Three Day Custom Tour Best Of North Wales For Barry And Wendy 26 To 28 June 2023

Wendy Barry and Alan

Wendy, Barry and Alan birding in North Wales sunshine.

Our lovely friends Barry and Wendy have been coming up to North Wales for a three-day Birdwatching Trip tour for many years. We always look forward to their visits as we always enjoy lots of birds, lots of laughs and great food together.

South Stack cliffs windy 2

RSPB South Stack on Anglesey a spectacular place to enjoy birds.

On the 26th of June we picked up Barry and Wendy from their B&B here in Llandudno – Space B&B which they love and has the bonus of a large private car park. We then headed for Anglesey and first stop RSPB South Stack. This fantastic nature reserve was featured on BBC Spring Watch recently so we knew it would be busy with visitors and got there early. The scenery was as spectacular as the birds, towering sea cliffs, the lighthouse, and the blue sea a perfect scene. Thousands of Common Guillemots were on the cliffs and bobbing about on the sea below us. Amongst them we picked out plenty of Razorbills and at least six Atlantic Puffins – always a delight to see. Red-billed Chough were another bird Barry and Wendy were delighted to see along with Rock Pipits, Ravens, Gannets, and Manx Shearwaters. A cup of coffee was enjoyed at the visitor centre where the car park was now literally full, good job we arrived early.

Black Guillemot

Black Guillemots are such handsome birds - another on Barry and Wendy's wish list.

Next on the “wish list” was Black Guillemots and we were soon enjoying these dapper sea birds in the warm sunshine. Amazing how long they can stay underwater for while fishing – over two minutes. We all enjoyed a lovely lunch at the Sea Shanty at nearby Treaddur Bay.

Tern flock Cemlyn

Cemlyn Lagoon is a wonderful place to enjoy a lot of birds in summer!

After lunch it was a visit to Cemlyn Bay on the north coast of Anglesey to see the breeding colony of terns – always a highlight of Barry and Wendy’s visits. This year though there was the added bonus of breeding Avocets! The first time beautiful delicate looking waders have nested on Anglesey. It was wonderful to see the adult Avocets wading through the shallow water but even better to see they now had four fluffy balls of chicks so cute. We also enjoyed super views of the Sandwich, Common and Arctic Terns here and a stunning adult Mediterranean Gull. On the way back towards Llandudno we stopped off at RSPB Cors Ddyga where a male Marsh Harrier showed well along with Lapwings, Teal, and we heard a singing Cetti’s Warbler.

In the evening we enjoyed a lovely meal at the Cottage Loaf pub here in Llandudno.

On the 27th of June we headed south down the Conwy Valley and walked along by the Conwy River. We enjoyed a wonderful selection of birds here. Another of Barry and Wendy’s “wish list” birds was Common Redstart and luckily the pair we found with Iolo Williams the week before were still in the same area. Two Kingfishers were seen including one on the riverbank with a good size fish. Both the family of Mandarin and Goosanders were in situ and a Great Spotted Woodpecker flew over.

We then headed further inland seeing Red Kites, Skylarks and Stonechats on an area of moorland. Then we visited the local Ospreys and enjoyed seeing both adults and the two well grown young. Redpolls and Siskins also showed off very well here despite the drizzle.

Another area of moorland nearby gave us more super views of Common Redstarts, a Cuckoo was a nice surprise getting late for them now. Two Whinchats were on the moor too – always a delight to see these lovely looking birds.

Into the forest and we were very lucky to find Common Crossbills quickly another of the “wish list” birds enjoyed. Just down the road a real slice of luck a Goshawk flew at eye-level through the trees towards us! This powerful hawk saw us and whizzed around a tree and shot off back the way it came to land briefly in a pine. Perhaps she needed a moment to compose herself? The great birds kept coming with a beautiful encounter with a singing Wood Warbler – “wish list” bird. This silver-white, green and lemon-yellow bird was at first elusive singing high in dark pines, but we waited, and this stunning bird came lower and allowed breath-taking views.

We all enjoyed a wonderful meal at the Princes Arms Hotel, Trefriw in the evening – always a great experience.

On the 28th of June we picked up Barry and Wendy from their B&B after their lovely breakfast and took a very short drive to the Great Orme, Llandudno. Our timing was perfect as we stepped from the car a Peregrine Falcon hurtled past us, just above head height, and whacked a Raven in mid-air! What a fantastic start to day three of the custom tour. The Raven was one of a family party and the group of huge crows laned on the grass slope next to us allowing super views. But the Peregrine had also seen them and again divebombed the corvids that ducked to avoid contact!

It was a real case of where to look, the Ravens v Peregrine or at the Black Guillemots on the calm sea, or the Fulmars on the cliff above or the Rock Pipit on the wall ahead of us! Luckily all stayed in view long enough for everyone to enjoy them all. Five Red-billed Chough then swooped along the cliffs calling loudly as Gannets cruised past over the bay. Further around the headland the cliffs were busy with breeding seabirds – Common Guillemots, Razorbills, Kittiwakes, Cormorants and Shags, and more Black Guillemots. Offshore a few Manx Shearwaters flew west well out, always nice to see them from our local patch.

Next stop was RSPB Conwy where we walked down to the Benarth hide – which overlooks both the lagoons on the reserve. Plenty of birds here and Wendy spotted the best one, a Little Ringed Plover on the dry mud area, it blended in so well it was a great spot. Plenty of ducks here, even in June, including Teal, Gadwall, Tufted Duck and a single Common Pochard. A Great Egret was another nice bird to add to the already impressive trip list. Coffee and cake went down well at the reserve tearoom.

We then headed down the Conwy Valley to check an area of mixed woodland, what a shock we had, hardly a bird to be seen or heard in this usually very productive area. Where are the birds? It feels as though numbers of birds have really collapsed locally, even once very common species such as Willow Warbler are hard to find this Spring – scary.

We enjoyed lunch in the Snowdonia National Park, near Capel Curig and the checked another area of woodland but almost the same story, mostly silent, but we did eventually find one so called Common Redstart!

With the weather closing in we headed back to the coast and the Ogwen Estuary where there were plenty of birds. Common Eider were new for the trip and also saw Goosanders, Shelduck, Curlew, Oystercatchers and Great Crested Grebes.

In the evening we enjoyed a wonderful meal at Osbourne House Restaurant here in Llandudno always a favourite of ours and Barry and Wendy’s. The three days had flown by, as always, and it was sad to say farewell to our lovely friends. Luckily, we will see them again in mid-July at the Global Bird Fair at Rutland, hope to see you there too!

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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