Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Good God! (or words to that effect)

I almost cracked a rib laughing when I opened the latest edition of Birdwatch magazine last night.

Turning to the 'Tools fo the Trade' page I was astounded (and let's be honest, delighted) to see a review by Chris Harbard of the 'Birders in Boxers' blog under the heading "Best of Birding Blogs"!

"This intriguingly titled blog reveals itself to be about the birding adventures of some Glamorgan birders who all contribute to the blog. Entries vary from short and sweet to quite long and detailed, covering birding trips, insect watching and lots more (steam locomotives and digiscoped planets included). Simply constructed and nicely illustrated with photographs, it makes for an entertaining and interesting read".

I always said that Birdwatch magazine was the best birding publication in the world.

Saturday, July 19, 2008


No not my year list - I'm not sure what that's up to at the moment but it'll be a miserably low figure I can assure you, and much lower than 180.

I'm talking the Boy Birder's Life List - son of mine - which moved up a couple of ticks today. (Actually his life list went up to 181 today but that would not have made such a good title for this meagre blog entry). Not bad for a nine year old. Actually, bloody miraculous for a nine year old living in Glamorgan!!

I digress. His 180 came up when we found a female Dartford Warbler at a (well known) undisclosed site. And fair play to him, he found it - which made the walk back to the car unbearable. He even grips his own father off!

The Twitchmeister (not disturbing a Schedule 1 species!)

I managed to find a single Tree Sparrow at the Monktons. Boyo stayed in the car reading his Collins - it wasn't even a year tick for him!

2nd winter Herring, 3rd winter Lesser-black backed . . . adult summer Med!!!

On to the Ogmore Estuary where there were several Common Sandpipers and amongst the flock of gulls on Portobello Island I found a summer plumaged Med Gull. Lifer number 181 for the Twitchmeister, and since I found this one for him we ended the day on a score draw: 1-1 - my reputation restored!

Friday, July 18, 2008

50 Up!

After the rush of rarities in May it's back to normal here in Glamorgan - the word "quiet" doesn't do justification to the birding in the county at the moment.

Anyway, to sum up how dull it's been I've been celebrating today because of a Black-headed Gull. It was the 50th species I've seen in my home Atlas Tetrad (ST18K - Whitchurch / Rhiwbina - Cardiff). Highlights - and I use the term in its loosest possible definition - include: Red Kite, Peregrine, Common Sandpiper, Kingfisher and . . . uhm, Bullfinch? I'm disappointed I haven't picked up a Lesser Spot at Glamorgan Canal.

I've also reached 50 in another of my TTV tetrads (ST17D - near St Fagans). Highlights here (not much better): Dipper, Kingfisher, breeding Tawny Owls and . . .uhm, Stock Dove?

In my third TTV tetrad (ST17G - near Wenvoe) I've only reached 38 but there have been a slightly better selection of birds there: Spot Fly, Yellowhammer, Marsh Tit, Skylark and . . . uhm, Bullfinch again?

Meanwhile, latest BTO results for the 1st winter period of the Atlas show that a total of 78 species near the Ogmore Estuary is Glamorgan's highest winter tetrad total. Beats my winter total of 43 in ST18K!

By the way, I see from today's 'Bird of the Day' map on the BTO website that there is a Capercaillie in Derby! Not quite what I had in mind when I typed in 'Bird of the Day' in Google!!