Saturday, March 31, 2007
Thursday, March 29, 2007
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Monday, March 26, 2007
Monday, March 19, 2007
Sunday, March 18, 2007
Not having seen the Choughs this year yet and with a year tick in mind (I'm not listing though!) I arrived at Ogmore in hurricane like conditions and sat in the car for the first 10 minutes whilst a heavy squall cleared through.
Setting off from the car park myself and Lily walked half way to Southerndown stopping to chat with some ramblers on the way one of which was enthralled by my Swarowski ELs wishing that he'd bought a pair instead of the Leicas he had invested in!! (takes all sorts)
The weather was horrendous and I was just thinking to myself that Penclac may have been the better option when 3 Choughs flew past in a westerly direction landing about 150m away,we made an about turn in hot pursuit.
Having got a couple of snaps we beat a hasty reteat to the sanctuary of the jeep and headed for Portobello on the way home.
Arriving I spyed a couple of Little Egrets on the far bank of the river and taking some shelter from the wall of the house managed a couple of record shots.
There was little of interest about other than the usual gulls,a couple of Redshanks,a group of about 15 Curlew and a rather odd looking goose in company with a pair of Canadas,it looked like some sort of hybrid of feral Bar Headed Goose and I took a couple of record pics in the hope that someone can shed some light on it's parentage.
There was no respite from the wind and after a brief and fruitless visit to the Watermill (didn't even get out of the car!) we headed for home,maybe a visit to Penclac would have ensured more birds but at least I got a year tick and the dog got a good walk.
Next time I try to photograph Choughs I'll ensure I pick a much calmer day!!.......
Monday, March 12, 2007
As we arrived we bumped into Martin and Mike who’d endured a frustrating evening and early morning staking out the nearby gyrfalcon. An unruly crowd had no doubt put the mockers on anyone seeing the bird that morning. We decided to team up and spent the rest of the day together.
We moved on to get the long-staying spotted sandpiper just up the road. Another lifer for Kevin! Sure enough this bird too, was performing well for the crowds. It was only a few hundred yards from where I saw it last October. A Mediterranean gull was also added the list but there was no sign of the recent Franklin’s gull.
Next stop was Penzance with the outside chance of another Pacific diver. Very windy conditions made seawatching difficult, but we did tick a number of great northern divers and a few purple sandpipers on the rocks at Jubilee Pool. We moved on to Newlyn to check the harbour. Zero gulls were present and no divers either.
We decided to move on and attempt some more birds in the county. Next stop was Stithian’s Reservoir. Again we battled against the wind before Hawkeye Bevan picked out the summer-plumaged red-necked grebe. A fantastic bird, and my first in this plumage.
Newquay was next stop for the dusky warbler, residing in a pleasant estate along the estuary. More Glamorgan birders were present in the form of Cliff, the Coed-y-Bedw Man. The bird hadn’t been seen for four hours, and the wind was surely making it keep low. We made a rather half-hearted attempt at finding it, but with the time drawing on we decided to move on and attempt another lifer for me, American wigeon.
Dinham Flats is a tricky place to find. We eventually found a place to park, and follow a footpath down to the river. We were met however, with low tide and barely a bird in site. What we could see was miles away, and there certainly weren’t any wigeons around. We gave up, but did hear the first chiffchaff of the year.
With our thoughts turning to home, we decided to head back north. A knackered Mike and Martin headed straight back, but Kevin, Tim and I made a brief stop at Exminster. No cirl buntings were around, but we did manage to flush a couple of wood larks.
We missed a few, but we saw some great birds. Another great day’s birding!
Sunday, March 11, 2007
I'd been dying to try out my new Fuji Finepix F30 digi-camera with my scope that I'd bought the previous weekend and so both myself and Colin reeled off shot after shot in the hope of picking up a couple of "half-tidy" pics.
We kept firing away until the shrike decided to have a go at a Siskin that flew directly over quite close to it and it settled once again on a tree but this time quite some distance away.
We decided we had seen enough and with Siskin,Redpoll,Raven and Kestrel in the bag and time on our hands we headed for Cardiff Bay to pick up the adult winter Little Gull and hopefully a Black Redstart and possibly a newly arrived Wheatear.
A scan of the "lake" soon picked out the adult winter Little Gull and we also picked out a 1st winter and a pair of Goosanders in the distance.
A walk along the barrage failed to turn up anything more than Rock Pipits and Pied Wagtails but we headed for home quite pleased with our morning's birding.
It's not that often that you get your best ever views of a hunting Great Grey Shrike !!