Sunday, 18 February 2018

Martin Bevan and myself spent a few hours around the Porthcawl area this morning.

First port of call was a walk down to Sker which initially seemed disppointing as the tide was very high and there were not many rocks showing. However a short walk east turned up 2 Ringed Plovers, 2 Purple Sandpipers, 26 Curlew also Oystercatchers and Turnstones.

Next we drove over to Porthcawl and in particular the rocks near the Victoria Avenue junction. This was particulary good as we found 10 more Purple Sandpipers and 7 Med. Gulls two in summer plumage.

Pant Norton was next on the list where we hoped to get Yellowhammers. A walk to the top produced nothing but on the walk back near the bottom we struck lucky when 5 flew in.
A good day's birding, Martin picking up 4 year ticks and I had 5 bringing me up to 141.

Wednesday, 14 February 2018


I'm getting like Mike with these late postings and photos.

Ring Necked Duck and Green Winged Teal from 4 February.

Tuesday, 13 February 2018


Paid a brief visit to the SSSI, at Llwydcoed on Sunday, just to check on the Willow Gloves fungus. As I was walking along the feeder, through the wet Alder wood, I came across two Willow Tits, foraging through the hedgerow at the northern edge. That wood has plenty of standing dead trees, but also live trees with rot pockets in them, so looks ideal for breeding, I'd say. I was just glad to get Willow Tit for the year.

Sunday, 11 February 2018


I found this Common Lizard, at first I thought it was chilled but on looking closer I noticed it had no eyes and it was dead. As I turned it over I found this amazing colour, I have never seen one so bright.

I had a couple of hours spare this afternoon so I nipped up to Abernant to have a look for Mark's Short Eared Owl and shall we say the weather was very changeable. I had snow  and sunshine and a biting wind. It was nice to see my second lot of Crystal Brain Fungus of the day, at first I thought it was snow. Bird wise it was quiet and apart from 61 Ravens and about 30 Starling and a small number of Herring Gulls there was no sign of any Owls and probably the best sighting was a Red Fox .

Sunday, 4 February 2018

Possdible SE

I was up doing my Raven count this morning and while I was sitting there, being snowed on in the dark, I heard the same call several times, coming from the Blaen-nant bog. At the time I wasn't sure what it was, but thought it sounded like an owl of some sort. I've just listened to recordings of male SE on the web and though it didn't sound 100% like them,  it was close enough for me to suspect that was what I heard. Martin Bevan has had SE there before and I saw one while doing a count a couple of years ago, so it is possible that one is back there.
Whatever it was, it was more interesting than the raven count, which at 53, was the third lowest February count: not much compensation for getting covered in snow, which then froze.

Saturday, 3 February 2018

Valleys Birding

After having a Willow Tit in my garden for a couple weeks at the end of last year I was thinking it was in the bag for 2018. Boy was I wrong, on boxing day it disappeared and around the same time a male Sparrowhawk moved into my garden, three Goldfinch and a Chaffinch later I started to think he had eaten my Willow Tit. But when I was walking my dog on Thursday I heard a little snatch of  a song below my garden and then a male Willow Tit flew up on to a ash tree and sang for a couple of minutes, it was like music to ears and always great to get it for the year list.
Next up I was working in Abercwmboi today and I heard a Herring Gull alarming so I looked up to see two flocks of Jackdaws all starting to punch up and with that a Goshawk came flying out of nowhere.  It looked like one of last years birds, a male and it does not matter how many times I see them it makes the hair stand up on the back of my neck and great to see when in work.

Sunday, 28 January 2018

Red Breasted Goose

Red Breasted Goose now in Aberdare Park with big numbers of Canada Geese and it looks tiny next  to it's larger cousins.