I believe my RSPB Local Group from Newcastle Upon Tyne will be visiting Conwy in May as we are visiting North Wales on a 7 day bird watching holiday then. I don't know what day yet, as I haven't yet received the itinerary for the holiday yet. What I'm concerned about are the mixed reviews of Conwy on the Trip Advisor website, with some of the reviews not very good, over quite a few different issues. I'm looking forward to seeing the reserve for myself in May and I hope I'm not disappointed.
Ian, I wouldn't worry about tripadvisor. Once you take out the bad reviews from those who really wanted a wildlife park, the only ones left of any consequence are a few who think the café could be improved and they are countered by those who think the café is excellent. I wouldn't call this a mixed review by any means. I can assure you that Julian Hughes, the site manager is both very switched on and a very pleasant individual. I am sure he will make sure your group is well received.
The Cotswold Water park sightings website
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In reply to Bob Philpott:
I'm with Bob on this one. There are people who have given Minsmere a rating of 'poor' on Trip Advisor........just ridiculous! I've never visited Conwy but I've been to a reasonable number of RSPB reserves and they have all been well worth visiting....though I suspect Minsmere will always be my favourite.
Our herring gulls are red listed birds. Think about that the next time you hear some flaming idiot calling for a cull of them.
In reply to Clare:
Minsmere is my favourite reserve as well, although I've only visited once way back in the early 1970's when you then had to apply for a permit to visit, and you couldn only apply for a permit 6 months or much longer before your visit. And it had by far the biggest variety of birds whether common or rare in one day that I've ever seen.
In reply to THOMO:
I was fortunate to visit Conwy last April (first week) and it was a wonderful experience. Plenty of waterfowl (including a Scaup) and sea birds as well as an up close and personal encounter with a small lizard in the dunes. Give yourself plenty of time and enjoy. I met a couple of staff in the hides and they were very friendly and helpful without being intrusive or pushy.
Here's the link to my Lizard Encounter:
Unicum arbustum haud alit duos erithacos
(One bush does not shelter two Robins)
Zenodotus (3rd Century B.C.)
In reply to monkeycheese:
One of the best reserves in north Wales.
I spend a lot of time coming to north Wales, and it is always on my list for places to visit; it never disappoints.
As others have mentioned, the staff are a great bunch; friendly and helpful.
I am a regular visitor as my family live just up the road. I love going to Conwy reserve - the cafe is great and they are improving the reserve all the time. I have been visiting since it was first opened and it has really got better and better. As with all birdwatching, it depends on the day, but there is usually lapwings, oyster catchers, grebes (I have seen crested and small) and often small waders on the shoreline. There is also a number of small birds in the greenery and you can sometimes catch something unusual there and the river flowing past the back of the reserve. I'm sure your group will have a great day.
In reply to The Charmleys:
The reserve at Conwy is a great place to visit. The staff are incredibly helpful and friendly, the cafe is very good and, most-importantly, so is the birdwatching! If it is an RSPB group that is planning the visit then surely its primary aim is the birwatching which, as I've already stated, is excellent. The Reserve also has great facilities for families with children, and wheelchair access is also good. I would recommend that you check the tide times, as visiting when it's high tide on the estuary is probably best for seeing large numbvers of birds actually on the Reserve.
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