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Sunday, 6 December 2009

North Wales Break from 1st to 4th December 2009

My wife and I took a short break in North Wales, taking advantage of the Travelodge £10 per night rooms in Bangor. We spent most of our time exploring Anglesey, and I even managed to fit in a bit of birding.
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On the way there, we stopped off at Point of Ayr. We had very distant views of Redshank, Shelduck, and Brent Goose, but the only thing photographable was a Reeed Bunting. We didn't stay long as the wind was blowing a gale, and the thermometer was showing 1 degree C!
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Reed Bunting (female) - Point of Ayr
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A bracing walk along the pier at Bangor (which goes more than half way across the Menai Straits), revealed the usual crop of gulls, but a lone Shag was fishing beside the pier. There was also a large group of Turnstone at the outer end of the pier.
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Shag - Bangor Pier
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Herring Gull (immature) - Bangor Pier
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My wife and I took the longish walk through the ancient dunes, to the shore at Traeth Abermenai. Not much was seen en-route other than a flock of Lapwing, but there was a good flock Brent Goose when we reached the shore.
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Brent Goose - Traeth Abermenai
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A stop beside the A4085 at Malltraeth revealed a good flock of Pintail. There were less of them there when we passed on the second day (probably out feeding on Malltraeth Sands).
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Pintail - Malltraeth
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A short visit to Newborough Forest, just to the south of Malltraeth, did not reveal much of interest round the small lake, but the car park was great fun. Unfortunately I was exploring round the lake when a Sparrowhawk settled in the tree beside our car, closely observed by my wife!
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Jay - Newborough Forest
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Great Spotted Woodpecker (male) - Newborough Forest
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I had been hoping to see Chough during our visit, and so was delighted to find them in a field beside the road, about 2 km from South Stack (near Bodwarren farm). There was a pair there on two consecutive days.
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Chough
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Having had lunch in a Hollyhead 'chippy' we stopped just outside the town at Beddmanarch Bay. I would like to have had more time to explore this place.
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Brent Goose - Beddmanarch Bay
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Redshank - Beddmanarch Bay
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Curlew - Beddmanarch Bay
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Our circuit of the island included a few diversions down side-roads to see the coastal scenery. In Church Bay, to the north of Valley, we found Rock Pipits
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Rock Pipit - Church Bay, Anglesey
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Our cross-country route home took us through Penrhyndeudraeth, and just to the north of the town we found a group of approximately 30 Whooper Swans in a field beside the A4085.
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Whooper Swan - Penrhyndeudraeth
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Before calling in at friends in the border country, we dropped in at Lake Vyrnwy for lunch and a little time in the RSPB hide by the visitor centre.
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Chaffinch (male) - Lake Vyrnwy
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Coal Tit - Lake Vyrnwy

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