Sunday, December 05, 2010

It's cold out there.......!!

With Dan working this a.m and both Wayne and Kev struggling to get out of their iced up streets in the Rhondda I went it alone (again !!) and headed first thing for the Heath area of Cardiff where a flock of two dozen plus Waxwings had been seen yesterday.
There haven't been the vast numbers (yet !!) that were seen in 2004/2005 but they are steadily inceasing as the invasion spreads south and west and my mission this weekend was to try and photograph these very photogenic and approachable birds.
I found my way to St Ina Road in the Heath area of Cardiff and pulled up at the same time as an arriving John Wilson.
We were soon joined by Gary Welsby and Maurice Chown and whilst we did a circuit of the neighbouring streets Phil Bristow joined us.
At the end of St Isan Road a male Sparrowhawk perched obligingly on a chimney scanning the area for prey and I managed a half decent shot.

As we walked on Mike Powell arrived and informed us that Phil had seen a few Waxwings fly over into St Dennis Road which we quickly found,the birds were perching in a Eucalyptus tree in the rear garden of a house in St Isan Road and we soon discovered that the birds were visiting a white berried Rowan Tree in the front garden of 13,St Isan Road.

Although the tree was on the shady side of the street so the light wasn't brilliant the birds offered themselves up for some reasonable record images.

The light wasn't going to improve and following a phone call from Richard Smith who had managed to get some "crippling" images of Bittern at Kenfig Pool I decided to give the Lesser Scaup at Cardiff Bay a miss and head west for Kenfig.

I arrived at the south pool hide at about 1.15pm to be greeted by both Richard and Peter Morgan and within minutes a flyover Bittern appeared,unfortunately I was still setting up my gear and missed it.

Shortly after a different Bittern appeared in one of the frozen channels and walked gingerly across the ice from one patch of reed to another allowing a somewhat distant and heavily cropped record shot.

After a little flurry of activity things quietenned down for an hour or so until another Bittern made a flyover and this time I managed to get on to the bird for a couple of reasonable record shots.

Unfortunately the bird was flying away instead of coming towards the hide !!

The three of us then decided as the light was fading we would finish the day by having a look over in the dunes for a Short-Eared Owl but on this occasion we were out of luck.

With the sun setting and the temperature starting to fall even further we decided to call it a day and head for home.

I'd thoroughly enjoyed my day out,I'd got some reasonable pics of Waxwings and a few record shots of Bittern which I would like another go at, if the weather stays cold I may make another visit next weekend.


Jeremy said...

Lovely Waxwing shots. Managed a few myself today in Monmouth:

Rob said...

All cracking shots Jeff but the sprawk has to be my favourite its the eyes, reminds me of the way my wife looks at me when i've done something wrong!!!

Jeff said...

Cheers Rob,know how you feel !!