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!

info@birdwatchingtrips.co.uk

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





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