Thursday, June 23, 2005

Listing Update

After a slow early summer, I'm now on the following totals:
  • 40 - Work
  • 70 - Rhondda Cynon Taf
  • 98 - East Glamorgan
  • 121 - Glamorgan
  • 126 - Wales
  • 158 - UK
Highlights include, Nightjars, White Storks, Collared Pratincole, European Spoonbill and Ring-necked Duck.

White Storks in Somerset

Dan and I trecked down to the Somerset Levels on Sunday to track down a couple of White Storks that had stayed for a few days. A smooth journey saw us arrive before 9:00am to the site where they were last seen. On the way we had a false alarm as I spotted a distant 'stork' moving around in a field. With Dan's 'scope set up we were treated to the sight of an empty white plastic bag. Fluttering around in the wind to scare crows, no doubt. We next travelled on to the site where they were last seen. No luck. We decided to drive a circuit of the area and hope we could pick them up. On driving south we spotted an area of raised ground with a small chapel on top, Barrow Mump. This looked like a good vantage point to scan the surrounding area. Wise move! After about 15 minutes, Dan spotted a lone bird about a mile away. Life tick for Dan, UK tick for me. After watching the bird we decided to try to get a little closer. Driving to the exact site was difficult but we were rewarded after a little drive back and for of a bird flying in low in a field next to the car. We jumped out and spent 10 minutes or so watching the bird soar close by, shortly followed by the second bird, soaring high in the distance. Great! On the return journey we took a short detour to pick up the Ring-necked Duck in Avonmouth. Another year tick, but what a stink in the Avonmouth Sewage Treatments Works NR.

Mediterranean Gull at National Wetlands Centre

Digiscoped by Jeff. A second summer bird?

Collared Pratincole Digiscoped

Jeff wins the prize for best Collared Pratincole snap.

Spoonbills at National Wetlands Centre

African and European Spoonbills by Jeff. Looks as if the African bird is being left out.

Collared Pratincole at National Wetlands Centre

Jeff and I travelled to Llanelli, early evening on Wednesday 15 June to view the Collared Pratincole. Tim got it the day before, and Dan managed to see it on Thursday after a sprint from Cardiff to get there before closing time. The British Steel had about 7-8 birders inside and we were lucky enough to have Peter and Simon Murray on hand to get us on the bird right away. It was distant but we had decent views in what was a windy and overcast evening. Digiscoping proved difficult in the conditions. Other birds on site, included two European Spoonbills, the presumed escaped African Spoonbill and a Greenshank.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Skomer 12th June 2005

A few photos of a successful visit to Skomer. As Wayne had family commitments, the party consisted of Jeff and his granddaughter Ashleigh; Dan and his young ones, Gwenni and Gethin; and my wife, Gill, and I. Lovely weather, lovely birds, beautiful place. We saw hundreds of Puffins, Kittiwakes, Guillimots, a few Razorbills, a couple of Chough, a Wheatear family and plenty of distant Gannets.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Nightjars .... and Car Trouble

I had an interesting time at Llanwonno last night. The Club had nearly 50 members in attendance for the annual Nightjar evening. Geri started proceedings in pessimistic mood by saying that given the large crowd we may be unlucky. He shouldn't have worried though as well before dark a male started churring very close by and soon came in to view, giving great close-ups in flight and at rest. A second bird was seen in flight too. Great! On the way home however, the car got stuck in reverse gear. Luckily the boys were on hand to shunt me clear of the road. After a short wait of 45 minutes or so, the recovery vehicle was on hand to carry me home. Great service, but I missed the beer.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005


Having erected five boxes for Pied Flycatchers ealier this Spring, I've been checking them routinely through May. Despite several visits there is no sign of Pied Flycatchers anywhere in the Glyncornel woods. There is however, at least four singing Wood Warblers and possibly up to four pairs of Spotted Flycatchers with one pair nesting on the house.