Sunday, April 08, 2018

'Little Owls instead of a Snowy Owl'........

Myself and fellow birders/toggers Richard Smith and Rob Mitchell decided to 'twitch' the female Snowy Owl at St David's Head, Pembrokeshire yesterday meeting up in the lay-by at Sarn Junc 36 on the M4 at 8.00am and with Richard at the wheel we rocked up at Whitesands Bay car park at 10.00am where we were mugged by the attendant for the £5.00 parking fee !!
It had rained throughout the journey and was still raining when we arrived, I had picked up a 'Tweet' from local birder Mike Young-Powell on the way saying the bird had not been seen since first light and this was confirmed by other birders on arrival, we were not too dismayed as we thought that that bird may be hunkered down somewhere in the foul weather.
We trudged through the muddy coastal path until we came to the valley which the bird had favoured the previous day and despite much scanning and searching by the birders present to the dismay of everyone the bird was not relocated throughout the day.
We walked beyond the northern end of the valley to some stubble fields surrounded by some lovely old stone walls where a pair of Little Owls had been reported and picked them up quite quickly and although they never came close enough for some really good shots we all managed some images that we were reasonably pleased with.
We also saw our first Swallows and Willow Warblers of the year and as the sun came out in the afternoon we had an enjoyable couple of hours......

We also did a short seawatch as we enjoyed the sunshine and picked up Gannets, Kittiwakes, a nice pair of GBB Gulls, a couple of Guillemots, about 12-15 Choughs over the cliffs and a few distant Porpoises........

With no sign of the Snowy Owl we decided to 'throw the towel in' at 4.15pm and after a 45 minute walk back to the carpark arrived safely back at Sarn at 7.00pm having despite our 'dip' enjoyed a thoroughly good day out.

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