My recovery continues after an enforced break from birding due to being hospitalised with severe abdominal pains, and I decided a day out was in order to help it!! To that end I ventured into North Wales, always a favourite destination.
First port of call was Llandudno, heading for Mostyn Avenue where a wintering bird has been attracting a lot of attention. Dog walkers and house owners all seemed happy to chat about it and give advice, however it went missing for an hour as I arrived! Always preferring proactive birding I took a wander and re-found the immature Rose-coloured Starling atop a chimney pot down a side alley. Calling other birders to me we were all soon watching it, not as plain buff as the Altrincham bird of last year, but more coming into adult plumage with hints of pink and black in the plumage (see piccy).
Next I headed to the Little Orme where Fulmars were already paired up and on nesting ridges, it it really still January!? Ravens flew over head and Shags perched along the lower cliffs. A quick stop at Rhos Point only produced a Turnstone, but with the tide out I knew I wasn't going to see any Purple Sandpipers. Then it was down the Conwy Valley to Llanrwst and a short wait here produced a single Hawfinch, this is the go to place for them this winter rather than Llanbedr y cennin or Caer Hun.
Then it was back up the valley and onto the coast. First stop was Llanddulas where lots of Common Scoter, a few Red-breasted Mergansers and a flypast Razorbill were added to my list. Finaly to the Kinmel Bay/Rhyl area and first to Horton's Nose, a place that I'd never visited before. Walking round behind the cafe
found a scrubby area in which several logs were strewn. There in the sunshine, using the logs as a feeding perch was the Black Redstart that has been wintering here. Returning to the car for my digiscoping gear I returned but didn't see the bird again! However a bonus was a fly-by Red-throated Diver and lots more Common Scoters. Finally I navigated my way through to Rhyl Brickfields NR and immediately found the female Scaup amongst a small group of Tufted Ducks.
With time getting on and light failing I headed home after a cracking days birding. North Wales never lets me down.