Bird spotting on our golf course
Before you play, take a look in the pools and marshland adjacent to the clubhouse, you should see Redshank, Curlew, Oystercatcher, Little Egret, Teal, Widgeon and usually a flock of Greylag Geese, which are not winter visitors, but stay here all year round.
When you walk to the first tee and cross the River Crygll you may see Little Grebe, Mallard and occasionally Mergansers. On a still day you may hear Herring Gulls, Curlew and Jackdaws calling and, in the distance, maybe the mewing of a pair of Buzzards overhead.
Kestrels can often be seen hovering, looking for voles and field mice in the grasses surrounding the fairways. We heard the distinct call of the Chough, which is a regular visitor to the golf course in winter.
Watch out for the much larger Raven, as these birds will swoop down and take your ball. You can replace your ball as long as you have seen the bird take it. Anglesey holds the largest winter roost of ravens anywhere in Britain and Europe and you will always see them on the course this time of year. Don’t confuse them with their smaller cousins the Rooks and Crows, who will also be feeding on the fairways, but these birds will not take your ball.
In spring and summer the course will be alive with Skylarks singing but even in winter when walking down the 4th fairway look out for Skylarks and Meadow Pipits. There is also a chance to see the Hooded Crow, which has been in the area for the last few years, you never know your luck!
Going along the 7th fairway you come into contact with the Gorse bushes for the first time, which in spring and summer are coloured bright yellow with flowers. Look for the Stonechats, Linnets and Wrens that are feeding in the bushes and be aware of the fast flying Sparrowhawk looking for his lunch.
Once you start the back nine the fairways are lined with gorse and you need to hit a straight ball. Be sure to look for the birdlife in the fields beyond the 11th green and the 12th tee. We saw up to 150 wintering Lapwings, over 100 wintering Golden Plover, Starling flocks, Black-headed Gull flocks, Greylag and Canada Geese and a large flock of Jackdaws circling around the woods.
Walk down to the white tee on the 12th and look at the river, which is bordered by reed beds. The Reed and Sedge Warblers and Swallows have long gone in November, but you may see Cormorants on the rocks and Moorhen and Coots in the River. Watch out for the Kingfisher and listen for the shriek of the Water Rail. While the golf course has no natural trees there is plenty of natural gorse and you may also see rabbits, weasel and foxes. There are often Owl pellets dotted around the fairways and rough, probably from the very successful local Barn Owl.
So when you get to the 19th, you can relax about your score, knowing you got much more than you bargained for even if the score card was not the greatest. And remember, come back soon, and in other seasons to see even more of our wonderful wildlife.