Out on the salt marsh a distant ringtail Hen Harrier was nice and a few Little Egrets drifted about. Flocks of wildfowl and waders included Lapwings, Golden Plovers, Curlews, Wigeon, Teal and Pink-footed Geese. We make a decision to look for lunch, fuel and Surf Scoters. So, off to Llandulas we headed.
The Llandulas 'service station' just off the A55 is well known to birders and we headed there for some garage gack when Taff noticed a sign for a cafe - Oinky's cafe. Epic. We settled down for our dinner at Oinky's and it's fair to say we were all pleasantly surprised. I tackled an Oinky's breakfast (in spite of the dire pile of baked beans), Scotch Frank and Steve went for burgers and Taff absolutely hammered a chilli dog. Good work boys - proud of you all. It seems Oinky's have some eating challenges on occasionally, check their Facebook group for details. A handy North Wales food stop.
After Oinky's we set about the seriou business of helping Taffy Bowen to his first ever Surf Scoter. We headed up to the top of the cycle track off the Station Road beach car park and scoped out to sea in earnest. The warm sunshine and relatively flat sea made scanning relatively pleasant. A long black slick of Common Scoters were very much in evidence and after 5 minutes or so I jammed into 2 drake Surfies, much to Taff's delight. We enjoyed there for a while and while scanning for Velvet Scoters I jammed into a third drake Surfie, who eventually joined the other two. Persistence paid off and I picked out at least three Velvet Scoters. Not great views, but good enough. Others species of interest seen off Llandulas were Red-breasted Mergansers, Guillemots, Red-throated Divers, a single Great Northern Diver, two Fulmars and thousands of Herring Gulls, which came to roost on the beach. A falconer, who works at the local tip, turned up and asked us if we'd seen any falcons, turned our he'd lost a black female Saker x Gyr earlier, oops......
Loads of scoters out there. Honest
Taffy Bowen connecting with new birds in the land of his father's and all that malarkey