Daily Archives: June 23, 2014

Llangollen – Land of Monks and Dippers?

I’ve been wanting to visit Valle Crucis Abbey at Llangollen for a while now. This afternoon seemed like the ideal opportunity so with Teleri and my mum on board we set off.

Valle Crucis is in the most beautiful setting although quite why the 13th century monks chose to set up base next to a caravan site is beyond me. The building is the worse for wear but it’s character still shines through.

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At Llangollen I started out as your average tourist visitor, stood on the bridge with an ice-cream, admiring the view and taking a few snaps.


But I could hear baby birds calling. At first I guessed that there was a nest in one of the bushes below but then I spotted a parent Dipper, frantically trying to satisfy the appetites of two offspring. At this point my “average snapper” lens was swapped for my 500mm. Boy did I get a few funny looks, but I knew what I was doing. Just a pity that the birds were so far away and badly backlit.

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and I even spotted a bonus Common Sandpiper down there too!


Free as a bird!

I’m on holiday at home this week so I’m free to do pretty much as I wish.

This morning I decided that my day should start with a trip to RSPB Conwy, a lazy couple of miles from my house.

This time of year can be a mixed bag at Conwy. If you’re lucky you can “click” for something really good but the other more likely option is that you have to rely on the local resident birds to put on a show. Today started badly as I missed a Med Gull by minutes but thereafter, today was a good show!

A Little Egret by the coffee shop posed well from every angle, even adding some jumps and turns for good measure.

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The local Coots and Moorhens can be good for a showIMG_7432 IMG_7586

…. and I love House Martins. These were on a mud-gathering mission.


A resident Oystercatcher provided a rare change from monochrome.

but the day’s “Splash of Colour” award had to go to this Bullfinch