Sandpipers Scaup And Raptors On Day Five Best Of North Wales 20 January 2023

We enjoyed the best ever views of Purple Sandpipers on the last day of the tour.

Early morning we again gathered on the front step of the hotel and watched five Woodcock whizz overhead as they headed to their day time roost. A lovely breakfast was very welcome and plenty of birds on the feeders to entertain us as we ate.

We then drove north to the coast and Rhos-on-Sea and within moments of arriving found the hoped for Purple Sandpipers. These beautiful waders were so close, roosting on the sea defence boulders. With the morning sun on these grey waders we could actually see “purple” well pink feathers on their back. Very unusual to be close enough and in good enough light to see this subtle colour on the feathers. There were five of these scarce winter visitors roosting with a group of Ruddy Turnstones and we all enjoyed these exceptional views in the sunshine – what a great start to the last day of our five-day tour. Offshore we watched lots of Great Crested Grebes and at least three Red-throated Divers. We could also see Fulmars zooming around the cliffs of the Little Orme over to our left.

Pochard drake Welney

Good light makes such a difference every bird looks stunning - drake Pochard.

A short drive took us to RSPB Conwy where it was mild, sunny and calm very different from our last visit earlier in the tour. Robins were fed along the trails – always a really lovely thing when birds are so tame they feed from your hand. From the Benarth hide we enjoyed close views of beautiful Lapwings in the winter sunshine with the snow capped hills of Snowdonia as a backdrop. Ducks were also showing well on the calm waters of the lagoons – Gadwall, Wigeon, Teal, Pochard and Tufted Duck but we couldn’t see the hoped for long staying female Scaup. At the next hide, the Carneddau, the light was better to view the south end of the lagoons and there was the Scaup! Whew, great to see this long staying scarce bird and to see it well after difficult viewing conditions on day one of the tour. A male Bullfinch provided a wonderful splash of colour on the way back to the car park.

Red Kites 8 July 2013

Still a thrill to see Red Kites so close to home after so many years with none here.

A short drive south down the Conwy Valley and we stopped at a beautiful viewpoint overlooking the river and water meadows. The sun still shone and snowdrops were pushing up through the grass making it feel almost Spring like! Lots of Lapwings on the wet grassland along with four Common Snipe. Plenty of Common Buzzards were on the wing and more surprisingly a good number of Red Kites – looking stunning in the sunshine. A Peregrine Falcon soared against the blue sky and remained in view for a good long time. As we headed back to the minibus we kept scanning the sky and it paid off – Goshawk! This big muscular hawk was slowly circling over a distant ridge but showing up in the perfect light. Through the telescopes we had a pretty good look at the Goshawk which luckily stayed in view for a decent time, so lucky, never stop looking!

Back to the hotel for lunch and say farewell to our lovely guests – Roger, Sally, Jean, Kathryn, Andrew and Clare. We look forward to enjoying lots more birds with all of them again soon. Huge thank you to all the team at the Princes Arms for looking after us all so well and a huge thank you to Emily our great minibus driver and eagle-eyed spotter of birds!

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….

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

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