Birdlife at Plas Newydd
The variety and diversity of habitats at Plas Newydd means it's possible to see an enormous range of birds in a small area. These habitats include rocky shoreline, mud-flats, open water, woodland, park and garden, grasslands and farmland. Each landscape is home to, or visited by, common and rare birds that vary with the seasons.
The rocky shoreline below the sea wall is good for spotting rock pipit, turnstone, herring gull and lesser black-backed gull. Among the less common sightings in recent years have been dotterel and Lapland bunting.
Down on the mud-flats
You can test your wader identification skills on the many species attracted to the exposed mud at low tide. The numbers of waders are swollen by spring and autumn migrations, and you may catch sight of the occasional rarity blown off its usual course.
Little egrets are becoming more common here, with a flock of 14 seen recently. There's a heronry not far south of the estate and it's not unusual to see watchful herons standing at 50-yard intervals along the seaweed line.
On the water
The sheltered waters of the Menai Strait are refuge for several species of tern and gull, especially during blustery weather out at sea. Cormorant and shag may be seen side by side, along with shelduck, grebes and mallard. In autumn young guillemots, not yet up to the rigours of the open sea, practice their fishing skills in the tricky currents of the Strait.
In the woods
The woodland at Plas Newydd reaches down to the shore in many places. You might see such unlikely neighbours as woodcock and swans. Deeper into the woods jay and nuthatch abound.
Tits, finches, woodpeckers and warblers of all kinds swarm through the park and gardens, and they attract several species of hawk and falcon. Dominance of the aerial territory is frequently contested by buzzard and raven, and each make their home in tall trees on the estate.
Amongst the grasses
The hay meadow beside Dairy Wood is crammed with wildflowers, which are home to teeming insects. In turn, they make a feast for aerobatic fleets of martins and swallows. Neighbouring farmland is a refuge for geese and waders during high tide, and the permanent residence of pheasant, partridge and yellowhammer.
The mosaic of niches at Plas Newydd provides food and shelter for continually changing wildlife, and you can expect to see an astonishing array of colourful birds.