Red Backed Shrike And Dolphins Wow Our Group Today 14 September 2020

Red backed Shrike Blakeney

Juvenile Red-backed Shrike very similar to the Cemlyn bird, this one seen in Norfolk.

A lovely walk by the Conwy River opposite the hotel got the day off to a great start and included wonderful views of Dipper.

After another wonderful breakfast we set off for Anglesey where we planned to spend the day, first stop was to be Cemlyn Lagoon. Stopping to pick up drinks, it was a hot day and thankfully calm, a message from our friend Reg told us he had found a Red-backed Shrike at Cemlyn, perfect! Onto the Isle of Anglesey and we made a quick stop at Beddmanarch Bay in case the loos were open but they were shut. However we did enjoy great views of an adult Mediterranean Gull here on the beach.

Then we headed for Cemlyn and the lane just east of the lagoon where Reg had found the bird along a hedgerow. As is always the case when going for a specific bird there is a certain amount of tension, would it still be there, would we find the right spot? As we neared the location we saw two cars parked on the roadside and beyond this was our friend Tony, we had the right place! We all tumbled out of the minibus and headed towards Tony who was already walking back towards us. A thumbs-up from Tony was great to see – the bird was still here – and yes there it was on top of the hedge to our left, yes! Telescopes were quickly on this wonderful rare migrant and everyone had a quick look before we could all relax and really enjoy the bird. In typical shrike fashion this juvenile bird sat up in the bushes and looked around for prey, making it easy for us all to enjoy it. Occasionally the Red-backed Shrike would make a flight after a passing insect and then return to the same area and we all agreed it was a wonderful bird. Nice to catch up with some of the local birders here too including Tony, Martin, Derek, Lewi, Julie and Geoff after the long months of not seeing them in lockdown.

At nearby Cemlyn Lagoon we watched a good selection of birds on and around the lagoon including Pintail, Wigeon, Shelduck, another Mediterranean Gull, Red-breasted Merganser and Little Egret. Taking a walk down the lane on the west side of the lagoon added very little, maybe it was too hot? Not a cloud in the sky or a breath of wind it felt like mid-summer not September.

Taking our picnic lunches we walked out to the beach to have meal looking out to sea but before we even had the chance to sit down Alan was shout “Dolphins! Risso’s Dolphins!” Sure enough we could all see large hooked back fins breaking the surface of the millpond like sea. Every now and then an animal would lunge forward in the water so we could see their rather blunt heads and even better leap completely clear of the water just fantastic to watch! The Risso’s Dophins were not going anywhere and remained in view for well over an hour as we tucked into our lovely picnic. Some seabirds offshore too despite the totally calm sea including Manx Shearwater, Gannet, Kittiwakes and Sandwich Terns.

Norfolk Ruff 3 Titchwell

A juvenile Ruff was one of the birds we enjoyed in the afternoon.

We spent the rest of the afternoon at RSPB Cors Ddyga where it was still really warm and enjoyed a lovely walk to the river and back. So many Common Snipe here on the wetlands there must have been hundreds? Every time we scanned the marsh there were Common Snipe zooming around low over the rushes and chasing each other. One of these wonderful waders posed on top of a fence post allowing everyone superb views. A juvenile Ruff and two Black-tailed Godwits were also here along with lots of wildfowl and a Little Grebe.

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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