Great Selection Of Waders At RSPB Conwy North Wales 27 July 2019

Wood Sandpiper pool

Wood Sandpiper though not the one seen today, it was just to far for our camera.

With news of a Wood Sandpiper at our nearest RSPB reserve, Conwy just three miles away, it would have been rude not to pop in for a look. The bird had been seen on the second lagoon so the Carneddau hide, that gives a great view over that pool seemed the best bet. Here we met Phil Gatley, our great friend and one of the volunteers at the reserve. Phil had seen the Wood Sandpiper recently but was not sure where it was just at that moment, lots of other birds to look at. A quick scan of the far side of the lagoon and Alan saw the bird feeding on the edge of the causeway that separates the two lagoons. It was a good distance away but through the telescope on 50x magnification a good view was enjoyed. Slightly bigger, and taller, than the more familiar Common Sandpiper the Wood Sandpiper is brown above and white below. The upperparts are beautifully marked with white spots and stipes and the bird shows a bold white eyebrow. The bill is quite long and straight and the legs yellowish. A scarce migrant to North Wales and new bird for our 2019 UK year list though we enjoyed many earlier in Finland.

Black tailed Godwit 2016 1

Black-tailed Godwit in smart breeding plumage, stunning waders.

Lots more waders here and some of them much closer and it was fun showing visitors to the hide the various species. Nine Black-tailed Godwits were roosting on one of the islands in the lagoon most of them in their smart brick-red breeding plumage. With the godwits were a big flock of Common Redshank, though rather sad to see they were all adults not one juvenile with them, yet another poor breeding season it seems. Careful scanning of this flock and out popped a beautiful breeding plumaged Turnstone and a breeding plumaged Dunlin. Three Common Sandpipers scurried around the edges of the islands and two Lapwing posed close to the hide always a delight to see.

A smart juvenile Mediterranean Gull dropped on to the water to join a group of Black-headed Gulls and it was great to share this bird with visitors and a group of RSPB volunteers who called in, many had not seen a juvenile Mediterranean Gull before.

Everyone else drifted away having had their fill and perhaps aware it was lunch time, it was then the Wood Sandpiper flew across the lagoon and allowed frame filling views in the telescope, a beautiful juvenile bird, lots of spots and fresh pale lines on the crown a stunner.

A great visit to RSPB Conwy reserve, and so good to be able to share so many birds with lots of lovely people.

Wryneck Cemlyn Sept 2016 Martin 3

On a previous September tour we were lucky enough to find a Wryneck! Photo Martin Jones

If you are looking for a short break this Autumn our North Wales tour might be of interest. We have a great selection of birds and habitats all within a few miles of our home here in Llandudno. Come and join us in September for our five day “Best of North Wales Tour” where we visit a wide range of habitats enjoying over 120 species of birds at a pace that gives us plenty of time to really enjoy the birds. The tour is based at a lovely country hotel with lots of birds around the hotel, great food throughout too! For all the details or to book your place please email us.

Please email us here to arrange your very own Birdwatching Trip…..

We look forward to enjoying wonderful birds and great fun with you soon!

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