Monday, February 13, 2012

"Day out around Cardiff"

With a good forecast last Saturday and a chance of nice light for a change I fancied a day out around Cardiff and started by meeting Cliff "Tiger" Woodhead down at Cardiff Heliport in an attempt to try and connect with the Bonaparte's Gull that has been around for a few weeks but proving elusive.
It certainly proved elusive for us and after a couple of hours we were well into "dipping" mode,a phone call and a text as the "grapevine" got going alerted us to a "Redhead" Smew at Hendre Lake,St Mellons and we were soon getting some great views of the dapper little sawbill.
The light was too harsh if anything "burning out" the white tones but I managed a few reasonable record shots although the bird never came really close enough to get a "crippler".
Alex Bevan was already there and we were soon joined by Steve Hinton and Rob Mitchell who were also hoping to get some good shots.
Cliff had to get to Coed Y Bedw by mid-day and I decided to head for Cardiff Bay and then Cosmeston for the BN Grebe and Lesser Scaup but on passing Sluice Farm couldn't resist having a quick look for a couple of Short-eared Owls.
RGW was pretty quiet although I did see one owl in flight and accidentily "flushed" another as I walked across to the foreshore to get the sun behind me.
I noticed another photographer who turned out to be Cate Barrow who had put on a great presentation back in January for the GWPC and who proved to be great company for the afternoon,we both managed a few shots of SEOs although they were not as active as they had been on my last visit in early December 2011.
One of the owls was favouring the fields on the road side of the wharf and perching up on trees and I managed a couple of record shots in the growing gloom albeit pushing the ISO to 1000 although the camera seemed to cope quite well.
I didn't make Cardiff Bay or Cossie but then again it gives me a couple of targets for the coming weekends.


Mitch said...

What a successful day! I love the top Owl shot,and the Smew ain't bad either.

Wayne said...

Yes, nice shots! Even Dan would be proud of these!