A Wonderful Fun Day In North Wales With Lots Of Birds 16 May 2022




Ring Ouzel top of the girls would love to see list - never easy to find though.



Three years ago, Fiona tried to arrange a Birdwatching Trips day tour in North Wales but due to a number of reasons including of course Covid it had not proved possible. Finally on the 16th of May 2022 it all came to together and at 7am Alan met Fiona, Sophie and Sarah at Llandudno West Shore for their custom Birdwatching Trips day out.

The three girls all work together and it was clear from the start it was going to be a fun day with lots of laughs. Birds were seen immediately as three gulls were on the boating lake right next to the meeting point – Great black backed, Lesser black backed and Herring Gull all right next to each other. Right gulls done now onto more colourful birds the girls laughed.

A very short drive took them to the Great Orme and fantastic views of Fulmar Petrels right overhead whizzing back and forth and calling from the ledges above. A Chough called and then flew right past the group so close still calling as it went, one the target species for the day. We had several views of Chough both in flight and on the cliffs. On the sea a smart breeding-plumaged Black Guillemot bobbed about as two Shags watched from the adjacent cliff. Then a Peregrine soared above, and everyone enjoyed wonderful views of this spectacular raptor. What a start to the day! Then it got better Sarah spotted a bird with a moustache! She was right, a Pied Wagtail on the rocks with a beak full of nest-material looking for all the world like a large moustache!

Further around the headland they watched the amazing spectacle of the seabird city with nesting Common Guillemots, Razorbills, Cormorants, Shags and Kittiwakes and the telescope allowed great views. Lots more birds were on the water and flying above the flat calm sea these included wonderful Gannets. A migrant Wheatear popped up on the wall as Rock Pipits flitted about.

On the limestone pavement area, the four enjoyed super views across towards Snowdonia and the Isle of Anglesey. Birds here included great looks at more Wheatears, Stonechats and Meadow Pipits as Swallows hawked for insects above.

Then they headed into the mountains and climbed up to around one thousand feet where it was decidedly chiller. Here we hoped to see Ring Ouzels another of the birds the girls were particularly keen to see. Sadly no sign but Whinchats were on show and they had super views of both males and females along with similar Stonechats for comparison. A walk along the track paid off when Fiona squeeled “I think I saw one!” more scanning of the hillside and yes, she was right – Ring Ouzel! Thankfully this cracking male – a cross between a vicar and a Blackbird – kept coming back to the same boulder and through the telescope the views were great. A female Ring Ouzel that Sophie spotted also showed briefly at the same spot and everyone was thrilled to see these scarce and elusive mountain thrushes.

Dropping down into the valley a Kingfisher flashed along a steam but to fast for most to see but Swifts tore across the blue sky above. That early start and all those birds had given everyone an appetite so “elevens” hit the spot with coffee and the most delicious cakes enjoyed at Tu Hwnt i’r Bont tearoom, Llanrwst where Sand Martins and more Swifts flew overhead.

Refreshed and packing Welsh cakes from the tearoom it was on again further south and up in altitude again. This scenic mountain road produced great birds with displaying Red Kites, Curlew, singing Skylarks, Pied Flycatcher a real fav of Fiona’s and lots more.

Then into a vast upland area with conifer woods and moorland where scanning for raptors was order of the day, plenty of Common Buzzards were seen but that was it for raptors. Two Common Crossbill were seen along with Siskins, Grey Wagtail, Ravens and a Common Whitethroat. An Osprey was watched soaring over an upland lake and it was mobbed by a Common Buzzard before the Osprey turned the tables and attacked the Buzzard – exciting stuff. A very late lunch, the cake kept people going, was enjoyed while watching more Siskins and some stunning Lesser Redpolls.

Lunch done it was time to visit the Osprey nest site nearby and the head of the female bird was visible of the substantial nest – she has three eggs and will hopefully breed successfully. As they watched this raptor another one appeared soaring over the trees and what a surprise a male Hen Harrier! Sadly this wonderful raptor soon moved out of sight.

Time to head back north across the moors towards Llandudno but the weather began to close in and then came the rain. But rain doesn’t stop birds or bird watchers and a view-point overlooking RSPB Conwy was wet but gave more birds for the very impressive day list. Back in the dry of the car a tally of the species enjoyed showed just two short of eighty birds recorded during the tour. Well, the girls were not giving up that close to 80 species! Back out, just as the rain stopped and three more species added to the total including a Little Ringed Plover a scarce bird here so very happy people indeed!



Back to Llandudno West Shore and everyone agreed it had been a brilliant fun day with so many birds and so many laughs! We do hope Fiona, Sophie and Sarah can join us again soon it was so much fun.

We would love to arrange a custom Birdwatching Trips day out or a longer tour for you or you and a small group, maximum of six guests, anywhere you would love to enjoy great birds. Just drop us a line here and we can do the rest…

info@birdwatchingtrips.co.uk

We have run our special custom day trips and tours to many destinations here in the UK and overseas including Spain, Finland, Borneo, Ecuador, South Africa so just ask us, and we can help.





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