ALL DAY ON ANGLESEY – RSPB CORS DDYGA – MALLTRAETH NATIONAL NATURE RSERVE (BAY AND THE COB LAGOON)
WEATHER: clear blue sky with all day sunshine, but…..a cold easterly wind spoilt it somewhat.
We spent a second day on the Isle of Anglesey and really enjoyed the birding despite not seeing the rarities and unusual visiting birds. We missed Great Egret and Little Stint and didn’t even try for Broad-billed Sandpiper, we were happy with what we got.
We arrived at RSPB Cors Ddyga just after 9am, it was windy and a little chilly but not too bad. The reserve is open flat, water meadows with pools and ditches, reedbeds, a large canal and lots of scrub. We found Willow Warbler and Common Whitethroat in the car parking area.
We saw most of the birds along the first 200 meters of the track, that is where you have good views of open pools and muddy shorelines. We quickly listed a number of ducks: Mallard, Gadwall, Shoveler and Teal, also Common Shelduck, lots of Lapwings and several Meadow Pipits.
Lapwing at Cors Ddyga
Scanning distant pools we found 8 Black-tailed Godwits with a single Greenshank and then a beautiful male Marsh Harrier flew over the far side of the marsh. A little closer we had views of Reed Bunting, Sedge Warbler, Stonechat and we heard Reed Warbler and Cetti’s Warbler. Susan heard a distant boom of the Great Bittern!!
Walking down the central track with the wind in our backs we added Tufted Duck, Curlew, Tree Pipit, Linnet and Goldfinch. Distant Skylarks could be heard and Richard spotted a Kingfisher. Other birds seen along this section of the walk included Canada Goose, Grey Heron, Little Egret and we saw the Marsh harrier again.
The pathway turned southward and we found shelter from the wind, this where we saw several butterflies and many dragon and damselflies. Red Admiral, Small Tortoiseshell, Speckled Wood, Common Blue and Small White butterflies were all seen. Emperor Dragonfly and Common Blue-tail Damselfly were also on the wing.
We had good views of Willow Warbler and Chiffchaff and a fleeting view of Bullfinch before we turned eastward into the wind. More Reed Buntings were seen but not much else before we got back to the bus.
We picked up our lunch supplies in a supermarket in Llangefni before driving 8 miles to Newborough Warren to eat lunch at picnic tables in the main car park. It was sheltered from the wind and the sun warmed us up. From the pine woods of Newborough a pathway takes you out to Malltreath Sands and the Cob Pool. Most of the way was sheltered by tall bushes but the final section was quite exposed to the wind. Nothing much could be seen out on the sands, you could see for miles during this low tide period. The Cob Pool held very little too.
we saw several pairs of Willow Warbler carrying food for their chicks, they nest on the ground in the grass
We did have good views of Willow Warbler and Common Whitethroat, with some Meadow Pipits, a family party of Stonechats and some Linnets.
Dunlin and Ringed Plover
At the mouth of Afon Cefni and where a canal runs into the Bay alongside the river we saw some waders, Dunlin and Ringed Plovers, in the distance we could see Oystercatchers, Common Shelduck and Black-headed Gulls.
Richard found this wierd looking Oystercatcher, or is it a new species called Oyster-barwit, a cross between Oystercatcher and Bar-tailed Godwit, we saw it feeding just like a Godwit.
After a nice cuppa, sitting out in the sun sheltered from the wind, we made the journey back to the bus. Nothing new turned up, we were told that a few Little Stints were about but we could not see any, they could have been anywhere on the sandflats.
Pont Maen-hir - taken from ther Cob at Malltraeth
It was 4pm by the time we got back to the bus and so we drove back to the hotel, arriving some 80 minutes later. Dinner was at 7pm, another fantastic experience with superb food.