North Wales - Sunday 18th November 2012

Twenty-eight members ventured from the Guild on a field trip to various sites in North Wales on a glorious, cold, crisp Sunday morning.

Our first brief stop was an industrial estate at Deeside in North Wales to search for waxwings. Our encounter with this species was somewhat limited as they took one look at us and took flight! However, at least one member was fortunate enough to catch a glimpse of a great spotted woodpecker.

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Next stop was the RSPB reserve in Conwy. On arrival we were informed that firecrest and redpoll had recently been seen on the reserve. Some members spotted the firecrest but, alas, no redpolls were detected. This reserve is also good for seeing various meadow and scrubland birds including the many common species. From the hides by the mere, we were treated to sightings of the red-breasted merganser (below right), golden eye, teal, tufted ducks and wigeon to name but a few. By the edge of the water, a water pipit (left), a wisp of snipe, little egret and a grey heron were detected. Then, following a short walk to the estuary, we saw various waders including shelduck, redshanks, curlews and oystercatchers.

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A fast approaching incoming tide meant it was time to move on to Llanfairfechan, but not before our trusted driver, Martin, was challenged, yet again, to a difficult multi-pointed coach turn out of the car park! At Llanfairfechan, the ‘apparently resident’ dipper duly obliged, by making an appearance! Then, it was off to the foreshore to gaze at the sea. Fortunately the sea was calm with good visibility. This enabled us to see, even with binoculars, innumerable common scoters, red-throated divers and another red-breasted merganser.Our final stop was Rhos-on-Sea. Here we spotted more oystercatchers, redshank and purple sandpipers.

A good day was had by all. Approximately 70 different species were spotted of which, only two individual raptors were identified.

Photos by Elizabeth M and Chris S.

CHRIS B

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