Tripping Over Birds On World Migratory Birds Day 9 May 2020

A wonderful discovery on the Great Orme, Llandudno today - Dotterel.

Another early start for our daily exercise walk on the Great Orme at Llandudno in the hope of finding some migrant birds. The weather forecast for the next day was really bad with bitter cold northerly winds so extra incentive to enjoy the lovely sunshine today.

We don't often see Mallard on our daily lockdown exercise walks!

Usual suspects were place including a lovely view of the female Peregrine Falcon plucking a kill on a sun lit ledge. Five Mallard were fairly unusual here and a pair seemed determined to land on the sheer cliffs, the female at one point crash landing in the nest of pair of Herring Gulls needless to say the gulls were not impressed! The drake then landed on a ledge just above the road and stood quacking loudly very comical. Just around the corner a Herring Gull landed on the wall just in front of us with a crab clammed in its beak looking very pleased with its self. We also watched a pair of Stonechats taking beak full’s of insects into a bramble bush to feed young and a pair of Linnets building a nest in another bramble patch.

The view from the limestone pavement looking towards Snowdonia this morning.

Walking up on to the limestone pavement area there were not many birds about a few Wheatears and a few Swallows the only migrants visible at first. The views were stunning though it was really clear so the mountains of Snowdonia looked wonderful. Looking down to west shore Llandudno we could make out a pair of Red-breasted Mergansers close in to the beach a new species for our lockdown bird list!

An amazing sight not one but eight Dotterel on the Great Orme this morning!

Walking back along stonewall that borders the limestone pavement a Willow Warbler was in tiny bramble bush and showed off in the warm sunshine. Just beyond here a movement on the ground left of the path caught our eyes and wow!! A flock of Dotterel were just to the left of the path on an area of limestone pavement and fairly close. Fantastic sight! Freezing so as not to disturb them the Dotterel were feeding and looked unconcerned so the camera came slowly up and some record shots were in the bag, whew. Now to try and count them, seven, a wonderful sight to see so many and in the sunshine looking spectacular. Now to try and let others know of this exciting discovery, no phone signal of course so we had to creep past them, firing off a few more photos, and reach a high point just beyond them. Now we had communication we alerted local birders just in case anyone else was walking on the headland and nice to let others know migration was happening. Looking back at the birds seven had become eight! The collective noun for Dotterel is a “trip” and we like that as these birds were certainly on a trip heading north to their breeding grounds. We then settled down on the rocks and just enjoyed watching these most beautiful waders. The Dotterel were slowing moving towards us feeding in typical plover style, walk, stop, look, grab an insect or grub, repeat. Then a Chough swooped low over the flock and they all hunkered down flattening themselves into the grass. They were soon up and feeding again as the Chough headed for the cliffs. Next a Jackdaw landed amongst the Dotterel and spooked them four of the birds flying towards us the other four ran off in the opposite direction. We had super views of the birds that landed close but into the sun so not good for photos sadly. The group reformed and then were soon spooked again by more Jackdaws and flew off low over the headland making wonderful rolling trilling calls. We searched for them but could not relocate them sadly.

A wonderful encouter with such beautiful birds and on World Migratory Bird Day 2020.

As we walked back we added another bird to our lockdown bird list with a Sedge Warbler in the gorse bushes over the wall in the sheep field.

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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