Lockdown Walk 17 January 2021 The Great Orme Llandudno Just For a Change

Nice to see Common Redshank on the beach with the Ruddy Turnstones - libary photo.

Another day and another lockdown walk here in Llandudno and it has to be said motivation was lacking – a grey day and the slim prospect of adding new birds to the 2021 year list were small.

But it is good to get out in the fresh air and get some exercise even if it is a real Groundhog Day experience! Turning right out of the front door very few birds were about, nothing on the cliffs above the street and hardly a Herring Gull to be seen. Luckily down at Llandudno Pier things did improve the tide was high enough for the Ruddy Turnstones to be arriving at their favoured roost spot on the rocks and seven Common Redshank were amongst the early arriving Turnstones. It was nice to see a Rock Pipit on the legs of the pier – don’t recall seeing one on there before. Out in the bay the wintering Great Northern Diver was visible with the naked eye so pretty close in and three Red-throated Divers were also offshore along with Shags, three Great Crested Grebes and two Common Guillemots.

Northern Fulmars come and go at the cliffs in winter today they were there.

Around the corner a gang of Oystercatchers were resting below the Marine Drive and plenty of Fulmars were on the cliffs above, at least 26 of these wonderful seabirds on view. A Peregrine Falcon was up on the skyline preening her feathers and looking very chilled out, no doubt having already eaten this morning. Further along a dark shape in the water caught our eyes and it proved to be a harbour porpoise pretty close in below the cliffs and we had a number of views as it slowly moved past the headland. While looking at this wonderful animal we saw more wildlife, so often the case once you stop and stare, two Atlantic grey seals were “playing” not far from the porpoise and a lovely Red-throated Diver surfaced very close to us, a little further out we watched Common Guillemots and Razorbills on the water and a single Common Scoter whizzed west low over the grey sea.

Red-billed Chough - we are so lucky to see these wonderful birds most days.

Climbing up past the cemetery and then taking the footpath past Pink Farm it was breezy and cool and hardly a bird to be seen. Dropping down past the ski slope a pair of Sparrowhawks flew really close and allowed super if brief views. It was fun to watch a Magpie on the backs of the donkeys in a small field, this beautiful member of the crow family climbed about on the backs of the animals looking for ticks in their coats. Dropping down further, almost home, we heard a Mistle Thrush singing from the slope above us, first one this year and so wonderful, the songster remained out of sight but our scanning did produce four Red-billed Chough. These fantastic corvids were on the cliff above our street and we knew would have been visible from our kitchen window! A wonderful end to our walk and as always it had been well worth making the effort to get out and enjoy birds, so good for us!

Didn’t blog about yesterday’s lockdown walk, as you can probably imagine it was pretty similar to today’s blog but the route was a little different. Yesterday was windy so did not venture very far along the Marine Drive, far enough to see the Great Northern Diver, two Peregrines and a fantastic flying display from four Red-billed Chough these birds really love a windy day! Retracing our steps back along Marine Drive we then headed uphill through Happy Valley towards the ski slope, it was fairly sheltered here and some woodland birds were great to see – Goldcrests, two Treecreepers and Coal Tits all birds we don’t see that often on our Great Orme walks – might have to include this area more often.

Some bits of news from our birding friends across North Wales for today Sunday 17th January...

Rose-coloured Starling still Amlwch, Anglesey – John

Two Snow Buntings at Cemlyn, Anglesey – Tony

Two Snow Buntings at Holyhead Anglesey – Ken

Male Hen Harrier Gronant, Denbighshire – Richard

Three dark-bellied Brent Geese past the Little Orme, Conwy - Marc

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!


Please see here for dates of Tours for Two in September and come and join us..


If you have any questions at all please fire away we are here to help!

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