Tuesday, 31 December 2013

last fling for 2013

Managed to get out to do the BTO Winter Thrush survey, core count. Thrush numbers low, mainly Blackbirds with a solitary Redwing. Nelson Wren did produce at least 4, and possibly 7, Willow Tit and a pair of Sparrowhawks.
A quick visit to Edwardsville woods produced 1 male Brambling in the Chaffinch flock.

Monday, 30 December 2013

Devon in the sun







Great Grey Shrike

After a few days in south Scotland followed by twitching the Brunnich's Guillemot and White-billed Diver yesterday, it was back to more local fare today. An afternoon walk round Garwnant/Llwyn Onn area produced very little, but what was there was high quality. The Great Northern Diver was still gracing Llwyn Onn. From clearings along the Garwnant roads a male Hen Harrier and the Great Grey Shrike (at approx SO 011137) were scoped across the valley - the shrike being a Merthyr tick for myself, and confirms the long held view that it comes across the reservoir from RCT. I hope the Glam' rarities committee don't want a description, as it was the best part of a mile away. A small group of Crossbills were heard flying over but couldn't be located.

Saturday, 28 December 2013

WHITE-BILLED DIVER

I had a phone call this morning off Rob who said that if I didn't go to Brixham with him for the White-Billed Diver he would tell Deb to stop my next year's ration of chocolate. What could a man do but give in to bribery. Well I can't live on bread and water alone.
So not long after I was on my way to Devon in Rob's car ( other members of the blog can make comments here ).
Two and half hours later we pulled up in the harbour car park at Brixham in a rain shower.  We walked over the other birders on the harbour wall and were soon having cracking scope views of the White-Billed near the other side of the harbour.  It had also stopped raining so we walked over to the far side where we had even better views but I could not get a decent photo as the bird just kept diving. The dives were very long in time and distance you could not really predict where the bird was going to surface again.
Also in the harbour were 4 Black-Throated Divers, 1 Red-Throated Diver and a Great Northern Diver.
On the way home we called into Broadsands where we had our best views of Cirl Bunting ever. I think every birder from the Diver twitch had also called in to see the Cirls. We also found another Black-Throated Diver and another 2 Great Northern Divers, also 2 or 3 Chiffchaffs.

Thursday, 26 December 2013

Dare Valley Country Park

This morning I went looking for Golden Plover and Crossbills up on top on Mynydd Cefn y Gyngon and had no luck . But on the way down I flushed a Short Eared Owl on top in the grass. IT flew a short distance and land in cover and thats where I left him. Great bird after a long walk.

Tissue tissue all fall down

I went caving today with the man with the singing wellies (aka Mark Evans), we visited a cave at Morlais Castle (fairly easy going you can walk in with a crouch) and found herald moths[13] and a first for both of us; Tissue[2], last recorded in Merthyr in the early 20th century. This cave ends in a vertical chimney exit via a squeeze which Evans and myself can no longer fit through (here's an opportunity for you Mr Gaze). We then journeyed to Ystradfellte, the millstone grit outcrop where Peregrine bred for years, alas no longer. Evans introduced me to a cavity formed by the collapse of the grit into the sink holes formed in the limestone below; it was 3ft wide and 1ft high, "...you have to reverse in" he said, "oh leave you bag outside, just in case, so people will know where we are". You should see the mess on my trousers! The GND was happily chewing crayfish when I passes at c14:30 ish. Martin, I'm working in the morning so wont be at Llwyn-onn until 10:00 ish, is that ok. Happy New Year everyone, be lucky or even better just jammy.



Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas Lads,  Point Peele not long now and have a happy new year. PITTA IT WASNT SOONER. I think this cracker is Hooded Pitta.

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Parrot Crossbill



Very poor record shot of one the Parrot Crossbills seen in Sherwood Forest on the way back from seeing the Ivory Gull at Patrington Haven.

