North Wales Weekend

Great Orme panorama August

View from the Great Orme, Llandudno - on a clear day!

On Saturday morning we met Mark and Vicky at RSPB Conwy and quickly whisked them up to the Great Orme. Sadly not quite quick enough, the Dotterel that been showing earlier had been flushed and flown off. A real shame that this lovely bird had done a bunk but plenty to see here. We had amazing views of Chough feeding close to the path and often calling loudly. Plenty of Stonechats were showing off on the stonewall and gorse bushes and very smart migrant Wheatears posed for us. Three tiny Goldcrests took refuge in a stunted hawthorn out on the limestone pavement area. It was unusual to look down on Fulmars from the cliff top near the lighthouse. Ravens cruised past at eye-level allowing fantastic close looks at these huge corvids.

Wheatear Great Orme August 1

The Great Orme is a wonderful place to see migrant Wheatears.

Back to RSPB Conwy for a look at the reserve, not just the car park! Plenty of birds on the lagoons here, one of the first was a stunning Kingfisher that popped up near the Coffee Shop. Waders included some very showy Black-tailed Godwits and Common Snipe from the boardwalk screen. At the Tal-y-fan hide more Black-tailed Godwits were roosting and amongst them a Greenshank. A flock of Dunlin were out to the left of the hide and with them two juvenile Curlew Sandpipers - great to compare these small waders. At the Carneddau hide we enjoyed more waders and lots of wildfowl with Wigeon, Teal, Gadwall, Tufted Duck and Red-breasted Mergansers all showing well.

Greenshank feeding

A Greenshank feeding in the shallows of the lagoon.

After a welcome coffee and biscuits, we headed west to Morfa Madryn Nature Reserve where a rare Pectoral Sandpiper had been seen. No sign of the bird when we arrived but great views of Little Egrets on the foreshore here. We walked to the far end of the reserve and a hide over-looking a pool. Plenty of Redshank here and amongst them seven Greenshank, lovely to see. A Red-breasted Merganser and three Little Grebes fished the pool. Back at the east end of the reserve, good news, the juvenile Pectoral Sandpiper was showing on a tiny pool below a raised viewing area, whew! To have missed two rare waders in one day would not have been good!

Pectoral Sandpiper Dee

A Pectoral Sandpiper showing its pectoral breast band.

A lovely, if rather late, lunch at a seaside cafe went down very well and we watched two Grey Wagtails in the small stream here. Lunch done we headed further west and visited an estuary and pool behind the beach. Lots of birds out on the mudflats and we added plenty of new birds to our day list. A Goosander showed well in the river channel, Great crested Grebes out on the estuary, in the trees Long-tailed Tits and a fast moving Treecreeper added variety.

Goosander female 1

A close up of a female Goosander.

At a nearby river we watched an unusually lethargic Dipper, standing still on a rock mid-stream. This smashing little bird allowed us great views through the Leica scope. More Grey Wagtails were also feeding here always a joy to see.

We had enjoyed a really fun day with Mark and Vicky and hope to see them again for more great birds soon!

Today we took a walk with friends up the Aber Valley along the coast west of Llandudno. It was a stunning Autumn day with sunshine, blue sky and not a breath of wind. The colours of the woodlands were just starting to turn to yellow, orange and reds, lovely. A pair of Chough flew over the valley calling loudly, they are noisy birds! Buzzards soared in the sunshine and at one point joined by a Sparrowhawk. At the waterfall the scenery was stunning, with plenty of water cascading down the cliff despite the dry weather recently. A Dipper showed off just below the falls, joined by a Grey Wagtail.

Aber Falls

North Wales has great birds in stunning scenery! Come and join us soon for a special day out. Simply drop us a line and we will do the rest...

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