RSPB Walsall Local Group
a million voices for nature
Gales had been forecast for the entire country as we set off for our weekend field trip to North Wales. We started at Conway RSPB reserve ('Conwy', in Welsh) in bright sunshine and were soon clocking up a good number of species including Kingfisher and Red-breasted Merganser. Four female Goldeneye were also present amongst the 42 or more species here. Large numbers of Curlew, Black-tailed Godwit and redshank arrived on the reserve as the incoming tide moved them from the estuary.
After spending some time, and money, in the well stocked shop, we moved further along the coast to a North Wales Wildlife Trust reserve at Aber Ogwen, called The Spinnies. From the small but well positioned hide we saw sixteen Little Egrets and thirty or so Red- breasted Mergansers; plus a Common Seal.
The brackish pool here is also a good place to see Kingfisher; the branches overhanging the water provide excellent perches and we saw several fishing attempts made during the two hours we were there. As we left, the surrounding trees were filed with recently arrived Fieldfares and Redwings.
The predicted gales arrived during the night, accompanied by rain. Birdwatching was not easy in these circumstances, so we parked on the front at Rhos-On-Sea and used our cars as hides. We were able to see Redshank, Turnstone, Oystercatcher and Ringed Plover on the rocks, just a few yards away. This would be a good spot to visit in better weather - we were fortunate that the wind was blowing off-shore.
We then moved onto the Great Orme but the wind had increased to such an extent that it was difficult to stand upright, and for birds to fly, so after viewing the visitor centre's video, explaining the Orme's history, we left Wales and headed home.
Mike Pittaway (Field Trips Organiser)