Sunday, April 22, 2007

Dotterel Dash

With Spring passage well underway and seemingly very early and the rest of the lads unavailable I joined Kevin Hughes for an early morning slog up Garreg Lwyd in the Black Mountains above Brynaman.The site is renowned as a reliable place to see Dotterel on Spring passage and we arranged to meet at the car park at 08.00.
Just before Kevin arrived Rob Taylor and Brian Thomas turned up with another birder called Rob (not sure of his surname) and so the five of us made the lung bursting climb to the plateau at the top of the mountain.
There were lots of Meadow Pipits about as well as Wheatears,Skylarks and a single Raven "cronked" as it passed overhead.
We fanned out in search and Rob thought he saw 5 Dotterel briefly in low flight,we split up again and after 10-15 minutes I spotted some movement in the grass about 50m ahead which quickly turned into the 5 Dotterel taking flght calling as they disappeared into the distance.
We searched for about 30mins and we all spotted various small 'trips' of Dotterel in flight and the total count amounted to an excellent 18,by far the highest count I have witnessed on the mountain.
They settled about 30-40m from us as we walked on and superb views were had by all.
After all the recent warm weather it was a culture shock to experience a cold,windy morning and if I'd had gloves with me I'd have worn them!!
The weather was closing in and a predicted heavy shower arrived just as we were coming down the mountain,it was nothing like the rain experienced 2 years ago which was responsible for the name of this blog site and we arrived back at the car park in the nick of time!,next stop Kenfig NNR for Grasshopper Warbler.
The weather improved as we drove and and we were welcomed at Kenfig by warm sunshine.
Lots of Willow Warbler,Common Whitethroat(year tick),and Linnets about and after about 30mins we caught up with an intermittent reeling Gropper in the scrub,it didn't offer itself up and the only views were flight views as it flew off into even deeper scrub,I think early morning is probably much better for good views,never mind -another year tick.
I'd promised to take Teresa out for the afternoon so I left Kevin to search for Small Blue which he hoped would be on the wing and headed for home.


Tim Hall said...

Won't have chance to go before Thursday. They'll probably be on Cairngorm or somewhere by then. There's always next year. Good photos again.

Wayne said...

What a weekend! Dotterels and glossy ibises everywhere and I'm stuck in White Hart Lane watching Spurs scrape a jammy draw against the Arse. Sunday was spent entertaining the kids. A climb up Garreg Lwyd didn't seem a good idea, and an 'organised' trip to Frampton looked problematic. Maybe next week?