Chiffchaff

Tir Founder Fields this morning 1 chiffchaff in hedge along the path to Aberaman, very Quiet 5 Teal and 12 Mallard . 2 Water rail calling.ABERDARE PARK  35 redwing and large flock Starling.

Llwyn-onn diver

Great northern diver just off south east bank at 10:00 hours this morning. The rest of the patch somewhere between the usual suspects and slim pickings.

Monday, 23 December 2013

yellow fungus



The First were taken up Coed Cae Aberaman and the third which looks like jelly is the fungus which grows on Gorse.

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Florida holiday pic






A couple of shots of Wood stork , Great Egret , Snowy Egret , White Ibis . All photos taken in SeaWorld with more to follow shortly.

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Saturday, 14 December 2013

one more shot of the seven beach cracker

This bird was my christmas present come early and to think the boys had to take me from work kicking and screaming and it was bloody dry as well. Thanks boys for a great afternoon and the chocolate was pretty good as well.

Desert Wheatear




Couple of record shots of the bottle, sorry meant the Desert Wheatear at Seven Beach today.

Monday, 9 December 2013

Fungus




I found this fungus on the road to the gas tanks . It looks like white coral fungus. It was growing under spruce . The cones are Noble Fir.

FANPLASTIC

Has the boys had headed north I was stuck with a problem, do I do my sock draw or do I go looking for Crossbills. I thought I would get Mike to give me some tips first .
Has I had been twitching the last two Weekends I was looking forward to do some local birding. So I went to Bryn Du and the forest behind the gas tanks. The Crossbills were very scarce with only 1 seen in three and half hours. But the highlights were 4 Woodcock and 2 Kestrels . I also had a small flock of Lesser Redpoll but only 1 Siskin . But I did find some Noble Firs, one had lots of cones on it and there were about 12 Coal Tits feeding on the cones also a Willow Tit feeding in a patch of Willow Herb. I also checked Abernant for Crossbills and there was no birds about. I did however have my third Kestrel of the day and a male Stonechat that has not moved with the weather this year. There were loads of Ravens up at Bryn Pica and it was great hear them again.
Right back to my painting. Graig Abercwmboi next week and webs.

Sunday, 8 December 2013

From Russia with Love

After a year of spectacular dips, the recent successful twitches (Western Orphean and Two-barred) a long distance twitch was on the cards for the Baikal Teal found just north of Southport. The lucky quartet were Rob and Mark Dutfield with Phil and myself sharing the early morning drive. Arriving just after 8:20 the next three hours were spent trying desperately trying to materialise the duck amongst a group of teal. Skiens of Pink-footed Geese and squadrons on Lapwings and Golden Plover kept us entertained and one of the two Great White Egret that are wintering in the area were picked up by Mark. 
Then word spread, the Baikal had been relocated, probably less than half a mile away (as the teal flies), but a good 2+ml walk for us mere humans.
On joining the growing throng, the bird was quickly located, head down, trying to keep a low profile amongst a group of Wigeon.

Spot the Baikal

During the 50 minute watch, it raised it's head a couple of times - once to chase off a drake Wigeon it took exception to! but it preferred to sleep, rather than show off for the massed ranks. That said, it was a top bird, and certainly most (all?) of those making the trip from across the UK are happy that it's the real deal as opposed to a wire jumper.

Friday, 6 December 2013

Portobello

With an hour to kill in between errands this morning i popped down to Ogmore to have a look what was about, there were (7) Goldeneye, (30+) Teal, (6) Gadwall,singles of Redshank,Turnstone and Little Egret and the highlight a Water Pipit which was feeding just upstream of the sewage works bridge. Now a question for all my fellow birders out there,what does Canada Goose taste like because there was enough of them there to grace many a christmas table surely a good substitute for Turkey?

