Anglesey - 14th May 2017

The sun was shining brightly and the sky was cloudless as we waited for the coach to pick up and take us on the last coach trip of the season to Anglesey. The weather was to continue, bright and sunny, all day long.


Our first stop was on the southwest coast at Pen Cob part of the National Nature Reserve at Newborough Forest. After a brief stop at the edge of the trees, where warblers were singing loudly, we walked on the old railway track towards Malltreath. This track has the sea and salt marsh on one side and fields and marshes on the other. The bushes along the track were excellent cover for small birds. In particular there were several Whitethroats, which characteristically kept flying up to the top of the bushes only to fly down into the bushes for cover. Despite this activity, I think all members of the group had really good views of these birds. Another warbler that was seen very clearly and at close range was the Willow Warbler. Good views were had of a Stonechat family nesting in a low growing shrub and in the reeds an occasional Reed Bunting could be seen perching. Swallows were seen flying over a small brackish pool, whilst a Little Egret was seen on the salt marsh. At Malltreath, the River Cefni flowing into the Bay provided a good muddy feeding area for Oystercatchers, Whimbrel and Curlew, whilst Mallard, Shelduck and Mute Swan dabbled in the River.

Our next stop was South Stack. Here the cliff edges were ablaze with pink thrift and other wild spring flowers. Choughs were nesting on nearby islets and could be seen flying in groups. Large and high cliff faces were homes to nesting Guillemots and Razorbills. Puffins were rare but could be seen by descending the path to the lighthouse and viewing the cliffs. In the air were numerous sea birds, including Cormorants, Fulmars, Kittiwake, Lesser black-backed gull, Herring Gull, Gannet, and Shag. On top of the cliffs above the fields and heather were Rock Pipit, Wheatear, Stonechat, Magpie, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow and Rook. A Raven was spotted high in the sky.


From the cliffs of South Stack we were driven across Anglesey to the remains of Penmon Priory. Here we had to walk along a road, with trees and shrubs on either side, to Black Point. Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff and Whitethroat were easily spotted during the walk. A Blackcap was heard but not seen. Other more common birds, such as Wren, Blackbird, Robin and Starling were all seen. From Black Point, Puffin Island can be seen across a stretch of sea, only navigable by small ships at high tide. Sandwich Terns could be seen diving into this stretch of water, whilst gulls and Cormorants flew overhead. On the water, a Black Guillemot and Eider Ducks were spotted as well as other seabirds.


Unfortunately all good days come to an end. A group of tired but happy birdwatchers were driven back to Wilmslow having had an excellent day on Anglesey. In total the group saw 63 bird species.

Photos by Robert D


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