3rd February – North Wales dip day!‏

Posted: February 7, 2013 in Bird Watching, Birding, Rochdale, Rossendale, Twitching
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Nice to get out and enjoy a day by the seaside birding, we thought it would turn out a bit different! Myself, Steve B and Chris B left Rochdale at 6:30am last Sunday, with me driving, to clear up a few species in North Wales, one of our favourite areas. It was fairly mild, but warm clothing was required. First stop Rhos Point, we knew the tide would be out thus lessening our chances of catching up with the Purple Sandpipers and how right we was. Next to no birds were seen here. Onto Aber Ogwen (The Spinnies) and again the estuary was devoid of a regular Greenshank and Red Breasted Merganser. The only things moving were cockle pickers. A Slavonian Grebe was eventually picked up alongside lots of Great Crested Grebe’s. The hide had lots of common woodland species and a Water Rail feeding below the feeders only 6 feet away and no cameras with us! Llanfairfechan Sewage works and Morfa Madryn next, but not before I missed the turning and locked the brakes, quite a “Sweeney esque” entrance. The Firecrest didn’t show and not much at Morfa Madryn too. Surely our luck would change and we would see the drake Surf Scoter at Llandulas, certainly with Steve B now sporting his “old” telescope as well? After looking through what appeared to be thousands of Common Scoter and not even a Velver Scoter for our efforts, we gave up. We did see Red Throated Diver, Fulmar and “dodgy” Rock Doves, onto our next call. Now these birds rarely let us down the Snow Buntings at Kinmel Bay on the outskirts of Rhyl, but the “town planners” have been messing around again making it difficult for us to enter the right area of beach. A bit of a drive around and we finally found a hidden away Asda, walked east and found about 16 Snow Buntings, the boys took a few pictures and we enjoyed the area in good sunlight. We saw a couple of Ringed Plover also. I got an interesting call from one of our Rossendale birders about a Bittern that had been found, typical I thought, as soon as I leave the area something good turns up! We might squeeze in a visit today, but not before we go and see the Lesser Scaup at Shotton Pools. We arrived, did the commando training course to be able to stand with the other birders and enjoyed this American duck as it dived and fed very happily in the company of Tufted Ducks. Unfortunately, the Greater Scaup that had been with it had gone, that would have made a great comparison picture. We set of for Rossendale, not exactly full of confidence that we would see the Bittern. Then after getting led to the area through lots of slutch, we surveyed a couple of ponds without any sightings of this skulking species. Well it did follow the pattern of the day though! Home for 5:00pm and better luck next time.

Regards,

Dave O.

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