Best Of North Wales Two Day Tour For Two 12 and 13 July 2021

The super rare Elegant Tern really put on a show for Howard and Rosie.

Alan picked up Howard and Rosie from their Llandudno holiday apartment on the 12th of July and the three headed for Anglesey. A very rare Elegant Tern had taken up residence at Cemlyn Lagoon on the north coast of the island and this was number one priority on this custom tour. The weather was perfect on arrival at Cemlyn with not a breath of wind and a bright overcast sky, the noise from the mass of Sandwich Terns nesting here was audible from the car park. Hurrying along the shingle ridge the three soon reached the best viewpoint overlooking the islands in the lagoon where the terns nest. Superb views of Sandwich, Common and Arctic Terns here all busy feeding young, thousands of birds and sound scape was just wonderful. Luckily the Elegant Tern soon put in an appearance and really showed off in the perfect conditions – no glare from the sun and no heat haze – allowing frame filling views! What a superb bird with that crazy long yellow bill and all the way from the west coast of the USA. Two Roseate Terns also showed off and again gave scope filling views what a fantastic start to this custom Tour for Two. Also at Cemlyn were a Whimbrel, Curlew, Common Redshank, Black-tailed Godwit and Oystercatchers not a bad list of waders for July.

Puffin July 2017 1

Atlantic Puffins just one of the many star birds seen on this custom Tour for Two.

RSPB South Stack is another must visit site on Anglesey and it again delivered superb birds. The seabird city on the dramatic cliffs was still in full swing and super views of Atlantic Puffins were probably the highlight along with amazing views of Red-billed Chough. Also here were masses of Common Guillemots, Razorbills, Kittiwakes and offshore Gannets and Manx Shearwaters joined “feeding frenzies” of gulls over the calm sea. On the heathland Stonechats and Linnets showed off in the morning sunshine amongst a wonderful display of flowering heather – what a beautiful spot.

A picnic lunch was enjoyed at Beddmanarch Bay where a stunning adult Mediterranean Gull flew low overhead. Then they moved onto nearby Holyhead Harbour where superb views of Black Guillemots were enjoyed including seeing two youngsters in a nest hole – wonderful – so lucky to see these. A pair of Rock Pipits also showed very well at the harbour seen on the fishing boats tied up against the quayside.

At Llyn Penrhyn a good selection of ducks boosted the day list including Pochard, Tufted Duck and Gadwall, plenty of Great crested Grebes here too always lovely to watch and Reed Warbler and Sedge Warblers both showed. But the best bird here was just as they were leaving a wonderful Hobby flew low over the lake – a scarce bird on Anglesey and always a real thrill to see.

Time for one last stop, before heading back to Llandudno, at RSPB Cors Ddyga where it was rather quite in the late afternoon heat but still some new birds for the day list were added. A surprise for July was a Common Snipe feeding in one of the channels and super views of Northern Lapwings were enjoyed some very close indeed. It was lovely to hear Skylarks singing overhead a real sound of summer and one that will soon be over sadly.

A wonderful day full of great birds and some stunning scenery all in great weather with a total of 77 species enjoyed – very pleasing for July. In the evening Ruth joined everyone for a lovely meal in a wonderful country pub, many thanks to Howard and Rosie for the lovely treat so kind.

On the 13th July it was a two minute drive from Llandudno to the Great Orme where the birds came thick and fast on another beautiful morning. Red-billed Chough swooped along the cliffs and gave super views, a pair of Peregrines put on a fantastic flying display right above us as Fulmars whizzed back and forth – what a start! Further around the headland we enjoyed great views of the seabird colony with Black Guillemots, Common Guillemots, Razorbills, Kittiwakes, Cormorants and Shags all enjoyed. Stonechats, Ravens and Sparrowhawk were all enjoyed on this fantastic headland before a short drive to RSPB Conwy.

We had super views of Great Egrets at the reserve showing very well on the lagoons alongside Little Egrets and what a difference in size when seen side by side. Waders here included Common Sandpiper, Black-tailed Godwit, Common Redshank, Lapwing and Curlew. Plenty of ducks here too including Eurasian Wigeon very unusual here in mid-summer a pair had spent the entire spring and summer here but no evidence of them breeding.

We then headed inland and climbed up in altitude stopping to admire a mixed feeding flock of small including Spotted Flycatcher – a rare bird these days – Willow Warbler, Blackcap and Coal Tit. Higher up we were very lucky to find a pair of Whinchat and had super views of these handsome birds along with plenty of Stonechat but no sign of any Ring Ouzels on this occasion. Amazingly a Hobby flew low overhead – two sightings in two days can’t ever remember doing that before in North Wales!

Back down in at lower altitude we enjoyed Dipper and Grey Wagtail on a small stream and then headed up into an area of forest. Here we enjoyed our picnic lunch and were again very lucky to watch a stunning male Common Redstart just below us what a gorgeous bird. Also in the forest we added Jay, Tree Pipit, Siskin and Goldcrest to an impressive day list.

A drive through the stunning scenery of the Snowdonia National Park was really impressive with not a cloud in the sky so all the mountains visible. We stopped to watch Northern Wheatears on a rocky hillside and again the hoped for Ring Ouzels eluded us.

We then heard news of a Wood Sandpiper at RSPB Cors Ddyga not so far from where we were so we popped back there but sadly the wader was not on show. But we did enjoy watching at least two Marsh Harriers, we had not seen them the previous day here, and best of all a wonderful view of a Kingfisher looking fantastic in the afternoon sun so very well worth the return visit.

Another great day, huge thanks to Howard and Rosie for their wonderful company, and a day total of 78 species very similar to the previous day but a lot of different species and habitats enjoyed over the two days. North Wales has so much to offer all year round and all within an hour’s drive of our base in Llandudno – come and see!

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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