I've been to Rhyl for a few days, primarily to see family and friends there but I also managed to fit in a whole day birding too. I try to get to Rhyl at least three or four times a year and stay with my cousins who, luckily for me, live just two streets away from the sea.
On Friday while the family were all at work or school, I made my way down to the beach. The first bird (except for the gulls) I saw, was a Little Egret. Nothing special in that, but that's the first time in five years that I've seen an Egret fishing by the sea.
Oystercatchers were abundant, but hard to get close to.
I spent a lot of time hiding behind breakwaters.
I always see Redshanks on Rhyl beach.
Turnstones are another species that are guaranteed.
You can see in the picture below, my first view of them through the breakwaters.
Sandwich Tern numbers at Rhyl are up considerably from five years ago. Back then I was lucky to see two or three, but on my last few visits I've been seeing twenty to thirty birds at a time.
The tide had not long gone out, and had left several 'pools' of water quite near to the sea wall. There I found a family group of Ringed Plovers.
One of my favourite places on the beach is further up near Prestatyn. Its a stretch of rubble from old defences buildings. I had great views of Northern Wheatears here back in May, and they didn't disappoint on Friday either. Along with Wheatears I also found Wagtails and Meadow Pipits.
I've never fully explored the sand dunes and the area of scrub that are on the border of Rhyl and Prestatyn, but a very friendly gentlemen, seeing me with my bins and camera, told me it was a great place to see Stonechats.
Whilst looking for the Chats I found a Kestrel hunting, and a large colony of House Sparrows.
Then I found the Stonechats. At least four pairs were showing really well.
On the walk back, I found even more Wheatears. These were on garden walls near the Splashpoint area and were very obliging.
I couldn't really ask for better views of these beautiful Thrushes.
All in all it was a very enjoyable day out, and one that I hope to do again in a couple of months time.