Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Sunday stroll at the coast

Sundays weather forecast was wet for the valleys and slightly better at the coast with it dry and grey. So I headed for the coast and got there nice and early and went straight to Salt Lake carpark in Porthcawl. I got out of the car and found the wind was higher than I thought it was going to be. The carpark was empty and I thought not a great start to sunday morning. So next stop was Iron Gate Point and I did some sea watching. Visibility was not great and there was a mist halfway across the channel, the wind on the other hand was pretty good and it did not take to long too pick up my first birds. I had two small flocks of Common Scoters, there were eleven in total and all going down channel. I found in the next hour it got quieter and this a list of what I had,  4 Kittiwakes, 1 Common Gull, 1 Shellduck, 1 Mallard, 1 Cormorant, 16 Turnstone, 3 Oystercatchers. Has good as the wind was it was dead. Well plan C and at this rate I would have been going through the alphabet. I parked in Rest Bay carpark and planned to have a bacon butty on the way back. The walked to Sker point was pretty breezy and there were  a couple of Skylarks trying to display on the golf course. Has I got to the fields by the life guard hut I got  my first view of  a Wheatear for the year where there were a pair  on the field and it doesn't matter how many times you see them they are a cracking bird.
When I got to Sker point the sea was still coming in and there were large numbers of waders on the Rocks. So I found myself a comfortable seat and had a well earned cup of coffee and I went through the flocks. This is a list of what I had, a big flock of about five hundred Golden Plover and they all took off and flew around and came straight back down, the noise was amazing and really loud, some birds were making the call they make when on there breeding grounds. Next up there was a large flock of Sanderling and at a glance looked like snow on the rocks, in total I counted one hundred and seventy nine and the biggest flock I have seen in sometime. There was also smaller numbers of Turnstone, about Sixty in total and about a dozen Oystercatchers. Also three Ringed Plover, two Curlew and the icing on the cake were three Purple Sandpipers. I also had five smart summer plumaged Black Headed Gulls fly past Sker which were the only ones I saw all day. Well talking  of cake a couple of minutes earlier on these pebbles was a whole Madeira cake and has I fetched this cake for the last three weeks I thought I am not taking it back home again this week. I  was watching the birds coming and going and I ate the lot and it went down a treat. When I got back to the car I was too stuffed for bacon buttys and I was so glad I paid the pound to park as the parking warden was there ticketing people .

 Has I walked back along the beach I found these Whelks Eggs and this  Mermaids Purse or Lesser  Dog Fish egg.

I went back to salt carpark on the way home and the Gulls where back, there were about two hundred Herring Gulls and five Lesser Black Backed Gulls.
I also saw this smart third winter Herring Gull and the only ringed bird present was the must be resident Herring Gull S 0 32.

 Nice to see the Turnstone are still along the sea wall and they are fairly tame.

 Bath time for the local starlings and surprising how much water they through about when bathing

Saturday, 18 March 2017

One of Those days

After the rain not being has bad as they said it was going to be and I needed to work, I was off to Hirwaun to find it mostly dry and misty. Straight away I had a flock of Gulls mobling a Common Buzzard and a Sparrowhawk chasing a small bird, most likely a Robin it flew in to a bush never to be seen again. Has I tried to shut off and think work I heard a metallic tack and I thought that sounds familiar, it called a couple more times and it sank in it was a Ring Ouzel. It's a pretty big garden and loads of cover and has hard as I tried to see the bird I could not pin point it. It was calling constantly for a good five minutes but then a domestic cat stepped out and it went all quiet and that was that. As soon as I got home I went staight online to check the sound and it was a Ring Ouzel. I think with the mist on the mountain it must have dropped in the garden to feed. Next up I took the dogs to Abercwmboi and went up in to the forestry. I found a puddle full of Tadpoles, it seems only a couple of weeks ago when I got my first frog spawn and already Tapoles are out. The area looks really good for shrike but with so much good habitat in the valleys I would have had to be very lucky to spot one.

Friday, 17 March 2017

The First Since 2010

Now it isn't much to report or post about, but while lying awake in the early hours of Tuesday morning, I heard a Barn Owl call a few times, which cheered me up no end. Those calls were the first I have heard from my house since the terrible winter of 2010.

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Warm day in Cwmbach

Cracking day in Cwmbach today, I had three species of Butterfly and for a change I got Brimstone early and before everyone else. I also had a Small Tortoiseshell and a sleeping Peacock.  I also saw my first Harlequin Ladybird. Bird wise the Gulls where keeping me on my toes, I had a Peregrine and a Common Buzzard being mobled by the gulls, I had to keep checking in case it could be an Osprey.

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Cardiff bay

I had a quick vist to Cardiff Bay this afternoon where I was hoping to get a couple of photos of the long staying first winter Glaucous Gull but time was against me. I had an hour before I had to be back at the car so I got there pretty quick. I spotted two fellow birders standing on the boardwalk and the one guy had his scope on his back and I thought this does not look good. On getting there I asked any sign has you do and they told me they had walked all around the bay but had had no sign of it. I thought bugger so I started searching the bay, there was lots of big gulls on the water and I went through what I could make out with no scope but had no joy. Well last try and I was looking though the fairly close Black Headed Gulls and would you give it credit there he was and about 40 feet off the boardwalk and just sitting on the water. Well being a fool I whisked the trustee homemeal loaf of bread out and started feeding the Herring Gulls and Lesser Black Backed Gulls but the Glauc. just seat there and after a couple minutes it took flight and flew back over  the reeds and landed by the baskets and thats where it stayed. I will have to see if I can get my hands on a seal or two and try floating it out on a rope pmsl. When I was checking the gulls I noticed a Lesser Black Backed Gull with a ring on, I tried to get him close enough to get a photo of the ring which I managed which is HBM and going by what I have been told it's from Evesham in Worcsester.

There was a couple of Reed Bunting feeding on the Boardwalk.

Saturday, 11 March 2017

Tracks from this morning

I found these tracks over Tir founder this morning, any ideas also if noted the Little Egret is still present. I also had 5 singing Chiffchaff and the Redwing are just starting to sing too.

Thursday, 9 March 2017