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A trip to South Stack-Anglesey

Day off work today, Dentist in Holyhead 1045.  They rang and cancelled again.  so, I decided still to go to Holyhead and go to the RSPB Reserve at the South Stack Lighthouse.

It was rather chilly and the sun kept going in and out but I decided to see what I could see and get some shots.  No tripod so all are hand-held (In answer to Ian's question)

The South Stack Lighthouse has warned passing ships of the treacherous rocks below since its completion in 1809. The 28 m (91 ft) lighthouse was designed by Daniel Alexander and the main light is visible to passing vessels for 28 miles, and was designed to allow safe passage for ships on the treacherous Dublin - Holyhead - Liverpool sea route. It provides the first beacon along the northern coast of Anglesey for east-bound ships. It is followed by lighthouses, fog horns and other markers at North Stack, Holyhead breakwater, The Skerries, the Mice and at the north-east tip of the island Trwyn-Du. The lighthouse is operated remotely by Trinity House. It has been visited by the team at Most Haunted.

Visitors can climb to the top of the lighthouse and tour the engine room and exhibition area. The lighthouse is open seasonally.

One bird South Stack is renowned for is the Chough and luckily enough, I spotted two very early on as I walked along the Cliff-Top path

Got these two in flight as they played in the updraft of the cliffs.

Despite the cold, the cliff-top flowers are starting to come out

and are happily growing despite the cold wind in little clumps here and there

adding a little bit of colour to the gorse.

Moving further along the cliff-top I get a glimpse of Razorbills chatting away and adding to the din that are the South Stack cliffs.

They group together in pairs with specially selected nest sites and they spread themselves out along the ledges

unlike the Guillemot, they all stand shoulder to shoulder on every ledge, to make matters worse, with such a great view, they all look to the cliff face.....idiots!!! Lol

Thousands of them, all looking the wrong way. Of course, I might be being unfair to them, they may have a fear of heights!!!

Flying below, a Shag on it's way back to it's nest site

Then far away into the distance, I saw a little bird sitting on a rock. It was a Wheatear, chuffed to see that I was. This shot is cropped right in so you can tell how far away it was. I was not quite sure what it was until I had uploaded it onto the computer.

Overhead I heard a helicopter and wondered if Prince William was flying today....RAF Valley is only a few miles from here.

Walking along the path back to the car park, sat silent on top of the gorse was this Male Linnet

and not too far away was the female. They were not making a sound, just sat there so it pays to keep your eyes peeled and providing you don't go rushing about making too much noise, some birds will let you go within quite a short distance before flying off.

A little further along the path, breaking the skyline was a Rock or Water Pipit, I could not see enough detail to really work this one out.

Then close by, a Stonechat (male)

In this shot, you can see a Caterpillar hanging from his beak.

The female is not as strikingly marked as the male but still a nice sight to behold on a windy chilly day.

I took a couple of shots of her before my attention was again caught by something flying overhead at speed

my first Swallow this year. I had seen a few Martins around the South Stack but you can see by the length of the tail, this is a Swallow

Then my attention was drawn back down to earth by the singing of a little Wren

just sat on the top of the hedge

posing away and obviously enjoying it when the sun came out intermittently

I have cropped and enlarged the first shot, to show a bit more detail.

Then off he shot, showing me just what he thought!!! Lol

On the way home, I called into the Penrhos Nature reserve, just outside Holyhead and took a look along the water-front. A Heron stood as the tide receeded.

Then on a bank accros the little lake, an altercation was taking place between two male Mallards, obviously fighting over the female on the left.

Then from the lake, another male decides to join in the fun!!!

and onto the bank it flew

the female could see that this was no place to be and took off

mayhem ensued!!!

Typical blokes, fighting over a female. Well it is Spring after all. Silly sods.

There we are then, the tale of the day.  I hope you enjoyed the little trip I took today and I hope you can join me again on one of my little jaunts in and around the Anglesey area.

Till the next time,  thanks for watching. 


13 people like this.

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Date Fri, 13/04/2012 - 20:34

Peeked,  back again, that's two good coats of lookings at, love the flight of the Chough, and the Razorbills not coop orating.  Are you sure your not making these dentist appointments up just so you sneak off ;-) Great photography and scenery, have you been practising :-)Wink superblog Steve.



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Date Fri, 13/04/2012 - 20:20

Nice blog Steve from a very nice place. Sheryl's tooth now removed....pain gone....I hope !!!


'Bokeh' Competition entry:-

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Date Fri, 13/04/2012 - 20:53

 I think this dentist lark is an excuse as well Steve. My Dentist never cancels, worse luck. There's another birdie blog done.  Smile

Christine Smile

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Date Fri, 13/04/2012 - 21:55

Nice narrative about the lighthouse and the sea bird shots are very good.

