Monday, March 19, 2018

Owl Fest at Aust.......

It's been a little while since I've been out with the camera, January to be precise, what with other commitments including Teresa's knee replacement operation and my annual Six Nations pre-rugby walks with best friend Neil Davies I just haven't been able to find the time.
Teresa fancied a few hours out and I managed to talk her into accompanying me on a trip to Aust Warth on the east bank of the River Severn yesterday with the promise of a bite to eat on the way home.
We rocked up at Aust about 3.00pm and after about an hour a single Barn Owl put in a brief appearance hunting over the rough grassed area, the light was abysmal and it was bitterly cold but I managed a few reasonable shots given that I could barely feel my fingers........

Just as the Barn Owl disappeared over the roadside fields two Short-eared Owls began to hunt and offered themselves up for a few shots........

As the light faded the Shorties went to ground and it was time to leave, a hot cup of coffee greeted me in the car, she spoils me, and we enjoyed a cracking carvery on the way home

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Great Northern Diver : Barry Docks

This morning I thought I'd make a visit to Nelson Wern in the hope of catching up with and photographing a Willow Tit.
The site has historically been one of the more reliable places to see this declining species and although I've had success in the past and some nice photographs I had no luck during a visit last winter or on this occasion.
I put some food down at one of their favoured spots and almost instantly had feeding Robins, Blackbirds, Dunnock, Nuthatch and Blue, Great, Coal and Long-Tailed Tits but not the species I was hoping to see.
I think I'll give it a couple of months and make a Spring visit when if there are any birds left there they'll be more active.
After an hour and a half or so I moved on intending to visit Barry Docks hoping to connect with the two Great Northern Divers and Slavonian Grebe found recently.
I called into Fforest Farm on the way and bumped into Cliff Woodhead and Colin Harvey and managed to get a couple of snaps of a female Kingfisher as she posed momentarily on the most photogenic of the perches........

After an hour in the 'first' hide at Fforest Farm I headed for Barry Docks and immediately found one of the GN Divers opposite Morrisons supermarket and although the light was harsh and completely from the wrong direction I managed a few shots that I was reasonably pleased with........

I thought of calling in at Flemingston for the Whooper Swan on my way home but as the cold set into my old bones I decided that the Premier League match between Liverpool and Man City held more appeal and called it a day.

Monday, January 08, 2018

Long - Tailed Duck : Sandy Water Park, Llanelli

The last time that I made a serious visit to Sandy Water Park, Llanelli was back in 2011 for a Blue-Winged Teal. I called in again yesterday hoping to connect with the Long - Tailed Duck found last week whilst en-route to Pembrey Burrows hoping for the Short - Eared Owls.
I didn't have any luck with the owls which I fear may have moved on but the duck performed really well and was found quite easily as soon as I arrived, here's a few images that I was quite pleased with........

Saturday, January 06, 2018

Cattle Egret : RGW, Cardiff

I had arranged a day out around the Cardiff area with fellow 'togger' Peter Morgan yesterday our main targets being Hawfinch at a couple of locations and the Cattle Egret at Rumney Great Wharf found by Paul Bowden on Thursday afternoon.
We arrived at first light at Fforest Ganol and easily found 20+ Hawfinches but getting even a record shot in such dismal light and with the birds so high in the canopy was impossible.
We moved on to St James's Church in Rudry where there had  been a few Hawfinches lingering in the church grounds where there are several Yew trees for a week or so, we had several sightings over the course of an hour and a half or so but only managed a few 'record' shots of one bird high in the trees against a bright sky......

Moving on to Rumney Great Wharf by early afternoon we had more luck with the Cattle Egret finding it feeding in the roadside fields as soon as we arrived with a group of 6-7 Little Egrets and although we couldn't get as close as we would have liked we both managed some reasonable images.........

We next moved on to Penarth Marina where we failed to find a Black Redstart and finished the day with a return visit to Fforest Ganol and whilst we found 15-20 Hawfinches high in the canopy the gathering gloom didn't allow us to get any photographs, time to head for home.

Thursday, January 04, 2018

Kenfig NNR over Christmas and New Year

I haven't ventured far over the holiday period and my more successful days have been when I have called in to Kenfig in the hope of picking up one of the wintering Bitterns, on New Year's morning one duly obliged............