North Wales Birding

We've just got back from a family holiday in Colwyn Bay. The weather was a bit rubbish but we had a really good time anyway. I managed to get in quite a bit of birding, mainly by getting up and going out early. My main aim for the week was to see a male redstart - I've only ever seen a female on Billinge Hill last year and have looked before in Wales but failed.

The first place I went to was the Nant Y Coed nature reserve which is a small but beautiful nature reserve near to Llanfairfechan. I could hear redstart on the higher pathway near to the Dinas but couldn't see them for the life of me. A pair of pied flycatchers in the same area, and a lovely dipper on the way back made it a worthwhile trip though...




 
 
The next day I thought I'd try for the Hawfinch at Caerhun. As I watched the churchyard for hawfinch, I realised that a bird singing above me was very familiar (I've listened to lots of recordings!) but I couldn't place it for some reason. It eventually dawned on me that it was another redstart - I hadn't expected one here! As I moved to try and see it, it flew off to a distant tree but continued singing, it eventually came back again to the original tree and I got my first views and photos...no hawfinch though...
 
 
 
 
On the way home from Caerhun, I had a look up the Sychnant Pass where I've seen chough and cuckoo before but neither were present unfortunately this year.
 
I had another stop off at Rhos on Sea for a quick bit of seawatching. A pair of sandwich tern were chasing each other about. As I looked out to sea, a fin surfaced out of the water quickly followed by two more! I thought it must be a harbour porpoise as I knew they have been present there recently but when I checked my photos later, it turned out that I had seen three bottlenose dolphin.
 
 
 
That afternoon we had a walk to Aber Falls where we could hear cuckoo and saw a dipper nesting halfway up the falls. I thought I was hearing things as another redstart was singing near to the bottom of the falls - my second ever male...
 
 

 

The following morning I thought I'd have a look up the Little Orme - razorbill, kittiwake, fulmar, great black backed gull, peregrine, shag, raven, rock pipit, gannet, and a grey seal were all present.

 
Other notable birds of the week were lesser whitethroat at RSPB Conwy...
 
 
 

 

 

A wood warbler, another pied flycatcher, and another male redstart at Coed Hafod Wood...no hawfinch again though...
 
I promise this is a wood warbler!
And last but not least, some bar tailed godwits on the Menai Straits.
 
I also probably saw a black guillemot while waiting for punch and judy at Llandudno - I didn't have my camera for once though.
 
Being back in St Helens seems a bit boring now, last night I was watching badgers from the patio windows of our holiday house...
 
 
Next year, I'm after hawfinch and goshawk - may as well set my sights a bit higher!
 
 
Damian P


1 comment :

  1. Sounds like you had a good time. Some nice photos, I especially love the Bottle-nosed Dolphin - great photo!

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