Waders and more at Porthmadog

The sun was shining so jumped in the car and headed down to Porthmadog. We stopped on the way at the Promenade at Llanfairfechan, and through the Leica scopes we picked up Slavonian Grebe and Razorbills amongst the masses of Great Crested Grebes and good numbers of Common Scoter.

Porthmadog view

Stunning scenery at Porthmadog

Once down at Porthmadog, we walked around the pool to where we could check out the birds close in as well as scanning out over the estuary. Checking through the birds on the pool first, it was great to get really close looks at Black-tailed Godwits, some of which were already coming into their beautiful brick-red breeding plumage, loafing in the low tide alongside Redshanks and one Dunlin. A female Goosander snorkelled up the stream, so absorbed in her fishing that she didn't notice us until she was only a few feet away from us, but just as we thought the word 'camera', she changed direction and snorkelled back downstream again.

Black tailed Godwits

It's always great to get close looks at Black-tailed Godwits

Out on the estuary, there were Cormorants drying in the sun, Curlew, Redshank and Teal asleep on the banks, as well as Wigeon feeding on the grass and plenty more Black-tailed Godwits probing the mud. All was peace and quiet. Suddenly there was a hoot and whistle behind us, and a steam engine and carriages including a very posh-looking Pullman carriage serving food puffed right past the pool and out over the cob.

Steam Engine Porthmadog

Birds and steam engines, what more could you want!

We carried on to Borth y Gest and had another scan out across the estuary. More long-legged, long-billed waders were probing on the water's edge and through the telescopes we studied these streaky-backed Bar-tailed Godwits still all in their winter plumage, feeding in their distinctive 'sewing machine' style.

Next stop, Black Rock Beach. Again we set up the scopes but with so many people wandering along the tideline, all the birds were a long way out, though we could make out plenty more Common Scoter and Great Crested Grebes on the water. We made our final stop at Criccieth for another scan where we enjoyed more looks at Common Scoter in the sunshine. It was even so warm there that we had our first ice cream of the season before calling it a day.

If you'd like to join us on our relaxed-pace birdwatching trips in North Wales, please take a look at our website on Day Trips . We look forward to sharing great birds with you!

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