Up On To The Moors And Down To The Dee Marshes Day Four Of Five 21 April 2021

Black Grouse May 2016 7

Black Grouse displaying is one of THE bird spectacles to enjoy in Spring.

An early start from Llandudno saw us up on the moors watching displaying Black Grouse and what a wonderful show they put on for us. Watching these stunning birds perform their wonderful “lek” is one of THE highlights of the birdwatching year here in North Wales a real bird spectacle and one we are always thrilled to see. Skylarks sang over head as the grouse strutted and postured and gave their wonderful bubbling calls, just superb. One of the male Black Grouse came closer and closer allowing frame filling views with our binoculars and some super photo opportunities.

Red Grouse

Wonderful to enjoy close up views of Red Grouse just after the Black Grouse.

Further over the moor we were thrilled to see a male Merlin beating up a massive Raven! What wonderful little falcons Merlins are so fast and angry the Raven beat a retreat very quickly indeed. We had superb views of Red Grouse including the male giving their, rather less than spectacular, display flights over the heather. Stonechats and Reed Buntings sang from saplings as Meadow Pipits performed their songs from above. More Black Grouse displaying were enjoyed and then a real thrill to see a female Goshawk up close! This powerful near Buzzard sized hawk swooped low over the moor just in front of us and then up into the sky and flapped slowly away leaving us elated at such a close encounter!

Dipper 160315 1

Dippers are really classic Welsh uplands birds and always a joy to watch.

Dropping down off the moors we checked our “second best” Dipper site and sure enough we enjoyed wonderful views of these dapper birds and a lovely look at Grey Wagtail too. Singing male Pied Flycatcher and Common Redstart were enjoyed before we dropped even lower and checked our “best ever” Dipper site and sure enough a pair were taking food to a nest tucked under the riverbank and a gorgeous drake Mandarin was a nice addition to the already impressive day list. A lovely deli nearby provided our second, or was it third, breakfast and the hot food and drinks were very welcome on a very chilly morning.

Avocet pair North Cave 1

We are so lucky to able to enjoy such a fantastic variety of birds here - Avocets to Black Grouse!

Complete change of habitat next as we headed over to the Dee Estuary, staying in Wales, and enjoyed some wonderful birds. Lots of ducks on the wet grasslands here including Eurasian Teal, Norther Shoveler, Eurasian Wigeon and lots of Gadwall superb habitat managed by the RSPB. Waders included Avocet, Black-tailed Godwit, Common Redshank and wonderful displaying Northern Lapwings. We saw and heard our first Common Whitethroats of the year and several Cetti’s Warbler were giving their loud songs. At least three Great White Egrets and many Little Egrets were in the area to think thirty years ago both would have been really rare birds so good to see some species increasing. A female Marsh Harrier swept over the reed beds – another species that we would have never dreamt of seeing in North Wales years ago!

We headed back west and stopped at Llanddulas beach but only a handful of Common Scoter were offshore whereas a few days previously there had been thousands! Spring migration continues apace despite the cold temperatures and these birds had departed for Arctic breeding grounds.

On again to the beautiful town of Conwy for a shopping opportunity and a visit to the salvage hunters shop, made famous by the BBC TV series of the same name. We are very happy to include all sorts of “other” attractions in our tours if you book on a custom trip. Just let us know in advance if you would like to combine birds with castles, beaches, shops, restaurants anything else that North Wales has to offer and we can suggest an itinerary perfect for you – custom tours made perfect for you!

A day that includes Black Grouse, Merlin, Goshawk, Pied Flycatcher, Common Redstart, Dipper, Avocet, Marsh Harrier, Great White Egret and shopping can’t be bad!

Of course a wonderful way to see more birds is to join one of our Birdwatching Trips and learn a lot about the birds you are enjoying too. We have tours suitable for all from beginners to experienced birders that are seeking particular species. Just drop us a line here and we can arrange a perfect custom tour for you!


We look forward to enjoying wonderful birds with you as soon as it is safe.

Contact us

* * *



Our Tweets

This site uses cookies to store information on your computer. See our Cookie Policy for further details on how to block cookies.
I am happy with this


What is a Cookie

A cookie, also known as an HTTP cookie, web cookie, or browser cookie, is a piece of data stored by a website within a browser, and then subsequently sent back to the same website by the browser. Cookies were designed to be a reliable mechanism for websites to remember things that a browser had done there in the past, which can include having clicked particular buttons, logging in, or having read pages on that site months or years ago.

NOTE : It does not know who you are or look at any of your personal files on your computer.

Why we use them

When we provide services, we want to make them easy, useful and reliable. Where services are delivered on the internet, this sometimes involves placing small amounts of information on your device, for example, your computer or mobile phone. These include small files known as cookies. They cannot be used to identify you personally.

These pieces of information are used to improve services for you through, for example:

  • recognising that you may already have given a username and password so you don’t need to do it for every web page requested
  • measuring how many people are using services, so they can be made easier to use and there’s enough capacity to ensure they are fast
  • analysing anonymised data to help us understand how people interact with our website so we can make them better

You can manage these small files and learn more about them from the article, Internet Browser cookies- what they are and how to manage them

Learn how to remove cookies set on your device

There are two types of cookie you may encounter when using our site :

First party cookies

These are our own cookies, controlled by us and used to provide information about usage of our site.

We use cookies in several places – we’ve listed each of them below with more details about why we use them and how long they will last.

Third party cookies

These are cookies found in other companies’ internet tools which we are using to enhance our site, for example Facebook or Twitter have their own cookies, which are controlled by them.

We do not control the dissemination of these cookies. You should check the third party websites for more information about these.

Log files

Log files allow us to record visitors’ use of the site. The CMS puts together log file information from all our visitors, which we use to make improvements to the layout of the site and to the information in it, based on the way that visitors move around it. Log files do not contain any personal information about you. If you receive the HTML-formatted version of a newsletter, your opening of the newsletter email is notified to us and saved. Your clicks on links in the newsletter are also saved. These and the open statistics are used in aggregate form to give us an indication of the popularity of the content and to help us make decisions about future content and formatting.