Coach Trip to Anglesey Sunday 28th April 2013

30 birders set off to Anglesey in a very comfortable luxury coach, the forecast was good.

First stop at the Services a greenfinch was spotted wheezing in a tree top with a wren flitting below.

Onwards to RSPB Malltraeth Marsh, to walk along a tarmac path, with the Estuary on the left, pools and marsh on the right hand side. A song thrush was heard but hidden from view. A treecreeper searching for insects up the trunk of a tree, with the first willow warbler of the day seen along with coal tit, blue tit, great tit, wren, a robin courtship feeding worms. Further along the path a buzzard soaring overhead did not disturb the many little egrets, shelduck, mute swans, oystercatchers, terns and swallows. Ending our short walk, 2 wheatears hopping and running after insects delighted us all. By the last pool a common sandpiper was seen, a red-breasted merganser by the estuary wall, and raven too. Brian commented that it was too windy.

En route for the 40 minute journey to South Stack - magpie, dunnock, crows, rooks, pheasant, gadwall and house sparrows were seen from the coach. Alighting from the coach willow warblers were seen and heard, with a small flock of linnets foraging in the field beyond. A walk up the hill gave sightings of goldfinch, jackdaw, more swallows, feral pigeon and wonderful views of chough (right) flying and then in a field where one obligingly stayed to show off his red bill and legs. Then onto the South Stack cliffs, it was very windy here with a fine drizzle. Good views of puffin at sea, small rafts of eider ducks, razorbills, kittiwake and guillemot, with fulmar, greater and lesser black backed gull, herring gulls nesting adding to the scene. Six or seven intrepid few set off down the steep cliff steps to have a closer view. By now low cloud had formed with heavy rain, causing the Lighthouse fog horn to sound.

Back on the coach to travel to our next port of call, greylag geese in the fields, more linnets, pheasant, magpie and blackbird were spotted.


We arrived at Penrhos Coastal Path car park relieved that the rain had stopped, the cloud lifted. Here on the pond was a coot nesting in the reeds, with a sedge warbler rasping deep in the bushes. A male black cap flitted around. At sea, a great crested grebe was diving, and 2 sandwich terns flew over. Two red breasted mergansers were sighted here also.

Our last stop was the promontory of Penmon Point, having seen en route greylag geese, Canada geese, curlew, and wood pigeon. Walking down the road to the promontory we saw chiffchaff, dunnock, willow warbler (left) and goldfinch. Looking across to an island seals were seen lazing on the beach, cormorants resting and flying, shag on the rocks, and a black guillemot. Gannets, fulmar, oystercatchers, kittiwakes and sandwich terns were sighted flying over the sea. Leaving the coast to walk a little way inland following a path we had the treat of seeing a lesser whitethroat, male and female blackcap, and more swallows. A grasshopper warbler was heard with its unmistakeable song of a metallic clicking like a fishing reel. Arriving back at the car park we stopped by the St. Seiriol pond to see yet more willow warblers, chiffchaff, a female blackcap and moorhen.

Blacktailed godwit, grey heron, brent geese, teal, kestrel, collared dove, meadow pipit, stonechat, skylark, jackdaw, hooded crow were also spotted during the day. A jay was heard. A field list of 72 birds for the day.

In addition to all the bird sightings and song, it was good to see cowslips, bluebells, violets, scurvy grass, wild angelica and primroses in the hedgerows and grassy banks. Spring has finally arrived.

On the return home Brian noted that we had seen or heard all eight of the corvid group – jay (heard), magpie, raven, chough, carrion crow, hooded crow, rook and jackdaw.

Photos by Chris S and Robert D.

Jenny I

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