Sunday, 26 February 2012

A Weekend in North Wales and Anglesey

Sarah and I had a great mini-break to parts of North Wales and Anglesey this weekend, at times meeting up with members of the Leigh Ornithological Society. Over the two days we visited the following places:

Spinnies Nature Reserve, Aberogwen, Bangor - a fantastic little place
  • 2 Buzzards over as we drove towards Penrhyn Castle
  • Red-breasted Merganser (lifer), Shelduck, Goldeneye, Great Crested Grebe and rafts of Wigeon on the estuary in front of the car park
  • A single lost Tundra Bean Goose (lifer) in a nearby field amongst a load of Greylags
  • Several Redshank in the same field
  • Two Little Egrets flew over the field
  • Snipe, Little Egret, Grey Heron, Little Grebe, Moorhen, Mallard, Blackbird, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Blue Tit, Coal Tit, and Great Tit from Kingfisher Hide (but sadly no Kingfisher)
  • Much the same at the Bird Hide with the exception of Snipe and with better views of a Little Egret and at least 3 Grey Herons
  • Redshank on the edge of the water along the beach
Bangor Harbour Area - just a quick stop
  • Single Greenshank
  • Lots of Oystercatchers and Shelduck
  • Greater Black-backed and Herring Gulls
  • Mute Swans with juveniles
Red Wharf Bay South Side, Anglesey - another quick stop
  • Lots of Curlew
  • Oystercatchers
  • Shelduck
  • Distant Gulls (various)
Point Lynas, Anglesey - a fabulous location
  • Male and female Stonechat (lifer) in gorse field on the approach road to the lighthouse
  • Kestrel on telephone wire
  • 2 Shags (lifer) and a single Cormorant on the sea
  • Various Gulls, but mainly Herring and Black-backed Gulls
Holyhead Harbour, Anglesey - a very short morning walk
  • A Song Thrush and a Chaffinch singing away in trees
  • House Sparrows going inside the ruined old 'house'
  • Lots of feral Pigeons in the old disused 'fort' building
  • Not much else about on the harbour
Penrhos Nature Reserve, Holyhead, Anglesey - a brief stop on the way to Conwy RSPB
  • Quite a few Bar-tailed Godwits along the water's edge
  • Many Oystercatchers and Curlew on the mudflats along with some Shelduck
  • Various Gulls
Conwy RSPB, North Wales - a good walk round which got better after a slow start
  • Water very low in front of the coffee shop and nothing much about
  • A pair of singing Dunnocks and a Robin in the Gorse along the paths but no Firecrest :furious:
  • Red-breasted Merganser, Little Egret, Lapwing, Moorhen, Canada Goose on the larger pool seen from Carneddau Hide
  • Many House Sparrows and Tits around the feeders near the gate to the car park
  • Two Buzzards over the picnic tables
  • At least 40-50 Curlew on the island in the larger pool (seen from viewpoint on the estuary)
  • At least 30 to 40 Redshank in the same place
  • A few Oystercatchers on the islands
  • Not many Canada Geese
  • A pair of Gadwall
  • A small group of Teal singing on the estuary along with 20-30 Shelduck and a raft of around 10-15 Wigeon
  • Around 20-25 Redshank on the shallow 'spit' on the Estuary
  • Various distant Gulls on the river Conwy
  • A single Grey Heron over
Great Orme, Llandudno (free car park halfway up)
  • Lots of Jackdaw about
  • A single Carrion Crow bowing and cawing on the picnic tables
  • A small flock of Greenfinch around the Gorse bushes
  • Not much else, although the wind was making it quite cold
Rhos-on-Sea, North Wales
  • A beautiful pair of Eider Duck resting on one the rocky breakwaters
  • Many Turnstones around the same rocks
  • There were a few Oystercatchers about and a raft of 20-30 Wigeon whistling on the sea
  • 2 Great Black-backed Gulls, 2 Pied/White Wagtail and 2 Rock Pipits on another breakwater
  • Many distant Gulls on the golf course with a couple Coot on the ponds
  • A small flock of Twite (lifer) (or perhaps Linnet, we couldn't decide which) was also flying around the golf course entrance
A great end to a fabulous weekend with my dearly beloved, who is now gradually getting into this birding lark. With a few others on the way, we saw a total of 57 species and 5 lifers (for me) over the short break.


After reading Henry Cook's post on the Manchester Birding Forum, it seems the Twite are more likely to be Linnet now, which means I only got 4 lifers this weekend - nevermind, I can live with that.


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