A 6am start with myself driving and Steve & Chris Brown on the trip. A nice morning and our first call at Holyhead Harbour to see the Black Guillemots. The birds where soon located and a few pictures were taken. We used to have to go to Fedyr Fawr to see these stunning summer plummaged birds,but, now its much easier to catch up with them. It was a strong off shore wind that greeted us at South Stack RSPB reserve. Plenty of Manx Shearwaters were heading to the north and up to 5 Puffins were seen alongside lots of Guillemots & Razorbills. Large gulls patrolled the cliffs in case any food was availiable from the breeding areas. At our much awaited destination of Cemlyn Bay, the sun shone and 20 degrees of heat but, alas, the wind was that strong that any pictures could not be taken as it took you all your time to keep your telescopes or bins still! Sandwich, Arctic and Common Terns were seen and a single Roseate Tern and the most splendid Meditereanean Gull in breeding plummage also. A walk along the adjoining headland was very nice but, mainly birdless. At Frodsham a Red necked Grebe and Lesser Scaup had been present for a few days so, we headed over there. A few comments about how well watched the place used to be and the variety of birds that used to be found followed and as we arrived a few birders were present and information was exchanged on the whereabouts of our two “target” species. The Lesser Scaup was with some Tufted Ducks on number 6 tank and looked too be starting to moult. The Red necked Grebe was on the Weaver Bend and required climbing over barbded wire, metre high grass and various obstacles that were on the footpath to the river! It was well worth the effort as the bird showed well if a little distant for close camera work. An Avocet was seen, bringing back some memories of myself and Steve B seeing our first in the north west in almost the same place many years ago. We met a twitching friend of mine and he told me about seeing the Short Toed Eagle, thanks for that Simon! Next stop, much nearer to home, Rindle Road and Astley Moss for the hard to locate Treecreeper. This species is prooving hard for me to see this year, is it declining? No joy on that species again, but a tip of from another birding friend had us in the deep grass again and succesfully finding a Yellow Wagtail in a field full of Llamas, it was a bit odd true but, again worth the walk. Time for home, back at 6pm and we all got at least 9 year ticks.

Dave O.

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