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Biggest Twitch
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Best of North Wales 14 May

Conwy RSPB

We met Mark at RSPB Conwy at 8.30am and explored the reserve in the early morning sunshine. Almost the first birds we saw were three Black-tailed Godwits which circled the lagoon then dropped in and landed. The godwits looked lovely, two in their brick-red breeding plumage. Behind the waders we noticed a pair of Teal at the waters edge, nice start.

Along the boardwalk we compared the songs of Reed and Sedge Warbler and a male Reed Bunting sat up giving great scope views. On the lagoon we enjoyed close views of Lapwing, Oystercatchers, Gadwall and Tufted Duck. Overhead a Kestrel hovered and we marvelled at Swifts mating on the wing!

South down the Conwy Valley we were soon enjoying lots more great birds. Two Whimbrel in a ploughed field were a surprise as were two late Common Gulls on the riverbank. The view over the Conwy river and valley were just gorgous, on the river we watched a drake Goosander and a gang of punk-headed Red-breasted Mergansers. Raptors were in the air and we enjoyed Red Kite, Common Buzzards, Peregrine and another Kestrel - not bad from one spot.

We then climbed up towards the moors. A stunning male Common Redstart stopped us in our tracks as this colourful bird posed on a fence post, wow! Progress was slow as we kept stopping to admire great birds. Wheatears, Whinchats, Stonechats, Tree Pipits and singing Skylarks all showed off in the sun.


We enjoyed a coffee and biscuits but these were inturupted by the appearance of a male Hen Harrier! This rare and beautiful raptor climbed above the ridge and we held our breath hoping we were about to see something very special. The harrier climbed higher, then it began, sky-dancing! The display flight of the Hen Harrier, breath-taking! The harrier dived, twisted, turned and rose again, we were very lucky to see this rare and amazing display. So sad that, due to mans persecution, these lovely birds are so rare in Britain.

Hardly had we got our breath back when a Merlin tore across the heather and attacked a Raven which was sitting on a boulder! What an amazing morning.

Lunch was next and we ate outside the lovely tearoom as Pied Flycatchers sang above us. Full of great food we walked through a gorgous woodland full of birds and carpeted with bluebells. We soon found the Pied Flycatchers, also Nuthatch, Treecreeper, Coal Tit, Siskin and best of all a lovely singing male Wood Warbler. We were able to look down on this yellow, green and white little gem as it literally trembled as it sang.

More Whearears and three Cuckoos flying together calling were a thrill to see in the mountains. A pair of Common Sandpipers were noisy in the stream below us. It had been a day full of wonderful birds, sunshine, great scenery and great company!

We would love to put together a perfect day of birdwatching for you. Just drop us a line and we will do the rest.

We can arrange a tour at a pace and on a date ideal for you.

Conwy Valley


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