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Sun, snow and special birds in North Wales

We picked up John and John and Bridget from their Llandudno hotels and set off for a days birdwatching, the sky was black and we wondered how the day would go. By the time we reached the Conwy Valley the blackness was bouncing off the wind-screen, not good. By the time we were ready to step out the rain had stopped and was that a hint of blue in the sky? Redwings and Mistle Thrushes posed in a bare tree and we enjoyed brilliant views through the Leica scopes.

John picked out a Hooded Crow on the water meadows, a rare bird here in North Wales, a wonderful start to the day. A Common Buzzard was seen in a dead tree and as we watched this raptor Ruth spotted another! A gorgous Red Kite in the very next tree, wow! To see a Red Kite filling the lens of the scope was just stunning. But more was to come here, a Whooper Swan grazed with a pair of Mute Swan, Little Grebes dived in the river, a tiny Goldcrest fed in the trees right above us. More great views of Redwings were enjoyed.

Caerhun Church

Historic Caerhun Church

Redwing Great Orme

Redwings provide a flash of colour

Moving on, we were soon looking at a fast flowing river, at first we saw a gang of Mallard, the drakes looking resplendent in the now lovely sunshine. Then up popped our target bird here, a Dipper. Luckily this amazing little bird was in the mood to show and we all enjoyed this dapper bird leaping into the torrent and bobbing up like a cork. A Dipper always brings a smile to everyone and one in the sun even better.

We crossed the beautiful Menai Bridge onto Anglesey, the sky now blue and not a cloud above. First stop we were soon enjoying hot drinks and biscuits as we scanned the shallow bay in front of us. Lots to see here! Bar-tailed Godwits fed with Curlew and Oystercatchers allowing great looks, Grey Plover, Ringed Plover, Dunlin and Turnstones were added to our growing list of birds. Pale-bellied Brent Geese were on the mudflats, amazing to think these birds were in Arctic Canada recently. On the rising tide Great crested Grebes and Red-breasted Megansers were loafing about on the calm water. A juvenile Peregrine was spotted sitting on a mud bank right next to Cormaorant, you don't see that everyday.

Pale-bellied Brent Geese on Anglesey

Close-up views of Pale-bellied Brent Geese

At Holyhead we were able to see more Cormorants but this time sitting next to Shags, giving us a great opportunity to compare these similar species. A Razorbill was fishing in the bay, then we spotted the Black Guillemots that we hoped to find here. Two of these lovely auks were off the breakwater but a little distant. The scopes again proved their worth, the powerful zoom lenses giving us good views. We were just about to move on when we noticed another Black Guillemot. This bird was much closer and the views were brilliant, we could see the scarlet legs and feet as it dived for fish.

Blk Guillemot Ang Nov

Black Guillemot - check out those red legs!

South Stack to Snowdon view

Clear skies make for distant views

RSPB South Stack next and even before we reached the reserve we stopped to watch two Chough over a hillside, brilliant. At the reserve we stood and stared at the stunning scenery. The sea boiled around the rocks below the lighthouse with the turning tide. The mountains of Snowdonia and the whole of the Llyn Peninsula were bathed in sun, the snow-capped peaks just stunning. We could even see the Isle of Man and the distant coast of Ireland it was so clear. Two more Chough flew over and then a pair of Raven put on a sinkronized flying display above the cliffs, just amazing to see these masters of the air. A harbour porpoise was seen just off the lighthouse in the tide race.

Chough South Stack 1

Chough at RSPB South Stack

John birding

John watching Chough

Stonechat South Stack November

High-wire Stonechat

After an excellent lunch at the RSPB Cafe we enjoyed great views of a pair of Chough feeding in the small fields along with lovely views of Stonechats, little stunners! On a day like this South Stack is the perfect place to be!

John Alan John Bridget at RSPB South Stack

John, Alan, John and Bridget enjoying the view at South Stack

Snowdon Snow

Snow-don lives up to its name!

The Range November

The Range and the Rivals

Further along the coast we stopped at a regular site for Rock Pipit and immediatly saw Rock Pipits feeding in the seaweed just below us. The next bay held more delights with Purple Sandpipers roosting on the rocks, first we have seen this winter.

Pochard going left Welney

All the boys: Pochard flock

We finished our bird filled day at the RSPB Valley Wetlands nature reserve where we enjoyed a great selection of wildfowl. The sunshine must have got to a pair of Great crested Grebes as they began to display, very odd in November.

We have lots more trips coming up and of course we are always very happy to arrange a custom tour on a date ideal for you. Simple drop us a line to arrange your great day out

We look forward to enjoying great birds with you soon!


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