Two Day Custom Tour Best Of North Wales And Anglesey 11 To 12 November 2021



Water Rail Cley Sept

We enjoyed wonderful views of Water Rail on day one of our two day Tour for Two.



Ray and Jane were staying in North Wales for a few days and booked two days Birdwatching Trips tours as a custom tour for the two of them. On the first day we met at Llandudno West Shore at 8am and immediately hit it off Ray and Jane are such a lovely couple. A few minutes later we were on the adjacent Great Orme enjoying great birds in lovely weather – calm and mild. We watched three Shags lined up on a rock just below us and enjoyed super views of a very close Red-throated Diver just below us. A Peregrine Falcon was spotted on the cliff above and we had frame filling views of this awesome bird through the Leica telescopes, wow! The falcon was busy enjoying his breakfast, it was the male bird, and feathers were flying as he plucked his meal. Two Red-billed Chough swept along the cliffs showing off their aerobatic skills and then landed in view and again we had superb views of these very special birds. The scenery was stunning too and we stopped to admire three Atlantic grey seals hauled out of the beach.


We had super views of a pair of Red-billed Chough on the Great Orme.



A quick visit to RSPB Conwy for a brew and loo paid off with amazing views of a Water Rail strutting around in the open! An amazing encounter with this so often secretive species and the hot drinks were welcome too. A short drive west took us to Aber Ogwen where we walked around to the hide that overlooks the estuary, from one side, and a pool from the other. Lots of birds here but it was a Kingfisher that stole the show, three times with most gorgeous bird visited the pool and posed for us. Again the Leica telescopes really paid off here we could see every tiny feather detail of this jewel of a bird. What a fantastic encounter with this most wanted bird. Out on the estuary we saw Greenshank, Common Redshank, and Curlew, lots of Wigeon and more distantly Great Crested Grebes and Red-breasted Mergansers.

We then headed through the mountains of Snowdonia where the weather closed in rather and few birds were noted though we did enjoy a wonderful look at a pair of Red-billed Chough feeding close to the road.

After a lovely lunch we headed into the Conwy Valley and visited a lovely old church overlooking the Conwy River. Almost the first bird we saw here was a beautiful Fieldfare in one of the ancient yew trees such a stunning bird. Lots of Mistle Thrushes here too in the church yard feeding on the yew berries in this beautiful location. On the water meadows below the church we watched flocks of Lapwing and a handsome drake Goosander. Four Red Kites were lovely to see nearby soaring over the valley and chasing each other.

We ended the day with a walk at RSPB Conwy where it was now high tide and enjoyed a lot of new birds for our already impressive day list. It had been a really great fun day and the time had just flown by that is always a sign of a fun day and even better we were all meeting up again the next day!

The 12th of November was a very different day with gale force winds and showers and we wondered if Ray and Jane would cancel their second day. We arranged to meet at 8am at Llanfairfechan seafront as we were heading west to Anglesey and we were very pleased to see Ray and Jane arrive. Luckily they are made of tough stuff and have great outdoor clothing and were looking forward to the day despite the awful weather. Well it certainly got to a brilliant start with not one, not two but three Dippers in the stream right next to the car park. One of the trio of Dippers posed mid-stream allowing great looks at this most charismatic bird. A shelter on the seafront allowed us to set up the telescopes out of the wind and enjoyed wonderful views waders on the beach just over the sea wall. We had frame filling looks at Oystercatchers, Curlews, Redshanks and Ruddy Turnstones lovely to compare these species. Offshore in the choppy sea we managed to see Common Eider, Common Scoter and Great Crested Grebes before heading off to Anglesey.

First stop on Anglesey was at Holyhead to use the loos and while we were there we checked the nearby harbour which we thought might be sheltered from the gale, it was, and even better held two Black Guillemots! These wonderful auks were seen immediately and were incredibly close, some of the best views we have ever had in winter of these birds. It was a real thrill to be able to really see all the subtle plumage of the black, grey and white birds with their scarlet red legs – fantastic.

At nearby Beddmanarch Bay we enjoyed lovely views of Pale-bellied Brent Geese and lots of waders. It was fun to compare the various species plumages, mostly shades of grey, and structures and feeding techniques of these long distance migrant. The majority of the waders and the geese we were enjoying had arrived on Anglesey for the winter from their Arctic breeding grounds. Bar-tailed Godwit, Knot, Dunlin and Grey Plover were among a host of birds feeding on the rich mudflats here.

We then took the scenic route to RSPB South Stack along the west coast of Holy Island and looked at the sea battering the rocks and beaches it was wild out there! Up at South Stack we could hardly stand up in the gale so a hot drink was enjoyed inside the visitor centre where we could watch Red-billed Chough ride the gale from the comfort of our table in the café.

Next we headed back to Holyhead Harbour in search of shelter from the wind and found some. Here we had a lovely encounter with a Common Guillemot feeding so close to the harbour wall we could even see it underwater when it dived briefly. Ray was able to take some brilliant photographs of this winter plumaged auk not usually a bird that is at all easy to take pictures of. We also had a real stroke of luck here as a female Merlin shot across the beach in front of us a real wow bird.

We enjoyed a really delicious lunch at nearby Catch 22 in the village of Valley a favourite of ours if on Anglesey. Food enjoyed, many thanks to Ray and Jane for treating us to such a lovely meal, we headed north to Cemlyn where the gale was howling again sadly. But Ray and Jane were up for challenge and we did enjoy some brilliant birds here even if difficult to keep the binoculars and scopes steady! A Great Norther Diver was in Cemlyn Bay and surprisingly still retaining a lot of its breeding plumage. We watched Purple Sandpipers on the rocks feeding with Ruddy Turnstone and had super views of Red-breasted Mergansers on the lagoon.

Just time to fit in one more stop, before the light faded early as there were gloomy low clouds above us, at Traeth Dulas. Four Greenshank were on the pool behind the beach, Skylarks and Linnets on the saltmarsh and Redshanks were feeding in the creeks and a Peregrine Falcon cruised above sending the gathering Black-headed Gulls into panic the birds making wonderful shapes over the mudflats.

A really enjoyable two days with Ray and Jane and we really hope we can enjoy lots more birds with them both again soon!

We would love to put together a custom Birdwatching Trips tour perfect for you please just drop us a line and we can do the rest…

info@birdwatchingtrips.co.uk

We look forward to enjoying great birds and wildlife with you soon.





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