Monday, 2 December 2013

Forest of Dean



A record shot of one of the Hawfinches sighted in the Forest of Dean yesterday

Tunnel surveys

Did the annual winter tunnel survey with Mark Evans on Sunday counting hibernating herald moths: Cefnglas[82] and Pant [37]. No Merthy/Aberdare tunnel survey has its been pressure grouted in preperation for a Sustrans route, records of hibernating bats were dismissed, so they did it in winter (bat hibernation period), another case of mass hallucinations in the valleys, what are we on. The good news was cobalt crust fungus on the Merthyr side of the Cefnglas, Mark Evans' favourite fungus. Even better news was I didn't have to lie on my back in the mud to veiw, its on a dead stem sprouting from the north approach wall. Bird wise; small parties of crossbills each time I visit Llwyn-onn/Garw Nant with a single wigeon on Llwyn-onn with mallard [30]. No sign of shrike with a kestrel always present on north clearfell.

Saturday, 30 November 2013

The final front "ear"

Had a phone call from Phil this morning asking me did I fancy a trip to the Forest of Dean to look for the two barred crossbills, unfortunately I had made plans for the day so was unable to go. As we normally do when we haven't seen each other for a while we always have a good natter about what we've been up to and the conversation got on to Phil's appointment for his hearing aids, I said to him "how long have you been waiting for them?" to which he replied "about a year or two", I immediately started pissing myself laughing as did Phil when he realized what he had said one of his best puns ever and it was by accident I suppose you had to be there but it certainly gave Phil and me a good laugh, anyone for Namibia?

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Martin Bevan's Trip to Florida

Two Week Holiday to Florida

I had been planning the trip with my family for nearly 18 months.  The time had arrived and we got up very early for our three and half hour trip to Gatwick airport and as usual it was pitch dark and raining. The first sign of any birdlife was at the service station at Cobden which took the form of a Robin singing, Carrion Crow, Black headed Gull, Pied Wagtail or car park Wag and Wood Pigeon.  We made good time to the airport and found the airport devoid of birdlife.  After the nine hour flight we arrived shattered but were soon on the way to the hotel the Ramada Gateway in Kissimmee and the light was starting to fade. But birds started appear and the first bird to make the list was Turkey Vulture followed by Boat Tailed Grackle and lots of Great Egret. Best of all was an Osprey trying to catch a fish in a small road side pool.  On getting to the Hotel we choose a room in the tower part of the hotel and had a good field of view over the area and Disney in the distant. Scanning around I spotted a small Warbler in a tree below and it was very plain with a yellow rump and it pumped its tail constantly. Later I found out it was my first of many Palm Warblers.
First morning in a foreign country is always great and I had one hour spare as everybody was still fast sleep.  So I walked around the grounds of the hotel when the light was just starting to appear. There were lots of birds calling and some flying high overhead.  The first bird of the morning was Northern Mockingbird and has I walked birds came thick and fast.  2 Northern Cardinal,  3 Palm Warblers, 1 House Wren, 2  Eastern Bluebirds, 1 Belted Kingfisher, House Sparrow, American Crow, 1 Loggerhead Shrike, 2 Mottled duck, 1 Little Blue Heron, 1 Coopers Hawk, Black Vulture, Turkey  Vulture, 1 Wood Stork, 1 Blue Gray Gnatcatcher. The Hotel had trees all around the edge and waste ground behind that and at the back there were two small lakes. One was bare and the other had a reed beds, this one proved better and also behind this was a wood. This site was handy for me and most of the birds I saw on that first day I saw daily.  I walked the grounds on five different days and these are the birds I found, Blue Jay, Great Blue Heron, 1 Pied billed Grebe found every day, Red Bellied Woodpecker, Common Grackle, 1 Northern Parula one day only, Yellow Rumped Warbler, Ruby Crowned Kinglet, Red Shoulder Hawk, Mourning Dove, Eastern Phoebe, Great White Egret, White Ibis, on one day only flying over 6 Glossy Ibis, and Double Crested Cormorant. 
Birding at the parks produced the following.

