Monday, January 28, 2008
Sunday, January 20, 2008
The Report itself could do with a few more initials though e.g. for 'scarce birds' like Firecrest, Black Redstart, Lesser Pecker, Hawfinch, Willow and Marsh Tit etc - it might encourage people to go out looking for new sites for these species? Also earliest and latest migrants and any birder who goes to the effort to do monthly counts.
I was glad to see in the Report that two members of Birders in Boxers now jointly hold the highest count for Velvet Scoter in the recording area! 7 at Ogmore-by-Sea. Good man Tim for finding them and putting me on to them!
One thing I didn't expect was that the WRP accepted the American Wigeon found at Cardiff Bay in the summer of 2006. It was so poo-pooed at the time as a 'plastic duck' that I didn't bother counting it in my Glamorgan/East Glamorgan year lists. But, that's all changed now! So wait for it. I hope you're sitting down. Here are my new totals for 2006:
Glamorgan: 187 East Glamorgan: 178
Both personal year list bests for the two recording areas, but both definitely Vauxhall Conference standard compared to the Premier League totals set by other birders in Glamorgan!
Thursday, January 17, 2008
Yes, a photo of the Boy Birder appeared in today's "National Paper of Wales" (LOL). No he hasn't breached his ASBO again (that's ASBO as in Anti-Social Birding Order which I issued him with after his constant habit of gripping people off). No, there's a photo of him holding a Long-tailed Tit - not a real one I hasten to add, but a furry toy one - after an officer from the RSPB called at his school yesterday to promote The Big Garden Birdwatch.
Sadly, there were no lifers for the Little Lister on the school bird table.
Saturday, January 12, 2008
The Pool itself was very quiet too. Mallards, Tufties, Teal, Shoveller, Pochard, G C Grebes, Coot a fly over Common Snipe etc , but a Turnstone on the East Pool shore was a surprise. After about hour in the Arthur Morgan Hide a large crowd of birders came in on an RSPB Gloucester field trip. Judging by the look of them, their average age and the array of expensive optics on show they looked like a completely separate species from our local Cardiff RSPB group.
On their arrival Geth and I left the hide for a walk down to the beach. The only birds we saw on the way down were Stonechats and amongst the usual Oycs on the beach there was a solitary Bar-tailed Godwit.
Geth was itching to go back to the hide - he was convinced a Bittern would have showed itself in his absence. Back we went and after an hour and a half Geth, who was so desperate to see a Bittern, started hallucinating. Twice he was convinced he'd seen one in the reeds. But, sadly he was mistaken.
We left at about 1.30pm - me with a 'scope on my shoulder, Geth with a big chip on his. He was thoroughly miffed and wants me to take him back there tomorrow with a packed lunch and a flask so we can stay there all day. "I want to come here tomorrow and I'm not leaving until I've seen one!" he said.
You've got to hand it to the Twitchmeister - even as a nine year old he's got the persistence to become a top lister!!
Friday, January 11, 2008
Glossy Ibis, Whinchat and Marbled Duck at Frampton; Slavonian Grebe, Eider, Brent Goose, Hen Harrier, Jack Snipe, Woodcock, Red-breasted Merganser, Knot and Grey Plover at Whiteford; Osprey and Wood Warbler at Porthmadog; Spotted Sandpiper, Roller, Ring-necked Duck and Pacific Diver. Even if the Pacific Diver wasn't one I'll still get a tick 'cos I haven't seen a Black-throated Diver! It was a really exciting day out with Wayne and Dad anyway.
I did better than Dad and only dipped on the Common Rosefinch.
In 2008 I would like to see a Barn Owl, Cattle Egret, Kentish Plover (I'd like to see one of them too!! - Dad), Merlin, Hobby and Storm Petrel.
I think it's really mean that you're not taking me on the Scottish Trip. But, I will come with you when I'm in Year 6!!
Hope to see plenty of you in 2008
Thursday, January 10, 2008
The dash up with Wayne and Geth to see the Llys-y-Fran 'Pacific Diver' was about as mad as it got in 2007. With the winter sun setting at around 4.30pm Wayne and I didn't decide to go for this bird 'til about 1.30pm! I hope this birds get the nod (I've heard that it probably won't) and if it does, that it is immediately split from B-t Diver!
Only 3/4 lifers during the year: the Frampton Glossy Ibis and I admit that I have already ticked the Marbled Duck which was nearby - looked like a good 'un to me. Also, the Gower Roller and the Spotted Sandpiper at Lisvane Res.
Glamorgan lifers obviously include the Roller and Spot Sand, but also Kenfig's White-rumped Sandpiper and the Bearded Tits down at the Cardiff Bay Wetland Reserve early on in the year.
The family day trip to Whiteford at the end of December was also a highlight - all the usual stuff with Woodcock, Jack Snipe and a male Hen Harrier the icing on the cake.
Somebody will probably correct me but I can only recall one major dip - the Common Rosefinch at Mewslade. I bet you the bugger's still there. And don't ask me what my year list was - but I did manage to get Spotted Flycathcer, Whinchat and Wheatear though ;-)
2007 - was that it?!
Roll on the Scottish Trip.
Monday, January 07, 2008
Other highlights were nightingales aplenty at CWP, a short-eared owl hunting at Holme and a male golden pheasant while nearly getting rear-ended in Geri's jeep as we joined the B1440 at Wolferton. A day in the West Country collecting hoopoe, laughing gull; green-winged teal; lesser scaup, glaucous gull, Iceland gull and great northern diver was pretty good too.
Lowlights were dipping aquatic warbler at Uskmouth and dusky warbler and American wigeon while in Cornwall, and the absent, long-staying lesser yellowlegs at Thornham.
Some glaring omissions from the year's paltry 182 total were whinchat (again); spotted flycatcher; wheatear (honest) and plenty of other 'easy' species too.
It shouldn't be too much trouble to do a little better in 2008!