Back on 6th August 0n a Monday mid-afternoon I received a text from Dan which said "Are you going for the Roller",having not logged on to any of the birding websites that day my initial reaction was "where"!!
A Roller had been seen previously at Usk reservoir,initially found by Mike Hogan but had prooved very ellusive and had only been seen by a handful of birders.
Dan's reaction was "on the Gower near Llanrhidian",surely it was the same bird and was apparently showing well.
A quick scan of Birdguides and a link on to Multi-Map gave me the exact location and with Tim working and Wayne on holiday in France the two remaining 'Boxers agreed to meet at Sainsburys in Sarn after work for a quick dash west and hopefully a lifer for both of us.
We were joined by Gethin the young "Twitchmeister" and soon arrived at the location,tumbling out of the car we all got quickly on to the bird which as Rollers have a habit of doing was perched on nearby telegraph wires,another lifer "in the bag" !!
Tim soon made it 3 out of 4 with a quick dash down the Gower the following day before the bird disappeared never to be seen again.
During a trip into Cardiff to visit bathroom and tile centres (there's a new bathroom being planned by "her indoors") on Sat 20.Oct I received a text from Tim confirming that a juv Spotted Sandpiper had been found that morning at Lisvane Reservoir in the outskirts of the city.
Finishing our browsing I persuaded Teresa that we should call in on the way home and although "binless and 'scopeless" as we were in her car I'd still be able to see the bird through other birder's scopes.
Colin Gittins,"Sid",Dave and Brian were already there and a phone call from Colin confirmed that the bird although still present was quite distant as it had flown over on to the adjacent Llanishen Reservoir.
Colin quickly got me on to the bird through his scope and althogh distant you could make out the quite bold supercillium and pale legs.
The bird didn't look as if it was going to come back "over the fence" so we headed for home.
I wasn't satisfied with my distant views and after responding to a text from Dan and although having planned a visit to my aunt and uncle's in Westest Wales decided to make an early return on Sunday morning in the hope of getting a couple of "snaps".Dan was still in bed when I phoned him at 07.30 (lazy sod) and so we agreed to meet up at the reservoir,Dan had contacted Wayne and he would be along as well.
There were a couple of birders there when I arrived and although the bird had been on the Llanishen side as luck would have it it came back over to Lisvane and gave "crippling" close views down to 20ft or so.
Phil Bristow the finder of the bird was there and we chatted for a while and I managed quite a few photos although never quite getting the "one" as the peep was always on the move.
Dan and Wayne arrived with Gethin,Alex and Non "in tow",it was like a GBC "junior section" outing with the young "Twitchmeister" chalking up yet another "lifer".
Myself and Wayne had seen the long staying Hayle bird last October on the way to Portland with Geri Thomas (work that one out-ahh the joys of twitching !!...) which was a U.K first so this bird was a Glamorgan "tick" and I believe the first in the county since 1974.
Unfortunately I had to beat a hasty retreat to get down to West Wales and my day was capped by a cracking pair of Red Kite hunting over farmland on the outskirts of Carmarthen.
We needn't have panicked as the bird continued to show really well to the assembled crowd which included a lot of club members amongst them John Wilson,Alan Rosney,Brian Thomas and it was good to bump into Christian Jenkins having not seen him for some time.
A quick text to Tim to "grip him off" and we all piled back into Dan's car happy and content that another "lifer" had been added to the list.