A Quick Visit To The Isle Of Anglesey Pays Off 28 January 2022

Black Redstart Gt Orme Oct 2016 2

Black Redstarts are always a thrill to see and pretty little birds - library photo

With some good birds being reported off Benllech on the east coast of Anglesey and the chance to catch up with some friends we grabbed the chance of a morning birding.

We picked up Jayne in Llanfairfechan and were soon on the seafront at Benllech looking at a rather grey sea. It didn’t look to promising at first glance but we were here so we set up the scopes and scanned the water. We soon found there were plenty of Great Crested Grebes and some close inshore, a few birds were coming into breeding plumage already and one pair even displayed briefly! Small flocks of Common Scoter were dotted about the bay and a few Shags dived for fish before we spotted a Black Guillemot in breeding plumage such handsome birds. Once we had our eye in on these wonderful auks we counted at least seven offshore in various states of moult from winter through to breeding plumage. Looking further out we could see rafts of Common Eider, a lot of them, perhaps as many as eighty birds? Small numbers of Red-throated Divers were dotted about too including a group of five together but all but one were full winter dress, the odd one out well into breeding plumage. But the star of the show on the sea was a wonderful Great Northern Diver that posed for super views just offshore a “battleship of a diver” compared with the sleek Red-throated Divers.

Great northern Diver

A Great Northern Diver showed very well from the seafront at Benllech, Anglesey.

But the real surprise of the morning was not on the sea but in the car park behind us! Alan just happened to look behind him and saw a bird hopping around a small car park and was thrilled to see a Black Redstart! This bird had been reported here in early January but no recent records of it and we assumed it had moved. Luckily the Black Redstart showed off nicely both on the ground and posing in the bushes and trees above the car park. This lovely bird didn’t stay long however and soon flew right behind a building and we didn’t see it again! Great timing to look around at the time as the bird showed.

Red Squirrel Anagach 1

What a delight to watch two red squirrels in our friends garden!

We then popped in to see friends Richard and Lynn who live in Benllech and it was lovely to catch up with them. The couple have a wonderful garden and we were able to watch stunning Bullfinches really close and two Blackcaps along with many other birds. But it was two gorgeous red squirrels that stole the show here! These amazing animals put on a real show for us and it was a delight to see these once so rare animals doing so well on Anglesey.

A lovely morning and great to catch up with friends something we have missed so much during the pandemic. We would love to put together a custom Birdwatching Trips tour perfect for you please just drop us a line and we can do the rest…


We look forward to enjoying great birds and wildlife with you soon.

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