, plenty to see though. Black Guillemots bobbed about just off the beach, at least eight Red-throated Divers were offshore one well into breeding plumage. Bryan picked out the hoped for drake Velvet Scoter not far offshore and with the telescopes we could really see all the details, even the small white mark by the eye a really super view of this scarce bird. Next a real stroke of luck, a Black-throated Diver! This species is very scarce around the coast of North Wales and we were thrilled to find one. We all had good looks in the telescopes but then the diver was flying, it flew around the bay and then low to the north, perhaps going to land again? So lucky to see this species.

Further north to Cemlyn Lagoon, we parked in the east car park paying attention to the state of the tide, see previous blog about Anglesey! As we stepped from the car we saw two pale birds on the water out in Cemlyn Bay, the telescopes confirmed our thoughts, two Long-tailed Ducks! The very birds we had come to look for but previously these scarce birds had spent their time on the lagoon so lucky we noticed them! On the islands in the lagoons we watched a lovely flock of Golden Plover looking stunning in the sunshine.

After a few minutes’ drive and we were watching the first-winter Rose-coloured Starling in its favourite tree in the sunshine, brilliant. What a show off this bird is proving to be and a new bird for Bryan so he was thrilled. We chatted with some of the locals and spent some money in the local shop, always good to support communities that look after rare birds!

Great Northern Diver Mull 3

A Great Northern Diver was another one of the species that Andrew & Brian had hoped to see.

We had a lovely lunch at the Sea Shanty but the weather then closed in with heavy rain. At the Inland Sea the rain had eased off and we walked down a track and scanned this area of sea-water almost surrounded by land. We soon picked out two Slavonian Grebes and a wonderful Great Northern Diver before the rain had us hurrying back to the car. We tried carrying on but it was really hard going in torrential rain so a change of tactics and we headed back to the mainland where the hides at RSPB Conwy afforded us shelter and plenty of birds. A Spotted Redshank played hide and seek amongst a flock of Common Redshank, just a few glimpses of its head sadly but Common Snipe and Black-tailed Godwit showed well along with plenty of wildfowl. Eighty species enjoyed with some real quality birds enjoyed, come and join our tours we know you will love them.

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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