7am blast off on a dark and cold morning. we are off on our yearly trip to the North Wales coast, hoping to pick of some of those hard to get birds. Once out of Greater Manchester and into Cheshire, the weather improves a great deal – doesn’t it always? Roads are free and no sign of any snow that should have fallen as predicted by the met orifice yesterday.
Llanbedr-y-cennin:- No sooner had we arrived and parked up, Steve is onto a couple of Hawfinches perched in a near by tree. Before we all get our optics on the bird, a very noisy landrover pulls up along side us and sends the birds away. Not satisfied with the brief glimpse we spend the next 30 minutes looking for a better view. We scatter, only for a single bird returning back to our starting place for us to get a good view.Job done, back in the car. No common Sandpiper from the bridge.
Aber- something:- It is cold up here. Last year I managed to get stuck in a snow ditch, not once but twice, almost giving up till a kind person lent his back and strenght to free us. That day was like today did not produce a Chough, but we did add a couple of Ravens. We grumble about harsh winters driving the Chough’s away Etc.
Spinnies:- At sea level we comment on how nice it is to have the sun on our back for a change. Out on the Estuary, Little Egret, Red Breasted Merganser, Greenshank, and a raft of 30+ Goldeneye are added. On the reserve it self, the Kingfisher is marked abscent -grumbles about winter again.Additions included Treecreeper (Nutcreeper- to Bob).
Llanfairfechan. Tide is in as we arrive. A couple of Red Throated Divers, Turnstones, a few Great Crested Grebes. Nowt much else. Not wasting much time here, We bomb to our next site.
Rhos area.:- The tide has pushed the waders close in, great opportunity for some detailed snaps of Grey and Ringed Plover, as well as Dunlin and Turnstone. Out on the sea, the odd Guillemot and Razorbill pass west, along with good numbers of Red Throated Divers. No sighting from many birders of Purple Sandpipers – Grumbles.

Kinmel Bay:- As quick as it takes to say “5 Snow Buntings flying west” we  are onto our next quarry. Some of us are not quick enough out of the car to see them. So tooled up we head of in the direction they flew. Ticking off the lovely Sanderling, we soon clock the Snow Bunts. Photo time. a few clicks later and we are on the road again.
Shotwick area:- In a field next to the new bridge, plenty of white swans are grazing. Out with the scopes, and scan over 80 Bewick’s Swans among Whoopers and Mute Swans. The most number of Bewick’s I have seen.  Newston old baths:- Earlier in the day reuters informs us of Water Pipit at the Old baths.
A bit of a walk, we pass many families with dogs, all making a bee-line for the bridge with the Troll. Dave losses it abit with nonsense of families wading over a boggy field to stand on the very bridge that the Pipit feeds under and be noisy. No chance of a sighting here today. Walk back to the car.
Burton Marsh:- As the sun begins it’s decent, We pick up a couple of Ring Tails, and a Marsh Harrier, Nothing else. No Barn or Short Eared Owl – Grumbles about the winter etc.
A good days birding with highs and lows. Nice to feel the suns warmth again.


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