Best of North Wales Custom Tour For Two 27 February 2024 Goshawks And More




We enjoyed fantastic prolonged views of Common Crossbill on this lovely day in North Wales.



We met Chris and Clara at Llandudno west shore at 8am on the 27th of February, a bight, breezy, and cold morning. Just a few minutes later we were arriving at the Great Orme and spotted a flock of “crows” flying ahead of us that looked interesting. A quick move and we parked, and all jumped out. We were thrilled to see a gang of Red-billed Chough swooping above the cliffs against the bluest of skies, what a start! The split up with five birds flying off towards the town and two flying along the cliffs ahead of us. Moments later an awesome Peregrine Falcon fly low past us in the perfect light – what a wonderful view of this magnificent bird. We stopped a second Peregrine up on the cliff in the sunshine and the high-powered telescopes allowed us all to enjoy wonderful views. Chris spotted a Northern Fulmar sweeping overhead and we watched this super flier two Peregrines put on a flying display! Wow!

Also, on the Great Orme we enjoyed close views of a pair of Rock Pipits, two Black Guillemots, hundreds of Common Guillemots and Razorbill, Cormorants and Shags, and most unusually for February Kittiwakes back at their nesting cliffs already! A gang of Atlantic grey seals were hauled out on the beach just below us, amazing variety of shapes, sizes, and colours. The famous Great Orme goats also entertained us.

We then headed south down the Conwy Valley to check a site for Hawfinch but again no luck, they are proving very elusive the winter sadly. We did see plenty of birds here including a beautiful Red Kite and a smart drake Goosander.

We then headed up into the hills with breath-taking views across the mountains of Snowdonia. Good numbers of Red Kites were seen along with Buzzards, and huge flocks of Starlings over the fields – an impressive sight. A welcome hot drink went down well, and a Merlin shot across the car park but sadly an all two brief encounter.

Up into an area of upland forestry and it was cold, just four degree C, and it was pretty windy, occasionally the sun popped out giving us more hope of birds of prey. At first it was very quiet indeed, no raptors at all, unusual for this spot. But we all kept scanning. More big flocks of Starling swirled around the fields here with lots of Fieldfares and a few Redwings. A flock of Common Crossbills landed in the treetops and luckily the scopes were straight on them as they were a little distant. More scanning and a Common Buzzards began to appear, and a pair of Raven flapped past really close. Ruth picked up a raptor that looked a little different, so we all got on to this bird as it slowly flapped over the forest, it was a Common Buzzard flying in a very odd manner, but as we watched two more raptors appeared below the Buzzard in a “dog-fight” twisting and turning low over the forest like fighter planes! Goshawks! Wow tow female Goshawks have a right battle, amazing, and we were all looking in the right spot as they appeared amazingly lucky! One of the Goshawks got the upper hand and chased the other a long way across the forest before easing off and soaring, wow what a thrilling thing to witness.

We scanned some more and had rather distant views of a male Goshawk low over the tress, before we decided to head for lunch. We didn’t get very far. Ruth spotted a “chunky” finch on a tree top and luckily there was a layby right there to stop safely in. We all jumped out and there was a smart male Crossbill on the treetop! But we soon saw he was not alone, there were lots of Crossbills here! Alan quickly got a scope set up fearing the birds would on soon, as they so often do. The views in the telescope were superb, the birds close, and light great. A second was set up and the birds still posed for us, feeding on large pinecones wonderful to watch. We could clearly see the “crossed” tips to the bills that give these fantastic finches their name! We watched this flock of some thirty Crossbills for ages before we remembered we were going for lunch! As we enjoyed lunch, we watched beautiful Siskins and Redpolls at close range.

After a rather late lunch we headed back north and again checked the spot for Hawfinch, a lot of birds here including Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Chaffinch, and Siskin but still on Hawfinch. We will keep looking. A lovely Grey Wagtail here added another splash of colour.

We then ended the day at RSPB Conwy where it was sunny but windy. Plenty to see on the lagoons and we certainly boosted the number of species we enjoyed by a big margin. We watched Shelduck, Wigeon, Gadwall, Shoveler, Teal, Pochard and Tufted Duck along with Little and Great Crested Grebes, a lovely end to a great fun day! We do hope Chris and Clara can join us again soon.

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….

info@birdwatchingtrips.co.uk

We can then make all the arrangements for your perfect Birdwatching Trips tour.





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