DISNEY MAGIC KINGDOM

On the large lake on the way  in there was Little Blue Heron, Great Blue Heron, White Ibis, Great Egret, Anhinga, Double Crested Cormorant, Boat tailed Grackle, House Sparrow, Collard Dove, Black Vulture, Turkey Vulture, Osprey, Red Shouldered Hawk, Mottled Duck, Mallard, Palm Warbler, American Crow.
ANIMAL KINGDOM

Black Vultures in large numbers in the African area. Turkey Vulture, Red Shouldered Hawk,  Boat Tailed Grackle, Common Grackle, Northern Cardinal, Blue Jay, American Crow, Northern Mockingbird, House Sparrow, Collard Dove, Mourning Dove, Palm Warbler, Mottled Duck, Mallard, Pied Billed Grebe, White Ibis, Little Blue Heron, Tricolored Heron, Great Egret.
DISNEY HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS

This park was very quiet. Both Vultures were present, Little Blue Heron, Great Egret, House Sparrow, Collard Dove, Northern Mockingbird, Boat Tailed Grackle, 12 Mallard, 3 Ring Billed Gulls flying over on last visit.
EPCOT

Was the only Disney site with American Coot and Moorhen, Double Crested Cormorant, White Ibis, Anhinga, Mottled Duck, Mallard Duck, Red Shouldered Hawk, and House Sparrow.
SEA WORLD

Was a great place for Wood Storks and Snowy Egrets. There was also lots of White Ibis, Great Egrets, Double Crested Cormorant, Anhinga, Blue Jay, American Crow, Northern Cardinal, Gray Catbird, House Sparrow, Palm Warbler, Carolina Wren, both Vultures, Osprey, Red Shouldered Hawk, Bald Eagle seen from water park, Mourning Dove, also on the way in on a small lake was a 1 Black Bellied Whistling Duck. This was the only bird of the trip. I also had a Sun Conure.  I do not know if it was feral or escaped from Sea World.

UNIVERSAL STUDIOS

Was very quiet as well, 2 Pied Billed Grebes, House Sparrow, American Crow, Palm Warbler, Mallard, Feral Pigeon, Great Egret flying over and Double Crested Cormorant.

BUSCH GARDENS TAMPA

Was good for Laughing Gull there were about thirty there. Also Cattle Egret looking for scraps around the food tables. Also Great Egret, White Ibis, Small Blue Heron, Tri Coloured Heron, Moorhen, Boat Tailed Grackle, Collard Dove, House Sparrow, also Monk Parakeet nests seen but no birds were seen anywhere, Osprey, Black Vulture, Red Shouldered Hawk. On days where I had more time I would cross the 192 highway by my hotel and would go down a road called Reedy Creek Blvd. This area was pretty good and the following were observed Loggerhead Shrike, Northern Cardinal, Northern Mockingbird, Blue Jay, American Crow, Tufted Titmouse, Gray Catbird, House Wren, Carolina Wren, Marsh Wren, Eastern Phoebe, Pine Warbler, Palm Warbler, Black White Warbler, Yellow Throated Warbler, Yellow Rumped Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, Blue Gray Gnatcatcher, Eastern Bluebird, Ruby Crowned Kinglet, White Eyed Vireo, Red Bellied Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker, Mourning Dove, Common Ground Dove, Boat Tailed Grackle, Common Grackle, Red Winged Blackbird, Savannah Sparrow, Song Sparrow, 2 House Finch were seen on one occasion, Great Horned Owl, 1 Whip Poor Will was seen on one evening visit, Barn Swallow, Red Shoulder Hawk, American Kestrel, both Vultures, Turkey, Carolina Duck, White Ibis, Great Egret, Sandhill Crane, Wood Stork, Wilson Snipe.

