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North Wales birding in the sunshine

The weather forecast was good so we were up bright and early to enjoy the dawn on the Great Orme, simply spectacular!

Orme sunrise

Dramatic skies over the Great Orme

We looked carefully for migrants on the Orme, and were soon rewarded with this handsome Black Redstart on the limestone wall.

Black Redstart 1

Migrating Black Redstart on the Great Orme

Black Redstart 2

This Black Redstart was really handsome on both the view from front and the back!

Not to be outdone, a male Chaffinch showed off on top of a flowering gorse bush.

Chaffinch 1

We also encountered a stunning male Ring Ouzel, Wheatears, Chiffchaffs while two Chough flew overhead. Next stop was the prom at Llanfairfechan where we set up the scope and enjoyed amazing views of Red-throated Diver, Eider, Common Scoter and plenty of Great-crested Grebes including several displaying birds. Then we headed over to Cemlyn lagoon on the Isle of Anglesey. Plenty of Black-headed Gulls were already displaying on the island and we picked out four Mediterranean Gulls while 30 Sandwich Terns fed offshore with small numbers coming into the lagoon to bathe. A pair of Shelduck patrolled the inland pool.

Shelduck female

A female Shelduck...

Shelduck drake

... with a drake in hot pursuit!

We walked out onto the headland where bizarre banks of mist rolled eerily over the Skerries. A Whimbrel kept company with a group of Curlew on the island offshore while a gang of Turnstones pottered noisily amongst the seaweed-covered rocks just in front of us. Wheatears and White Wagtails flitted ahead of us on the stone walls. Some whispy hawthorn hedge on the edge of the cliff provided cover for some migrants resting before the next leg of their migration. In the sunshine and sheltered from the breeze here, a pair of Goldcrests and a Chiffchaff found plenty of insects to eat.

Chiffchaff  Cemlyn

A migrant Chiffchaff drops in

Goldcrest Cemlyn 2

Goldcrest feeding busily amongst the thorns

Goldcrest Cemlyn 1

Acrobatic Goldcrest

We stopped at Morfa Madryn on the way back to check the shoreline where a Glossy Ibis had been reported briefly earlier in the morning. Sadly no sign of the Ibis but we did enjoy plenty of Lapwings displaying, Teal and Wigeon on the pools, a pair of Barnacle Geese keeping company with a group of Greylags and a Red Kite soaring over the hills.

It was time for some arty photography with the Leica D-LUX 3 camera!

Morfa Madryn reflection

Slate fences reflecting in the still water

Morfa Madryn creek

Stunning North Wales landscapes in the sunshine

Menai Straits

Atmospheric Penrhyn Castle and the Menai Straits

Morfa Madryn b&w

Remember the days of black-and-white film photography? Just one of the many settings on the Leica D-LUX 3 allows you to re-live the past! Don't think the scenery has changed much though.

If you'd like to enjoy some great North Wales birding in some of the most spectacular scenery in the country, join one of our regular birdwatching daytrips or a custom tour just for you. Email us on for more details. We look forward to sharing great birds with you!


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