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Coast valleys and mountains the Best of North Wales Tour

Fox Gloves Nant Ffrancon

Today we ran a custom tour for two lovely people, Brian and Jean, here in North Wales. We are very lucky in having so many wonderful habitats close to our Llandudno base. We drove just eighty miles today, seeing well over eighty species at a relaxed pace, plenty of time to enjoy all the birds.

We met up at RSPB Conwy and walked down to the Tal y Fan hide. We enjoyed lovely views of Lapwing, Redshank and Teal in the perfect early morning sunshine. Tufted Duck and Gadwall loafed around the calm waters as Reed Warbler sang and clambered through the reedbeds. Swifts skimmed low over the lagoons and a pair of Great crested Grebes tended their nest. We enjoyed great views of Bullfinch and Reed Bunting before heading for the estuary. On the mud-flats Curlew were feeding near Little Egrets and plenty of gulls. The views of Conwy Castle and the mountains of Snowdonia beyound were beautiful in the sun.

From here we headed to the open coasts and the seacliffs. This change of habitat gave us lots of new birds. First we watched Fulmars on the rock ledges just above us and gliding past on their stiff wings. Rock Pipits posed in the sunshine, great to see these birds so well. The seabird colony was in full swing - Guillemots, Razorbills, Shags, Cormornats, Kittiwakes, and a Black Guillemot all seen. Gannets were passing offshore and a family of Chough wheeled right above us calling, magic.

Into the uplands and we enjoyed great views of Wheatears and a Ring Ouzel sang from the high crags. Dipper, Common Sandpiper and Grey Wagtail were enjoyed on a fast flowing stream. After a lovely lunch we took a walk through some beautiful woodland enjoying Pied Flycatcher, Redstart, Wood Warbler and Treecreeper. The river here held a female Goosander with a family of ten young! This made for an amazing sight as they moved slowly up stream giving us a thrilling view.

Redstart female June

Back up in altitude and the views were just stunning! North Wales really is a land of contrasts and surprises. Both Stonechat and Whinchat showed off as Skylarks sang above us. A raptor battle took place with Buzzard, two Merlin and a male Hen Harrier all involved in a spectacular dog-fight against the blue sky. We also enjoy some marvellous cake that we picked up as we passed the Ugly House Cafe near Betws-y-coed. Best carrot cake in the world! Tasted even better in stunning scenery while watching amazing birds.

Kesterels were a feature of the day with at least five birds seen, we had some wonderful views too.

Kestrel hover 1

Kestrel hover dump

A wonderful day of sunshine, great scenery, lots and lots of great birds and lovely company!

Come and join us soon for the very best birdwatching at a relaxed pace, we would love to share great birds with you.

Or if fancy something a little different join us for wonderful mid-summer birding in Norfolk. Four day break, 11 - 14 July - to see breeding birds and the start of the return wader passage. Good chance of some rare or scarce migrants to spice up the trip too! Just drop us a line for more details or to book your place.


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