I have just spent a week in North Wales and on Anglesey, my first to the area. Luckily it was the warmest and sunniest week of the year which made it a delightful pleasure. No fleeces or coats – T-shirts and Factor 50 were the order of the day.
Travelling into Snowdonia and exploring both the north coast and the Lleyn Peninsular were great. I had friends giving guidance – they live on Anglesey so are well placed to know all the quietest and best places to see birds. No welsh trip would be complete without ospreys at Glaslyn and chough and chough at South Stack – both projects supported and run by the RSPB. At Glaslyn a pair of osprey were settling into their 2013 summer home with the male bringing a large fish in for the female as we watched on the TV screen nearby. As the female took the food to a nearby tree to feed, the male settled himself down to some territorial housework, watchful and protective. With telescopes provided reasonable views of the disstant nest were possible – but the TV close-up was a great advantage. Chough, stonechat, guillemot, razorbill, puffin and a displaying raven were the South Stack contingents.
Snowdonia gave us spectacular scenery, dipper on the babbling streams and wheatear newly arrived. We saw new-born lambs, flowering celandine, wood anemone and the finest views I have ever had of goshawk – on both occasions we were able to take time watching and enjoying these brilliant birds – much better than the usual snatched glimpse I have been used to previously.
Off the Lleyn Peninsula we found a life ‘tick’ for me – surf scoter. Whilst off the North Wales coast a huge flotilla – some say up to 30,000 – of common scoter were gathered. Conwy RSPB reserve with it’s hides provided the opportunity to watch lapwing, and birds more familiar to the North Kent Marshes. Blue tit, great tit, robin, blackbird and long-tailed tit were active. Star of the day goes to a dunnock, which sang from nearby reeds giving me the opportunity of a reasonable photograph.
Red squirrel was the highlight on our mammal count, with shrew and stoat also spotted during the week. Can’t wait until my next visit.