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.

UPDATE

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.

2 comments:

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