Two Day Best Of North Wales Birdwatching Trips Custom Tour 17 March 2020

This wonderful male Snow Bunting really showed off for Roger and Rita.

Roger and Rita have been on a number of our tours and are always great company so it was lovely to hear they wanted to come back to North Wales. They decided on a two day custom tour, 17th and 18th March 2020, so they could look for some species that they particularly wanted to see and of course go at a pace ideal for them, the advantage of a custom tour.

We picked up Roger from the Llandudno B&B at 7am, Rita opting for a latter start, and within minutes two Chough were full frame in the scope! One of the birds Roger was hoping to add to his list seen straight away and quickly followed by Fulmars on the same ledge as the Chough! Lots more great birds quickly followed with Black Guillemots, Common Guillemots and Razorbills all enjoyed along with Shag, Kittiwake and super close views of Rock Pipits.

Roger joined Rita for a lovely breakfast then we set off for Anglesey, the weather had gone downhill rather no more sunshine, low cloud and drizzle. We soon arrived at Red Wharf Bay where five birdwatchers were on beach, but sadly they had not seen the hoped Snow Bunting despite reporting that they had been looking for ages. A minute later we spotted the Snow Bunting next to a small boat on the beach and had super views of this beautiful bird. Rita was able to take some great pictures as this male, well into its black and white breeding plumage, as it posed for us.

A short drive took us to the seafront at Benllech where it was cool and windy but we quickly saw a gang of Eider duck close in and had great looks at these handsome sea-duck. We also picked out a Great Northern Diver and plenty of Common Scoter here.

On again to Cemlyn where the wind was much stronger, gale force in fact, but luckily we soon saw the two Long-tailed Ducks out in Cemlyn Bay. On the islands in the lagoon we watched a lovely flock of Golden Plover some of them coming into their wonderful breeding plumage. On the beach we found Grey Plover, Ringed Plover and Turnstone with Red-breasted Merganser off-shore.

We had great views of the first-winter Rose-coloured Starling.

Next stop was to look for the young Rose-coloured Starling and at first we could not see it, oh no, Roger was really hoping to see this rare visitor. We walked a little closer to the tree where the bird often hung out and there it was! It was hunkered down out of the wind, we didn’t blame it! As we watched the Rosy Starling climbed up through the bare tree and gave super views before it flew and was lost to sight behind the house, whew!

A quick look at the flooded field at Valley and a lovely surprise a Sand Martin was whizzing over the water, our first of the Spring! Always a thrill to see the migrants coming in and as we watched the Sand Martin we noticed a smart White Wagtail on the edge of the flood another new in migrant wonderful. Lunch at nearby Catch 22 went down very well indeed, unfortunately the weather also went down, it began to rain and the cloud was low. We made a couple of brief stops adding Fieldfare and Goosander among other species but then decided to seek shelter on the mainland.

At Aber Ogwen the hide was just perfect, out of the rain and wind with fantastic views over the estuary on one side and a wooded pool from the other side. Lots of birds out on the mudflats on the incoming tide, we enjoyed at least three Greenshank, lots of Redshank, Curlew, Oystercatchers and a lovely flock of Knot that swirled over the mud, wonderful to watch all these birds. A flash of blue over the pool announced the arrival of a stunning Kingfisher and we were treated to the most amazing views of this gem of a bird. The Kingfisher dived for small fish and shrimps just below us allowing frame filling views and Rita took some lovely photos. Unusually the Kingfisher stayed around and just posed for us, it was still in view when we left! I don’t think we have ever walked away from a Kingfisher showing well before!

More great birds were coming to the feeders at eye-level from the hide and included new species for the day – Great Spotted Woodpecker, Nuthatch, Siskin and Coal Tit – it had proved a very good idea to change plans and come back to the mainland. A great first day with Roger and Rita and we made plans for day two….

Dotterel May 2016 4

A Spring Dotterel on the Great Orme here in North Wales, an annual visitor.

We are so lucky to have so many species and habitats within easy reach here in North Wales we would love you to join us for one of our Best of North Wales Birdwatching Trips tours. 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 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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