Monday, January 24, 2022

Kidwelly Quay, Carms

 It is several years since I last visited Kidwelly Quay, the last time if I remember correctly was 'twitching' a Lesser Yellowlegs that had found it's way to West Wales from the USA.

After leaving Pembrey myself, Dave and Richard headed for Kidwelly Quay hoping to find some good birds.

Only the more common variety were present although we tried in vain to locate a Firecrest which had been heard calling previously in trees alongside the access road.

There were a couple of other birders present one of which was Guy Tommason from Brynaman and it was nice to put a face to the name and chat.

An excellent day out in great company and our target bird achieved.

Here are a few images from the afternoon........

Snow Buntings : Cefn Sidan Sands, Carms

 I had noted the presence of 4 Snow Buntings since December 2021 and until Richard Cleobury's photos last week had not seen any photos of the birds.

Myself and Dave Gilbert had met Richard at Mewslade Bay on Gower back in the Autumn whilst 'twitching' the Wryneck there and have become Facebook friends.

I messaged Richard last Friday to ask for some directions/location and Richard replied saying that it would be his pleasure to meet up and he would show us the location, us birders are so friendly and helpful !

We agreed to meet at 9.00am last Saturday morning at the entrance to Pembrey Country Park and myself and Dave rocked up on time.

It was a 25 minute walk along the beach to where Richard had previously seen and photographed the birds and our task was not made any easier by the number of dog walkers playing ball games with their dogs in the vicinity.

The dog walkers moved off and the birds were reasonably quickly found, we can only assume that they had flown into the dunes due to the disturbance and then returned to feed on the strand line, there were however only 2 of the 4 present.

The birds were reasonably confiding and the three of us came away with images that we were quite pleased with even if they were a little 'flat' due to the overcast grey conditions that have plagued us.

We all 'filled our boots' and then decided to move on to Kidwelly Quay for the remainder of the day......

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Pacific Diver : Eglwys Nunydd Reservoir, Port Talbot 'A visit in better light'

 After leaving the Cirl Bunting 'twitch' last Friday 14th January I made an afternoon return visit in an attempt at photographing the Pacific Diver in better light.

Although it was bright sunshine all day and a little too harsh if I am honest it was at least much better than the grey murk encountered on previous visits.

A bonus as well was that the bird had relocated and was feeding in the North East corner near the main entrance and showing to about 30'.

It was nice to bump into and chat with Mike Pugh, Matt Meehan and a visiting birder from York who had driven 4 hours+ to see the bird.

Here are a few images from a very pleasant hour or so.......

Cirl Bunting, Marcross, Vale of Glamorgan

 Last Thursday 13th, Friday 14th, and Saturday 15th January I made visits to see and try to photograph the Cirl Bunting that had been found by Tom Wright of the ringing group during a session at Tyn-Y-Caeau Farm, Marcross. It was seen in the hedgerow adjacent the sacrificial strip which has been a feature for many years. 

The big listers were all present wishing to add the bird to at least their Glamorgan lists as the species has not officially been recorded in Glamorgan since 1934.

I didn't see the bird on Thursday and had to leave by 1.30pm as Teresa needed the car, I did however get lucky on Friday when the bird showed in the hedge at 08.55, 25 minutes after I arrived, it then showed again 3 times between 10.10 and 10.30 but not again before I left at mid-day.

Another visit was arranged with good friend Dave Gilbert for Saturday as Dave wished to see and attempt to photograph the bird, this however proved difficult until Alex Bevan picked up the bird through his 'scope feeding distantly on the ground in an adjacent field, this was to the relief of all present who hadn't already seen the bird.

It was too far to photograph but Dave and myself enjoyed good 'scope views through borrowed 'scopes.

Here are some images of the bird in the hedge from Friday's visit unfortunately obscured by various twigs, aaarrrrgggghhhh !!

If the bird remains I'll undoubtedly have another go at getting better photographs........

The group photo was taken by 'Jake' Gilmore and pinched from Twitter, Dave Gilbert is far left and I'm second from the right, others present included Dean Bolt, Alex Bevan, Rob Jones, Judd Hunt, Mike Powell, Gary Harper and of course 'Jake'.

Friday, January 07, 2022

Penduline Tits : Haywood Village Pond, Moor Lane, Hutton, Weston-super-Mare

After being unwell and unable to accompany close friend and fellow birder/togger Dave Gilbert and his grandson Jenson on their first visit in late 2021 myself and Dave made a visit on Wed 5.January 2022 to Hutton near Weston-super-Mare hoping to see and photograph the three Penduline Tits that have been showing well and attracting a lot of attention recently.

After the dismal weather of recent weeks we picked the one fine day this week to make a visit and the sun actually shone for us, not that we wanted too much sun, us 'toggers' are fussy buggers !!

After some early morning birding in the Rhondda we arrived at Hutton just after 12.30pm and after a short walk from my car we 'lucked' on to one of the birds straight away as it fed aggressively on reed mace.

The bird duly obliged to show down to about 20' as it continued to feed before flying into the reedbed.

It or one of the other birds returned three times to feed at close quarters and we were both delighted with the images we obtained.

Frank Sengpiel from Cardiff had turned up 10mins before us and it was good to see a familiar face and chat, a 'lifer' for Frank by the way.

There were several 'toggers' present whom we had a good chat with and one had travelled from Surrey to see the birds.

We did see all three birds at one time although only the one came close enough to photograph.

Time passed and the light started to deteriorate as heavy clouds headed our way, we both decided that we weren't going to get any better photos than we had already obtained so decided at about 3.00pm to head back to South Wales.

This was my 4th record of Penduline Tit in the UK after the first at Slapton Ley in Devon many moons ago but much the closest to obtain good images of.............