Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Dippers for Breakfast

We had a trip into Wales the weekend, staying in Llangollen at the Chainbridge Hotel. It was a superb location with great views over the river.

We saw Dippers both mornings from our Balcony and from the Restaurant whilst having breakfast, brilliant!
Here's a shot from our balcony (shame that the weather was so dull and wet!):

We also saw Grey Wagtail, Kestrel, Buzzard, Crow and Pheasant from our room, so not a bad way to start each day.

Our plan on the Saturday was to go up to Worlds End as a Great Grey Shrike had been reported there, but all we saw was Great Grey Clouds, the weather was awful we could only see about a 100 feet in any direction, so not conducive to walking especially somewhere you don't know and both of us having stinking colds!

So the Satnav was brought into play and we went National Trusting to Erdigg. The house was interesting and  the gardens were great, certainly worth a visit later in the year. There were plenty of birds about, the highlight being a couple of Goosander on the huge ornamental pond.
Find the Goosanders!
So it was still earlyish and again checked the RSPB reserves on the Satnav and saw we were only 30 minutes away from Burton Mere, so it would be rude not to!

We had a great couple of hours here the staff were very friendly, although the visitor centre was too warm inside, with a roaring fire and after returning from the other hide our bins and camera steamed up and we couldn't use them! Luckily when a Ruff turned up (winter plumage) a scope was on hand otherwise we would have missed it! So highlights were the Water Rail showing well:
Taken through the window, so a bit hazy!
Ruff, Pintail, Dunlin, Golden Plover, Avocet, Black Tailed Godwit, Buzzard, plus all the usual suspects! We missed a Little Gull by a few minutes, hey ho!

Next day we had to head home, so we had a drive up Horseshoe pass just for the view as the cloud had lifted a little, but the wind was howling and at times it was blizzard like:
The only bird brave enough to be out up there!
So we then decided to go home via Lake Vyrnwy, we guessed there wouldn't be much about and by the time we got there it was cold, snowing and my nose was streaming! (Not that you needed to know that!)

We went straight in the hide by the Carpark, only 10 feet from our car and what a surprise!  For those that have never been the hide is glass fronted overlooking the woods, with feeders inches from the window, so we got close and personal with:
Chaffinch, Blue, Great & Coal Tit, Nuthatch, Treecreeper, Brambling, Siskin, Dunnock and Pheasant:

We had a drive around the lake and stopped at the Centenary Hide, but the only bird seen was believe it or not a Dipper!

So we headed home via Powis Castle, where we just made it before closing for a cream tea. (great views of a Nuthatch here!)

The tally for the weekend was 50 species taking our year tally to 90.

A Song Thrush in the Garden on Monday made it 91.

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