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Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch

Alan picked up Mike Duckham and they headed east to Pensarn beach where they met four other birders from mid-Wales and the Midlands who were ready to see some great birds.
Well it did not take long, even before the four guys were out of their cars Alan and Mike had a flock of Twite lined up in their scopes for the others to enjoy. These dinky finches were feeding on the seawall and showing very well, cinnamon breasts and bright yellow bills. Offshore gangs of Common Scoter were bobbing around just offshore and the views were great, every detail of the bills could be seen. Further out Velvet Scoter were picked out amongst lines of Common Scoter, the Velvets higher in the water, longer necked, and when the sun caught the birds the white below the drakes eyes could be seen. Occasionally the Velvets flapped their wings showing their white secondaries, trailing edge to the inner wings. Suddenly Mike picked out two drake Surf Scoters flying low over the water! With the good light the white patches on the heads of these vagrants from North America glowed nicely. Luckily the Surfs turned and flew back west again and for a moment looked like they might come and land amongst the near Common Scoters but changed their minds and then headed out to sea again.
Just along the coast four Snow Buntings were quickly found on Kinmel Bay beach and the views were wonderful of these dinky buntings. One bird was a male moulting into breeding plumage, a cracking bird.
A quick visit to the River Clwyd just south of Rhyl produced plenty of birds. The high tide was flooding the saltmarsh and hundreds of waders and wildfowl were showing well. Flocks of Wigeon rode the rising waters, amongst them small numbers of Teal and three Shoveler. Four Goosander swam in the main channel including two handsome drakes, turning salmon pink as spring approaches. Two dark bellied Brent Geese fed on the edge of the marsh where Lapwing and Redshank strode ahead of the tide. A commotion had them looking up as a Sparrowhawk dived across the blue sky chasing Starlings over the estuary.
Next stop was a view point overlooking Conwy RSPB reserve, with the tide high plenty of waders roosting on the islands and amongst the Curlew, Lapwing and Redshank were at least six Black tailed Godwits. On the lagoons Red-breasted Merganser, Goldeneye, Tufted Duck, Gadwall were all new for the day list.
Further down the Conwy valley the group watched a Red Kite soaring with Common Buzzards, as always a stunning bird and everyone marvelled at the beauty of the kite.
Llanbedir-y-cennin was the next site and Alan almost immediately found the target bird, a Hawfinch! This bull-necked finch was sat on top of a bare tree in the sunshine and the scope soon had it showing nicely. Unusually the Hawfinch sat still and everyone had plenty of time to soak up views. A little further up the lane they were amazed at least nine Hawfinches moved around the tree tops some giving amazing views. How lucky! Several other birders arrived and Alan and Mike showed them the birds in their scopes. Everyone was elated at having such looks at these so often elusive birds.
Time to move on and they dragged themselves away and headed back to the coast. This Llanfairfechan seafront provided the birds. A flat calm sea and good light allowed excellent looks at Red-throated Divers and Great crested Grebes. A bit of patient scanning and six Slavonian Grebes were found and some lovely views were soaked up. Nine Common Eider were diving offshore along with gangs of Razorbills.
One more site was squeezed in and they headed for Llandudno west shore. As soon as they got out of the cars Alan had the bird they wanted, the wintering Black Redstart was sat on a roof top in the late afternoon sun. Scopes were set up once again and another great bird was enjoyed to the full.
A wonderful days birding and the guys headed home thrilled with their day on the North Wales coast.
If you would like to join Alan for a days birding please contact us and we can show you some wonderful birds.


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