Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Gronant wi' tha' Lads

Recently retired G.P. and L.O.S. member Doctor Paul Richardson had been wanting to go to Gronant in North Wales to see the Little Tern colony for a while now and so I arranged a trip this week with a few of the L.O.S. Young Birder's Club crew. We met at Leigh Cricket Club car park and set of in two cars, Brian, George and Tony in one and Paul and me in the other.

I drove the lead car and after only one one wrong turn, we arrived at Gronant Dunes Nature Reserve to give it it's full title We parked on the free car park a little further down the road from the Presthaven Sands Caravan site where we used to be allowed to park.

The Little Tern colony here is the only one on mainland Wales and has been a popular breeding ground for many years. As such it is well-protected by local wardens who have erected a fence around the beach areas where they breed and who understandably police the area rigorously.

I was worried that it was a little late in the season as most of the young have fledged by now and are gathering in groups getting ready for the flight to their wintering grounds in Africa. However, there were still quite a few birds around and we had good views of both adults and fledglings in flight.

There were quite a few Herring Gulls and Lesser Black-backed Gulls about and we also saw a few Sandwich Terns over the sea, two Curlews, some Dunlins, an Oystercatcher carrying a crab and a few Sedge Warblers. But the main focus was always on the Little Terns, which frequently returned from the sea carrying fish.

Here's a few more of the Little Terns.

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