Local Patch Gold Today On An Unlikely Visit Mid Afternoon 17 November 2020

So very lucky to have this beautiful place just two minutes walk from our door.

Another very windy day here in North Wales and my least favourite kind of weather for looking for birds so going out was not a very exciting prospect. However we have a wonderful view here in Llandudno and of course the binoculars are always at hand, I scanned the bay, from the window, more in hope than expectation it is a long way away but did see a dark duck flying low over the sea heading towards the pier. Too far to identify but enough to get the brain cells thinking what could it have been?

With the wind maybe easing a little I wandered down to the pier to see what was in the bay, and maybe just maybe relocate the duck. The wind was still really strong but as it was south-westerly the nearest water was fairly calm, offshore wind, and five Great Crested Grebes were showing well. Further out both Cormorants and Shags dived for fish in the choppier waters but not a duck to be seen.

On the rocks near The Grand Hotel there was a big high tide roost of Ruddy Turnstones and more than I had ever seen here before and amongst them some Common Redshank. I started counting the Turnstones and was amazed to total one hundred and ninety-one birds amazing number.

Snow Buntings are always a real thrill to see and even better to find.

Then my mobile rang, it was Ruth who had decided to head up onto the Great Orme and she had just found a lovely male Snow Bunting! A second Snow Bunting in two days here in Llandudno amazing, this new bird was by the steps above the Ski Slope on the Great Orme at the edge of the limestone pavement. Wonderful that Ruth had found a Snow Bunting but I was a little gutted that I had chosen to scan the sea not head up to the limestone pavement.

Back to scanning the sea and three Red-throated Divers were just west of the pier with one bird pretty close in and allowing wonderful views. More scanning but nothing new so was about to head for home when I noticed two geese flying towards me from the east, with the naked eye I though “be Greylags” but raising the binoculars I had a real shock the geese were White-fronted! An amazing record here and they were still coming straight at me and pretty low, the birds seemed to struggling in the strong wind and started to swing west showing their barred bellies and the back north again taking them almost right overhead just fantastic! The birds then flew so low they were against the cliffs of the Great Orme and I could see they had orange bills, making them of the Greenland race of White-fronted Goose even better! I grabbed my phone and tried to tell Ruth the geese were heading up the valley and over the Ski Slope towards her! But her phone went to answer-phone oh no! But the reason it had gone to answer-phone was because she was phoning me to say “two White-fronted Geese coming up the valley towards me!” Amazing that we had both managed to see these such rare birds independently!

So even on windy days great birds can be enjoyed you just have to get out there keep looking and of course be very lucky!

Come and join us for a “Tour for Two” – very small group just two guests with two guides, tailor made itinerary, low risk in these COVID-19 times and of course lots of birds and an excellent chance of enjoying them all. Do drop us a line and we can make all the arrangements be it a day trip, two days, three day or as long a tour as you wish. Our recent Tours for Two have visited the Highlands of Scotland, North Wales, Norfolk and the Yorkshire coast and we are planning many more! Let us know where you would like to go and we can put together a proposal perfect for you.

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 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….


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

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