Who Knew A Trip To The Garage Could Be Such Fun 8 February 2021

Goosander female 1

A female Goosander was a nice surprise on todays new walk.

In “normal” life having to take the car to the garage is an inconvenience but in lockdown it is an opportunity! An opportunity to drive the car, all be it six miles or so, and to come somewhere different even that distance away is a real treat after so long in lockdown.

RSPB Conwy view August

Lovely views across the Conwy Estuary to Conwy Castle.

So car dropped off and an opportunity to walk home to Llandudno, the garage is in Llandudno Junction close to RSPB Conwy Nature Reserve so rude not to swing by and have a look? Of course the reserve itself is closed in lockdown but the entrance road overlooks the lagoons so we can scan the lagoons from this vantage point all be it distantly. Plenty of birds on the pools and we quickly ran up a good list of species not seen back on the local patch of the Great Orme in Llandudno. Ducks were well represented with Mallard, Teal, Gadwall, Wigeon, Shoveler and Tufted Duck all enjoyed. Canada Geese loafed about on the central bank and flocks of Lapwing lifted up and then landed again.

Ringed Plover

Common Ringed Plover showed well feeding on the mudflats

We then walked north from the entrance to the reserve alongside the Conwy Estuary where the tide was dropping exposing mud-flats and sandbanks. Flocks of Common Redshank, Curlew and Oystercatchers were all feeding here and out in the river channel a Red-breasted Merganser dived for fish. A Little Egret flapped past and two Ravens displayed high overhead against the blue sky. In the scrub on the east side of the path very few birds sadly – Robin, Dunnock, Song Thrush and the highlight one Goldcrest that looked great in the lovely light. Nearing the railway line, that crosses the estuary north of the reserve, there is a channel and here we had a female Goosander that showed well.

We crossed over the railway via the footbridge and continued north along the east shore of the Conwy Estuary where we enjoyed wonderful views across to Conwy Castle and Conwy town. On the mudflats here more Common Redshank and a gang of Dunlin were busy feeding. Further along the path a flock of Eurasian Wigeon were close in and the light perfect so we really enjoyed these lovely ducks and as we watched them we noticed that two Common Ringed Plover were on the water’s edge along with four Turnstones and again perfect light to enjoy them. Out in the river channel both Shags and Cormorants were fishing the Shags now have their wonderful breeding plumaged crests making them so much easier to identify. A Rock Pipit was feeding right alongside the path and allowed super close views presumably used to seeing plenty of people passing by?

We continued on passing the village of Deganwy to reach the mouth of the Conwy River and had a sit and scan over the sandbanks and channels where we saw flocks of Dunlin wheeling over the water catching the sunlight sending them pure white below as the twisted and turned – wonderful. The flocks of Dunlin then flew up river right past us and we picked out a single Sanderling amongst them. A Great Crested Grebe was close inshore a little further north towards Llandudno and we had lovely views.

Then it was back into Llandudno and home a lovely walk and thankfully mostly sheltered from the bitter cold easterly wind blasting across the UK today.

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.

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