Monday, 1 February 2016

A 'lifer' at Kinmel Bay

Before I start my blog post today, I must say a huge thank you to the members of the facebook page, North Wales bird and wildlife sightings, because without their help and advice I would have never seen my first ever Snow Bunting today.
I have had this day planned for weeks. I've been weather watching constantly over the last few days, and hoping for a dry forecast. I've been checking the NWBAWS facebook page (link above) daily for updates on where the bird(s) have been seen. My bus route has been set for days. And it all paid off.
Only down side today was the wind. It was pretty ferocious. In fact as I'm writing this I still have sand in my ears, eyes and up my nose. And I'm pretty convinced that if it hadn't have been so windy, I would have maybe got more than the one sighting of the two Snow Buntings frequenting the bay today.
As I left the beach car park a rainbow greeted me, and again reminded me I really must make the effort to get my camera body looked at for dust particles.....

It took me less than 10 minutes to locate the buntings. There were two birds visible today,  but when they did land I could only ever locate one.
I managed five photos today. It was hard to focus on the birds in the strong wind, and I've already deleted one of the photos due to it being way too 'noisy'. None of my remaining four photos will ever win any prizes,  but they'll certainly do for my 'lifer' record shots.

Despite going back to the same location several times during the rest of the day, I failed to see the Snow Buntings again, and as the wind got stronger as the day went on, it wouldn't have surprised me if the buntings were hunkered down somewhere in the dunes.
Elsewhere I found a Meadow Pipit sheltering...
and a Skylark was only just visible on the pebbly beach....

By Rhyl Harbour I got some distant views of a 'gulp' of Cormorants....
and a 'parcel' of Oyster Catchers flew past.....

It was so windy that even the Black-headed Gulls were hunkered down....

and a couple of Herring Gulls were preferring to sit out the wind rather than risk flying backwards.

A very successful day for me, even if I think I'll be picking sand out of my eyelashes for days to come. It was also great to meet three like-minded gents, and I'm sorry that I've forgotten their names !!
Now I know I can visit the area easily when I stay with my cousins, this will not be my last visit.
Lifer. Tick.

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