An Autumn Best Of Anglesey Day Trip Produces A Lovely Mix Of Birds 10 August 2021

Red-billed Chough are always a thrill to see and we are so lucky to see them so often.

Now we are into August, where did seven months just go to, the bird year is into autumn and migration is under way – a very exciting time of year indeed. Alan met Ben at Llandudno West Shore and they headed for Anglesey, first stop RSPB South Stack. Even before reaching the reserve Red-billed Chough were seen feeding in a field, fourteen of these wonderful crows, what a perfect start. Stepping out of the car more Chough were instantly seen this time three birds sat in a row preening. The Leica telescope allowed every feather detail to be seen and we noticed the group comprised of two adults and a juvenile bird, shorter duller bill on the youngster, some of the best ever views of these fantastic birds. Walking across the heath towards the cliffs nice views of Stonechats on the beautiful purple heather and so yellow gorse what a beautiful time of year. At the viewpoint overlooking the cliffs what a difference to recent visits gone were the masses of Common Guillemots that make this there nesting place and it was strangely silent. But of course there were still birds to see, a flock of Kittiwakes were on the rocks at the base of the cliffs with more on the water and allowed wonderful views through the scope. Offshore were lots of Manx Shearwaters skimming low over the sea and Gannets were passing too. Then a Hooded Crow, great bird to see in North Wales, flew in and landed on the cliff face a real bonus sighting.

Black Guillemot

Super views of Black Guillemots were enjoyed these handsome birds will soon moult to winter dress.

At nearby Holyhead Harbour Black Guillemots were immediately seen and great views were enjoyed of these very smart little sea-birds. Ben spotted a Whimbrel on some rocks and a flock of Ringed Plover circled the bay and another good bird here was a Great Crested Grebe the day was going very well indeed! At Beddmanarch Bay four Mediterranean Gulls gave super close views amongst Black-headed Gulls – Ben had asked about learning more about gulls so here was a perfect chance to compare these similar species and such good views.

Cemlyn Lagoon a wonderful place to enjoy birds all year round.

At Cemlyn Lagoon it was a lovely surprise to find a good number of terns still present at the breeding colony they often depart by the end of July. Three species present and super views of Sandwich, Common and Arctic Terns were enjoyed during the visit to this wonderful area. Common Sandpipers and Common Redshank were also around the edge of the lagoon and out on the beach wonderful close views of Ruddy Turnstone and Common Ringed Plover. A Rock Pipit flew in and landed next to the Turnstones as Manx Shearwaters and Gannets moved past offshore. Several Atlantic grey seals loafed about in the water always great to see these big mammals.

Picnic lunch at Valley Lakes then back to the birds! The lake held a nice selection of new birds for the day and it was surprising, and lovely, to see Great Crested Grebes with small chicks hitching a ride on their parents backs. Pochard and Tufted Duck were the diving ducks here with Teal and Gadwall being the new dabbling ducks, a Common Moorhen and plenty of Eurasian Coots were also new for the impressive day list.

Then a walk at RSPB Cors Ddyga but it has to be said not so many birds here on this occasion. But of course still birds to enjoy and raptors were a feature with some really wonderful close views of Common Buzzards and more distant views of a Red Kite – unusual here – and a Marsh Harrier. Reed Bunting and Sedge Warbler were new for the day and the last new bird enjoyed was a Little Grebe diving in a channel through the reeds.

A really great fun day with over seventy species of birds enjoyed at a pace where we had plenty of time to really enjoy them and learn about them. We do hope Ben can join us again for Birdwatching Trips tours a really great companion.

Of course a wonderful way to see more birds is to join one of our Birdwatching Trips and learn a lot about the birds you are enjoying too. We have tours suitable for all from beginners to experienced birders that are seeking particular species. Just drop us a line here and we can arrange a perfect custom tour for you!

We look forward to enjoying wonderful birds with you soon.

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