Sunday, December 30, 2007

Jack the Lad

Happiness is . . . The Twitchmeister adding to his life list, and on a family visit to Whiteford today (Dec 30th) he added not one, but three lifers to his list.

Who needs a dog when you've got Geth? I sent him in to the first spruce plantation on the way out to Whiteford Point to try and locate a calling Great Spotted Woodpecker and the jammy so and so flushed a Woodcock! Lifer number 1 for the boy twitcher - chuffed isn't the word. No Crossbill in the woods today. Haven't seen any there now for a few years.

A delighted Geth and Gwenni after flushing the Woodcock.

A little further on we spent a few minutes splashing around the wet area to the right of the path when a Jack Snipe shot out from under my feet. Lifer number 2 on a plate for Gripper Geth. "How old were you Dad when you first saw a Jack Snipe?" "Shurrup or I won't show you any more birds!" Strangely, no Common Snipe in this wet area today.

On to the Point where we had a picnic next to the hide as the high tide receded. Most of the usual suspects were present: Slavonian Grebe (8), R-b Merg (2-3), a few Brent Geese, Common Eider and Teal, good numbers of Pintail, Knot, Grey Plover, Dunlin, Redshank, Curlew and Oycs, a big flock of at least 300 Lapwing and shedloads of Shelduck. Drew a blank on Godwits.

After lunch we headed round the headland towards the 'lighthouse'. Turnstone was added to the wader list and we had closer views of the waders we'd already seen near the hide. We also saw a flock of about 20 Common Eider, a couple of Shags, another 3 R-B Mergs and 20 or so Brent Geese. While scanning the sea for divers I also got a distant view of 2 Common Scoter.

We turned for home and as we approached the sea wall I finally found a large flock of Wigeon - the first I'd seen all day. Also flying along the far end of the sea wall I saw a distant bird which, at first, I thought was a gull. I nearly didn't bother looking at it through the 'bins, but I'm glad I did 'cos it was a male Hen Harrier! Lifer number 3 for the little lister who left Whiteford with a beaming smile on his face.

Even though we'd already seen a Hen Harrier we stopped off at Llanrhidian Marsh for twenty minutes to look for some more - and hopefully an owl or two. We were probably too early for any owls but Soph did manage to draw my attention to a large bird which had just put up a flock of Lapwing. Another (or the same) male Hen Harrier - sadly too distant for the others to get on to.

Day list of 61 species and a very, very happy son.


Tim Hall said...

I was over 40 before I saw my 1st Jack Snipe! I've only ever seen 1 on the ground!

Jeff said...

Sounded like a great day out,well done Geth on adding 3 lifers to your list.