Sunday, October 19, 2008

Little and Large

No, not Geth and Jeff - but Yellow-browed Warbler and Whooper Swan. The two Glamorgan scarcities we were aiming to bag before lunch today. I bet you can't guess which one we managed to see and which one we dipped on? The 7g , 10cm long Siberian Sprite (apologies for the cliche) in the middle of acres of Kenfig NNR scrub? Or the 20lb, 1.5m long whacking great big white bird sitting in the middle of a river? Yeah, you're right . . . . . .

At least one Yellow-browed Warbler has been at Kenfig for a few days and the Whooper Swan has been around at Ogmore even longer. Both species would have been lifers for the Twitchmeister, the Swan a county tick for Jeff and the YBW a county tick for me.

We met up at Kenfig and started looking around the scrub behind the reserve centre for the YBW. There were plenty of crests and tits around but no sign of the Sibe. To be honest it was difficult to concentrate on the bushes while trying to avoid standing in the 2.3 metric tonnes of dog crap that was liberally sprinkled all over the place. Other birders informed us that the bird hadn't been seen or heard all day and, with the wind picking up, we shrugged our shoulders and headed off for Ogmore. Such stamina.

On our way to Ogmore we stopped off at Tythegston/Wig Fach to look for Red-legged Partridge. Another blank. This is supposed to be one of Glamorgan's hotspots for this species but, in around about 50 visits, I've only ever seen them here once.

There was nothing apart from some farmyard ducks, Mallard and a pair of Teal at the Watermill - the Red-necked Phalarope that had been there recently had naffed off - and so it was on to Ogmore Castle in our final attempt to salvage something from the morning. Almost as soon as we'd jumped out of the car Jeff was on the bird - Cygnus cygnus (so good they named it twice) in the bag.

Lifer for Geth (#188) and county tick for Jeff and the frustration of the morning was (almost) forgotten.

Our final stop was Ogmore Estuary to have a quick look through the gulls. An adult winter Med Gull was the highlight and the presence of three Curlew, three Redshank and a Turnstone made it an above average 'wader day' at the estuary.


Anonymous said...

100% right about the amount of dogs mess everywhere,visited Kenfig last Thursday for the first time in ages and couldnt get over the amount of dogs crap there!

Tim Hall said...

Hmm, more fun than looking at trees at Westonbirt with several 1000 others then?

Tim Hall said...

2 Whoopers there now, apparently.