Wednesday, May 16, 2007

In Search Of Wood Warblers

After the excitement/stress of Glamorgan listing during 2006 I have to admit that I feel at a bit of a loss this year as to where to go birding when I'm lucky enough to have a bit of time on my hands. Last year there was always something to 'chase', a new tick for the year list. I'd get worked up at the thought of dipping on something like a Whinchat. (I still have nightmares about Tawny Owl, Goshawk and Cetti's Warbler which all avoided me in 2006). I'm afraid I'm having withdrawl symptoms from the adrenalin rush which year listing offers.

On the positive side, I have to admit that it has been very nice - on the few occasions I have been out birding this year - to bird without the pressure of having a list in the back of my mind.

But, I do like something to motivate me. And today it was Wood Warblers. I've been very disappointed to read on the GBC website that neither Wood Warblers or Pied Fly's have been seen at Darren Woods. Neither have been at Coed-y-Bedw either.

For the last few years I've heard a Wood Warbler singing in a tiny patch of decidious woodland just north of the Clydach Reservoir near Darwonno. This was going to be my target bird of the day.

I walked from the Brynffynnonn Inn at Llanwonno to the reservoir via Darwonno. There were lots of Goldcrests, Willow Warblers and Blackcaps singing all around me. On the track down to the Darwonno field centre I heard a distant Garden Warbler which incredibly I managed to get in my bins as it popped out briefly from its bush. A very nice pond has been dug out near the field station which I'm sure will be excellent for dragon and damselflies once it matures.

At the reservoir (which was very low) there were Mallard, Bullfinch and both Pied and Grey Wagtails. But no singing Wood Warbler. I found a way into the wood and traipsed around listening for its song - all in vain. Gutted! Another site lost to this species, I thought.

I walked east along the track to look for Tree Pipit at a site nearby. One duly popped up as soon as I arrived there. Overhead a Redpoll buzzed and and a pair of Siskin flew over too. I walked on another 200m to a spot where I've seen Willow Tit in the past. No Willow Tit, but there a short way ahead of me, calling and singing, was a Wood Warbler. Top banana! Back of the net!

With mission accomplished the walk back to the car didn't seem so long. I had hoped to go for Crossbill near the Llanwonno picnic site but the weather had become a bit too cold and damp for my liking. No doubt the hardened valley boys would have revelled in the conditions!

A Wood Warbler was trapped at the Obs at Portland this morning, and so I hope they may simply be a little bit late returning to their breeding grounds this year, and that Jeff will soon be ticking them again at Darren Woods. Let's hope so.


Dan said...

Wayne - why does Blogger ignore my 'paragraphs'?

Tim Hall said...

Wood Warblers were back at Nagshead a couple of weeks ago.

Wayne said...

Not sure, but if you use Edit HTML mode, inserting a paragraph tag before each new paragraph should work. Strictly speaking, you should place a close paragraph tag at the end of each paragraph too. Unfortunatley, this comments box does not let me type them in for you.

Heard a wood warbler at Nagshead a week or so ago. I haven't checked my local wood, Glyncornel, yet, but they've been very reliable there over the last few years, even down to the same branch of a tree!

Didn't fancy waiting 'til tonight for nightjars? Imagine a few pints in the Brynfynnon, and then tottering along the lane, in the rain, with the wierd churring as a backdrop. If you are lucky, you may even stumble across the odd fly-tipper, teenage sh*ggers and who knows what else.

Wayne said...

PS: I've now inserted the paragraph tags, so they display properly now.

Wayne said...

Hmmmm .... just noticed that Blogger has removed paragraph spacings from almost all our blog entries!

Jeff said...

Heard a Wood Warbler up at Talybont Reservoir on last Bank Holiday Monday as my previous post and so looked forward to seeing one easily as always at Darren Woods but despite 3 visits in the last 5 days no luck as yet.
Phil Hardwick has reported one on his local patch so they are in,only a matter of time I hope !!