Monday, January 01, 2007
Let's give you something to chase!
In view of forthcoming events in the Hall/James household, I don't think it's sensible to year list again. However, I thought I'd pop out today and do a bit of a Bird race. Arriving home from a party near Cowbridge at 0130 wasn't ideal preparation, and so the first bird of 2007, Blue Tit wasn't until 0940. By 1050 I was at Portobello with 50 mainly very ordinary species "in the bag" to quote another correspondant! Highlights to this point were Common Gull in Roath Park, Red Crested Pochard and Goosander at Portobello. Ogmore yielded the expected Turnstones, Rock Pipits and 2 flyover Choughs. No Purple Sands! Tyn y Caeau Farm yielded Linnet, Goldfinch, Skylark, Yellowhammer and 4+ Tree Sparrows in 5 mins. Nice! A brisk drive in torrential rain brought me to Forest Farm at 1400. A very wet and frustrating hour brought just Coal Tit, Reed Bunting and eventually, Bullfinch. To be honest, there was no point in leaving the hide, cos I wouldn't have seen anything elsewhere in the monsoon. A lull in the weather enabled me to reposition to Peterstone Wentlooge (1535), on 65 species. My Jan 1st record of 70 (2005) was in serious jeopardy... Redwings were present in the fields to the right on the short walk to the seawall. Within a few minutes of arrival there Shelduck, Pintail, Wigeon, Grey Plover, Knot and Dunlin saw me sail into uncharted territory. Whilst leaping around and punching the air, I noticed a serious, dark, purposful bird heading east just offshore. The Curlew flock scattered, as I confirmed my naked eye ID with the scope. It was a Great Skua!! Ringed Plover and Mistle Thrush were dull by comparison, but a trip to a site east of the River Rumney brought an excellent day to a fitting close, as I had a Barn Owl and 2 Little Owls in the same binocular field of view. 77 species with minimal planning, and a late start... I didn't see Sparrowhawk, any Woodpeckers, Kingfisher, Water Rail, Med Gull, so not a bad effort overall. Follow that! I'm sure you will!