I also booked two days out with a Birding Pal, which worked out very well. My birding pal was called Mrs Jenny Walsh and on my first day out with her we had a good start which was 12 Roseate Spoonbill feeding in a drainage ditch. What a great start to the day and then it was onto a new park called Twin Oaks Conservation Area, it’s an old cattle ranch and it’s found on the side of Lake Tohopekaliga.  It was a great site but when you look across the lake it was being disturbed by Airboat Tours every twenty minutes and birds were flying everywhere. There was a small wader scrape and there was 42 Least Sandpiper and 12 Greater Yellowlegs, 7 Lesser Yellowlegs, 2 Killdeer, also seen at this site were 30 Palm Warblers, Common Yellowthroat, Blue Gray Gnatcatcher, 20 Eastern Meadowlark, Savannah Sparrow, Eastern Phoebe, Red Bellied Woodpecker, House Wren, Ground Dove, Northern Cardinal, Blue Jay.  This site was also good for Bald Eagle with four seen at the same time and one found sitting in a tree giving crippling views.  Also other birds of prey seen were Red Tailed Hawk, Red Shouldered Hawk, 1 American Kestrel, 1 male Snail Kite, 1 pair Northern Harriers, both Vultures. A Great Horned Owl was found roosting in a large Oak and give great views.  Also around the lake there were Sandhill Cranes in the fields and a large flock of about hundred American Coots, Moorhen, also 6 Pied Billed Grebe, Anhinga, Limpkin, Tricolored Heron, Green Heron, Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Cattle Egret, Snowy Egret, White Ibis. Next stop was a street where Great Horned Owl nest every year and after a ten minute search my second Great Horned Owl of the day was found and after that we went to an electric substation to see a colony of Monk Parakeet nesting in the substation. The next stop was a wood nearby which was called Lake Runnymede Conservation area.  This turned out to be pretty good with 6 Black and White Warbler, Palm Warbler, 2 Yellow Throated Warbler, 3 Ruby Crown Kinglet, 2 White Eyed Vireo, Blue Gray Gnatcatcher, Gray Catbird, 10 Tufted Titmouse, Downy Woodpecker, Red Bellied Woodpecker, Carolina Wren. We finished off at St Cloud Lakefront Park which is on the east of Lake Tohopekaliga which was good for Limpkin where six were seen, also one more Snail Kite and a lot of Muscovy Ducks which I think must have been feral or domestic.  Also there were two very tame Sandhill Cranes which were begging for food.

The next time I met Jenny Walsh we went to Shingle Creek Regional Park first which was quiet at first, then it picked up with highlights being Pileated Woodpecker on a telegraph pole drumming away which I first thought was a guy on a roof because it was so loud. Other birds seen  at the wood were Red Bellied Woodpecker, Palm Warbler, Pine Warbler, Blue Gray Gnatcatcher, Tufted Titmouse, Northern Mockingbird, Blue Jay, American Crow, Gray Catbird, Eastern Phoebe, Osprey, both Vultures, Wood Stork, White Ibis and Small Blue Heron. There were lots of Tree Swallows passing overhead also a Belted Kingfisher. Best bird seen however was a roosting Barred Owl along the boardwalk in a swamp area. Our next area to visit I did not find out what it was called. There were lots of ranches and a local resident stopped us to ask what we were doing.  Birds seen in this area were 1 Crested Caracara, 3 Red Shouldered Hawk, American Kestrel, Loggerhead Shrike, 2 Eastern Bluebirds, Mottled Duck. Our next stop was back to East lake Tohopekaliga to finish off.  A small wood there had 1 Black and White Warbler, 1 Ruby Crown Kinglet, 1 Bald Eagle, 3 Sandhill Cranes, Pied Billed Grebe and also a fly over male Northern Harrier.

The last day arrived and we travelled to Orlando international airport for our flight home. Birds flying to roost nearby were 10 Wood Stork, 15 Great Egret, 10 White Ibis, 3 Mottled Ducks and then it was back to the cold and rain.

More Fuerteventura Photos




The first photo is Mike and Martin scanning for Black Bellied Sandgrouse at the " goat farm ".
The second photo is a bit of a puzzle, it's called find the Lesser Short Toed Lark.
The last photo is especially for Martin " Packham " Bevan who likes his Poo Ticks.

