Monday, July 17, 2017

More Little Owls......

After the rain and drizzle finally stopped yesterday afternoon I decided to check out another local Little Owl territory that I have been keeping an eye on and one of the adult birds duly obliged for some photos........

Saturday, July 15, 2017

'Little Owls, buy one get one free'...........

Decided to check out one of a few Little Owl territories that I have on the go at the moment yesterday after work, the birds duly obliged sunning themselves and I came away with a few photos in the nice evening light that I was quite pleased with.........

Sunday, July 09, 2017

Bee-eaters : East Leake, Notts

European Bee-eater has been a bit of a 'blocker' for me for many years having dipped on a breeding pair that had their nest predated in Hampton Bishop near Hereford in 2005 and I've not 'twitched' any of the other breeding attempts in the UK since.
I have seen hundreds in Europe but not connected with one in the UK with singles being very short stayers or just flyovers.
So when Kevin Hughes texted me yesterday asking if I'd fancy twitching the birds that have set up home in a sand quarry at East Leake in Nottinghamshire the answer was a resounding YES !!
An early start saw us meet up at 5.50am near Asda at Coryton, Cardiff and with Kevin at the wheel and quiet roads we rocked up at the RSPB controlled site at 8.20am having made good time.
The car park in a farmer's field already held about 35 cars and we quickly made our way to the viewpoint joining another 20 or so birders.
The birds have been using a large Ash tree with some bare branches as perches to hunt from and true to form they did not disappoint, the tree though was about 150m or so from the viewpoint and so I had to be satisfied with just 'record' shots.........

We filled our boots with the Bee-eaters and decided to head for home, calling in on the way at Llandegfedd Reservoir hoping to catch up with an Osprey that has been visiting periodically during the last week to fish, unfortunately we didn't connect.
Anyway, a great day out seeing a wonderful species and un-blocking a UK tick for me, who knows what with global warming they may become a common sight in the years to come.

Monday, July 03, 2017

Little Owl : Vale of Glamorgan

I decided yesterday to check out a few Little Owl territories in the Vale of Glamorgan and found out that the first one I checked didn't hold any birds anymore, at the second I was in luck as a pair are still using the site and at the third although a bird didn't show I heard a call so was pleased that the birds are still in residence.
I was going to check a fourth but there were young kids in the vicinity so I didn't take a chance, anyway here are just a few pics from a brief appearance at the second site.........

Monday, June 26, 2017

Caspian Tern : Sker, Porthcawl

It was a bit of a weird day yesterday, I had decided to visit Brunel Quay/River Neath and having just got in the car a 'grapevine' text provided news of a large tern probably Caspian found at Brunel Quay by two of the Port Talbot boys Dave Cornish and Dave Sharps.
As I pulled into the layby adjacent the quay Rob Jones was just pulling out, we stopped to chat briefly and Rob who had missed the bird by five minutes sped off to Eglwys Nunydd reservoir to see if the bird had dropped in there, meanwhile myself and Pearl my dog ventured halfway down the river in an attempt to refind the bird but we were out of luck.
I had intended to move on to Kenfig Pool and did just that hoping that the bird may drop in there, I settled down and Paul 'Sid' Parsons strolled up from the north end, he stated that he was heading south for Sker and we both agreed that we would phone each other should we get a sighting.
Time passed and then I got a call from 'Sid' confirming that the tern had been relocated on the beach west of the mussel beds.
I put the word out on the 'grapevine' text service and gave Rob Jones a call who in company with Darren Coombes was at Morfa so not too far from the bird.
Pearl and myself made a brisk dash for the coast and after a scan with the bins located some birders in the distance, upon arrival I was greeted by Rob, Darren, and also Judd Hunt and Alex Bevan to be told that I had missed the bird by five minutes it having flown inland over the dunes towards the pool.
Judd and Alex departed and myself, Rob and Darren decided to climb up to one of the higher dunes to see if we could see the bird over the pool.
Just as we were about to set off the tern flew back into the beach and landed about 80m from us, we kept a safe distance and I managed some decent 'record' shots as the bird moved around for the next hour or so.......

We were joined by Barry and Sandra Stewart, a birder I didn't know and Dave Pritchard and the bird continued to show well if a little mobile......

Richard Smith phoned and as others departed I said I would stay but five minutes before Richard arrived with Steve Hinton and Alan Hughes the tern took flight again heading north east towards the pool.
Steve and Alan headed for the Kenfig rivermouth and myself, Richard and Phil Bristow who had also turned up parked ourselves on a dune but with no success headed for the pool.
A phonecall from Paul Roberts confirmed that the bird was showing well in flight over the pool and as myself and Richard neared the south hide the tern flew back towards the beach passing directly over us.
As we got to the hide Mike Powell passed us heading for the beach as did Steve and Alan, myself and Richard decided to stay in the hide hoping that the bird would return again and were joined by father and son visiting birders from Suffolk who were thrilled at having caught up with this very special tern.
We put in another half hour in the hide but as the light started to fade we decided to call it a day and we both headed for home.
A few other birders turned up at the pool and we picked out Neil Donaghy, Gareth Stamp, Martin Bevan and Phil Hill.
What an up and down day but at the end of it a UK 'tick' for me and some reasonable 'record' photos,
result !!!
The bird was not refound yesterday evening but today it has been seen and photographed at WWT, Llanelli, hopefully it will head back east and drop in again somewhere in Glamorgan.