A Very Blustery Day On Anglesey Produces Great Birds 3 August 2023

Cemlyn Lagoon

Cemlyn Bay, on the north coast of Anglesey has great year round birdwatching.

With North-Westerly winds forecast Alan set his alarm very early and set off for Cemlyn on the north coast of Anglesey. As dawn broke it didn’t look very windy at all, had that early start been in vain?

At Cemlyn there didn’t seem to much in the way of wind but a flock of forty Eurasian Curlew in the field by the car park where lovely to see and Sandwich, Common and Arctic Terns were flying over. Walking out towards the beach the wind became much more obvious! On the shore were nine Little Egrets, a high count for here, feeding amongst the exposed mud and seaweed. A closer look reviled the presence of waders – Common Redshank, Dunlin, Ruddy Turnstone, and Common Ringed Plover great to see.

Gannets in a row over sea 1

Small numbers of Northern Gannets battled the gale but the shearwaters were the stars.

Out on the open beach it was a very different story! The gale force winds were indeed blowing and on shore. Setting up the telescope the first scan of the turbulent sea produced not a bird. First rule of sea-watching is patience. The second sweep of the breakers and there, a Manx Shearwater whizzing east. Moments later an Arctic Skua floated past, west, just off the wave splashed rocks, very nice. More and more Manx Shearwaters began to stream past, thousands of them, a spectacular sight if you can keep the scope still enough to enjoy them! Northern Gannets were moving west but only small numbers. News from our friend, Tom, told of a Great Skua moving west past Point Lynas and it wasn’t long before a Great Skua powered past Cemlyn, perhaps the same bird. It was pretty intense scanning the mountainous seas into the teeth of the gale but, thanks to the Manx Shearwaters, there were always birds in view to keep Alan scanning. Then a rush of adrenalin! A much larger shearwater was moving west against the flow of Manx Shearwaters! As this bird arked up and banked the large bird was uniform brown/grey above with wonderful long wings and bill, a Cory’s Shearwater! This was the very species Alan had hoped to see this morning. A huge influx of Cory’s Shearwaters is under way, particularly in the south-west approaches but birds being seen as far north as Scotland so there was always a chance of one passing North Anglesey. More Manx Shearwaters poured past, three more Arctic Skuas moved west, lots of Common Scoter moving west too with at least 165 birds in various sized flocks. Our friend Martin was walking towards the beach as Alan picked out a second Cory’s Shearwater also heading west against the flow of its smaller cousins. Sadly the bird was lost in the rough seas before Martin could get his scope set up, so close. Another hour of scanning but the passage was slowing and by the end hardly any birds were to be seen. Time for a coffee and to give the eyes a rest from the gale.

We have some wonderful North Wales Birdwatching Trips Coming Up In 2024 We Would Love You To Join Us.

February - Best of North Wales Birdwatching Trip, Saturday 17th - Wednesday 21st February 2024 - four places available.

March - Iolo Williams North Wales Wildife Tour, Monday 4th - Friday 8th March 2024 - one place available.

Also in April - Extremadura, Spain with Iolo Williams, Sunday 28th April - Friday 3rd May 2024 - one place available.

June - Best of North Wales Birdwatching Trip, Saturday 15th - Wednesday 19th June 2024 - four places available.

September - Best of North Wales Birdwatching Trip, Saturday 7th - Wednesday 11th September 2024, four places available.

October - Norfolk Migration Birdwatching Trip, Saturday 12th - Wednesday 16th October 2024, three places available.

November - Iolo Williams North Wales Wildife Tour, Monday 25th - Friday 29th November 2024, three places available.

December - Winter Wildlife of North Wales with Iolo Williams, Monday 9th - Friday 13th December 2024, four places available.

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….


We can then make all the arrangements for your perfect Birdwatching Trips tour.

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