TREFRIW MEADOWS – RSPB CONWY – BODNANT GARDEN
WEATHER: all day sunshine, a lighter wind today but still chilly unless sheltered.
Our morning walk produced nothing new but what a fabulous morning it was! Clear blue sky, no wind and a perfect temperature, no wonder the birds were singing. We watched a Sedge Warbler performing its song-flight as we stood on the embankment next to the river. Susan spotted a Goosander upriver, it had five well-grown chicks with it.
record shot of the Goosander with some of its five chicks
Further along the walk we watched Garden Warbler delivering a warbled flurry of scratchy notes and a Nutchatch fed above us. We searched the stream for Kingfisher as only Ricard had seen one so far but none appeared. We did see Dipper once again near the bridge in the village and the accompanying Grey Wagtail,
a great place to sit and watch the world go by, outside our hotel in Trefriw
Our return path was through the village as we were getting a little late for breakfast, we saw all the common garden species including Greenfinch.
For our morning birding we decided to re-visit the superb RSPB Reserve at Conwy, we hoped to see Great Egret and maybe a couple of other waders that were missing from our list. On arrival the car park was packed full!! A Charity Fun-Run was taking place, hundreds of participants were just finishing the run. We eventually found a space, we realised that the ‘Run’ was just finishing and the crowds were dispersing.
Long-tailed Tits were very common on the RSBP reserve
We walked to the River mouth and scanned around the estuary looking for the Great Egret. The Herony on the the other side of the river held several Little Egrets but not the big one. Along the shoreline on a rising tide we saw Oystercatchers, Cormorants, Common Shelduck, Grey Herons and then we found the Great Egret, hooray!! Unfortunately the bird flew off out of sight before we all had views of it in the scope.
For the new two hours we walked the entire loop around the two lagoons, we visited every hide and blind and found some nice species. Whimbrel and both Godwits had been reported but we saw none of those, we did find a pair of Avocets (a rare sighting in these parts), also Dunlin, our first Common Sandpiper, Little Ringed Plover and all the usual ducks, gulls and egrets.
Little Ringed Plover
We had better views of Reed Warbler, we saw Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Common Whitethroat and I had a glimpse of Lesser Whitethroat but it never appeared for the rest of the group, so we didn’t count it.
Record shot of the Avocets with Dunlin and Common Shelduck
Lunch was taken in the Café, Ian bought another fruit cake which went down very well.
Common Sandpiper - the resverve does have hides all around these fabulous lagoons but all the birds are still quite far from them
For the afternoon we decided to visit the fantastic garden at the National Trust site in Bodnant. It has terrific gardens, woodlands, flower meadows, Streams and ponds and is very popular locally. The car park was jam-packed but we got into the over-spill. Once in the gardens people dispersed and you find solitude in many places.
we found a clump of Bee Orchids
Dawn and I made our own way around and left everyone else to do their own thing. We saw Goldcrest, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Common Pheasant, Blue & Great Tits, Song Thrush, Jackdaws and lots of tame Robins.
The famous LABURNUM ARCH at Bodnant
At 4pm we all met up and walked back to the car for the drive home. The trip was now virtually over, we had one more excellent dinner to deal with before we packed our bags ready for our departure straight after breakfast tomorrow.