Fuerteventura Photos

A small selection of photos from Fuertventura where Martin Bell, Mike Hogan and myself spent a week recently.

Fuerteventura Chat
 


Monarch and below Geranium Bronze
 

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Phils branching out



This is the plant myself and Phil found at East Aberthaw Quarry pools .Top man Mark Hipkin Id it as European Spindle or that name we all know it as Euonymus europaeus.

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Two go to Pembrokeshire

Martin Bevan and myself set out quite late for us today ( 6 o'clock ) to drive down to St. Brides to try and connect with the Western Orphean Warbler which has now hung around for over a week.
Arriving at the car park at 8pm we found it to be quite full already.  Outside the gate we spoke to Mark Hipkin who was helping with the marshalling duties again and he told us that the bird had been seen, that 40 birders were in the garden and a queue was forming for the next batch of birders to be allowed in.
We joined the queue and probably waited about an hour before we had the signal to enter the garden.  Lots of birds were present mostly Blue Tits, Great Tits, Blackbirds and Chaffinches so the binoculars were kept busy ( Yes Mr Bell I did remember to take them ).  Finally after 20 minutes the Orphean appeared and gave us some stonking views feeding on the apples or perched out in the open. A cracking little bird.
It was also nice to have a chat with Pauline Hogg from Leeds who we met on 2 occasions on the Bilbao ferry.  Rob were your ears burning? We did agree that Pauline's jokes were of a much higher standard than yours.
We then went up to Dale airfield where we bumped into Pauline again with her two travelling companions where between us we found some Lapland Buntings definitely six possibly double figures, we just could not get them on the floor.
It was then down onto the Gann where we found the reported Great Northern Diver and a Cormorant give us a good laugh by catching a quite big flatfish which it had great difficulty getting down it's neck, in fact I'm not absolutely sure it did.
Last call was Marloes Mere which contained really good numbers of wildfowl, lapwings and another great bird to finish a Ringtail Hen Harrier.

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Shrike a light

At Garwnant this morning at 10:00 hours using the south clearfell. Just west of bend in track on closest dead pole but flighty and flew west before I could get close. Not much else about except raven playing in the wind.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Shrike in the dark

I've been worked off my feet since returning from holidays and have had little time for galavanting around the country. What time I have had I've dedicated to searching for two-barred crossbills around what we've got left of our commercial forestry, = 0 and just 2 common crossbills in total. Anyway had a great grey shrike this afternoon at 16:05 hours at Lower Neuadd, distant, dark and crap even for a record shot. Very little at Garw Nant but winter wildfowl numbers increasing at Rhaslas (17/11/13);  pochard[8],  wigeon[20], tufted[29].

Monday, 18 November 2013

Devon weekend

Can't compete with Bustards and fancy warblers but managed a few hours birding over the weekend starting with a visit to Bowling Green Marsh on Friday afternoon, there were good numbers of teal,wigeon,little egrets,redshank,blk tailed godwits,curlew,lapwing, two stock dove and the highlight a female long tailed duck,from the viewing platform there were at least 200 avocet, 3 grey plover and 100's of dunlin,.the rspb have erected new viewing screens just past the railway bridge and from here i counted 100+ brent geese at Darts farm. I agreed  to go shopping with the wife saturday so no birding today but did manage a fulmar,raven and a blk necked grebe from the hotel balcony in Babbacombe and later in Torquay two blk necked grebes and a red admiral on the wing.  Sunday we travelled to Broadsands which was really quiet producing just another blk necked grebe,two g.c.grebes,three heron,and singles of goldcrest and chiffchaff in the trees near the carpark, next port of call was Dawlish i had a quick scan of the sea from Langstone Rock but apart from two common scoter and two brents it was quiet so yomped over to the estuary which was full of birds. There were at least 300 brents,1,000 dunlin ,500 wigeon, 250 teal, 100+ curlew, 6 r.b.merganser,the resident slav grebe and the adult bonaparte's gull off warren point, although divers had been reported from Dawlish and Broadsands i failed dismally to connect with any of them. After an uneventful drive home i checked the Devon bird blog while enjoying a cuppa and almost choked when i saw a Dusky Thrush had been reported from a private garden in Brixham but after composing myself i noticed the bird had been seen earlier in the month and that the powers that be decided not to put the news out fearing a mega twitch and upsetting the locals.

