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On a sunny day last week I intended to spend some time checking out the birdlife on Rhos Point to see what treats the autumn migration had already brought to us. I started out on the roadside where there’s a posh new sign on the roadside above the bijou St Trillo’s Chapel, the favoured starting point for many of my seashore posts.

151007TGNW-1-St Trillo Chapel plaque-Rhos-on-Sea

St Trillo's Chapel, Rhos on Sea

St Trillo’s Chapel, Rhos on Sea

It was windy here and decidedly chilly as it can be when the tide is coming in. A quick look and listen from the promenade revealed a good number of cormorants, gulls, oystercatchers, redshanks and curlews, but all still too far out on the tideline on the mussel bed to see easily.

151007TGNW-2-Tide coming in-Rhos-on-Sea

I picked up a few seashells of some of the most commonly occurring species here.

151007TGNW-3a-Some seashells-Rhos-on-Sea 1

Despite the sunshine, this was definitely not a day to hang around on the shore, so I turned to walk along to Penrhyn Bay, hoping I might find a Rock Pipit or two amongst the huge rocks of the seabreak.

Fox -and-cubs on the embankment

Fox -and-cubs flowers on the grassy embankment bending in the wind


This view of the Little Orme clearly shows the tiers formed by quarrying.

151007TGNW-4-Promenade towards Little Orme 1

151007TGNW-4bb-Promenade sign 1

I soon knew I wasn’t going to enjoy battling along against the cold headwind, so at the earliest opportunity dropped down onto the parapet of the seawall where a passageway is formed between the wall and the seabreak rocks. It was still windy here but not quite as strongly, besides which this passageway fascinates me as a habitat for an ever-increasing collection of plants and at this time of year it can be a good place to spot rock pipits and pied wagtails. And the rocks themselves are endlessly fascinating.

151007TGNW-6a-Rock 1

151007TGNW-6b-Rock with turquoise stripe

The turquoise green of the vein in the rock above puts me in mind of the verdigris you get on copper. The one below has sparkly white and pink crystal-like parts held within it.

151007TGNW-6e-Rock -pink with crystals

151007TGNW-13-Rocks & spider's web

A spider’s web screens a space between rocks

I spotted a bird on the rocks close to these steps and went down to see if I could find it again.

151007TGNW-8-Sea wall- Steps going down

Steps going down to the seashore

I managed a quick shot before it disappeared. Definitely a pipit.

151007TGNW-7-Pipit-Rhos-on-Sea promenade

In the winter and in rough windy weather the sea reaches the top of these steps; the bottom few are bleached almost white, their edges smoothed, curved and shaped to form channels by seawater covering them and cascading back down.

151007TGNW-9-Sea wall- Steps going up 1Continuing along there’s a stretch that is particularly flowery. There’s a lot of red valerian interspersed with an array of wild plants and garden escapées.

151007TGNW-10-Sea wall path-Towards Penrhyn Bay

Sea mayweedhugs the curve of the sea wall

Sea mayweed hugs the curve of the sea wall

ivy-leaved toadflax

Ivy-leaved toadflax

151007TGNW- Penrhyn Bay-Plant with laarge glossy green leaves

Sunlit fern in a rocky crevice

Sunlit fern in a rocky crevice

marigold escaped from a garden

Marigold escaped from a garden

Tree mallow flower

Tree mallow flower

Penrhyn Bay

151007TGNW- Rock covered with seaweed

151007TGNW-Penrhyn Bay-Breakwater & sign

Between the breakwater and the rocky shore there is a patch of flowery grass

151007TGNW-Little Orme & Penrhyn Bay-grassy patch

151007TGNW- Penrhyn Bay-grassy patch

and behind the rocks scrubby shore plants grow amongst the sand and stone chippings. This is the best place I know for fairly reliable sightings of linnets that come to forage for seeds. There were linnets there when I arrived, which I realised when they all took off and headed off across the road towards the golf course. From past experience I thought if I sat and waited on the steps beneath the sea wall they may well come back. Sitting quietly I realised there were still birds close by that gradually came back into the open in front of me which turned out to be a Northern wheatear and a pipit. I want to say it was a Rock pipit as this is a likely spot to find them, but it had an olive-green tinge to its plumage and may have been a Meadow pipit.

Northern wheatear with pipit

Northern wheatear with pipit

Lovely wheatear though.

151007TGNW- Penrhyn Bay-Northern Wheatear 1

As hoped the linnets came back too, a small flock of 10 or 12 birds, albeit too far away to photograph well.

151007TGNW- Penrhyn Bay-Linnets feeding 4

151007TGNW- Penrhyn Bay-Linnets feeding 1

151007TGNW- Penrhyn Bay-Linnet 1

151007TGNW- Penrhyn Bay-Linnet on rock 1