Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Pembrokeshire Peregrines

Managing a week's holiday at Whitsun myself and Teresa booked the caravan into a very nice site just outside Newport,Pembs.
The site was immaculately kept and was surrounded by mixed woodland and bounded by the River Nevern on one side no more than 20m from our caravan,this gave plenty of woodland birding opportunities and on my first venture out on Saturday morning a pair of Lesser 'peckers flew across the caravan park in front of me,my first sighting of the species for about 5 years.
This was followed a couple of days later by a pair of Pied Flys in the woods.
I birded the Nevern Estuary at Newport a couple of times from the bridge downstream and was somewhat disappointed at the lack of any really interesting birds the only species of note being a party of 4 Ringed Plover which offered a distant photo opportunity before being spooked by walkers (or should that be wankers !!)
We visited Fishguard on the Thursday (now there's a town you need to avoid-it's one saving grace being a good fish and chip "restaraunt") and from there moved on to Strumble Head for a couple of hours.
The showers had dispursed and the afternoon brightened up quite cheerfully,I didn't have my scope with me but managed a seawatch with my old Opticrons which I keep in the car.
Large gulls and Gannets were plentiful and small numbers of Kittiwake and Fulmar passed the headland,out at sea Manxies were probably in their 1000s feeding,Razorbill and Guillimot also passed.
I decided a westerly walk along the coastal path would be a good idea and after spotting a few seals and porpoises I heard the call of a Peregrine Falcon fairly close by on one of the cliffs.
I scanned and soon found a single bird perched on a ledge near to it's nest where young were also calling.
I moved around the coastal path to a better position and got excellent views of the nest site where 2 youngsters were competing for the parent bird's attention.
They looked to be 2 or so weeks old and I watched for about 30 mins as both parent birds came to the nest.
This was too good a photo opportunity to miss and so on the following Saturday I returned to get some pics,the weather was "too" good with the strong sunshine causing a fair amount of heat haze.
I studied and photographed the birds for an hour or more and just as I prepared to leave one of the Perries had a go at one of a pair of Choughs which avoided being the chicks' next meal by diving into the cliff face,a very lucky escape !!
A thoroughly relaxing week was enjoyed with a little birding thrown in -my first sighting in 5 years of that elusive little 'pecker and probably my longest and best ever views of Peregrine Falcon with young.


Tim Hall said...

Nice Perrys!

Wayne said...

Can't remember when I went birding last!