Monday, April 30, 2018

Green Heron : Llan-Mill, Narberth

As I drove back from Cardiff Bay late afternoon last Saturday news broke of a Green Heron on private land at Llan-Mill near Narberth with access being arranged, should I come off the M4 at Sarn Junc 36 and head home or continue west to get to the bird in the evening, what a dilemma ?
Shortly after the news broke I got a text from good friend and fellow birder/togger Richard Smith asking if I fancied a 'twitch' on Sunday morning, home it was then, plans were made and I met Richard at 8.20am at Junc 36.

The heron was posted as a 'mega' on Birdguides and was only the 12th record for the UK and only the second for Wales, definitely a bird worth going for !!

With myself at the wheel we arrived at the location at about 9.45am and pulled up at the parking area at the nearby crematorium as requested in the 'twitch instructions' posted on the internet.
On the fifteen minute walk to the bird's location we firstly bumped into Dave Gilbert who helped with directions closely followed by Carmarthenshire present and past county recorders Gary Harper and Rob Hunt with another birder.

We arrived at the location in the garden of the local MP Simon Hart and were greeted by Dave Pritchard and his partner Rhian who were amongst about 20 birders present.
We were soon on to the bird and spent about two hours 'filling our boots' although the superb little heron did disappear into the reeds at the back of the pond for a while.
Birders came and went and it was great to catch up with Phil Bristow and Mike Powell and also Barry and Sandra Stewart.

We called it a day at 12.00 noon as I'd promised Teresa that I would take her out in the afternoon and on the walk back to the car bumped into Arfon Williams with a couple of his friends.

A great 'twitch', not too many present and everyone very well behaved, I've seen numerous Green Herons on the other side of the Atlantic and it was great to catch up with one in this country which was a UK 'tick' for me, a massive 'shout out' for Mr Hart and his family for being so accommodating and equally generous with their supply of coffee...........

'An afternoon down the bay'.........

After a fruitless search of Cwm Nant Gwyn a lovely small oak wood on the outskirts of Maesteg last Saturday morning for Pied Flycatcher and Common Redstart I decided to head down to Cardiff Bay in the afternoon hoping to connect with the stonking adult Little Gull and couple of Arctic Terns that have been present in the bay for a few days.
I rocked up at Prospect Place at about 2.30pm and it took me about half an hour to find the Little Gull which had been settled on the water, once it took flight it was unmistakable.
There were two Arctic Terns present which fed on and off for the time that I was there and although both the gull and the terns never came close enough for some really good images I came away with a few reasonable 'record' shots of the gull and some not so good 'record' shots of the terns.........

Monday, April 23, 2018

Wood Warblers : Goytre, Nr Port Talbot

I thought I'd use Sunday morning to try and find the two Wood Warblers reported last Thursday by one of the Port Talbot lads Phil Routliff.
A my early start on Saturday a bit of a lay-in saw me turn up mid-morning and after a 3/4 mile walk down the gravel cycle track I finally heard the single tone call of one of the birds and soon got both in my bins, they were busy but reasonably confiding and I came away with some images that I was really pleased with.......

A return to the past.....

Last Saturday saw me make a return to two places that I used to frequent when we had a caravan at Llangors Lake, Nr Brecon, these being Craig Cerrig Gleisiad and Llwyn Y Celyn Wood or Youth Hostel Wood as it is more commonly known.
An early start saw me rock up at the parking lay-by at 7.30am and in the wood I was soon on to a pair of Pied Flycatchers nest building in one of a number of nest boxes in the wood.
In total I saw 4 male Pied Flys and 3 females and in the absence of a Common Redstart a pair of Marsh Tits topped the supporting cast of Willow Warblers, Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps.
It was nice to bump into Della and Hadyn Lack in search of the same 'target' birds in the wood and chat for a while watching and photographing the birds..........

Back over the road at CCG I bumped into Gareth Jenkins who had had no luck with Ring Ouzels and neither did I, plenty of more common stuff and a Cuckoo calling was my first of the spring, a Tree Pipit sang from the top of a tree along the path up to the gate but moved on before I could get any closer.

I set off for home around 2.00pm as I had promised myself to get back in time for the big rugby semi final in the European Champions Cup, somehow I think that I had more luck on the day than the Scarlets did !!