What A Wonderful Start To Best Of North Wales Tour With Iolo Williams

Birdbox Kingfisher Lackford Lakes

Two Kingfishers in view at once during the first hour of the tour!

Today, 31st January, is the first day of a five day best of North Wales Tour with Iolo Williams and what a fantastic start it has been! Five guests met at the Princes Arms Hotel in the beautiful Conwy Valley in bright sunshine around mid-day. The birds came thick and fast right there at the hotel! A Goshawk soared over the valley and gave prolonged views, this was wonderful but was soon followed by a fantastic Peregrine and several Buzzards. Luckily for those that missed the first Goshawk sighting, it reappeared and again showed off, wow. No time to draw breath, two Kingfishers were spotted by the river just below the hotel and great telescope views were enjoyed as one bird in particular just sat there and posed in the sunshine. We also watched Goosanders, a Bullfinch, a flock of Redwing and Little Egret all before lunch!

The juvenile Iceland Gull kept us waiting but showed well in the end.

We then headed north and collected guest number six from RSPB Conwy as Richard had been delayed on his journey over. Then a short drive to the Little Orme where sadly the weather was pretty grim windy and heavy rain showers. But we pressed on and soon watched a lovely male Stonechat followed by a fly past Fulmar. At the bay we scanned for the hoped-for Iceland Gull but sadly no sign and only a few Atlantic grey seals instead of the many we've seen there before, perhaps the bad weather had moved them on? Scanning offshore we watched Red-throated Divers, Great Crested Grebes, Cormorants and Shags. A Red-billed Chough swept overhead calling loudly – wonderful. As we turned to head back to the minibus the Iceland Gull circled over the beach – yes! This beautiful gull had arrived in the nick of time and floated down landing on the beach allowing great views.

On the way back we stopped at a view point overlooking the Conwy River and again we were amazingly lucky with two more sightings of Goshawks! Iolo spotted a Peregrine Falcon in a dead tree and we watched spellbound as at least 22 Red Kites drifted above the valley what a thrilling day for raptors! We also enjoyed Shelduck, Wigeon, Teal, Lapwings, Curlew and Ravens here.

What a wonderful start to this five day tour come and join us!

Iolo Williams points out the birds

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