Burton Mere and South Stack

On Friday, we went to two RSPB reserves, Burton Mere and South Stack.  

At Burton Mere, we saw quite a lot of species.  We spent ages in the visitor centre hide watching avocet chicks, and the parent birds were frequently chasing away mallards and their ducklings which was really unusual behaviour.  The avocet chicks looked completely different to their parents ad were speckled but had the upturned beak.  Their parents were teaching them how to find food in the water.  There were lots of black-tailed godwits and they were really good to see as they were in breeding plumage with an orange chest.  The black-headed gulls had chicks as well.  In one of the hides, we saw lots of little egrets and some juvenile herons.

We travelled down to South Stack in Holyhead.  I think my favourite species we saw were some choughs, and they were diving around on the bank.  They were delving their curved red beaks into the grass to get food.  We saw three in total and we got some really good views.  We saw lots of seabirds, including guillemots, razorbills, fulmars and also a pair of puffins on the cliffs.  Puffins use abandoned rabbit burrows as nesting holes.  The guillemots were all crammed on to the ledges and they have specially shaped eggs so they don’t roll of the cliff.  We couldn’t see much after those species as a thick mist came in and blanketed the cliff.  There were lots of song birds around too, including linnets, meadow pipits and some male stonechats.  We saw linnets flying around all the time.  The meadow pipits were performing a display flight where the males sing while flying and then drop to the ground with their tails in the air.  We saw stonechats perched in the heather and on telephone wires and they were really good to see in breeding plumage.  Another songbird we spotted hopping around was a male wheatear which looked really smart with its defined black eyestripe.  We saw a rock dove huddled on the cliffs and it looked like a pure one with no feral pigeon in it.

It was a really good trip and I added six species to my year list: avocet, black-tailed godwit, chough, razorbill, wheatear and puffin.