A Fantastic Day With Two Young Americans Best Of North Wales Tour 9 October 2023

Common Kingfisher, one of the mosted wanted birds for Jaret and Teal.

We had exchanged a few emails with Jaret and Teal about their day trip in North Wales and they had come up with a wish list of species to look for, we love a challenge. At 8am we met at the West Shore, Llandudno and it was lovely to see they were a young couple, from California, and keen birders.

We were soon on the Great Orme, and luckily in great weather, calm and mild. Birds came fast as this was some of the first birding Jaret and Teal had done in Europe so the likes of European Robin, Dunnock, Carrion Crows, and more were all exciting stuff. We scanned offshore hoping to see a Red-throated Diver, often here, but no luck. Flocks of Common Scoter were moving west offshore along with Northern Gannets and were lucky to have super views of a Black Guillemot on the calm sea close to the cliffs. A pair of Stonechats showed off allowing super views as a Red-billed Chough flew over, fantastic start.

A short drive took us to the cemetery, which was alive with birds, where to look first. The highlight here was a very showy Garden Warbler that posed in a bare bus – a scarce bird here. In the same small area we also enjoyed watching at least four Blackcaps, a Chiffchaff, several Goldcrest, Coal, Blue, and Great Tits, Goldfinches, Greenfinches, Song Thrushes and more, many were new species for our American guests.

Next, we drove the short distance to RSPB Conwy and headed down to the screen on the boardwalk overlooking the first lagoon. Amazingly the very first bird we looked at was a Garganey, which we also enjoyed the previous day. Yet another lifer for Jaret and Teal. We spent the rest of the morning here enjoying close views of many species such as Black-tailed Godwit, Common Redshank, Tufted Duck, Long-tailed Tits, sadly a Water Rail was seen only by Ruth as it crossed a narrow patch of mud. Juts before lunch we scanned the Conwy Estuary and were pleased to see three Great Egrets and a big flock of Eurasian Curlew. A lovely lunch went down well at Snowdonia Nursery, and it was good to share Welsh food with our guests from across the pond.

We then headed west along the coast to the seafront at Llanfairfechan and another chance to look for Red-throated Diver. Again, lots to see here including more of the birds on the wish list – Common Eider, close inshore, and Great Crested Grebes. On the beach we watched waders and Sandwich Terns and then Ruth spotted a Red-throated Diver, whew, it was looking as if we might miss this bird. We checked the nearby stream and were delighted to see a pair of Dippers! These superb birds really put on a show for us and we were all delighted to watch them for so long.

Further west to Aber Ogwen and we walked to the hide that overlooks the estuary and a small pool. The tide was a long way out, but the high-powered scopes allowed us to enjoy the birds out there including two lovely Greenshank, a Bar-tailed Godwit, Goosanders and more Common Eider. On the pool there plenty of Little Egrets, Little Grebes, and Moorhens but no sign of a hoped-for Kingfisher. On the bird feeders we enjoyed close views of Nuthatch, Coal, Blue, and Great Tits. We were just about to leave when a flash of blue shot across the pool and vanished behind a willow tree. We waited and hoped, and our luck was in, the Kingfisher flew towards us and landed right below the hide! Fantastic, Jaret and Teal were elated at seeing one their “most wanted” so very close!

Just time for one more location, we visited Morfa Madryn, west of Llanfairfechan and walked out to the saltmarsh. We soon spotted Common Shelduck on the mudflats, another wanted species, followed by Skylarks and Linnets. Then Ruth spotted a Grey Phalarope! Wow! We could barely believe our eyes this beautiful, rare bird was in a creek really close and we soaked up frame filling views. Our great friend Jayne, who lives nearby join us to watch this super little bird. But it still wasn’t over Jaret spotted a Mistle Thrush that allowed super views, species number 83 for the day!

A really wonderful day with lovely people and we do hope that we can enjoy more birding adventures with Jaret and Teal again.

We run our Birdwatching Trips throughout the year a mix of set departure tours and custom-made trips perfect for you! To book your custom tour or any of our set departure trips please email us here….


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