One of the tetrads I've asked for as part of the Atlas is ST17L (Michaelstone-le-Pit) and so I thought I'd recce the area today in readiness for a future visit, and also to start adding some Roving Records as very few have been submitted for this tetrad so far. One of the woods in this tetrad by the way is Coed y Dylluan in which Tim has been erecting a few nestboxes (do you want anymore Tim?).
Highlights of the walk were a Peregrine, several Buzzards, a yaffling Green Woodpecker, a drumming Great Spotted Woodpecker, and 4 Little Grebes, 2 Common Teal, 13 Moorhen and 2 Grey Wagtails on the 'salmon leaps'. And of course, birds singing everywhere.
But it was when we crossed over into the neighbouring tetrad (ST17G - Wenvoe) that we had the real highlight of the walk. I'd just mumbled under my breath that this area of the woods was normally devoid of any birdlife when the sharp-eyed Little Lister called me over to say "What's that up there Dad? Looks like a Marsh Tit to me". I've learnt by now that it always pays to look at any birds pointed out by the Twichmeister. I raised my 'bins and right at the very top of a tall tree was a small bird skulking around some ivy. A Marsh Tit! How the hell did he spot that up there?! It was soon joined by another one and they even had the decency to utter a couple of Pitch-oo's to confirm that they were Marsh rather than Willow Tits. Another lifer for Geth and Gwenni.
Needless to say the Boy Birder was on top of the world. I think we may have a 'Martin Bevan/Neil Donaghy' in the making here guys!! I might start hiring him out.