Ian says….. With friends visiting from Yorkshire and Hampshire we had two days to show them some of the things we have to offer up here in the North West, so the first day was a visit to Wales. Up at 3.00am for an early start and with perfect timing we were at a Black Grouse lek 20 minutes before light and with nobody there we had the choice of the 3 ‘spaces’ at the side of the road . We had already got everything ready to hand so not to make any noise or make to much movement. We sat in the car and as the light approached we could see several silhouettes and the unmistakable sound of the Grouse. The murky weather meant that it didn’t really get good enough to do justice to the pics but it was a treat to watch and listen to the 7 B. Grouse that displayed in front of us for several hours on and off. At this point I must say that not all birdwatchers and photographers ‘play by the book’ and could spoil it for other people. One car that arrived in daylight drove 20 yards past us, reversed back and parked in front of us. After a while they then drove off only to reappear about 20 minutes later and stop again – then after another short period they drove off again. A different car then arrived and parked up. Believe it or not the first car then reappeared! The Grouse flew off 4 times and thankfully returned almost straight away but at 8.20 they left and didn’t return so this was the time to start the engine and finally leave.
A short drive to Llanberris so our friends could photograph the Goosanders that come very close to feed with the other ducks , geese and swans and then it was off to South Stack R.S.P.B. reserve on Anglesey for the Choughs. We saw the Choughs but they didn’t perform as they did the last time we visited them and all my images got deleted on camera! We saw the Peregrines but the surprise was not a single Stonechat – the last visit gave us 4 pairs. Time was getting on and with another busy day planned for the day after it was time to head home via the Fish and Chip shop in Conway!