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Take a gander at this blog

The day may have dawned grey and windy but that wasn't going to stop us heading out along the North Wales coast to look for more great birds At our first stop, we soon spotted a small duck flying fast and low over the water. Luckily thebird came into the bay and landed giving us fine views of a red head Smew. This very scarce visitor to North Wales floated around, really showing off alongside some 40 Goldeneye. Many of the drake Goldeney were displaying to the females, a sure sign that spring is on its way.

In the bushes behind the beach, a gang of brighly-coloured Bullfinches were feeding on buds. It's always a real delight to see these gaudily-coloured birds.

Bullfinch 1

Handsome male Bullfinches

With the tide almost completely full, flocks of waders swirled in front of us as they searched for a safe roost spot. A wonderful sight to see hundreds of Curlews, Redshanks and Dunlin weaving patterns through the air. Some of the waders dropped onto the beach really close to us, giving us wonderful views as they scurried along the shoreline.

Curlew sky full

Skyfall? No James Bond sadly but plenty of Curlews instead

Redshank race

Racing Redshanks, neck and neck for the finishing line

As we headed back to the car, we passed beautiful clumps of Snowdrops, another sure sign of spring along with the increasing volume of birdsong.


Snowdrops in flower, spring must be round the corner

In a wet field a gang of large gulls was worth checking and we soon picked out a striking adult Yellow-legged Gull. This bird was conveniently standing between an adult Lesser Black-backed Gull and an adult Herring Gull. What a wonderful opportunity to compare and contrast these three species!

A short drive took us to an upland lake where at first glance it seemed pretty birdless. But we moved a little way along the shore and soon found what we were hoping for: a gang of Goosanders swimming close to the shore.

Goosander and Alan

Alan up close and personal with the Goosander

The views here were just astounding. Goosander are often wary and difficult to get close to, certainly not the case here!

Goosander drake 1

Gorgeous Drake Goosander

Goosander female 1

Female Goosander - giving him a piece of her mind?!

Not only were the views wonderfully close, but it was also an all-action event as the Goosanders chased, fought, dived and squabbled just yards away from us.

Goosander race for bread

In the race for food, if you snooze, you lose!

Goosander fight club

It's every Goosander for himself!

The Goosanders had to contend with stiff competition from above with marauding gulls targeting their food and a large gang of assorted hybrid Mallard vying for the food on the surface. But the Goosanders had a big advantage: their sheer speed both across and under the water meant that they did not go hungry today.

Goosander bread thief

Oi! That food was meant for me!

A wonderful experience to see these beautiful sawbills up close and personal and to be able to watch their fantastic behaviour as they battled for food with the ducks and gulls.

If you'd like to join us for some close encounters of the Goosander kind, email us on for more information on the perfect day out for bird photographers. Can be combined with excellent photo opportunities for Kingfishers. We look forward to sharing great birds with you soon!


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