Trip reports

Shropshire RSPB Field Trip - North Wales Coast Sunday, 25th November 2018

Shropshire RSPB Field Trip - North Wales Coast Sunday, 25th November 2018

Sunday, 25 November 2018

A group of 10 members arrived at Llanfairfechan Promenade at 10am to starting birding along this part of the North Wales Coast. The weather was clear, cold (between 4 & 7C), and with an easterly wind it felt colder when in the open. The tide reached its height at 11.05am.

From the promenade, with good views across to Anglesey, Puffin Island and the Orme near Llandudno, a sea watch produced several Great crested Grebe, a few Red throated Divers flying past, and groups of Common Scoter, with hundreds of Oystercatcher flying to evade the incoming tide. Along the shore, Turnstone & Redshank were noted, and amongst the gulls were Black headed Gull, Greater Black backed Gull & Herring Gull. On the boating lake were seen Mute Swan, Black headed Gulls, Carrion Crow, with Mallard swimming in the river coming down from the hills. After slowly getting colder & colder, part of the group took shelter in the nearby café for coffee.

After this the group drove around to Morfa Madryn, where after parking in the small car park, they investigated the local sewerage works, where various wagtails have been noted in the past feeding from the filtration tanks. This time there were quite a few Pied Wagtail but no Grey Wagtail. A Few Siskin flew amongst the trees, Dunnock, Blue Tit, Robin, Treecreeper were amongst small birds seen in the woods. A walk over the railway line brought the group to an inlet a bit further on where Wigeon were seen at the back of the inlet with a flock of Dunlin flying amongst them. Mallard were noted as well as 3 Red breasted Merganser being seen on the sea. The group at this point with some using the first hide to have their lunch and others walking around to the other hides. All are small taking only about 8 people comfortably. On the walk round the fields were inspected and amongst the birds seen were Lapwing, Curlew, Woodpigeon, and then a turquoise rump flying away so Kingfisher was added to the list. At the furthest hide, Little Grebe were noted as well as Little Egret, and Grey Heron flying in. On the scrape edges large flocks of waders were seen, including more Curlew & Lapwing with Hundreds of Oystercatcher, plus Redshank, Black tailed Godwit and a single Greenshank. Returning to the car park, a Blackbird was noted.

At this point it was suggested a visit to RSPB Conwy was made and in the end 6 of group did visit this reserve. On arrival the staff mentioned the possibility of Long tailed Duck, so the group walked around to the Tal-y-Fan Hide, and whilst walking on the boardwalk a brown bird flew across and rapidly disappeared into the reeds, and this suggested a Water Rail. Once at the hide which is divided in two parts, the left hand pool was inspected and the following birds were noted - Black headed Gull, Gadwall, a couple of Grey Heron hunkering down for the coming night, Lapwing, Little Grebe, a Snipe, Gadwall, Mallard, Moorhen, Mute Swan, Pochard, Shelduck, Shoveler, Wigeon and Teal. When the right hand pool was inspected however, Coot were added to the list, and then just as the light was really disappearing the Long tailed Duck, a female was seen diving for food, and it was noted staying down for quite a long time. But as it was the end of the light this sighting of a rare duck was a really good bonus to the day's events.

Sue Brealey