Saturday, July 25, 2020

Cwmparc Rhondda

I made a visit to Cwmparc at the top of the Rhondda Valley last Sunday morning 19th July 2020 in the hope of finding and photographing a Whinchat.
As soon as I opened my car door in the lay-by on the main Bwlch road I could hear a Grasshopper Warbler 'reeling'.
I looked in the grassy area below the lay-by and the bird was perching up on a a couple of several Foxgloves giving brilliant views..........

Venturing down the track to the rocky area where I've seen Whinchat previously I came across several juvenile Northern Wheatears which perched up obligingly but slightly distant........

No Whinchats on this occasion but hopefully I'll catch up with a couple before they leave our shores.

Common Rosefinch : Jersey Marine, Near Neath

News of a male Common Rosefinch in stunning breeding plumage which was visiting garden feeders in the village of Jersey Marine was put out on social media and I made a visit on the afternoon of Sunday 14th June 2020.
I spoke from the car to two birders who had been watching the bird distantly through a gap in the houses from the main road which wasn't much good for photography so I turned into the street where the house was located and after asking a neighbour I approached the owner of the house next door to the feeders who was very obliging and let me into his back garden.
The feeders were on the boundary with no obstructions and the sun was behind me, perfect !!
I had to wait an hour for the bird to return and managed some nice shots of it on the feeders, there was a nice shrub adjacent but the bird totally ignored my wishes and just wouldn't perch there.
Despite staying another two hours the bird disappointingly didn't return, it was the third that I've seen in the UK and all have been in West Glamorgan, how weird is that !!

Covid-19 Pandemic : Birding Over Lockdown

With a 5 mile radius restriction in operation I restricted my birding and photography efforts to the outskirts of my home town Maesteg in the Llynfi Valley visiting Darren Woods, Cwm Nant Gwyn, Maesteg golf course, Mynydd Bach and the fields below Garnwen, all within a short walk or drive, it's surprising what is on the doorstep........

Grey Phalarope : Sker Pool, Porthcawl

After a day in the garden on Friday 29th May 2020 I checked my phone to find that a Grey Phalarope in near summer plumage had been found on Sker Pool near Porthcawl.
I still had plenty of light and made a quick dash for the car park south of Kenfig NNR but had to park in a side street as it was closed.
A brisk walk through Pyle and Kenfig golf course past Sker House soon had me on the bird which I had all to myself for half an hour before young Tom Wright turned up, we were joined by Dean Bolt who had dashed from work and whilst socially distancing we watched the bird weaving and bobbing in typical phalarope fashion.
The pool is small so getting some nice images was quite easy, it's the second Grey Phalarope that I've seen on the pool but the first of several I've seen over the years that hasn't been in winter plummage......

I'm so glad that I made the effort to see the bird as it then proceeded to move on overnight and wasn't to be seen the following day.