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Flying start to 2013



We met Jayne, Sue, Kim, Shaun, Julie and Steven at RSPB Conwy and soon had birds coming thick and fast as we got our birdwatching day off to a flying start.

Next stop was Llanfairfechan where we scanned the sea and quickly saw Great crested Grebes and Red throated Divers. The beach held a large flock of Oystercatchers and amongst them a small group of Bat tailed Godwits. Back on the sea three Slavonian Grebes popped up and we had great views of these scarce birds through the Leica telescopes.

Dipper
The stream held a lovely pair of Dipper, always a thrill to see.

Onto Anglesey and we were soon overlooking a shallow bay packed with birds. Gangs of Wigeon and Teal were alongside Goldeneye and Red breasted Mergansers in the channel. More Bar tailed Godwits fed on the mudflats with smaller numbers of Knot and Dunlin. Five Pale bellied Brent Geese and a Mediterranean Gull added to the scene.

Mediterranean Gull
Mediterranean Gulls are lovely gulls, a good year tick.

Holyhead next and we soon picked out three Black Guillemots in various stages of moult into breeding plumage, and its only January. More scanning produced three Great northern Divers always a thrill to see these large winter visitor from the Arctic. A Razorbill bobbed up right in front of us.

Turnstone Holyhead
Turnstones were feeding around the harbour and giving great views.

South Stack RSPB reserve next and even before we arrived we spotted two Chough in a roadside field and we enjoyed great views of these red-billed corvids. We enjoyed a hot lunch at the RSPB cafe entertained by another pair of Chough right outside the cafe window!

Back into Holyhead and we were soon watching a lovely Waxwing sat in a bare tree right by the car, you can never see enough Waxwings!

Waxwing Kinmel Bay

At the Valley Wetlands RSPB reserve we were trated to a great array of wildfowl including masses of Shoveler and Pochard. Ruth then picked out the Long tailed Duck and telescopes were quickly trained on this rare visitor.

Still time to squeeze in a few more birds so we hurried back east to Aber Ogwen and we looked over the estuary as the tide flooded in. Waders were being pushed up by the rising waters and we picked out a Spotted Redshank and three Greenshanks amongst hundreds of Redshank. Further away hundreds of Dunlin swirrled around over the bay over loafing gangs of Goldeneye and Red breasted Mergansers and a single Goosander.

Spotted Redshank
Spotted Redshank in winter dress.

With the light being to fade we dashed back to RSPB Conwy in time to enjoy the wonderful spectacle of the thousands of Starlings pouring into the reedbeds, right alongside us, to roost!

A wonderful day full of great birds in some stunning scenery and very happy people! Come and join us soon for great birds and great fun!

info@thebiggesttwitch.com

For details of all our birdwatching trips. We still have space on our Spain trip in March, fancy seeing Great and Little Bustards, Pin-tailed and Black-bellied Sandgrouse? Plus lots of raptors and larks in fields of stunning wildflowers? Of course you do! Drop us a line for details.


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