Monday, January 14, 2013

Bonaparte's Gull:Ogmore,return visit........

With a sunny day forecast for Sunday I couldn't wait to get down to Ogmore to try and get some more photographs of the recently arrived Bonaparte's Gull but in much better light than the previous Sunday which was extremely dull and grey.
I got there at about 08.20 as the very high tide (10.6m) was beginning to drop and the gulls were starting to feed,I quickly got on to the bird which was feeding in it's regular spot near the incoming stream and got a trio of visiting birders onto it who reciprocated by letting me have some great views through one of their 'scopes.
Armed with my loaf of Tesco's Value best white sliced I fed several times and the Bonys joined in with the Black-headed Gulls on a couple of occasions allowing some nice flight shots.
It seemed to favour feeding in the water using a phalarope style swimming action and also by picking in the mud of the river bank and defended it's regular feeding area vigorously against the Black-headed Gulls.
Not long before I called it a day a splendid male Goldeneye drifted past heading downriver and gave me the opportunity of a nice shot.

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Bonaparte's Gull: Ogmore-by-Sea

Ran out of time yesterday on the way back from our trip down west so got down to Ogmore early this morning and managed to connect with the Bonaparte's Gull found yesterday,crackin' bird !!
Light was garbage and skies grey but managed a few "record" shots.

A day out down west.........

Myself and Peter Morgan decided to head west today in the hope of firstly connecting with the Long-tailed Duck which has been at the harbour in Burry Port for a couple of weeks and after meeting up at Sarn at 08.15 we rolled into Burry Port at about 09.00.
It took us a little while to find the duck as it was feeding/diving in the innermost harbour but after finding it the bird performed quite well for the cameras and we both managed some nice shots.
We then worked our way back east first calling in at WWT Penclacwydd where a Bar-tailed Godwit,Wigeon and Curlew showed well at the rear of the British Steel Hide.
We then decided to check out the two feeding stations set up as part of the Gower Tree Sparrow Project.
We quickly found the feeder at the new station at Monklands Farm,plenty of Chaffinches,tits and a Robin but alas no Tree Sparrows.
We followed the footpath up to Nicholston Farm the site of the original station which was about a 20min walk and the site was very quiet with little activity,again no Tree Sparrows.
By this time we had received news of the Bonaparte's Gull found at Ogmore but with the light failing and not enough time left on the day to make a detour we headed for home.
There's always tomorrow.............

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

New Year's Day Out

Myself and fellow "togger" Peter Morgan decided we would make the most of an unusually dry and partly sunny day this holiday period and headed north to try and catch up with some quality birds to start off the New Year.
First port of call was Nelson Wern which is a stronghold for and can be relied upon for Willow Tit.
As we walked down the path by the playing field we came across a tit flock and immediately picked up a Willow Tit amongst them,we put down some food,set up some nice "mossy branches" and filled our boots as two Willow Tits came in along with Great,Blue,Coal,and Long-tailed Tits with Chaffinches,a Nuthatch,Bullfinch and Blackbird.
One of the birds was sporting some "bling" on it's right leg so I e-mailed a close-up to Wayne for him to pass it on to Dave Beveridge who rings in the area.
We moved on to Brecon in search of Hawfinch which had been fairly regular for the last week in hornbeams alongside the playing fields across the road from the MOD.
I got some good directions from Brecknock County Recorder Andy King and we soon found the trees but unfortunately no Hawfinches although it was nice to bump into Gareth Rees from Sennybridge who was also searching and put a face to a name I've known for some years on the Brecon birding scene.
We then moved on to Mynydd Illtyd in search of the wintering Great Grey Shrike and despite a good search we "dipped" once again,it is a very large area that the bird covers and we could have spent the remainder of the day there and still not found the bird.
We decided to finish our day at Rhaslas Pond just off the A465 above Fochriw where up to four Short-eared Owls have been reliable late in the afternoon.
There was another "togger" present together with Mike Hogan who it was good to catch up with and chat.
The owls were showing as soon as we arrived and had been since 1.15pm according to Mike,they were always a little too distant and I managed only a few "record" shots.
The weather had turned overcast and the light soon began to fade,the wind was also a bit too keen so it was time to head for home.