Thursday, December 27, 2007
No, I haven't developed a stutter and this isn't a summary of what was on the box over the festive period (was 'To the Manor Born' really that awful back in the late 70s/early 80s?) - I'm talking Timed Tetrad Visit. I dragged myself off the sofa on Boxing Day to complete my first timed survey for the BTO Atlas 2007-11 project - and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I surveyed tetrad ST18K (Whitchurch/Rhiwbina) counting every bird I saw for two hours, which wasn't as onerous as its sounds. Starting in Parc Caedelyn near Rhiwbina Station I picked up the obvious common birds - Dunnocks, Blackbirds, Starlings, B-h Gulls, House Sparrows etc, but a nice surprise was the discovery of 3 Blackcaps (1m + 2f). They may have been there on Christmas Day too when we went to the park on our post lunch family ramble, but to be honest I don't remember much of that walk! On to Whitchurch Golf Course where the highlights were a pair of Bullfinches, and a Moorhen on one of the small ponds on the course. At Whitchurch Cemetry I finally managed to find a Song Thrush and a small group of Redwings. On entering the northern part of Forest Farm I was most surprised to tick Welsh/Hollywood actor Matthew Rhys (who will shortly be appearing as Dylan Thomas in the film 'The Edge of Love' - the Dylan Thomas biopic, alongside Keira Knightley and Sienna Miller - lucky bugger). Green and Great Spot Woodpecker were added here, but sadly no sign of Lesser Spot. This tetrad splits Forest Farm/Glamorgan Canal in two and sadly doesn't include the areas around the two hides and the western side of the reserve, otherwise it would have been easy to have added some more species - birds like Little Grebe, Snipe, Reed Bunting, Water Rail, Grey Heron, Siskin and Kingfisher. But, I did manage a two hour survey list of 34 species which, considering this tetrad is in the middle of Cardiff, I'm more than happy with.