Wednesday, February 27, 2008

No work and all play

I didn't have any work today and so I had the whole day at my disposal. I've been doing quite a bit of Atlasing lately - submittimg Roving Records from crappy tetrads with little or no hope of finding any birds in them which would set the pulse racing. So today, for a change, I headed west to visit some slightly better, well trodden sites.

First stop, high tide at Ogmore-by-Sea. The Purple Sands were very confiding as usual and I managed to find 21 of them to the east of the car park. My highest ever count. They were accompanied by several Turnstone and Oycs. There were a few Rock Pipits around but I didn't find any that resembled the littoralis which which was found there by Roo Perkins recently. A Chough flew in from the east, circled over me and then prompty disappeared, and a Med Gull right at the very end of the path before it starts the climb to Southerndown was a surprise. I haven't had one there before.

The highlight at Ogmore estuary was a male Gadwall. Again, I haven't seen one here before. There was also a Little Egret, good numbers of Goldeneye, 3 Curlew and a sprinkling of Redshank there. I must admit that I didn't put much of an effort in to finding Paul Roberts' 3rd cal yr Yellow-legged Gull - and that's why I will remain a crap Gull Birder!

Newton Beach was the next stop. I hoped to find some Sanderling , Grey Plover and Ringed Plover here. I had a distant view of an RP and a probable distant flock of Sanderling flying into the sun which had been flushed by a pair of dog walkers. In fact, the beach was crawling with dog walkers and so I didn't hang around for long.

And so finally on to Llanilid. Thanks to Alun Hughes' excellent directions I easily found the field in which the Short-eared Owls had been hunting, and there were two of the beauties there to greet me when I arrived. One droppped down and caught a vole/mouse. It sat there for a while looking right down the barrel of my 'scope. What a pair of eyes and I even managed to see the 'ears'. Just as I was about to get a record shot the blighter took off with the prey in its talons. Top banana!

I went back to pick the kids up from school and you'll be glad to hear that I immediately gripped off the Twitchmeister! He's made me promise to take him up there after school tomorrow . . . I'm not complaining!

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