No Seabird Passage So Back To RSPB Conwy Again 29 August 2020

Spotted Redshank

A Spotted Redshank was one of the 56 species recorded at RSPB Conwy today.

With a stiff cold northerly wind whipping up waves off the North Shore at Llandudno it looked good for a sea-watch off the Great Orme. Scanning from the Marine Drive the wind was straight in the face but no birds were passing the headland. More scanning and still not a single seabird past, change of plan called for and back to RSPB Conwy.

Parking near the entrance gate, overlooking the Conwy Estuary, a Great White Egret was on the shoreline very close indeed, great start. The tide was coming in but not a big tide today so still mud and saltmarsh along the estuary track. For a change walked anti-clockwise around the circular route taking the estuary side track first not last. The Great White Egret took off and flapped very slowly north towards the railway embankment and landed again near a Grey Heron and a Little Egret. Curlew, Oystercatchers and Common Redshank fed along the tide edge along with Gadwall and Teal. Out in the river were two redhead Goosander and another five were further south off the saltmarsh. A juvenile Northern Wheatear was on the tideline and always lovely to see this lovely migrant. Suddenly lots of gulls and waders were flying and alarm calling, a juvenile Peregrine Falcon was tearing across the saltmarsh in hot pursuit of a Dunlin! Luckily for the Dunlin it was too fast and manoeuvrable for the falcon to catch it and the Peregrine flew off still hungry.

Lackford Kingfisher 7

Two Kingfishers were a lovely splash of colour from the Benarth Hide.

At the Benarth Hide, that overlooks the deep lagoon on the reserve the hide was still closed due to Covid 19 but a small screen on the right allowed a bit of a view. A flock of Common Redshank were resting on a rocky island and amongst them three Lapwing. Two Common Kingfishers shot low over the water a wonderful flash of colour. At the large viewing screen, further south along the estuary track, a much larger flock of Common Redshank were roosting on the sheltered side of one of the islands. Scanning this flock with the Leica telescope a Spotted Redshank and three Greenshank were amongst their common cousins.

Taking the trail inland, away from the estuary, there were very few birds in the bushes along the path back towards the lagoon. But nearer the Carneddau hide a small feeding flock was working through the brambles and willows. Plenty of Blackcaps here, a single Common Whitethroat and at least five Chiffchaffs, a Great Spotted Woodpecker flew over. A Common Swift hawked for insects over the area good to stop and watch this wonderful bird as we won’t be seeing many more this year.

A the bridge pond a Cetti’s Warbler was singing away from deep cover and as so often with this species remained hidden. Just beyond the bridge pond is the Tal-y-Fan hide and here there were a lot of egrets on show in the sunshine. Thirty-two Little Egrets were in the shallow pools here and amongst them towered two Great White Egrets and gave super views. Weirdly a Collared Dove feeding on the side of the nearest pool was the most unusual bird from the hide! Movement in the reeds revealed the presence of a Sedge Warbler that sat up and allowed great views, this was followed by a Reed Warbler in the same area, nice two more warblers for the day list. Careful scanning also produced two more species of wader – a Common Snipe crept through the vegetation on the edge of one of the islands and a Common Sandpiper walked into view from behind the same island.

The circular walk of the reserve, in cool northerly winds but mostly sunny, had produced an impressive total of 56 bird species.

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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