Trip reports

Rhos point

Rhos point
Ringed plover -L Bimson

Sunday, 1 February 2015

It was perishing on the 1st of February, needless to say 25 of the most hardy of RSPB Liverpool ventured to Wales and Rhos point. Snow was lying on the Carneddau range and the waters of Rhos harbour were grey and choppy, its tethered boats bobbing in the swell. Waves crashed into the harbours spit were gulls, cormorant, oystercatchers, redshank and dunlin were huddled taking shelter from the wind blowing in off the Irish Sea.
More oystercatchers and redshank combed the stand line of the beach for shellfish and Rhos's famous crabs.
A shag swam in the harbour waters diving in about out the surf, a good opportunity for Chris to point out the differences between this daintier bird and its bigger cousin the cormorant, especially as it took flight over sea.
Beyond the harbour rafts of scoter were distant out to sea. Nearer a gt crested grebe more familiarly see in our local parks was wrestling through the waves. A tube nose, a fulmar flew past the wind turbines out to sea.
A rock pipit ranged the beach close to the harbour wall, a chance to view of its plumage and dark legs, and again another conversation about subtle differences between this bird and a meadow pipit.
Further along the beach amongst the rocks ringed plover and turnstones huddled, further on again a more oystercatchers.

As the cold began to seep into our bones we headed off to RSPB Conwy and its welcoming café. Revived by hot drinks all round, we set off on the reserve trail, alas despite many peel ed eyes we failed to locate any of the reported firecrests . In consolation there were lots of little 'uns about, the feeders were busy with finches including a handsome pair of bullfinches . Robins sat at every corner, and happily took advantage of a little handout of Shropshire shortbread.
The reserve scrapes and pools were populated by lapwing, godwits, teal, widgeon, coots, tufted duck and mallards, mute swans and Canadian geese. We also observed little and gt crested grebe and displaying red breasted mergansers. Close of the café near the waters edge, the group were lucky to see water rail and snipe.
Peregrine and raven were sought, and seen skirting the higher grounds of the Conwy hillside.
The estuary mud seemed sparsely populated, curlew and shelduck joined the redshank in the mud lark. A couple of Egrets were visible on an island scrape seen from the estuary path screens.
The day was done, homeward but not before the sharing of the cake, another tasty baked perfection from Ann...gingercake