Friday, 8 June 2012

Five go to Anglesey

Our Mission

To explore what Anglesey has to offer, to see 60 (diamond jubilee) different species of birds, to eat plenty of cake and have a jolly good time.

We managed to pick the best day of the long weekend for our trip to Anglesey.  The sun was shining but it was not too hot to spoil our enjoyment of the day.

We headed straight for South Stack RSPB reserve which is home to thousands of seabirds, in particular Guillemots, Razorbills, Kittiwakes with a few Puffins and Choughs.  No sooner were we on the coastal path we had close views of a stunning pair of Stonechats and a Skylark displaying.  Wild flowers were in abundance and the views across the bay were beautiful.  We made our way to Ellins Tower visitor centre where they had cameras on some Razorbills and a Chough’s nest.  We were lucky enough to see one of the adult birds bringing food in to the nest and the chicks being fed.  Wanting to see these ourselves we made our way down the steps towards the lighthouse to get a view of the nest which was situated in a cave in the cliffs.  Although we gave this some time, we didn’t see the adults returning to the nest but got better views of the Puffins and a Rock pipit.  After some refreshment and before leaving the site we had a quick scan of the nearby fields where the Choughs are known to feed in the short grass but to no avail.  On our way back to the car Ron and Anne P spotted a pair of Choughs flying across the bay and although we were unable to hear their distinctive call we were in no doubt as to what we had seen.

Next stop lunch and Ann (Tomo’s) cake.  We headed back to Holyhead Harbour and stumbled across a country park which we thought might be a good place to picnic.  We picked up a few of the more common species here around the lake and watched a large (12-13lb) ghost Carp being landed by a fisherman.  Well some of us did.

Moving on our next port of call was Holyhead Harbour/Soldiers Point.  We walked along a tree lined lane passing fields and a large former MOD building, moving a fledgling Wren off the road on our way.  At the end of the lane you reach the sea and the harbour walls.  A few House martins and a couple of Sand martins were fly catching over the sea and a pair of Linnets were seen briefly perched on a boulder.  The highlight here though were close views of a Ringed plover with two chicks in tow, the parent trying to distract us by using diverting tactics.  Then on our way back one of the adult birds appeared on the path just a few metres away and seemed totally unperturbed by our presence.

Time to head on to our next destination, RSPB Valley Wetlands.  Fortunately, a street party which had closed the road further up did not prevent access to this site.  Here we picked up a few ducks and geese, the surprise being a Barnacle goose which was hanging around with a couple of Canada geese.  Here, Anne (Pope’s) granddaughter’s  jubilee cakes were consumed and enjoyed.

Time was pressing on and we headed down the A5 to Malltraeth Cob Pool stopping briefly at Llyn Parc Mawr where the highlight was a Little grebe sitting on a nest on the lake and her partner bringing her food (or was it nesting material).  On to Cob Pool and we clocked up our last few birds of the day, Little Egret, Heron, Mistle Thrush and Whitethroat.

The total number of birds seen on the day was 61 with only one of these being seen on the mainland.

Time to go home, mission accomplished and thanks to Ron for his excellent driving.

Ringed Plover
House Sparrow
Collared Dove
Canada Goose
Herring Gull
Tufted Duck
Lesser Blck Bk Gull
Great Tit
Blue Tit
Mute Swan
Willow Warbler
Greylag Goose
Black Headed Gull
Gt Black Bk Gull
Pied Wagtail
Meadow Pipit
Barnacle Goose
Chiff Chaff
Little Grebe
Rock Pipit
Carrion Crow
Little Egret
Rock Dove
Mistle Thrush
Grey Heron
House Martin
Sand Martin


  Ann Thomson

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