Thursday, October 30, 2008

Half Term Birding

A bit of father and son time today. I took Geth to Goldcliff/Uskmouth hoping to find Pec Sand, Spot Red, Curlew Sand, Marsh Harrier , Cetti's and Beardies for his Life List. On our arrival we were disppointed to see that the lagoons were full to the brim with hardly any mud and, consequently, hardly any birds showing. Admittedly the tide times were against us but most of our (wader) target species had been reported present at low tide yesterday. Of course, it may also have had something to do with the big blue tractor working on the far shoreline. Hmm.

We pressed on to the seawall where we were lucky, on the falling tide, to find three Curlew Sandpipers (#189 for the Twitchmeister) quite close in. In the distance there were good numbers of Knot, Dunlin and Lapwings, a sprinkling of Curlew and one Grey Plover. Behind us on the lagoon 5 Avocet were feeding. No sign of the Pec Sand or the Spot Red of course.

Back at the 3rd viewing platform we were about to leave when a fem/imm Merlin flashed by scattering Meadow Pipits everywhere but failed to catch any of them. A burst of adrenalin for both of us and lifer #190 for Geth. The Merlin, with a suitably narked look on his face having not managed to catch its lunch, settled on a pile of cut reeds for a while so we were able to enjoy 'scope views of it. That is until the Boy Birder got impatient and wanted to move on to Uskmouth.

Uskmouth was quiet and flippin cold. The usual suspects were there but no sign of the Marsh Harrier or any Beardies (a bit windy?). We only heard one very distant and brief burst from a Cetti's Warbler. Geth wants to go back again tomorrow, but as I currently have a 95% dip rate at Uskmouth, I'm not holding by breath.

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