Into The Uplands Of Snowdonia For Day Three Of Five Checking Out Routes 20 April 2021

Pied Flycatcher 1 April Trev

A wonderful day checking some of our uplands for special birds - Pied Flycatcher here.

First stop this morning was a viewpoint overlooking RSPB Conwy for some “speed birding” – as we were passing heading into the uplands we stopped for a quick scan of the lagoons and adjacent estuary. It is amazing how many species you can see from this wonderful vantage point and as always a quick stop turned into a longer one. We could see a pair of Eurasian Wigeon, soon to heading north, Tufted Duck that breed here and recently arrived Sand Martins and Barn Swallows. Waders included Whimbrel and Black-tailed Godwits and we could see Little Egrets and Grey Herons building their nest in some distant pine trees a wonderful start to our day.

We then headed up into an area of upland conifer woodland and very quickly found one of our target birds – Tree Pipit – this recently arrived migrant posed in the morning sunshine as Willow Warbler sang all around. A short distance deeper into the woodland and a beautiful male Common Redstart popped up – what a stunning bird. Dropping down into an area of oak woods we almost at once found our next most wanted this time Pied Flycatcher. A pair of these lovely summer migrants were feeding very close to the path and we enjoyed super views in the sunshine and at this time of year very few leaves to block the views.

Crested Goshawk

We enjoyed two sightings of Goshawk but never easy to photograph these superb birds.

Then we drove to another area of upland conifers and parked where we had a superb panoramic view over the area, a great place to scan for raptors. But other birds caught the eye first – beautiful male Northern Wheatear and a Common Redstart. We did not have to wait long for raptors with Common Buzzards easy to see in all directions and a female Sparrowhawk soared over against the bluest sky. Then we spotted our hoped for bird – a Goshawk – this muscular raptor was slowly circling over the trees and through the Leica telescopes we had a pretty good prolonged view. Closer would have been nice but any view of a Goshawk is wonderful. Lots more Buzzards, several Ravens and an unexpected flock of 22 Fieldfare were wonderful before a second sighting of a Goshawk. We then moved on a short distance and stopped to enjoy super views of Siskins at close range and a Great Spotted Woodpecker on a telegraph pole.

Parrot Crossbill 1

We enjoyed frame filling views of a Common Crossbill in the telescopes but to far for a photo.

We enjoyed our picnic lunch near a small lake and were interrupted by the distinctive “chup-chup” calls of a Common Crossbill and after some scanning we had pretty good views of a lone female bird in the telescopes. Back to eating and then a short walk by the lake but few birds here. As we neared the car those “chup-chup” calls again and this time we had super views of presumably the same female Crossbill in a bare larch tree in the sunshine and as we enjoyed the views two Grey Wagtails flew over.

Nearby another stop and more Siskins showed very well and were joined by at least five Lesser Redpoll. One of the Redpoll was a really colourful male looking stunning in the sunshine. We then watched an Osprey at another lake and had good views of this newly arrived migrant in the Leica scopes. It was perched when we spotted it but after a few minutes it took to the air where it was mobbed by a Common Buzzard. It was wonderful to see these two large raptors side by side the Osprey a good bit bigger. Then the Osprey returned to its original perch and we moved on leaving it surveying the lake, perhaps looking for a mate?

We took a longer scenic route back to Llandudno and enjoyed some spectacular scenery in beautiful weather along with some great looks at Red Kites – a good day for raptors.

Of course a wonderful way to see more birds is to join one of our Birdwatching Trips and learn a lot about the birds you are enjoying too. We have tours suitable for all from beginners to experienced birders that are seeking particular species. Just drop us a line here and we can arrange a perfect custom tour for you!

We look forward to enjoying wonderful birds with you as soon as it is safe.

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