Monday, December 31, 2018

'A successful day out'........

With early news that Martin Bell had refound the Great Grey Shrike in the clear fell at Cwm Cadlan A phone call to fellow birder and 'togger' Steve Wilce who lives near Brecon had us meeting up at noon.
The bird was originally found by Colin Stephenson a week ago but has proved elusive mainly due to the horrible damp, murky weather which has put people off searching and hindered those who had made the effort.
I arrived about 11.50am and immediately found the bird perched up in the fell to the south of the road, the car that was parked up when I arrived belonged to Mike Hogan who joined me, unfortunately the bird flew and as shrikes do disappeared for a while.
Steve arrived and we were soon joined by Alan Rosney, we found the bird again this time to the north side of the road, it was however very wary and highly mobile and try as we may Steve and myself could only get close enough for 'record' shots.
Although it stayed dry the light was again abysmal, so it was very much a case of doing our best and being satisfied with what we could get.........

At just after 1.00pm news came through of four Cattle Egrets in Porthcawl so after 'filling our boots' with the shrike I said my goodbyes to Steve and headed for Porthcawl hoping that I would beat the light and get some photos.
I knew the location and arrived at about just before three o'clock, there was another 'togger' there that I didn't know and we were soon joined by Colin Baker, the birds were showing well in a field with several horses and two separate locals told us that they had been there since just before Christmas.
I again 'filled my boots' using a high ISO until the light started to go and made my way home.
All in all a nice half day out and some pics of two cracking species.

Saturday, December 29, 2018

'Is it or isn't it'..........

I didn't feel like venturing far yesterday so popped down to Parc Slip NR hoping to catch up with the wintering Water Rail using the overgrown pond behind the visitor centre.
The rail only showed fleetingly but what took my eye was a small pale Chiffchaff moving around the reeds and trees, it was predominantly brown with a very clean white underside and just a hint of olive in the wings, when it called it gave out a very sharp 'peep'.
It is the same bird photographed by Tony Swann the previous day and he thought it was a good candidate for the Siberian race 'Tristis', I agree, what do you think ?

Thursday, December 27, 2018

'Cardiff and The Vale' jaunt........

With the best light for over a week forecast for today I thought I'd have another go for the Black-Necked Grebe off the barrage at Cardiff Bay but first called at Gileston in an attempt to catch up with one of the three Black Redstarts currently at Aberthaw Power Station.
One was reported by Ceri Jones whilst I was on my way and I met up with Ceri shortly after arrival, the bird he had seen was way into the confines of the power station and we both saw the bird briefly again as well as a rather well fed looking Peregrine Falcon high up on one of the tower structures.
Ceri left and after about half an hour a male Black Redstart appeared nearer the perimeter fence alternating between one of the buildings and a concrete wall, it never came close enough for anything meaningful and with shooting through the heavy chain link fence 'record' shots only were the order of the day.........

I pushed on to Cardiff Bay arriving at about 2.00pm and got on to the BN Grebe pretty quickly finding it east of the 'sails' near the play area, it was not as obliging as it had been on my visit on Christmas Eve keeping it's distance probably due to the volume of visitors enjoying a day out.
I could have made an early visit avoiding the crowds but wanted to make use of the 'golden hour' just before the sun went down, a nice male Goosander was also a joy to photograph.
The differing colour cast can be seen with the grebe as the sun set.
I was glad I made the effort and came away with some images that I was quite pleased with.........

Monday, December 24, 2018

GW Egret + Slavonian Grebe : KNNR

After getting the BN Grebe at Cardiff Bay this morning I headed for Kenfig Pool as a Cattle Egret had been reported in the field below the caravan park, this though appeared to be a case of mistaken identity and was probably one of the two Great White Egrets present.
I did however walk the east shore of the pool to check out the fields and for my efforts was rewarded with a reasonable view of one of the GW Egrets at the north end before returning to the South pool hide.
I've made a few visits in the last month in an attempt to get a decent shot of the Slavonian Grebe which has been present during that time but yet again my efforts were thwarted by the bird not wishing to move from the middle of the pool, once again I had to be satisfied with some very distant 'record' shots.........

And just for good measure a couple of shots of a Water Rail at Parc Slip NR from a few weeks ago.....

Black-Necked Grebe : Cardiff Bay

This morning I made an early start and got down to the barrage at Cardiff Bay before the hoards of visitors descended, my mission, to catch up with the winter plumage Black-Necked Grebe that had been present during the last week.
I found it close in mid-way between the Orange café and 'the sails' and it offered me the opportunity of getting some shots that I was more than pleased with, I was 'done and dusted' by 09.10.........