A Windy And Sometimes Wet Day On Anglesey Produces Great Birds 10 July 2023

South Stack Square

RSPB South Stack, Anglesey on a sunny day, not always like this!

We are great believers in sticking to plan “A” and very often plan “A” turns out to be the best one. So, when the weather forecast predicted showery rain for our day trip to Anglesey no problem, pack the waterproofs.

We met Richard and then Louise at Llandudno at 8am and then picked up Elen in Menai Bridge on Anglesey. So far, the weather was good, dry and overcast, we headed for RSPB South Stack first. Even before we reached the reserve, we watched Red-billed Chough and a family of Stonechats in the fields.

At the reserve we walked down to the cliffs, pausing to watch a showy Common Whitethroat, before taking in the glorious views of the cliffs, lighthouse, and sea. It was wonderful to see so many birds still at the breeding cliffs and we didn’t know what to look at first – Common Guillemots, Razorbills, Atlantic Puffins, Fulmar, Kittiwake, Shag all vied for our attention. And there was more, offshore Gannets were passing and then we picked out Manx Shearwaters! Richard was particularly delighted to these ocean wanderers as it was a new bird for his 2023 year list, but not any bird, it was bird number 199 in his quest to see 200 species this year! Could we find him that number 200 bird today?

Always a thrill to see Atlantic Puffins such wonderful birds.

It began to spit with rain, and it was pretty windy at the cliff top so having had a bird overload time we headed for the café for hot drinks. As we left the reserve, we again stopped to enjoy super views of Red-billed Chough. A short drive took us to Holyhead Harbour where luckily the rain and stopped and we enjoyed wonderful views of dapper Black Guillemots. We were lucky to see a youngster being fed by an adult bird, at least seven of these handsome seabirds were enjoyed along with Shag, Cormorant, Grey Heron and Little Egret here.

At nearby Beddmanarch Bay the rain came back with a vengeance, and it was very hard to see the lone Bar-tailed Godwit amongst the Curlew! We moved to the Inland Sea where thankfully the rain had more or less stopped and enjoyed comparing a fine adult Mediterranean Gull alongside a Black-headed Gull both in breeding plumage. With black clouds again looming again we opted for an early lunch, the Sea Shanty always great, and then headed north for Cemlyn Lagoon.

Tern dread Cemlyn

We always love visiting Cemlyn Lagoon so much to see! So many birds!

Luckily it was dry here and we immediately saw the pair of Pied Avocets, first ones ever to nest of Anglesey, at the east end of the lagoon. Sadly, the four young that hatched failed to survive but hopefully they will try again next year. We then walked out onto the shingle ridge and within minutes Richard had his number 200 for 2023 – Arctic Tern! Big smiles and high fives – a great achievement and it is only July. Not just one Arctic Tern here on the beach but hundreds and we could compare them with Common and Sandwich Terns all three species in the same scope view. It was wonderful to enjoy the sights and smells of the busy tern colony up close. Then Alan picked out a beautiful adult Roseate Tern amongst the mixed flock resting on the beach close by. This was a fantastic bird to see and yes bird 201 for Richard. We all enjoyed super prolonged looks at this rare tern and again great to compare it to the other three species close to it.

The bird number 200 for 2023 for Richard - Arctic Tern at Cemlyn photographed by Richard.

Then bird number 201 quickly followed and a lifer for all the guests - Roseate Tern - in the centre.

We then headed out towards the west side of the headland at Cemlyn stopping to watch Dunlin, Common Ringed Plover and Common Redshank feeding in a muddy bay. Then the rain came again, Elen and Louise wisely scurried back to the car, unwisely Alan and Richard continued and got soaked! They did a few more Manx Shearwaters through the downpour and a gang of Atlantic grey seals hauled out on the rocks but the car would have been the sensible option!

Time for one more stop and we called in at RSPB Cors Ddyga where it was blowing a gale but at least dry after we had driven through crazy rain to get there. A stunning male Marsh Harrier battled the wind allowing us super views. Northern Lapwings were on the wet grassland along with Shoveler and Gadwall, lots of Pied Wagtails too. At the bridge we enjoyed close views of Sand Martins and Common Swifts. On the walk back a Common Kestrel posed for us.

A really great day with lovely company and it was a surprise to total up the birds we had enjoyed – 70 species in some challenging conditions. A wonderful variety of species enjoyed too and lovely to share Richard’s 200th bird for 2023.

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.

Contact us

* * *



Our Tweets

This site uses cookies to store information on your computer. See our Cookie Policy for further details on how to block cookies.
I am happy with this


What is a Cookie

A cookie, also known as an HTTP cookie, web cookie, or browser cookie, is a piece of data stored by a website within a browser, and then subsequently sent back to the same website by the browser. Cookies were designed to be a reliable mechanism for websites to remember things that a browser had done there in the past, which can include having clicked particular buttons, logging in, or having read pages on that site months or years ago.

NOTE : It does not know who you are or look at any of your personal files on your computer.

Why we use them

When we provide services, we want to make them easy, useful and reliable. Where services are delivered on the internet, this sometimes involves placing small amounts of information on your device, for example, your computer or mobile phone. These include small files known as cookies. They cannot be used to identify you personally.

These pieces of information are used to improve services for you through, for example:

  • recognising that you may already have given a username and password so you don’t need to do it for every web page requested
  • measuring how many people are using services, so they can be made easier to use and there’s enough capacity to ensure they are fast
  • analysing anonymised data to help us understand how people interact with our website so we can make them better

You can manage these small files and learn more about them from the article, Internet Browser cookies- what they are and how to manage them

Learn how to remove cookies set on your device

There are two types of cookie you may encounter when using our site :

First party cookies

These are our own cookies, controlled by us and used to provide information about usage of our site.

We use cookies in several places – we’ve listed each of them below with more details about why we use them and how long they will last.

Third party cookies

These are cookies found in other companies’ internet tools which we are using to enhance our site, for example Facebook or Twitter have their own cookies, which are controlled by them.

We do not control the dissemination of these cookies. You should check the third party websites for more information about these.

Log files

Log files allow us to record visitors’ use of the site. The CMS puts together log file information from all our visitors, which we use to make improvements to the layout of the site and to the information in it, based on the way that visitors move around it. Log files do not contain any personal information about you. If you receive the HTML-formatted version of a newsletter, your opening of the newsletter email is notified to us and saved. Your clicks on links in the newsletter are also saved. These and the open statistics are used in aggregate form to give us an indication of the popularity of the content and to help us make decisions about future content and formatting.