More Tales Of Lockdown Birding In North Wales 17 June 2020

A male Stonechat, great to see so many of these lovely birds on the Great Orme.

Back up the Great Orme, just for a change, this morning and it was a warm humid day with no breeze to move the thick air. It had the feel of day where the birds were kicking back and taking it easy, very few birds moving about. Taking the track from the halfway tram station north we soon reached Pink Farm where a large sycamore tree always receives a good hard look, in Autumn this tree has held several Yellow-browed Warblers over the many years of looking at it. Today, not a bird, not one, then a warbler flew past the tree and landed in the hawthorn hedge beyond it. At first difficult to get a clear view of the bird as it moved slowly through the leaves but we began to put the jigsaw views together and knew it was a “reed” warbler type bird. Now in June in the UK there is one common reed warbler the Reed Warbler and a rare one the Marsh Warbler and one very rare one – Blyth’s Reed Warbler – and all look the same in the field unless you have killer looks to see wing structure. The views here were poor to say the least though a couple of clear views were glimpsed before the bird was lost to view in the dense hedge. What we needed was for the bird to sing, we waited, it didn’t sing, we waited, it still didn’t sing. Very frustrating indeed, even a Common Reed Warbler would be a good bird here as there are no reeds or wetland habitat on the Great Orme. But without hearing a diagnostic song it was impossible to identify the bird given the brief views so frustrating.

We have enjoyed some wonderful views of red fox on our walks recently.

Further along the path a lovely red fox showed in a sheep field to our left, mobbed by a gang of Jackdaws, the sheep in the field totally ignored the fox as usual. A Lesser Whitethroat sang from the scrub right of the path but only allowed a brief view, one of those days. Common Whitethroat, Stonechat and Raven did show well but that was really it for this particular walk.

The Herring Gulls in North Wales are missing the tourists and finding new food sources.

In the afternoon we took advantage of being able to drive a whole five miles from home under the strict Welsh lockdown rules and went over to Conwy to meet Ruth’s sister for a socially distanced walk by the Conwy Estuary. We met in Conwy town and parked near the medieval Conwy Castel near the Conwy town walls, we had not walked more than a few yards when a commotion caught our attention in the car park below the ancient wall. A Herring Gull had pulled two well grown Feral Pigeon chicks out of their nest hole in the wall and was stood over the struggling chicks which lay on the car park defenceless. We watched in horror as the Herring Gull pecked viciously at first one then the other young pigeon raining blows down on them as the struggled to avoid the sharp beak battering them. It was a gruesome scene for sure, nature in the raw playing out in a car park with an adult Pigeon look down from the wall above. The gull began to tear into the hapless young pigeons and eating them right before us – gruesome! Guess the gulls are very hungry with no tourists to feed them fish and chips they have to find natural food if Feral Pigeon comes under the natural heading.

We walked alongside the Conwy Estuary out towards the river mouth but there were a lot of people on the fairly narrow path so it was not ideal with the risk of infection from the Corona Virus still in everyone’s mind. Not many birds on the estuary in June but we did have one surprise species a Little Grebe. Little Grebes breed on freshwater lakes and will winter on sheltered estuaries so it was very unusual to see this adult bird here near the mouth of the estuary at this time of year. Always have to keep looking at any time of year wherever you are, birds can and do pop up anywhere!

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….

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

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