A days birding with another birding friend.
John Morgan arrived in Albrighton a 07:00 to pick me up for another days birding, this time we were heading for the North Wales coast via Worlds End near Llangollan. As we arrived at Worlds End we stopped just clear of the Pine woods and started our search for the two species of Grouse that are in the area. In the area around the woods we could not hear or see any sign of either but we did pick up Pheasant (Faisán Vulgar / Phaisanus colchicus), Jay (Arrendajo / Garrulus glandarius), Coal Tit (Carbonero Garrapinos / Parus ater), Green Woodpecker (Pito Real / Picus viridis), Goldcrest (Reyezuelo Sencillo / Regulus regulus), Dunnock (Acentor Común / Prunella modularis), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Meadow Pipit (Bistita Común / Anthus pratensis) and Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula). Once we located the correct area we soon picked up several Red Grouse by call and then three birds flew directly overhead, probably flushed by the female (ringtail) Hen Harrier (Aguilucho Pálido / Circus cyaneus) which was quartering the nearby ridge. Also on the ridge were Carrion Crows (Corneja Negra / Corvus corone), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Meadow Pipit (Bistita Común / Anthus pratensis) and Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus). A little further along the single track road we stopped for a coffee and some breakfast on a wide passing place and immediately located two male Black Grouse (Lyrurus tetrix) moving slowly through some deep grass, three more birds were seen in flight distantly as they flew over the moorland. Here we added Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes) and Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs) to the day list. We then made our way up to Rhos-on-sea picking up Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo), Black-headed Gull (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus), Common Starling (Estornino Pinto / Sturnus vulgaris) and Great Spotted Woodpecker (Pico Picapinos / Dendrocopos major) on the way. Once we were on the coast our first stop was on Colwyn Bay where we saw our first Red-throated (Colimbo Chico / Gavia stellata) and Black-throated Divers (Colimbo Ártico / Gavia arctica) of the trip, along with Great Crested Grebe (Somormujo Lavanco / Podiceps cristatus), a couple of Common Guillemots (Arao Común / Uria aalge), Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocorax carbo), a couple of hundred Common Scoters (Negrón Común / Melanitta nigra) and one or two Shag (Cormorán Monudo / Phalacrocoax aristotelis). On the water closer in and on the sea wall we also recorded Herring (Gaviota Argéntea Europea / Larus argentatus), Great Black-backed (Gavión Atlantico / Larus marinus) and Common Gulls (Gaviota Cana / Larus canus). We continued the short distance into Rhos and parked on the front where we viewed the birds roosting on the breakwater. Here we saw Common Redshank (Archibebe Común / Tringa totanus), Ruddy Turnstone (Vuelvepiedras Común / Arenaria interpres), Pied Oystercatcher (Ostrero Euroasiatico / Haematopus ostralegus), Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Grande / Charadrius hiaticula), Dunlin (Correlimos Común / Calidris alpina), Eurasian Curlew (Zapapito Real / Numenius arquata) and on the beach and sea front Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer Domesticus) and Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto). We moved further west along to Llanfairfechan where we again saw Red-throated Divers, Great Crested Grebe and most of the already mentioned waders. We decided to have a walk along the track from the town passed the boating lake and out to the salt marshes beyond. On the way we added Mute Swan (Cisne Vulgar / Cygnus olor), Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba subsp yarrellii), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egretta garzetta) x4, Bar-tailed Godwit (Aguja Colipinta / Limosa lapponica), Northern Lapwing (Avefria Europea / Vanellus vanellus) and Skylark (Alondra Común / Alauda arvensis) to the growing list. At the furthest point we came to a pool in the marsh which held quite good numbers of wildfowl including Goosander (Serreta Grande / Mergus merganser), Eurasian Teal (Cerceta Común / Anas crecca), Eurasian Wigeon (Silbón Europeo / Anas Penelope), Northern Pintail (Ánade Rabudo / Anas acuta) and Northern Shoveler (Cuchara Común / Anas clypeata). On the walk back we had nice views of another one of the species I was hoping for, a cracking Rock Pipit (Bisbita Costero / Anthus petrosus) which bimbled around on the rocks along the tide line. Once we reached the car we made a move on to Conway RSBP reserve and spent some time wandering around the hides. Before the rains started we picked up Black-tailed Godwit (Aguja Colinegra / Limosa limosa), Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinula Chloropus), Robin (Petirrrojo / Erithacus rubecula), Blue Tit (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus) and Raven (Cuervo / Corvus corax). On the way back home we stopped in at Colwyn Bay again but the only new species was Northern Gannet (Alcatraz Atlántico / Morus bassanus). We then started the trip back to Albrighton via a pub for some food and to let the worst of the traffic disperse. Thanks John for a cracking day.
Photographs from the top: Worlds End, John at Worlds End, Herring Gull (Gaviota Argéntea Europea / Larus argentatus) 1st winter, 2nd winter and Adult, Llanfairfechan sea front and Rainbow off Colwyn Bay.