Trip reports

South Stack - 06/07/14

South Stack - 06/07/14
Stonechat - Holly Page

Sunday, 6 July 2014

We arrived at South Stack shortly before 10am. The weather was perfect with stunning blue skies and lovely warm sunshine.

I decided to start on the heath inland hoping to find adders soaking up the morning sunshine. Unfortunately none could be found but whitethroat, linnet and wren were all seen along with a flyby kestrel.

I then took the path from the lower car park down to the cliff top, coming across several silver-studded blue butterflies, something of a speciality here. Once at the cliff top I settled on a bench and enjoyed the view. A family party of chough kept me entertained with regular aerobatic fly-pasts and a male stonechat kept returning to the same perch on a nearby gorse bush. Out to sea several gannets were seen flying through along with one or two manx shearwaters. Both rock & meadow pipits were in evidence, some seen carrying food.

A walk along to Ellin's Tower provided good views of the nesting seabirds - guillemot, razorbill, puffin and kittiwake along with good numbers of herring and lesser black backed gulls.

After a pit stop for a drink and some cake I walked up the hill and then down the steps which lead to the lighthouse. I didn't go all the way down, just far enough to see the other side of the cliffs and the area where the puffins have their burrows. I counted at least 9 puffins which is more than I have seen here for a few years and is very encouraging. 2 juvenile wheatear were bouncing around in the rocks near the top car park as I turned back to the coach.

Our next stop was back on the mainland, the RSPB reserve at Conwy. A scan through the waders in the river estuary located oystercatcher, curlew and one whimbrel. On the main reserve reed & sedge warblers were abundant and a willow warbler was seen in a small tree next to one of the hides. A few other wader species were present on the main lagoons - black-tailed godwit, redshank, common sandpiper and also a green sandpiper.

We couldn't have asked for better weather for this trip, it was an excellent way to end the season.