Best Of North Wales Birdwatching Trips Day Trip 2 August 2021

The Great Orme at Llandudno always a wonderful place to start a Birdwatching Trips tour.

We met Tim and then Jayne at Llandudno West Shore at 8am and started seeing birds at once – watching beautiful Northern Gannets offshore such fantastic birds. A very short drive took us to the Great Orme, a wonderful limestone headland, and immediately saw a flock of Ruddy Turnstones at their high tide roost so close and most of them in their beautiful breeding plumage. Then we saw a fantastic Peregrine Falcon on the cliff above us in the morning sunshine with a blue sky behind the bird and frame filling through the Leica telescopes a real wow moment. Northern Fulmars swept back and forth above us and more of these wonderful seabirds were on the cliff ledges again the views through the telescopes were just wonderful.

Ruddy Turnstones were enjoyed within minutes of the start of our day out.

Next we visited the cemetery on the headland – a real sun trap and often busy with birds – and it was a case of where to look first! A Great spotted Woodpecker, not often here seen, on clinging to a wire fence a very odd place to see this red-headed juvenile bird. A second Great spotted Woodpecker, an adult, was on a nearby telegraph pole great thing about bird watching always something unexpected! Stonechats were everywhere so many around the gravestones adults and great to see lots of juveniles looks like a bumper breeding season on the headland. We also had great looks at Common Whitethroat, Linnet and Goldfinches and a Common Buzzard flew low overhead.

Kittiwakes Troupe 4

We were surprised to see so many Black-legged Kittiwakes still around the cliffs.

A little further around the headland we stopped where the seabird colony was and were surprised to see some 300 Black-legged Kittiwakes still at the nesting cliffs! The seabirds have usually all left the cliffs by late July so it was great to enjoy the sight and sound of these wonderful birds in August. Another Peregrine Falcon cruised along the cliffs sending the Kittiwakes into panic. A pair of Red-billed Chough soared over the cliff above us briefly and then a few minutes later three of these superb corvid returned and allowed better views always a thrill to see. Ravens soared above the headland and we had great looks at a Rock Pipit on a grass slope close to the road.

Nice to see Common Redshank on the lagoons at RSPB Conwy even when the tide was low.

A short drive took us to RSPB Conwy for a complete change of habitat from dramatic sea-cliffs to coastal lagoons – beauty of North Wales so much variety in such a small area. It was really warm in the sunshine at the reserve and we enjoyed plenty of birds by visiting the first three hides. A flock of Common Redshank were roosting on the islands in the lagoons along with a Common Sandpiper and a small flock of Lapwings. Ducks included Shoveler, Teal, Gadwall and Tufted Duck. Common Swifts zoomed over the water along with plenty of House Martins with Greenfinches amongst the birds visiting the feeders. We had a look at the estuary before heading off and watched a Great Egret feeding in the shallows with three Little Egrets great to compare the two white herons.

Always great to see Red-billed Chough and today we enjoyed them on the coast and in the hills.

Another short drive and another complete change of habitat to mountain slopes with beautiful purple heather and yellow gorse in flower. More Stonechats here and we soon heard the lovely calls of Chough. Scanning the hillside produced at least seven of these amazing crows in the sunshine. A Common Redstart was a really great bird to see in August and it showed off hopping around the base of some gorse bushes.

Back down to the coast, just fifteen minutes away, and we enjoyed a lovely picnic lunch overlooking an estuary. The tide was rather low but still lots of birds out there! Scanning the area we quickly add new species to our already impressive day list – five Greenshank were feeding in the creeks, Shelduck were feeding on the mudflats, Eider ducks, Great crested Grebes and Goosander loafed around on the water – what a great place for lunch! Onto the Isle of Anglesey and we visited RSPB Cors Ddyga where it was really warm and not a lot of bird activity but we did see two Great Egrets showing very well with a Little Egret on the wet meadows but the only wader was a single Common Snipe – sure more wader will appear here as the autumn progresses. As we headed back to the car a wonderful adult male Marsh Harrier soared against the blue sky where it was mobbed by a pair of Ravens great to compare these birds side by side, Ravens are big!

Next we headed the short way down to the Cefni Estuary and walked along the Cob Embankment which gives wonderful views over the estuary, pools on the left and views across Snowdonia – a great place. A lot of people “enjoying” the area so a lot of disturbance sadly – canoes, fishermen, dog walkers, cyclists you name it things to scare birds! But we did still enjoy some birds of course with Curlews and Oystercatchers on the estuary, Redshank and Common Sandpipers on the pool and we also had super looks at Blackcap and Common Whitethroat in the late afternoon sun.

Then it was time to head back to Llandudno after a wonderful day enjoying over 70 species of birds in beautiful and so varied scenery. We look forward to enjoying more with Tim and Jayne in the future. Come and join us for the very best Birdwatching Trips here in North Wales and beyond.

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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