Surprises On Our Best Of Anglesey Birdwatching Trip 1 July 2018

Black Guillemot

Super views of Black Guillemots just one of the many highlights.

We met Stuart and Bob at RSPB Conwy at 8am on another lovely summer’s day, this great weather just keeps on coming. Lovely views of Little Egrets on the estuary here with a magnificent backdrop of Conwy Castle and the mountains of Snowdonia. The gates to the reserve were still locked and as we wanted to leave Bob’s car here we had a walk on the reserve and hoped the staff might arrive soon.

It proved a good move with plenty to see on and around the lagoons in the glorious sunshine. Waders were well represented with Redshank, Common Snipe and the first returning Common Sandpipers, Autumn already.

With the gates now open we left Bob’s car in the reserve car park and headed for Anglesey. First stop RSPB South Stack where the seabird city was in full swing a wonderful sight and sound. Puffins were soon giving great views through the Leica telescope and as always a real thrill to watch these colourful clowns of the seabird world. Masses of Common Guillemots stood shoulder to shoulder and plenty of Razorbills were also on the ledges. Fulmars and Kittiwakes added to the scene and luckily a Rock Pipit showed off nicely. Gannets were offshore gleaming white in the strong sunshine, what a wonderful place! A Chough posed on the cliff top, surprisingly the only one we saw.

At nearby Holyhead we quickly found Black Guillemots and enjoyed wonderful close up views of these handsome auks. We were able to watch one bird in a nest hole, it then belly-flopped down on to the water and joined a second bird.

On again to Cemlyn Lagoon where the tern colony was looking good in the sunshine, more birds than on our last visit. Many Sandwich Terns were coming and going many calling loudly – a wonderful sight and sound. We scanned the birds resting on the rocks and compared Arctic and Common Terns. A first-summer Mediterranean Gull was good to see and even more surprising for early July was a first-summer Common Gull – certainly not common!

At Beddmanarch Bay we had a rather late lunch sitting out in the sunshine. As always we were scanning the sky overhead and spotted another Common Gull! As we watched this scarce bird a falcon appeared behind it – a Hobby! Hobby is a very unusual bird on Anglesey indeed, and great to watch against the cloudless sky. Luckily the falcon was in no hurry and we watched it for several minutes before it drifted off south, a very well timed lunch indeed.

A marshland area gave us a good hit of new birds including lovely breeding plumaged Black-tailed Godwits, lots of Lapwing here too always wonderful to see. Just time for one more stop, on the way back, where we added Goosander and Eider to our very impressive day list. We dropped Bob back at RSPB Conwy and then took Stuart to his hotel in Llandudno where he was staying the night. A great fun day and we hope Bob and Stuart can join us again in the future.

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