Sunday, 17 November 2013

WOW

a week after returning from Fuerteventura with Phil and Mike and I've had two British ticks this week!

First up, on Tuesday at work, I turned round to talk to my boss only to see a Hummingbird Hawkmoth outside the window - the number of times of gone looking for this moth and failed......

Then yesterday, after coaching took the drive down to Dale in Pemb's to twich the Western Orphean Warb that has been hanging around for a week. Despite the fact it was only the third for the UK (that can be assigned to this taxon) there was a grand total of 10 birders on site. The WOW showed on and off for the next hour or so.

On returning home yesterday evening, my neighbours handed me a package that had been delivered. uncertainty over what it was soon turned to delight as I opened the pages of the new BTO Atlas - WOW, a massive volume that will take hours (weeks) to digest.

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Before the big blow

Early morning sea watch yesterday from Tutt head, Gower between 7:30 and 9am produced very little. highlight was a 1st winter Sandwich Tern, and 4 Common Scoter (Yeah it was that poor!).

Early morning today down Cardiff Bay, again 7:30 - 9am produced the drake Lesser Scaup just of the boardwalk by the Ice Rink. Out in the Bay a 1st winter Little Gull, and a 3rd winter Yellow-legged Gull.

Monday, 21 October 2013

New hide at Rhaslas .


Because Mike spends so much time at Rhaslas we built him a hide. Do not worry there is a crate of Spitfire for you Mike and mines a Wilson's Phalarope.

Forest Farm

Rained off today so decided to pop down Forest Farm for an hour,as soon as i got to the canal i had a Kingfisher perched on a branch followed seconds later by a Dipper and Grey Wagtail. On to the hide with no door which was very quiet apart from two Snipe, a Heron and a fly over Jay, moved onto the second hide where i had great views of a Kingfisher,two Water Rail having a domestic and an aerial battle between a Carrion Crow and a Sparrowhawk which was quite entertaining.Popped over to Radyr to have another look at the salmon that were trying unsuccessfully to get up the weir on Saturday but after all the heavy rain none were seen,birds of note were another Kingfisher,Heron and a small flock of Long tailed tits.

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Ouzel news

Just had an email from WW Rangers re: 5-6 ring ouzels alongside track leading to Llyn y Fan Fach, Carmarthen (southeast of Llandovery) late afternoon so could be worth checking local spots this coming week. I've been checking the Neuadd and Dan y darren areas lately but quiet with just low numbers of redwing and fieldfare, no where near the numbers Martin has had, mind you I've got another appointment with the opticians in the morning.

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Cynon Valley Passage

Tir Founder Fields this morning lots of Blackbirds and song Thrush and about 40 redwing heading south .Also a flock of about 50 Siskins and the highlight was 4 House martin heading east. Penywaun today two flocks of Fieldfare one of 300+ heading south  and the second flock was 400+ heading west and about 150 Redwing . Also a flock of 10 common  Crossbills heading south and yes I was working.

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Harlequin Ladybirds

Glorious day in Hirwaun today and the bird passage was very light. Highlight being a hand full of Redwing and a flock of Canada Geese. But the ivy blossom was teaming with life mostly hoverflies also a Comma, Small Tortoiseshell and a Red Admiral were seen flying around .Also on  two south facing houses there were about twenty Harlequin Ladybirds and that shows that a little bit of sunshine and everything comes back to life.

The Rhaslas Dowitcher 8th - 14th October 2013

You arrived out of the mist on a wet Tuesday, ate everything living on the west bank and then left, without so much as a '....see you butt'. 3V birders wish you a safe journey, it was nice having you.