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Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch
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Scoter Spectacular

A day of local guiding here around Llandudno began at nearby RSPB Conwy. The tide was rising quickly, perfect time to visit, we walked along the estuary track overlooking Conwy Castle. Hundreds of Curlew were gathered on the shrinking mudflats, careful scanning soon added more waders, Bar tailed and Black tailed Godwits, Knot, Dunlin and Ringed Plover all showed well. A flock of Wigeon floated up on the tide, Little Egrets and Grey Herons fished the advancing waters.

Ringed Plover
Ringed Plover on the saltmarsh

On the lagoons three Red breasted Merganser enjoyed the sunshine with a drake Pochard and a gang of Tufted Duck. As the tide reached the embankment the waders flew onto the islands in the lagoon, passing right over us! Hundreds of Redshank and Oystercatchers joined the others and we picked out a pale Greenshank amongst them.

Mediterranean Gull
A cracking adult Mediterranean Gull

We then headed west to Llanfairfechan and Morfa Madryn Nature Reserve where we enjoyed a picnic lunch overlooking the saltmarsh in the warm sun. Masses of both Common and Black headed Gulls were roosting here on the high tide. Looking through these soon produced two smart Mediterraean Gulls were found along with an all white Common Gull, this bird has returned here each autumn for many years. Sandwich Terns were amongst the gulls and a single Common Tern was nice to see here.

Greenshank feeding in the shallows

The pools at Morfa Madryn held roosting Redshank and amongst them two Greenshank, an adult and a juvenile, good to compare plumage detail. Little Grebe and Little Egrets were feeding here and Linnets danced over the grassland.

Back east to Old Colwyn and what a sight greeted us! The flat calm sea was covered in birds as far as the eye could see, masses of Common Scoter! None of us had ever seen anything like it, the flock just went on and on, thousands and thousands of scoter. How many? Impossible to say, but perhaps as many as 100,000??! What ever the number it was a true wildlife spectacle, and we stood and stared.

Scanning the huge flocks we picked out a Black Tern feeding above them, a Velvet Scoter - surely many more out there - and two Red throated Divers. Back west to Rhos Point we enjoyed an ice-cream as we watched Turnstones and a Knot on the rocks. Offshore the scoter flock was still visible and we found another Red throated Diver, Kittiwakes, Guillemots, Razorbills and Shags on the mill pond like sea.

Turnstone Cemlyn
Turnstones can be tricky to spot!

A great day and all within a few miles of home! But it wasn't quite the end of our good birds. Back home in Llandudno we saw an adult Mediterranean Gull fly west over the town with Black headed Gulls. A nice bird from our living room window!

We have lots more great days out birdwatching coming up, come and join us!

For details of all our guided birdwatching trips here in North Wales and beyound.


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