Trip reports

North Wales

North Wales
Crossbill - Jill Islam

Saturday, 23 February 2019

Our first port of call was Llanwrst in the River Conwy valley to look for hawfinch. Already there were the Wirral local members group who somewhat outnumbered us but did pass on a bit of information. A couple of hawfinches were seen in flight, as was a passing red kite and a circling buzzard. The bulk of the sightings though, were just the more common woodland birds, like nuthatch, greenfinch, goldfinch, goldcrest, house sparrow, and dunnock. In the fields were some foraging blackbirds, accompanied by a few woodpigeons and rooks.

The trip had meant to be based along the coast but we decided to change tack and head inland towards Clogaenog forest in search of goshawk. We weren't disappointed and soon had a couple of aerial goshawk sightings along with those of sparrowhawk, kestrel, and buzzard.

The fields held a small number of pheasants, carrion crows, magpies, and jackdaws, and a couple of ravens flew over. A great spotted woodpecker clung motionless for an age to the top of a fir tree, and in a clearing a few dozen crossbills nipped in and out to a drinking pool.
After lunch we returned back towards the coast and called in at Conway RSPB. Here the sightings were predominately wildfowl with greylag geese, mute swan, shelduck, wigeon, gadwall, teal, shoveler, tufted duck and goldeneye among others, along with a little grebe, a grey heron, a little egret, and a few cormorants. A water rail was heard close by but remained hidden being less obliging than the numerous moorhen and coots. On the estuary there were very few waders with only oystercatcher, curlew, and lapwing being present, along with larger numbers of black-headed gulls, lesser black-backed gulls, and herring gulls. The feeding station provided little but added robin, blackbird, blue tit and great tit to the days list.

Next it was time for a little 'twitch', and we headed the few miles to Llandudno where we soon found the rose-coloured starling among the numerous starlings perched on the rooftops, chimneys, and aerials.

55 species seen, 8 attended