DINORWIG SLATE MINES – LLANBERIS – LLYN CRAFNANT RESERVOIR
WEATHER: another glorious sun-shiny day, can you believe it, in Wales!!
Our pre-breakfast walk out onto the meadows and along the river produced some nice sightings, we added Reed Bunting to the list and had splendid views of a Garden Warbler at last.
The small Heron colony was busy as usual, one pair of chicks look as though they are ready to leave the nest, they are huge. The river was quiet with just a couple of Mallards but the stream running into the river had a juvenile Dipper feeding along it.
two Heron chicks about to fledge
Dipper on the stream outside the hotel
After breakfast we drove to Dinorwig (a small village about Llanberis) where a huge abandoned slate mine scars the landscape. Along the way we stopped to scan the open moorland and found …….nothing! We did see a Common Cuckoo and some Meadow Pipits later on.
a typical scene at the slate mine
The walk up from the car park was interesting, we walked through a wooded area above the village and found: Long-tailed Tit, Garden Warbler, Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff, Eurasian Nuthatch the some common garden birds.
wit Snowden in the back ground the slate mine is quite high up
When we reached the mining area it was like walking on the moon, piles of waste-slate stretching for miles and huge areas where the slate had been taken from the mountainside, old buildings and deserted tracks crisscrossed the slag-heaps.
We spent two hours searching the scree and the mountain-tops for Ring Ouzel with a sniff of one, to be fair it was quite crowded with tourists and some climbers. We did see Northern Wheatear, Red-billed Chough, Common Kestrel and we found our very first Spotted Flycatcher.
A few butterflies were flitting about we found Common Blue, Small White and wat we think was, small Pearl-bordered Fritillary.
After driving down into Llanberis and finding somewhere to pay extortionate prices for a sandwich and a coffee we drove back to the hotel. It was 3pm when we got back the drive through the Llanberis pass was one of the most beautiful routes you are likely to drive through in Wales.
After a fifteen minute break we drove up to the Llyn Crafnant Reservoir which sits high in the mountains above Trefriw, a single track lane takes you there in about ten minutes.
the Reservoir Crafnant
A wide, well used, track circumnavigates the reservoir through woodland, open meadows and scrub, it is about 3 miles long. It was a beautiful, mainly flat walk and very interesting bird-wise. All three of the most wanted woodland species in Wales were present: Pied Flycatcher, Wood Warbler and Common Redstart, we had good views of the latter two and we heard the first.
We also saw a number of other species such as Song and Mistle Thrushes, Coal Tit (Heard), Long-tailed Tit, Blackcap, Garden Warbler, Willow Warbler and Chiffchaff. Above we saw Common Buzzards and Ravens.
We found Speckled Wood, Small White and Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary and lots of Brimstone Moths.
At 5:30pm we returned to the hotel, some of the group saw Little Egret and two Goosanders on the river from their bedrooms. We had another fantastic dinner, the food at the hotel is delicious and highly recommended!