Monday, January 02, 2012

"Gower Glaucous"

I couldn't resist giving Oxwich Bay a visit this week what with all of the seabird activity reported during the last couple of weeks and yesterday gave old friend Neil Davies a call at his home in Blackpill. As my visit coincided with high tide we checked the Blackpill roost before setting off for Oxwich,there were large numbers of waders present with Godwits,Dunlin,Knot,Ringed Plover,Curlew and Oystercatchers roosting with plenty of gulls as well. Unfortunately within a few minutes of arriving a couple of youngsters flushed the whole lot and they disappeared to settle further down the beach. It was nice to bump into Alistair Flanagan again and chat briefly.
We soon arrived at Oxwich and the number of seabirds present was an incredible spectacle with 100s of Kittiwakes,30-40 Gannets,1000s of gulls,some Razorbills and Guillemots and plenty of Shags and Cormorants.
We didn't manage to locate any divers and didn't even bother looking for the Glaucous Gull found by Barry earlier in the day due to the continual disturbance caused by the visiting "numpties" and their kids and dogs.
A couple of heavy showers put a damper on things but I still managed a few photos in terrible light and even got a couple of 5 Grey Seals we counted that were hunting off the rocks opposite the church.
A quick visit to the "new" hide before the weather finally got the better of us enabled me to get a shot of one of several Common Snipe on the island opposite the hide although none showed themselves particularly well.
With a slightly better forecast for today I fancied trying to get the Glaucous Gull and after meeting up with Peter Morgan at Sarn we arrived at Oxwich just after first light and strode out along the beach in the direction of Nicholaston Pill.
Luckily Chris Brewer was already on the bird and we both enjoyed good views courtesy of Chris's 'scope before an earlybird "numptie" managed to flush the large flock which resettled after a short time.
I managed to relocate the Glaucous in my bins and the three of us managed some "record" shots before an almighty hailstone shower sent us racing for the shelter of the bridge over the pill.
The huge gull flock was flushed several more times and being unable to relocate the bird we headed back down to the opposite end of the beach to watch the feeding action again bumping into Paul Tabor who was with Keith and Scott Squires.
Eventually the heavy showers got the better of us and we decided to finish off the day by visiting the feeding station at Newton Farm nr Scurlage in the hope of connecting with a Tree Sparrow,a single bird having been seen a couple of times in recent weeks.
After an extremely muddy trudge across fields and several stiles we arrived at the derilict farm and didn't have to wait too long before a single bird appeared at the feeders.
I managed a few record shots and during a short period of good light managed to get one that I was quite pleased with considering we were at a safe distance from the feeders.
With more rain threatening we headed for home,me pleased just to get out and see some good birds and take some photographs and Peter with two more "lifers" to add to his growing list.

1 comment:

Jeff said...

Correction : Following the issue of further photos to GRC opinion is that the bird is in fact a large Iceland Gull and not Glaucous as previously thought.