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Wales 2018 (1 Viewer)

Original PaulE

Well-known member
United Kingdom
Holiday 2018

The truish story of our recent trip to Wales clink on the links to see the photos from each day!!


We decided on Wales for a spring holiday, turned out to be a good decision. Not such a good decision was the one to drive there on Bank Holiday Monday!!! Anyway, a fairly uneventful trip only birds of note were a couple of Parakeets over the M25 and some Red Kites up the M40. On arrival in Llanelltyd we decided to go find a Dipper. After dipping down the Mawdach Trail, although did get Tree Pipit and Grey Wagtail, we did find an extremely showy one at the Tyn y Groes picnic site in the Coed Y Brenin forest park more Grey Wagtails and a couple of Goosanders present as well, happy but knackered we called it a day.


Day 2 with a good forecast we headed south to RSPB Ynis Hir a fantastic reserve especially at this time of year, we saw and heard several Wood Warblers had cracking views of a pair of Pied Flycatchers, loads of other small birds as well, including Siskin, Redpoll, Willow Warblers, Whitethroats, Sedge Warblers, Reed Buntings, several Grasshopper Warblers and a pair of Oystercatchers nesting on a wall right in front of a hide. After several happy hours we availed ourselves of a coffee and some chocolate at the visitor center before heading down the road to see the Dyfi Ospreys both birds were at the nest and the new hide affords fantastic views, though I will confess that one of the pics was taken off the TV monitor see if you can guess which one? Lunch was taken at Wetherspoons in Aberystwyth where Faggots, Chips and Mushy peas revived our flagging spirits, a quick stroll round the town and an Icecream from the front set us up nicely, we headed up the A44 to the Bwlch Nant yr Arian forest center, five Goosanders on the lake were nice, but of course the stars were the Red Kites must have been over 100 in the area even though the feeding session was more or less finished, doesn’t seem particularly natural but all those Kites in the air together is an impressive sight!! Knackered out again, we headed back to base.


Day 3 With the weather forecast looking dodgy, although turned out not bad, we postponed our trip to Anglesey and headed of to Llangollen in search of the Fudge Factory!! On the way we visited World’s End hopes for a Black Grouse were optimistic considering how late in the year it was also we left a bit late as the Honey Buns at Popty’r Dref bakers in Dolgellau didn’t come out of the oven til 9.30!!! Well worth the wait though they were awesome warm!! However along with the many Meadow Pipits and Wheatears, we did manage a couple of Red Grouse and best of all a Stunning Whinchat popped up next to the car and gave us a tune!!! No Black Grouse though ☹ After visiting the Fudge Factory where too much money was spent, we called in at the Horseshoe Falls, only birds of note were a large flock of Swifts but the scenery was nice. We returned to base before heading over to see my Dad and more importantly the massive Roast Dinner his longsuffering partner Glenys had prepared for us!! Delicious!!


Day 4 Despite eating my weight in Roast Dinner the night before we made an early start and got to RSPB South Stack at a respectable time, greeted in the Car Park by a singing Whitethroat, the Choughs, Ravens, Guillemots, Razorbills and eventually Puffins performed well, the only disappointment I didn’t get a Shag in fact didn’t get a Shag the whole holiday and looking unlikely to get one for the year!! The visitor center was opening as we were leaving so popped in for a Bacon Sarnie and Coffee though I bravely resisted the lovely looking cake, next stop was Cemlyn Bay where the Tern Colony was looking good the helpful Warden informed us that the 150 Common and Arctic Terns had only arrived a couple of days before, they certainly put on a fine show wheeling about above our heads! We strolled around to the headland where a Pair of Wheatears showed well, a half hour Seawatch produced a few Gannets, a couple of Mergansers and a flock of five Manx Sheawaters.On the way out a flooded field produced a couple of Ringed Plovers and some nice White Wagtails! On leaving we found a nice tearoom where we had a very nice Cream Tea and I somehow managed to buy 3 jars of Jam!! We then went to Valley Wetlands a good display of Hirundines , some Sedge Warblers and a Pochard the best, as we were leaving I luckily checked the Phone, Dotterel at the Ranges!! Twenty minutes later we were there, with Margie flagging somewhat I left her in the car and with a cheery “see you in 10 mins” I headed out!! An Hour and a half later I found it!! Or rather another guy did and pointed it out to me!! Stunning Bird easily the Star bird of the holiday, The Ranges is massive, and the search was entertaining due to the abundant Wheatears, flyover Choughs, tame Ringed Plovers, numerous Meadow Pipits and stunning coastal scenery! Anglesey has been fantastic, and we only managed to do half what we intended.


Day 5 We stayed local, exploring the walks in the Coed Y Brenin forest we found an old copper mine weren’t that many birds about though we did find another Dipper, more Grey Wagtails and several Wood Warblers which are blooming hard to get pics of!! After this we walked the local Llanelltyd river, Kingfisher, Common Sandpiper and more Grey Wagtails the highlights! Fully tired out we went to The George in Penmaenpool for a tasty if pricy dinner!!


