Mammals Were The Stars Of The Show On Todays Great Orme Lockdown Walk

Another day, 17th February 2021, and another Groundhog Day walk on the Great Orme at Llandudno. Down at the pier was tide was rising and the first Ruddy Turnstones were arriving at their roost on the rocks just below us. Great to see several of these lovely waders bathing in the rainwater puddles amongst the rocks. Three Common Redshank had also joined the high tide roost despite it still being a way off high water.

Fulmars 2

Northern Fulmar having a good laugh on the cliffs of the Great Orme.

West of the pier two Great Crested Grebes were on the calm in the weak sunshine along with Shags and a single Razorbill. On the cliffs above us the Fulmars were in good voice “laughing” away and a Red-billed Chough swooped along the rock face – wonderful. A Rock Pipit posed just above the Marine Drive where plenty of our famous Great Orme goats grazed with some of them showing off their amazing rock-climbing skills, how they don’t fall off we never know!

At the first corner of Marine Drive we stopped to scan the calm sea and at first only Shags were visible but then a dark shape broke the surface and just as quickly vanished only to show again – harbour porpoise! Always a thrill to see these marine mammals so close to home and as we watched there were at least two porpoises moving slowly west past the headland.

At the next cove we saw a huge collection of Atlantic grey seals all hauled out on the stony beach an amazing sight! Our previous highest count of these big mammals here was seventy-one but we could see there were many more today. A quick snap with the mobile phone and a job for later over a cuppa back home, count the seals. It was great to watch them interacting on the beach and just chilling out some resting their heads on boulders like pillows, what a wonderful spectacle.

Always lovely to see a red fox on the Great Orme such beautiful animals.

We headed up past the cemetery and then took the path towards to Pink Farm and it was lovely to hear both Chaffinch and Dunnock singing from the scrub. Loud alarm calls from a Carrion Crow drew our attention to a red fox making its way across the field below the path it was carrying a rabbit in its jaws and quickly vanished into the gorse bushes but not before five sharp-eyed Magpies spotted it and they gathered in the hawthorn bush above chattering their displeasure at a fox so close, or perhaps excited at a free meal of left-overs? A little further along the same path and a pair of Red-billed Chough were digging away in the sheep field, one either side of our path, and seemed to be finding plenty of grubs and worms to devour so wonderful to watch at such close range.

Back home and a welcome cuppa and a look at the seal photo from earlier we were surprised to count up and see that the beach held an amazing 141 Atlantic grey seals a huge number! What a wonderful array of mammals on our walk, nature really is amazing every day is different no matter how many times you do the same walk.

Some bird news from our friends across North Wales for today 17th February 2021

Rose-coloured Starling and 2 Black Redstarts at Amlwch, Anglesey John D

Black Redstart in Beaumaris, Anglesey Jon W

Cattle Egret Valley, Anglesey Norman R

Two Slavonian Grebes Beddmanarch Bay, Anglesey Norman R

Eleven Purple Sandpipers Trearddur Bay, Anglesey Ken C

Hooded Crow Holyhead, Anglesey Ken C

Slavonian Grebe Holyhead Bay, Anglesey Ken C

First Lesser black backed Gull of Spring in Bangor Harbour Toby C

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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