Every year pre or post BirdFair in England, I take some time to go birding, visit friends and explore Great Britain and Europe. So last August wat not exception, but was special, since I decided to visit again North Wales for more birding, creamy tea and cake in Llandudno and nearby with Alan Davis & Ruth Miller (Birdwatching Trips with the Biggest Twitch). North Wales I think is more recognized because of the ancient stunning castles and some holiday resorts, but is also a very top birding spot in the UK with amazing birds, stunning locations, friendly people and guides.
August had a super weather in the Area, clear and sunny days with nice temperature, so I was lucky on experiencing again very shiny days and many new birds. This is one of those enchanting places you always wants to go back every time you visit (since it exceed your expectations), in my particular opinion, the service, the friendliness and of course the birds. I had a very special target for this visit and with the company of Alan and Ruth I was able to see by the first time the Red Grouses and the Black Grouse, in one of the special areas that Alan & Ruth are taking birders in the area.
At the Manchester airport I was picked up by Alan & Ruth, with two big smiles, hugs and laughs, we were ready for a quick drive to Llandudno, Dinner, rest and explore new areas. The next morning I had a walk along the local village by my own, visiting the Pier and walking along the shore, people were curious about my accent, and some of them said: Excuse me Sr, Where are you From?, since I love speaking with people, my response was always another question: Where do you think I am from?, and never, their response was Costa Rica (haha), they said Spain, Mexico, Middle Easter, Cyprus, Italy and even Brazil or Indian-British. It was fun, when I said Costa Rica, I was filled with very positive comments about the idea that people in Wales have about our conservation efforts and no army country, then people were even more curious about my reasons to be around North Wales, then I said, I came to see friends and of course the birds, tea and cake (do not miss the sheep).
I gather with Alan & Ruth for lunch and more fun moments came along, when I was checking the menu, while I was reading ‘Bits and Bobs on a Toast’, I said boobs, then everybody started laughing about, and we thought that with the new name I gave to the meal, that would be a popular restaurant. In the evening we visited around and got some sea birds and local species near Betws-y-Coed including a stunning Summer sunset over the Conwy River.
Next day we visited Tal-y-Bont, and Bangor-Bethesda, a stunning valley with some raptors and small birds in the sheep fields, rivers and forest patches, including an expected visit to Tu-Hwnt-I’r Bont tea room for Welsh Rarebit, tea and the best ever ‘Scoooooooones’. We returned back to Llandudno to rest and get ready for next day, to visit the Black-grouse area. Early am, before sunrise we were ready to departs and visit some hills where the Red Grouse happens, so we were lucky on finding a flock of 25 males calling by the side of the road, and we got a bonus bird, the Red Grouse (with the funny ‘Go back’ call). Next stop was lunch (with another very particular menu including: Bubble & Squeak, Faggots & Mushy Peas, Toad in the Hole and the particular Spotted Dick pudding). Filled with our exotic lunch we head to the RSPB Burton Mere Wetlands to see the Spoonbills and the Green sandpipers. With my lifers we returned back since the next day we had to head to Rutland to start our participation at the BirdFair.
I have to add that North Wales is a great area and a must place to go if you enjoy the combination of birding, history, culture, nice food and great people. I will high recommend if you are around to get in touch with Alan & Ruth, the birding experts in the area (They can show you more than 50 species of birds in a single day). Looking forward to be back in 2017.