Sea Cliffs Lagoons Beaches Estuaries And Mountains Day Two 17 January 2023

Great Orme

The Great Orme at Llandudno always a wonderful place to enjoy fantastic birds!

Day two of our five day Best of North Wales Birdwatching Trips tour started literally on the hotel doorstep watching Woodcock fly over. What a great start to any day and the full breakfast that followed was equally good.

Eider 2 Ythan

A wonderful drake Eider was just one of the many highlights at the Great Orme.

We then set off north to the Great Orme at Llandudno where it was one of those where to look next moments. Turnstones were on the legs of the pier, Shags and Great Crested Grebes in the bay, Fulmar whizzing overhead and a wonderful Red-billed Chough on the hillside above us! But there was more, a beautiful drake Eider drifted past, three Red-throated Divers showed off in the morning sun, a breeding plumaged Common Guillemot was on the clam sea. Then more excitement as a pair of Peregrine Falcons put on a fantastic display! The female flew in carrying prey and landed on a ledge in the sunshine and we all enjoyed frame filling views of her eating her breakfast. We watched a gang of Atlantic grey seals on a beach with two animals rolling around in the surf – wonderful to see.

Common Snipe BMW 1

Always a thrill to see beautiful Common Snipe - library photo.

It was so cold despite the sunshine so we stopped at Deganwy for welcome hot drink before going on to RSPB Conwy. We walked down to the first two hides at the reserve and enjoyed a great selection of birds. Robins demanded food along the paths and were duly rewarded and so lovely to see such tame birds. On the lagoons we managed to see the long staying female Scaup but views were tricky looking into the low sun. We had super views of beautiful Wigeon, Gadwall, Shoveler, Teal, Pochard and Tufted Duck. A big flock of Lapwing looked stunning in the winter sun as did a group of Common Snipe feeding in the snow and the views of the snow covered hills and Conwy Castle added to the visit.

We enjoyed a lovely lunch at nearby Snowdonia Nursery as a torrential hail storm hammered down on the roof – we literally could not hear each other speak so loud and big were the hail stones! We were very glad not to be outside in it.

Next we headed west to Llanfairfechan, it was cold and windy but luckily a shelter on the seafront gave us shelter from the wind. A Sanderling running about on the beach here was a real surprise, a very scarce bird along this coast. We also enjoyed great looks at Curlew, Oystercatcher, Common Redshank, Turnstones and Dunlin. Offshore were Common Scoter and Great Crested Grebes but the choppy sea made seeing them well very tough.

A short drive took us to Aber Ogwen, where the Ogwen River meets the sea, and a lovely hide where we could be out of the weather. Sleet and snow showers swept across the estuary making viewing next to impossible but they rattled through so we could soon see again. Lots of birds here! Greenshanks waded through the shallows alongside Redshanks, Goldeneye dived in the bay, Siskins were just a few feet from the hide, Little Egrets and Grey Heron stood hunched against the cold. A Slavonian Grebe dived for fish just offshore, spending more under than above water! Both Bar-tailed and Black-tailed Godwits were on the mudflats that were being revealed by the falling tide, Eider were offshore along with lovely Goosander – a wonderful place and we were sheltered from the weather.

We drove back through the heart of Snowdonia with snow covered mountains all around us, stunning scenery! Back at the hotel we caught up with the checklist for the tour – 80 species of bird enjoyed - and then enjoyed a delicious meal, all in all a wonderful day. 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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