Monday, April 23, 2012

"Birdin' without bins"

My main aims for the weekend just gone were to catch up with and hopefully photograph Wood Warbler and Pied Flycatcher whilst up at the caravan.
The weekend got off to a great start when whilst travelling over Cefn Cadlan common on the A4059 between Penderyn and Beacons Reservoir on Friday evening a Short-eared Owl flew directly over the front of the car at about 15' giving great views,Teresa has seen so many SEO shots of mine over the winter that even she recognised it and "called" it,we'll make a birder of her yet !
Forgot to mention that whilst driving up the A465 and about 30 mins from the house I realised that I'd forgotten to bring my binoculars and as we were in Teresa's car I didn't even have the luxury of using my spare pair which I keep in my car.
The weather was reasonably kind on Saturday morning as I made my way up to Park Wood in Talgarth,despite the wood being alive with bird song Wood Warblers were conspicuous by their absence and whilst they've arrived in the UK they obviously haven't quite made it to this part of the world yet.
I picked up the call of a Marsh Tit which showed quite well and allowed me to get some shots that I was quite pleased with,the light was quite good as well which was a bonus.
Other birds seen/heard were Chiffchaff,Willow Warbler,Blackcap,Treecreeper,Common Buzzard and a pair of GS Woodpeckers.
After an afternoon in Hay on Wye with Teresa I took an evening stroll down to the lake hoping to pick up Reed Warbler in the small reedbed near the Crannog (only to save me a fair old walk !!) but to no avail,I walked back to the caravan and whilst passing the small wood near the entrance heard the call of yet another Marsh Tit which was quite obliging and allowed me to get some nice shots.
My plan for Sunday was to visit the small the small "Youth Hostel" Wood opposite Craig Cerrig Gleissad in the hope of connecting with Pied Flycatcher and as I got out of the car I heard the display song of a Tree Pipit which despite having no bins (doh !!) picked it up in the trees near the gate whre it posed nicely for a few photos just before a heavy shower set in and had me scuttling back to the car.
Whilst I sat in the car listening to "The Boss's" latest monumental offering two other soggy "toggers" came from the wood to the car parked in front of me,seems Steve Hinton and Nigel Addecot obviously had the same idea as me.
The shower passed and the three of us returned to the wood to find a single male Pied Flycatcher which we couldn't really get on to before the rain set in again and I beat another hasty retreat whilst Steve and Nigel the hope of getting some shots.
The lads finally got back to Steve's car looking rather damp and bedraggled and didn't hang around,I decided to sit it out and after a while the rain finally ceased.
I decided to give it another go and refound the flycatcher in the same area of the wood where the three of us had seen it previously and after a while it came down lower in the canopy,I hastily rattled off some shots which given the miserable conditions turned out quite well assisted by a brief "window" of decent light.
Just as I was hoping for better and the bird was giving good views the heavens opened once again and forced me to call it a day.
Mission for next weekend.........Wood Warblers (weather permitting !!)

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