My initial plan was to try and get out this early spring and see a black grouse lek having only seen single birds before.
An internet search revealed that a site close to Wrexham was probably the best bet.
So to make the most of trip we decided to do a long weekend birding trip to North Wales focussing on species we don't get in Norfolk.
A 5am start from Norfolk saw us joining up with Alan Davies at Old Colwyn prom to look for seaducks. The calm sea and sun made searching through the scoter flock easier and we soon had several velvet scoter in view. After a bit of time we managed our target species, 2 drake surf scoter. Although they were at least a mile offshore, the white nape patches made them stand out like a sore thumb! Further searching located another drake and a female. Loads of red throated divers and some nice displaying red breasted mergs were about.
A quick stop at Rhos on Sea bagged 8 roosting purple sands before heading to Llanfairfechan. 3 slav grebe, great northern and loads of red throated divers were added along with a nice bacon roll.
A search of the small stream that runs though the town eventually revealed a dipper along with a couple of grey wags.
Final stop of the day was in a stunning Welsh valley to the south of Bethesda to look for some wintering ring ouzels. Thankfully two of the birds (male & female) were showing well feeding close to the road plus another 2 males on flight. Despite a lot of the snow having gone, the scenery was stunning (not used to mountains in Norfolk!) with a bonus 3 goosander on the lake at the head of the valley.
A fantastic days birding and a Alan is a highly recommended guide if you are looking to do a visit to the area :-)
Pic 1 - Rhos on Sea
Pic 2, 3 - roosting purple sand @ Rhos on Sea
Pic 4 - dipper site
Pic 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 - valley south of Bethesda inc male ring ouzel
Pic 11 - Little Orme from the Great Orme
Pic 12 - looking west towards Anglesey from the Great Orme