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weekend in wales

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Old Tuesday 1st June 2010, 16:10   #1
Original PaulE
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Smile weekend in wales

Just got back from a quality trip to mid/north wales with my mate Gary this is the third year we have been and it turned out to be another great trip , amazingly blazing sunshine most of the time an i forgot me hat so now extremely burnt who would have thought it wales in may
anyway arrived on saturday afternoon which was a bit dull stayed local to Dolgellau near where we were staying in the evening went down the mawdach trail highlight was a dipper on the river and calling grasshopper warbler unfortunately not seen
Sunday saw us on the road to Angelsey, Holyhead harbour produced close views of a cracking Black guillemot and after refuelling at macdonalds we arrived at South Stack where we got all the usual stuff Razorbills,guillimots,kittiwake,fulmar,ravens,choughs and best of all 2 puffins sitting on the sea close into the cliffs there were also impressive views of very close gannets and a good few manxies going through some very close in.After that we drove round to Cemlyn bay where the tern colony contained common,sandwich and Arctic tern and 1 i thought looked good for roseate very pale,with black bill but no pink on the breast and no long tail streamers meant i ain't ticked it
we returned via the osprey project at Glason where we had distant views of a brown blob on a nest which the tv feed confirmed was an osprey it's very impressive set up but shame it's not a bit closer or the RSPB could rent some time on the hubble scope to gives some close ups
in the evening we tried for nightjars at the other end of the mawdach trail heard a couple but none seen third year in a row do welsh nightjars ever fly although a tawny owl on a post was some compensation. and my mozzie spray seemed to work so we avoided last years massacre
monday saw us on an early start heading for ynis-hir which once again produced the goods with cracking views of pied and spotted flycatcher,common redstart,wood warbler(got to the point where we wished they would shut up so we could hear the other stuff!) garden warbler, blackcap, siskin, sedge warbler, reed warbler,stonechat and tree pipit after a happy six hours we decided to head up the A44 road in search of red kites,we spotted a couple on the coast road and then headed up the A44 we found a likely looking layby just before the aptly named red kite cafe near a nature reserve whose name i can't remember and started scanning wthin bout half an hour we had seen plenty of kites with the highest count being about 18 in the air at the same time also a few buzzards and ravens when suddenly from behind the ridge in front of us a huge host of kites surged up we counted 80 but there were probably more we can only presume there is some sort of feeding centre there but whatever it was an awesome sight not really shown by my rubbish phone photo, trust me the black dots are kites the pic was taken a few minutes after the birds appeared when i got my wits together and therefore they had spread out a bit by then!
feeling we probably were not going to top that we decided to adjourn to barmouth to eat our weight in fish and chips and ice cream
all in all another great trip 97 species seen 99 if you include heard only gropper and nightjar which i don't but gary does which ain't bad in two an a half days we would probably have seen more if someone hadn't spent hours looking for a bloody candle

good times

cheers
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Old Tuesday 1st June 2010, 18:26   #2
Jonny Rankin
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Thumbs up Wales toon...

Cracking trip report there.

Makes me want to get back over there asap! Sterling work on Black G'mots & Kite fest. Doesn't sound like you missed anything ;-)

Next year you will have to aim for the big 100!

Cheers,

Jonny
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Old Tuesday 1st June 2010, 19:02   #3
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cheers[/quote]

Hello mate ,some good stuff there bit jealouse realy,especialy wood warblers and redstarts,two of my faves!

PH
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Old Tuesday 1st June 2010, 20:55   #4
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Originally Posted by PaulE View Post
we decided to head up the A44 road in search of red kites,we spotted a couple on the coast road and then headed up the A44 we found a likely looking layby just before the aptly named red kite cafe near a nature reserve whose name i can't remember

Probably Nant-yr Arian.

Gotta love Wales.
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Old Tuesday 1st June 2010, 22:17   #5
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Probably Nant-yr Arian.

Gotta love Wales.
hi john

thanks for the link yeah that's definitely the place guess we just lucked in at feeding time and as you say
gotta love wales

cheers
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Old Wednesday 2nd June 2010, 08:27   #6
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wales trip

wales never lets us down, even the weather is good when we are there. dipper stays faithful to the same bridge every year, jars and groppers always calling but rarely seen, could do with detailed info on the location of grouse for next year, buggers eluded us this time round, but what a place to look for them.
ynis hir has to be one of my fav. places to go to, just to walk around it is so calming and peaceful, lots of cracking birds is a bonus of course, it becomes a bit blase after a while, oh, another pied fly,redstart,wood warbler,raven, kite etc. you get extremely spoiled in a place like this.
the same can be said for holyhead/south stack, cracking birds that we dont see everyday, but surely birders from wales would say the same thing when visiting our neck of the woods when they come to see our birds, bittern,monty's and marsh harriers, avocets, nightingales, and a coastline that gets more than its fair share of rarities.
honey and chelsea buns in abundance as usual, and a candle shop i found in barmouth needed extra attention, sorry for the delay there m8, but sally was well chough-ed with the chosen item. means i can go again next year. forward planning.

happy birding guys

mowla
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Old Wednesday 2nd June 2010, 09:10   #7
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And there's me dreaming of East Anglia and the fact I'm missing it this year !!!!
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Old Wednesday 2nd June 2010, 09:33   #8
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That sounds really great! Wales can be surprisingly hot really, when I went to Pembrokeshire a couple of years back at the end of April it was gloriously hot and sunny for a fair bit of the week and when we went to Skomer I got really sunburned as it was horizon to horizon blue skies and blazing sunshine. Apart from my not being well that day we couldn't have asked for better weather.

97 species is pretty amazing for a couple of days and all in all sounds like you had a really good time. Dippers are a real favourite of mine so I love to hear about people seeing them even if it makes me a bit green!
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Old Wednesday 2nd June 2010, 09:39   #9
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And there's me dreaming of East Anglia and the fact I'm missing it this year !!!!
It's always the way, grass is always greener and all that. Doesn't matter where you live, you always get a bit blase about the local wildlife and get an itch to see different things in other parts of the country. Just human nature I think.

Just to turn the screws... I'll be spending some time up on the north Norfolk coast in a few weeks. Got a lovely old cottage booked at Blakeney and we'll be a short bus-hop from Cley and all the other lovely places up there.
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