Day 6 Again we stayed local climbing the Mountain behind Llanelltyd, not sure it’s got a name, we climbed to the precipice path, a calling Wood Warbler and several Song Thrushes seen along the way, a stunning Mountain Lake which Margie wouldn’t let me skinny dip in😊and up through the pine forest til we reached the high ground, lovely up here with loads of Pipits several pairs of Wheatear and the briefest view of a Common Redstart which I couldn’t refind! Margie eventually conquered her fear of slightly sloping hills and quite wide paths to join me at the top!! After getting our breath back we headed back down! The afternoon saw us take a leisurely walk from Morfa Mawdach across the Barmouth Bridge to the town where we had a very nice Ice cream, Mochachino for me and Ferraro Roche for Margie! More Wheatears, Pipits, a couple of Mergs and some copulating Oystercatchers the only birds of interest.


Day 7 Despite seeing various Copper Mines, Railway Bridges and loads of other historical Shiz Margie pointed out we hadn’t been to a Castle yet, the girls obsessed with em hardly get any time for birding!!! 😊 To rectify this we visited Castell-Y-Bere, which apparently is very interesting luckily it was also surrounded by a lovely bit of Oak Woodland which was full of birds the best of which was a quality Spotted Flycatcher which showed lovely at eye level the whole time we were there, Redpolls, Nuthatch, Willow Warbler and 3 Cuckoos which seemed to be in the surrounding valleys but never ventured closer, as we were leaving a Male Redstart was singing in a tree down the road. After this we headed further along the road to Dolgoch Falls which are stunning, more Grey Wagtails, calling Wood and Willow Warblers and Housemartins building a nest on the café where we had a quick Ham Sandwich before heading back to Gleny’s for another tasty Roast! After dinner we went down to the beach and watched the sunset over the Llyn Peninsula


Day 8 With this being our final day, we felt a big finish was needed so we decided to head for Snowdon. We stopped at Lake Trawsfynydd on the way where we saw Curlew, Little Ringed Plover and more Wheatears, Pipits and Willow Warblers so we didn’t arrive at Snowdon until 11.00 O’clock unfortunately despite being a Monday and not a school Holiday the next available train was tomorrow!!!! So we decided to walk up!!! I was unable to find a Sherpa or any pack mules, so we headed up alone!!! It soon became obvious that one of us wasn’t as enthusiastic as the other for our attempt, We arrived at the Halfway café to find they didn’t take cards so only had enough money for a Mars Bar each, it wasn’t enough, the toll taken from our previous mountaineering exploits and various outings was mounting up ,claims, still unverified, of a blister the size of a small country, an obvious Limp which would have made Herr Flick proud and various amounts of whinging eventually wore me down and two thirds of the way up we called a halt , turned around and headed, defeated back down, I very nearly stopped sulking by the bottom, on the plus side we saw some beautiful scenery, loads of Wheatears including one doing a song flight,2 Red Kites being mobbed by crows, a Raven, loads of Pipits and several Skylarks singing us down, it’s funny how much a Meadow Pipits song sounds like someone laughing at your failure!!!! An overpriced and not very nice sausage roll in the café at the bottom compounded our misery, but the drive back to base through some stunning scenery cheered me up no end!!


We had a brilliant time in Wales, Stunning scenery, great birds, the Dotterel, Whinchat and Pied Flycatchers will live long in the memory and lovely to see so many Wheatears, Wagtails, Pipits, Wood and Willow Warblers wherever the habitat was suitable. I’ve eaten far too many Welsh Cakes, Barra Brieth, Honey Buns etc etc luckily the miles walked has kept me trim!! Many thanks to Dad and Glenys for their hospitality and food and of course many thanks to Margie, for continuing to put up with me!!! Wouldn’t be half as enjoyable without you x.

Thanks Mark. Yes it's a lovely country and ours was a fairly short trip in a relatively small area so definitely plenty to see. A day wasn't long enough on Anglesey so plenty of reasons to return.

Good report with some lovely pics. Lots more to be seen, as you say, and if and when you plan a return visit feel free to get on touch for gen.
No, near Wrexham, so World's End is a local site (Ring Ouzel as well Black Grouse), and I buzz up and down the North coast to Anglesey when I can.
No, near Wrexham, so World's End is a local site (Ring Ouzel as well Black Grouse), and I buzz up and down the North coast to Anglesey when I can.

Nice I didn't realise Ring Ouzel were in North Wales thought they were restricted to the Brecon Beacons, Lots of good habitat around the Cader Idris area as well do you know if they are in that area as well? No need for specific locations obviously.

Nice I didn't realise Ring Ouzel were in North Wales thought they were restricted to the Brecon Beacons, Lots of good habitat around the Cader Idris area as well do you know if they are in that area as well? No need for specific locations obviously.


I don't really know the Cader Idris area, but given that I've seen them across North Wales (eg Foel Fras, Nant Ffrancon, World's End, Horseshoe Pass etc), I'd be surprised if they're not round there too. Go get 'em Floyd.
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