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Date Fri, 13/04/2012 - 22:26

Nice blog Steve. Think I may just make the trip in the near future. Off to Caernarfon tomorrow hopefully.


My 'Portmeirion', Wales blog:

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Date Sat, 14/04/2012 - 04:19

intresting blog good photos well done

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Date Sat, 14/04/2012 - 05:51

Excellent Steve! Some great shots backed up by good narrative, and at least one bird in there I don't think I've ever seen. And no I'm not telling you which Wink


Be yourself. Above all, let who you are, what you are, what you believe, shine through every sentence you write, every piece you finish. John Jakes

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Date Sat, 14/04/2012 - 06:11

Wonderful suff Steve, not only great pics and witty narrative to support it as well.

The swallow looks like a stealth bomber!!

Well dome m8 - are these all hand held? Good effort if they are!!


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Date Sat, 14/04/2012 - 08:12

Thanks Steve !...Great Blog M8...I learn something each time you post a blog !


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Date Sat, 14/04/2012 - 09:18

Thanks for taking me with you Steve, that wasd a great wee day out and you summed it up beautifully in your blog.

All the best

Jean Smile

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Date Sat, 14/04/2012 - 09:27

Hi Steve what a stunning set of pictures those bird shots are simply brilliant you certainly now places to go to photograph these lovely birds and you have put together a fantastic photoblog. M8T your pictures are a pleasure to see and I hope to be able to get some useful tips when we meet up soon take care & best wishes BoB.

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Date Sat, 14/04/2012 - 11:06

Very informative blog, Steve! Excellent photos in a variety of settings! Not sure about your dentist excuse - I don't think my dentist has ever cancelled any of my appts! Glad you were able to get out and take us on a wonderful outing!

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Date Sat, 14/04/2012 - 11:23

Great stuff, Steve - 10/10 for quality. Just one odd thing, photo 5 from the bottom won't appear - only a mini-marker. I wonder why?

Best Regards,


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Date Sat, 14/04/2012 - 11:56

Hi Steve

It looks OK this end.  Anyway,  I have added another explanation mark in the text and pressed save,  see if that works for you.  Thanks.

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Date Sat, 14/04/2012 - 12:03


Great blog Steve, defo up to your usual standard, with outstanding birdie shots!

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Date Sat, 14/04/2012 - 13:39

Lovely blog,nice to know you take hand held shots as am usually forced to to this as well on most occasions.My dentist has just cancelled my extraction of a wisdom tooth but I won't have time to go and take pictures as my work expects me back to the office!!!!

Hope my wisdom doesn't leave me along with the tooth ,lol.

Thanks for the info about London


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Date Sat, 14/04/2012 - 14:52

 Excellent photoblog Steve. Stunning photography. I've been to South Stack when the boys were little so it must be over twenty years ago when we had a holiday in Anglesey. Thanks for compiling and sharing these fabulous compositions. (I wonder where you'll take photos of next on your re-arranged appointment to the dentist.)  Alison x    Smile

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Date Sat, 14/04/2012 - 17:28

i love your pics! i do have a qusetion as just getting used to my new camera as u seen lol how do u get the camera just to focus on on bird cus i would love to try get my pictures blurred in the background like yours! lovely pictures!


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Date Sat, 14/04/2012 - 19:53

A big like from me.


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Date Sat, 14/04/2012 - 20:04

Another great birdie-blog from you Steve. Bet you were chuffed to get the Choughs! My favourite pic though has to be the very first one of the Wren - he looks so in awe of the Swallow (previous pic above) flying over him!! Wink You had a very productive Friday afternoon with your camera. Thanks for sharing your little trip out with us all.

Di. Smile

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Date Sun, 15/04/2012 - 07:42

Brilliant Steve - great photos and narrative.

Stunning Chough shots, good variety of birds too.

Nice to see a Swallow - I haven't seen one down here yet.

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Date Sun, 15/04/2012 - 13:13

Really enjoyed your blog Steve,great part of the country to visit,like the Chough in flight .


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Date Mon, 16/04/2012 - 09:54

Brilliant blog Steve thankyou Smile

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Date Sun, 22/04/2012 - 10:26

its been years since ive been to holyhead must go again, it amzes me how you capture these birds especially the ones inflight, another great blog Steve

Tony Smile

thats much better than the one i took

please take a look at my latest blog Smile

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Date Wed, 25/04/2012 - 00:52

A great blog, Steve.  When life gets just a bit too chaotic around here, I like to relax by viewing a couple Fuji blogs.  The little wren charmed me, as they always do; but it was the variety of birds you captured on a single outing that impressed me most.  Thanks for sharing them with the rest of us.


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Date Thu, 03/05/2012 - 17:19

 Nice blog & fantastic pictures.

This time will pass.

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