On Sunday 22.November myself and fellow "togger" Richard Smith decided to make our first winter visit around the Cardiff area in search of two of our favourite wintering species; Black Redstart and Short-eared Owl.
After picking up Richard late morning we soon rolled up at Penarth Marina and within a couple of minutes we picked up a stunning male Black Redstart on one of the rooftops who was soon joined by a female bird, although reluctant to drop down to a lower level they allowed us both to obtain some reasonable "record" shots......
In all two different males and two different females were seen and hopefully they will hang around through the coming winter months, it was nice to bump into Gareth Pryce as well who was patrolling his "local patch" on bicycle.
Moving on from Penarth we headed for Rumney Great Wharf in search of Shorties and flushed two birds as we made our way out across the saltmarsh to our favoured position near the sea defence boulders.
After about an hour or so the two birds returned to hunt but after perching up for a while on some of the driftwood logs they flew over the seawall to quarter the rough pasture fields between the seawall and the road allowing us to get some nice shots even if the birds were always a little distant....
The light faded quickly and soon got the better of us and we made our way back to the car stopping for 20 mins or so to chat with Jake, Phil B,Mike P and Judd who were watching the owls from the road.
A very enjoyable day out for us both although the light could have been better, Chatting with the other lads we all reckoned that we had seen at least 6-8 different birds between us which bodes well for some more owl "togging" in the coming months.