Monday, February 21, 2011

In the Pink

It's half term, the current Mrs Jenkins-Jones and beloved daughter are away for a few days leaving us boys at home - let's get some birding in! Well, that was the plan for Gethin and me but a). I didn't fancy a trip to Chipping Norton, b). I didn't fancy a trip to a landfill site near Rainham, c). there's nowt else about and d). the weather is awful. Luckily, the Pink-footed Geese appeared to be still hanging around Kenfig NNR - so that's where we headed off to yesterday.

No sooner had we arrived in the car park than the Pink-feet flew over our heads down towards the Pool. It's strange that, after witnessing the breathtaking spectacle of thousands of Pink-feet in Norfolk less than a month ago, I was equally as chuffed to see just 14 of these geese here in my adopted home county - such is their scarcity in Glamorgan.

It was nice to bump into Martin Bell in the car park. He'd just returned from a birding trip to The Gambia with Rob Gaze, Phil Hill, Mike Hogan and Martin Bevan. A cracking week's birding by all accounts. To read their trip report click here.

When we arrived at the Pool the geese were right in the middle of the water. Nevertheless, I still got this 'stonking' photo of some of them . . . .

It was good to see good numbers of the more usual wildfowl on the water: Gadwall, Shoveler, Tufted Duck, Pochard, Goldeneye etc. We had to work hard though to find just one pair of Mallard. Sadly, there were no fly-by Bitterns.

A quick yomp down to Sker Point/Kenfig Sands didn't yield as much as we'd hoped for. Only a lone Purple Sandpiper and 4 Turnstone at the very far end of Sker Point, and around a dozen Curlew and some Oycs on the beach. Newton Beach, our next stop, only added one new wader - a Grey Plover. The Ogmore Estuary was similarly quiet and we dipped again on the local Little Owls. Roll on the Spring.

Still, it's not all bad. Geth and I are having a night in tonight with some take-away pizzas, a beer or two for me, full control of the TV remote control and some birding DVDs we received for Christmas. Don't you love it when 'the cat's away'?

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