Groundhog Day Lockdown Birding Blogs From Llandudno Wales 5 April 2020



Bangor Harbour Mar Osprey

So very lucky today to see an Osprey from our living room window in Llandudno.



Anyone else finding one day is very like another day? The famous Bill Murray film “Groundhog Day” where he wakes up to experience the same day as the day before over and over again comes to mind. Of course we are very lucky indeed to live here at the north end of Llandudno, a small seaside town on the North Wales coast as we have the headland of The Great Orme right outside our front door and we have a stunning view from our fourth floor flat across the town, the bay and the mountains of Snowdonia beyond. These two things allow us to enjoy some wonderful birds each day.

So a quick summary of the last few “Groundhog Day” activities here in Llandudno rather than bore you with a detailed account of each day which as you might have already gathered is very similar to the last or next day! We take our once daily exercise on foot, we haven’t used the car for ages, by walking on the adjacent Great Orme, a local nature reserve with limestone cliffs, limestone pavement, sheep pasture and scrub. It also has amazing views across North Wales and out to sea so an ideal place to see birds and wildlife.



Chough are seen on every walk, so wonderful to see these red-billed, red-legged members of the crow family so close to home. We think at least three pairs are in residence and it is superb to see them bouncing through the sky on their broad wings and giving their wonderful “cheeow” calls. We have seen them collecting nest material, being chased by a Peregrine, mobbing a perched Peregrine, feeding on the grass areas and perched along the cliffs, every sighting enjoyed. We do love our Welsh Chough.

The Peregrine Falcons are also a daily sighting on our once a day walks and provide a real thrill when they take to the air. An intruder female was around the cliffs and “our” male tried to drive her away but she landed on the cliff. Reinforcements soon arrived as “our” female came to help and the intruder was chased out over the sea. At one point the intruder turned on the male and we thought for a moment he was going to be caught but again “our” female intervened and the intruder finally headed off across Llandudno, whew! This encounter was wonderful to watch and we could see why the Peregrine Falcon is the fastest bird on the planet, like watching a “dog-fight” between fighter-jets!

Black Guillemot

Black Guillemots are also seen on most of our walks and great to be able to report that one pair are taking a keen interest in a hole in the cliff! We await developments with great interest. It is lovely to be able to enjoy such super views of these handsome Auks; it is possible to look straight down on them from the coast road. Very few migrants yet but hopefully the southerly winds forecast will bring a rush of new arrivals. We did enjoy watching two beautiful male Northern Wheatears on the limestone pavement area and a lot more Meadow Pipits are now on the headland. A few singing Chiffchaffs were lovely to hear too but it looks like our Black Redstart seems to have moved on. We were very lucky to have an Osprey fly over Llandudno, today 5th April, which we saw from our window! Thanks to the local Herring Gulls for the early warning alarm calls! Amazing to think that Alan travelled all the way to the Highlands of Scotland, to RSPB Loch Garten, to see Britain’s only breeding pair as a kid and now we see one from our living room window!

Window birding in these lockdown days has been pretty good, even if we would much prefer to be out, with not only the Osprey but Common Buzzards, Peregrines, Kestrels and Sparrowhawks all enjoyed. Three Sand Martins flew past the window on 4th April and a pair of Common Eider were new for our window list the same day! With migration picking up by the day who knows what next? Keep looking up!

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….

info@birdwatchingtrips.co.uk

We look forward to enjoying wonderful birds in beautiful places with you soon!





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