Monday, October 31, 2011
Saturday, October 29, 2011
Plan A: Get up early, bird our patch on the Radyr Floodplain and find ourselves a 'mega'.
Plan B: Get up early, bird our patch on the Radyr Floodplain, find bugger all and then go and twitch somebody else's 'mega'.
Plan B it was! (Highlight on the patch: 3 Reed Buntings). Why we bothered to formulate Plan A I'll never know. A little over an hour after leaving home we were at Oldbury-on-Severn and watching this little beauty:
A very impressive roof nut with a female Pied Wheatear to its left.
It may not have been the most beautiful bird in world but I really enjoyed watching this little beauty. I must have fallen for its personality as it hawked insects on top of the Oldbury Sailing Club roof. I don't know what Darryl Spittle was doing birding this particular spot on the English side of the River Severn instead of his beloved Gwent, but I'm very grateful to him for finding this beauty.
Onwards and upwards. With our luck obviously in, Geth and I headed back west (paying £5.70 for the privilege of returning to our homeland) to do a bit of birding around The Forest of Dean. Without a doubt, one of Gethin's bogey birds is Hawfinch. He's had untickable glimpses of them at Fforest Ganol and dipped on one at The Forest of Dean by a matter of a few seconds. His luck was about to change. Within moments of getting out of the car he'd found one . . . but thanks to my inability to get on to the bird, and his efforts to help me, he again only managed a brief and untickable view.
Some heated words were exchanged, the mood was tense - you could cut the atmosphere with a knife. A stressful 20 mins passed and then . . . thank God! . . . two Hawfinch popped up on top of a tree and the Twitchmeister finally had his tick. The relief washed over us - me in particular!
Cannop Ponds, The Forest of Dean
We stopped off briefly at Cannop Ponds on our way home where there were 50+ Mandarin Duck, a nice selection of waterfowl but had no joy with Willow Tit.
To celebrate our success (and because Mrs JJ and Gwenni were away) the day was rounded off at Queen Street Pizza Hut where we hatched our birding plan for the next day:
Plan A: Get up early, bird our patch on Radyr Floodplain and find ourselves a 'mega'.
Plan B: Get up early, bird our patch on Radyr Floodplain, find bugger all and then go and twitch somebody else's 'mega'!
Saturday, October 22, 2011
Sunday, October 16, 2011
Saturday, October 08, 2011
Gethin (a.k.a. The Twitchmeister) was presented with a 'Diploma in Birding' by the Birders in Boxers Board of Ornithological Excellence (BBBOE). A particlularly noteworthy occasion as Gethin is the first recipient of this diploma - none of the other Boxer Boys being anywhere near reaching the standard of ornithological excellence.
The evening was attended by Gethin (the Guest of Honour) and Messrs Jeff Slocombe (BBBOE's Chief List Statistician) and Wayne Morris (Secretary to the Board). Gethin's father was also present to pay for the meal.
The Guest of Honour enjoyed a Tuna and Sweetcorn Thin Italian; Jeff (because he's 'hard') had a super hot Flamin' Inferno; Wayne a Veggie Supreme and Dan had his usual double jalapeno peppers and pineapple. All washed down with some vintage Pepsi.
A telegram received from a 'Mr L Evans from Bucks' rubbishing Gethin's list was ceremonially burned. We look forward to holding a similar event in the very near future to celebrate the Twitchmeister's entry into the UK300 Club.
Sunday, October 02, 2011
Saturday, October 01, 2011
Not a creature from Doctor Who - it's a very wet Twitchmeister at Llanrhidian Marsh.
The weather finally beats Wayne. He's clearly had enough despite not nailing the White-rump. But, he makes himself feel better by gripping off the Twitchmeister about the Kenfig Pool White-rump Sand the boy birder dipped on by a mere 5 minutes back in 2007 when he was only 8 years old. (Please note Jeff being 'hard' and not wearing his hood up despite the crap weather).
The next day, Wayne (no doubt feeling guilty for being so mean to Gethin) offered us a lift to St Brides/West Usk Beach, where we duly found the American Golden Plover.
I wasn't particularly happy with this image . . . .
A cracking bird and a lifer for us all. Thanks to Darryl Spittle for finding it.