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Birding the Best of Anglesey in September

We headed off bright and early for another day's guided birdwatching, and again the sky was red over the Little Orme. This had been a good omen yesterday, so hopefully we were in for another good day!

Dawn over Little Orme 2

Another dawn, another red sky over the Little Orme

We met up with Paul and Stuart at RSPB Conwy and took a walk out onto the reserve. Jack Snipe had been showing very well from the Tal-y-Fan hide yesterday, but would it still be there? We were in luck!

Jack Snipe RSPB Conwy 3

That confiding Jack Snipe was still on show at RSPB Conwy

It was great to compare this diminutive snipe with its larger Common Snipe cousins which were plentiful on the reserve. We also enjoyed Black-tailed Godwit and Dunlin, and wildfowl including Wigeon, Teal, Shoveler and Pochard amongst many other species before setting off for more birding elsewhere. Very strong winds at Llanfairfechan made scanning the Menai Straits very tough indeed but we enjoyed views Common Gulls on the beach and Gannets offshore before we headed over to Anglesey.

Cefni Estuary Sept

Big skies, big estuary at Malltraeth

Complete contrast in the weather as we scanned across the huge Cefni estuary at Malltraeth - bright blue sunshine and no wind!

Alan Paul Stuart Cob Sept

Alan, Paul and Stuart scan the waders on the cob pool at Malltraeth

Here we enjoyed great views of a flock of Lapwings and Golden Plover glowing in the sunshine, while Curlew Sandpiper and Dunlin probed the shallows of the Cob Pool.

Golden Plover and Lapwing

Massed Golden Plover and Lapwing in the sunshine

Little Egret Malltraeth

Little Egret fishing in the Cefni River

It was truly a day of contrasts as we found ourselves battling against the wind again at Holyhead. Behind the protective wall, all was calm in the harbour. Peer over the wall, however, and the wind was whipping up the waves making birding much tougher. Not too tough for us to be able to pick out a Black Guillemot riding the waves just offshore though!

Holyhead Fishquay

Holyhead Harbour

Next we headed over towards the marina, not many yachts had braved the open seas!

Holyhead Marina

Unfortunately the wind was still whipping the bushes here, though butterflies swarmed over one bush that was more sheltered than the rest.

Painted Lady Red Admiral

Next stop, RSPB South Stack and once again we were on the sheltered side of the island. Emergency stop as we drove up the narrow lane: Chough in the field right beside the car! They were so intent on probing the fields they shared with some horses that they were completed unfazed as we jumped out the car with our cameras!

Chough South Stack 290913

Chough and Jackdaw South Stack

We walked down to the cliff edge and soaked up the views of this fantastic beauty spot. Birds soon attracted our attention though, at our feet with Rock Pipit pottering amongst the rocks on the cliff below us, overhead as more Chough rocked and rolled in the gusty wind, and out at sea as Gannets and an Arctic Skua powered over the waves.

Paul Stuart and Ruth South Stack

Chough-watchers at South Stack: Paul,Stuart and Ruth

At a brief stop at the Inland Sea, we caught up with our first Goldeneye of the season. Standing in the warm sunshine on this sheltered side of the Isle of Anglesey, it seemed odd to be looking at a duck we associate with winter birding, but this is the end of September, and the seasons they are a-changing!

Our day enjoying the best of Anglesey birdwatching seemed to fly by with over 80 species recorded in total. Thanks to Paul and Stuart for making it such a great day, we hope we can go birding with you again!

If you'd like to join us for some exciting birdwatching, do get in contact with us on


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