Best Of Anglesey Birdwatching Trips Tour 25 July 2021 A Lot Of Great Birds

South Stack Sept 2013

A wonderful place to start any Birdwatching Trips tour - RSPB South Stack.

Alan picked up Saffia and Andy from their Llandudno holiday apartment at 8am and being a Sunday headed straight for RSPB South Stack thinking it would be very busy there later in the day. Even before reaching the reserve Red-billed Chough, one of the target birds, were enjoyed at close range as they fed in a field. Amazingly the car park was empty, never usually the case at this popular reserve, and better still more Chough were showing well right from the car park. Walking towards the cliff top view point great looks at Linnets, Stonechats, Meadow Pipits and views of a Northern Fulmar and Northern Gannets were all enjoyed. Reaching the cliff top it was rather odd to see the majority of the cliffs empty of birds only a few days ago the ledges were thronged with Common Guillemots and Razorbills, now most had departed out to sea until their return next spring. But a careful scan did reveal small numbers of Common Guillemots on a few of the ledge some still with small young. Scanning the calm sunlit water below the cliffs produced Atlantic Puffins, so good there were still some about as it was late in the season. Wonderful views were enjoyed of the Puffins were enjoyed through the Leica telescopes on the calm sea in the morning sunshine. Plenty of Kittiwakes were on the sea here too and more Chough showed along with Rock Pipits and some distant Manx Shearwaters.

Next stop was at Holyhead Harbour where the target bird, Black Guillemot was immediately seen, always great when birds are where we hope they will be. Nine of these most classy looking auks showed off in the beautiful sunshine. Amazing to see some the Black Guillemots on the harbour wall where those scarlet red feet and legs could be seen just wonderful birds.

Adult Mediterranean Gulls are really stunning birds and always a thrill to see.

A quick stop at Beddmanarch Bay paid off with super close views of six Mediterranean Gulls a great count at this spot. It was great to compare the “Med” Gulls with the Black-headed Gulls alongside.

We enjoyed wonderful views of the Elegant Tern at Cemlyn Lagoon - what a beak!

At Cemlyn Lagoon we were pleased to see plenty of Sandwich Tern still on the islands in the lagoon and hoped that the very rare Elegant Tern would still be amongst them. Reaching the car park a problem, the tide was very high and still creeping up, oh heck. The bridge allowing access to the shingle ridge, where the terns are best viewed from, might soon be underwater and the car park cut off! Time for a quick decision go now fast or wait a long time for the tide to drop, go now! Hurrying along the beach luck was in and the Elegant Tern was seen briefly almost at once but landed out of sight in the vegetation on the island amongst the Sandwich Tern colony. The sea was creeping higher and higher and the route back to the car park might soon be cut off, pressure. Then the Elegant Tern was flying again, but where would it go, out to sea or back round to the colony? Thankfully it came back and landed in full view! Wow what a wonderful bird and the views were just frame filling – perfect. Quickly back along the beach but it was ok the tide was not as high as excepted and the bridge was clear of water, whew, so time to enjoy great looks at Arctic, Common and Sandwich Terns on the rocks at very close range before getting back to car with dry feet. A walk out to the nearby beach was rewarded with a Whimbrel right next to a Curlew and plenty of Atlantic grey seals. Then a lovely picnic lunch was enjoyed overlooking the lagoon in the hot sunshine. Saffia then had a great idea – desserts and coffee at nearby Catch 22 brasserie and delicious the desserts were too enjoyed on the terrace in the sun watching a Sparrowhawk and a Common Buzzard overhead!

On again to Llyn Penrhyn where not so many birds as usual perhaps it was too hot or maybe there had been some disturbance at the site earlier? But it was good to watch Great Crested Grebes on the calm water along with Pochard and Tufted Duck all new for the day. It was a rather similar story at RSPB Cors Ddyga so maybe it was the heat that was keeping the birds out of sight. Andy spotted a Bullfinch near the car park, Lapwings were a beautiful sight on the wet fields and the first Ravens of the day showed well both in flight and on top of some stone gate posts. A Mistle Thrush seen the bridge over the river was a good bird for our Anglesey trips, we usually see them in more upland areas on the mainland.

Goosander female 1

Good to see plenty of Goosander at the last stop of the day - over 70 species of bird enjoyed!

Just time for one last stop on the way back to Llandudno, at Aber Ogwen on the mainland where great views over the Ogwen estuary were enjoyed. New birds came quickly with Goosander, Red-breasted Merganser, Common Eider and Shelduck all enjoyed. Plenty of Curlew and Oystercatchers here too but no new species of wader were added despite a lot of scanning of the mud-flats. Time to head back to Llandudno but just then all the gulls and other birds lifted off the estuary in panic! Could well be a bird of prey? Frantic scanning of the sky and yes a large bird of prey gliding towards the group head on was it the Osprey we had seen nearby recently? The raptor turned and it proved to be a juvenile Marsh Harrier an amazing record at this site, Alan had never seen this species at this site before in many years of visits. What a thrilling sight to end the day! Huge thanks to Saffia and Andy for their great company and we do hope they can come back to North Wales in February 2022 for a completely different set of amazing birds!

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 as soon as it is safe.

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