Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Forest Farm today.........

I had a morning out today in company with Andrew Symons a fellow "togger" from Blackwood who I met just over a year ago whilst photographing the Waxwings in the Roath area of Cardiff.
Andrew got in touch with me through Facebook and asked me if I fancied having a go for the Short-eared Owls which are back for the winter at Rumney Great Wharf.
We met up at Sluice Farm at 08.30 and came across 7 SEOs at roost as we walked across the grassy area of the wharf but all flew out onto the saltmarsh which despite a high tide was not submerged and offered a safe refuge.
Needless to say photographic opportunities were severely limited.
We decided to call back at Forest Farm for the resident Kingfishers and although the light was variable to say the least we both managed some nice shots of a female bird.
Andrew had to leave at 1.00pm and I stayed on for another hour or so and during that time another bird turned up which was also a female and after a little spat they both flew off and I called it a day.
It was also nice to bump into "The Twitchmeister" earlier who came into the hide as he was doing his WEBs count for the area,what a fine young man he's turning out to be,he's doing you proud Dan.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Bittern : Parc Slip NR "The Sequel"..............

I didn't fancy going too far this morning and so popped back down to Parc Slip NR in the hope of catching up with the Bittern again.
I didn't make the earliest of starts and rolled up at the hide at about 10.45 and had to wait until about noon before the bird finally showed at the far side of the "scrape",it eventually made it's way across past the hide but only showed for a couple of minutes at most enabling me to get a few shots.........

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Bittern : Parc Slip NR

I promised Teresa that I would take her Xmas shopping to Cardiff this afternoon (am I mad !!) so left her have a lay-in this morning whilst I popped 10 mins down the road to Parc Slip NR to try to catch up with the Bittern which was first seen from the Scrape Hide a couple of weeks ago.
I got to the hide at 08.55 and the light was dire but by 09.05 the Bittern appeared from the west side low in the willow scrub,it hung around for about 10 mins never really coming out into the open but I managed a few shots.
The bird then disappeared into the reeds until about 11.00 when it showed again towards the back of the pool.
Unfortunately as the hide is south facing (and couldn't be more poorly positioned if someone had tried !!) by this this time every shot was into the sun and it was a real struggled to capture anything meaningful.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

"A convenient Wheatear "

I booked a Xmas shopping weekend away at Cribbs Causeway,Bristol for Teresa's birthday sometime ago so when a male Desert Wheatear was found at Severn Beach last Wednesday afternoon just 10mins from Cribbs I hoped that it would stay until the weekend and that I could catch up with it and get a few pics.
We left home at 10.00am on Saturday and rolled up at Severn Beach at about 11.15am where there were about 15 birders/"toggers" watching the bird.
The light wasn't great but the bird was very confiding and I managed a few shots,although I saw several on a holiday to Sharm El Sheik in 2012 this was a UK "tick" for me,Teresa thoroughly enjoyed her shopping weekend away as well so it was a "win win" situation all round.

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Kingfisher : Forest Farm,Cardiff

Spent a few hours up at Forest Ganol late a.m/early p.m today looking for Hawfinches which have been seen there in reasonable numbers lately but with no luck.
By the time I got down to Forest Farm the light was already fading and although I managed a few Kingfisher shots the poor light meant that I had to push up the ISO further than I would have liked and even then I still struggled to get a fast enough shutter speed.

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

"Quiet weekends"

Had a couple of quiet weekends lately what with the Autumn rugby internationals on the tele and taxiing to and photographing both grandsons playing rugby on a Sunday morning.
Had a go for the Black Redstart at Dunraven the weekend before last but looks as if it moved on the night before I went for it (been there before !!) so ended up with a couple of Stonechat pics.
Last weekend had a go for the Bittern at Parc Slip NR but dipped on it,caught up again with the Water Rail and a couple of other bits and pieces on the pond behind the visitor centre and then a nice flock of Lapwing on Mynydd ty talwyn on the way home,no wintering Golden Plover there yet though.

Let's hope something turns up this coming weekend,a white-winged gull would be nice.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Water Rail : Parc Slip NR,Tondu,Bridgend

I didn't fancy twitching the Western Orphean Warbler down in Pembrokeshire today and as I had promised my daughter that I would photograph my eldest grandson Ethan playing rugby for Maesteg Welsh U13s against Pontyclun RFC I stayed local and dropped in at Parc Slip NR which is less than a 10min drive for me and managed to catch up with a fairly showy Water Rail feeding around the margins of the pond behind the visitor centre.

Oh,and my grandson's team won by about 70pts by the way

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Turtle Dove : Cosmeston Country Park

Few images taken this afternoon of the juv/1st winter Turtle Dove found in the west paddocks on Sat 9.November 2013,quite a late record for this species.