Wales – Birding the Coast & Valleys

Tuesday 9th – Saturday 13th May 2023

A five-day break in Wales where the spring migration is in full swing! With birds such as Wood Warbler, European Pied Flycatcher, Red Kite, White-throated Dipper, Red-billed Chough, Black Guillemot, Atlantic Puffin, Common Redstart and the good chance of a rarity – it’s a trip not to be missed!

Tour Leader: Steve Grimwade
Maximum Group Size: 7

Day 1
Heading west with possible pickups en-route, we expect to see Common Buzzard and Red Kite along the way before visiting a lovely Oak woodland in the heart of Wales. This reserve should be buzzing with the songs of Common Redstart, European Pied Flycatcher, Wood Warbler and Willow Warbler amongst others. Newly-arrived Spotted Flycatchers sing their delicate song and the delightful red-blushed Lesser Redpoll should be here also. Northern Ravens can be seen and the magnificent Red Kites glide overhead whilst White-throated Dipper, Common Sandpiper & Common Merganser feed in the fast-flowing rivers.
Overnight: Near Rhayader

Day 2
After a home-cooked breakfast, we visit a small nature reserve which is home to many woodland birds including European Pied Flycatcher, Common Redstart, Tree Pipit and Wood Warbler. Whinchats can be heard singing from the bracken-covered hillsides and Lesser Spotted Woodpecker can sometimes be seen in the nearby Oaks. The whole area is superb for wildflowers with these attracting butterflies such as Green Hairstreak and Pearl-bordered Fritillary.

The afternoon will be spent at a Red Kite feeding station and we can expect excellent views of these magnificent raptors along with Common Buzzard and Northern Raven which are also widespread in the area.
Overnight: Near Rhayader

Day 3
We say goodbye to Mid Wales and make our way onto Anglesey, where we drop our bags off at our hotel before visiting the South Stack RSPB Reserve. This reserve is a great place to see breeding Red-billed Chough as well as a multitude of seabirds including Atlantic Puffin, Common Guillemot, Razorbill and Northern Fulmar. Peregrine Falcon nest nearby and often cause mayhem as they hunt along the cliffs. European Stonechat can be seen in the nearby heathland and Manx Shearwater may well be seen heading to their nesting grounds in Ireland and South Wales.
Overnight: Near Holyhead

Day 4
The morning will be spent at Cemlyn Bay, home to hundreds of nesting Sandwich Tern along with Common and Arctic. Although Roseate Tern no longer breed here, there is always a chance that one will drop in to rest. Offshore, Razorbill and Common Guillemot fly past from their breeding colonies, often with Northern Gannet and Manx Shearwater in close attendance.

After lunch, we drive to the RSPB’s Valley Wetlands in search of breeding warblers including Sedge, European Reed with the chance of Grasshopper Warbler. This reserve is a good place to see a variety of wildfowl and in some years, the boom of the Eurasian Bittern can be heard from the reed-beds. If the weather is fine, we may see a recently emerged Hairy Hawker dragonfly. 
Overnight: Near Holyhead

Day 5
This morning we say goodbye to Anglesey and visit the Conwy RSPB Reserve situated on the east side of the Conwy estuary in North Wales. It has a variety of habitat including grassland, scrub, reed-beds, saltmarsh and mudflats which are home to breeding wildfowl, waders and warblers. It also has a great tearoom! We then head eastwards and back to base, via the M40 in Oxfordshire where we expect to see yet more Red Kites overhead!

Tour includes
Full board accommodation for 4 nights
Ground transport in Wales
Full guiding throughout

Not included
Travel Insurance
Drinks and items of a personal nature
Lunch on day 1

Pace
Relaxed, two to three miles walking per day

Birds
Expect between 120 and 140 species

Tour Cost: £950

Single Supplement: £120

Deposit: £250

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