American Ducks And So Much More On Anglesey 29 January 2023

Long tailed Duck drake 1

Anglesey produced a wonderful selection of ducks including Long-tailed Duck.

We met Brian and Helen at Llanfairfechan at 9am, they had driven over from Cheshire, for a Birdwatching Trips day on Anglesey. Of course as we were overlooking the sea here we had a quick scan and saw Great Crested Grebes offshore and waders on the beach, but we had a rare bird to look for, so we jumped into our car and headed for Anglesey.

Arriving at the seafront at Benllech we could see a few birders with telescopes looking out to sea. We hurried to join them and good news the drake Surf Scoter, a rare visitor from North America was there! Now we all needed to see it. As ever with a bird on the sea giving directions is not easy but our friends Martin and Ken did their best to talk us in to the rare duck. At first it was tricky to see with the overcast sky and low light levels but then the light improved and boom! We could suddenly see the white patches on the head and orange beak, wow, by Surf Scoter standards this was a good view, helped by our top of the range telescopes while others were still struggling to pick it out. Luckily the light continued to improve, and everyone enjoyed this smart looking rarity, only the second record ever for the Isle of Anglesey! There was lots more to see here, three Long-tailed Ducks including a very handsome drake, Common Scoter, Common Eider, Red-throated Divers, Great Crested Grebes and Gannets – what a wonderful start to the day.

Red Squirrel Anagach 1

Lovely to see two Red Squirrels on Anglesey such beautiful animals.

We then headed inland towards Llangefni and enjoyed a welcome hot chocolate before reaching the Cefni Reservoir. As we step from the car Ruth spotted two Red Squirrels in the larch trees right next to us, what a lovely bonus sighting! We walked through the woodland to a viewpoint overlooking the lake and there we saw lots of ducks! We were particularly hoping to see one special duck, a rare visitor from North America – a female Ring-necked Duck. We had been lucky enough to see the bird a few days ago and now hoped to share it with Brian and Helen. The top of the range telescopes again came into their own allowing us detailed and frame filling views of the beautiful birds before us. Northern Pintail and Shoveler, Eurasian Wigeon and Teal, Goldeneye, Pochard, Tufted Duck and yes, Ring-Necked Duck! We had good views of this subtle diving duck and enjoyed all the other wonderful ducks here too.

Mediterranean Gull

Gulls sometimes get a bad press but they are wonderful birds - Mediterranean Gull.

A quick move across to the west side of Anglesey and a look at Beddmanarch Bay with the clock ticking towards lunch. Lots of Pale-bellied Brent Geese here and it was a nice surprise to see a single Dark-bellied Brent Goose on its own close to the car park. Three Slavonian Grebes were offshore along with Red-breasted Mergansers and waders included a lot of Grey Plover, Dunlin, Knot and Bar-tailed Godwits. A stunning adult Mediterranean Gull landed on the beach very close to us and we all soaked up the views of this beautiful gull. Then it was time for lunch at the nearby Catch 22 in Valley. We enjoyed a delicious meal as always, we love this place.

After lunch it was a short drive to Holyhead Harbour where we picked out a Great Northern Diver and Black Guillemots – more target birds for Brian and Helen. As we drove towards South Stack we had great views of a pair of Red-billed Chough feeding in a horse paddock, nice. At South Stack it was really windy, but we did manage to see a few Common Guillemots and a very confiding Rock Pipit.

Time for one more stop, overlooking the Inland Sea where we enjoyed lots of waders, Shelducks and more Red-breasted Mergansers and our first Coots of the day before heading for home. A very satisfying 78 species of birds enjoyed with a big boost for Brian and Helen’s 2023 year list, a lovely day all round.

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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