Monday, November 28, 2005

Bunting Bonanza

Jeff, Lilly and I made the trip to Werfa on Sunday morning. After a short walk along the frozen track Lilly flushed a very confiding Snow Bunting. This one looked like a first-winter bird, probably female. It was very confiding and even walked towards us to within about 15 feet. After about 20 minutes watching and photographing the bird we moved on in search of the Lapland Bunting. There was no sign of it after about an hour searching in its previous local. We had great views over Blaengarw and down towards Bridgend at the coast though. As we made our way back up the hill towards the mast we saw four birders in the distance. They too were searching for the bunting to no avail. Then, as we approached, they signalled that they were on the bird, only about 15 feet in front of them. We were soon on it too, and got fantastic views. Jeff took loads of photos. These two birds now take me to 195 for the year.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Hybrid duck, Kenfig 17th November

Whilst waiting for a Bittern to show at Kenfig (which it did eventually), this interesting beast drifted around in front of the hide. The local experts think it's a Pochard x Ferruginous hybrid. It is superficially similar to a Redhead, but I am sure that it is NOT the bird that some of us saw in September, and believe to be the Redhead.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Smew Lisvane Res 13th November

Having seen the Cornish Upland Sandpiper in October, I decided not to join the lads on the journey to Somerset.

I was sitting in front of the PC before 9am, with a hot cup of tea, when a Smew was reported on Birdguides, at Lisvane Reservoir, about 10mins from home. Leaving my tea undrunk, and Gill dozing in bed, I drove straight up there, bumped into Phil Bristow, who had reported the bird, a within a minute I was watching and photographing it.

Drove home to find Gill still dozing and my tea still warm. My kind of birding!

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Upland Sandpiper in Somerset

Jeff, Dan, Colin Gittins and me filled Dans' car to twitch the Upland Sandpiper at Kingston Seymour. As we left, Tim sent a message that a red-headed Smew was on Lisvance Reservoir. We arrived at around 9:45am and managed to squeeze the car in not too far from the end of Middle Lane. Many birders were coming and going, and we received the good news that the bird was still present, though not showing quite as well as earlier in the morning. We all managed to pick a place along the line of 'scopes, but getting a good vantage point was difficult. Nevertheless, after a little while we were all on the bird which showed reasonably well at times. Later we headed south for a quick visit to Huntspill to view the reported three Richard's Pipits. What a trek! A number of birders were about but the pipits were not to be seen. We headed home satisfied we got our target bird.

Saturday, November 12, 2005


Jeff and I spent a couple of hours on the Ogmore. A quick scan at Watermill gave just the usuall Black-headed Gulls, the odd Pheasant and a distant Little Egret. We moved on to Portobello and walked along the river. A Kingfisher was surpisingly close to the river mouth, but little else was of note. At the estuary, we were soon on to a small party of Turnstones and Purple Sandpipers. There were about a dozen sandpipers on view, and we managed to get in close for terrific views.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Long Tailed Duck, Lamby Way Lake, 6th November

Another lost soul. Typically spent more under water than on it. Wayne and I watched for a while, until young Alec took his dad home!

Laughing Gull, 5th November, Watermill, Ogmore

At last, a decent rarity close to home. One of 20+ Laughers in Britain at the time, blown in by storms. Shame the Franklins Gull near Llandeilo wasn't found earlier......