Monday, 25 September 2017

One for the Bucket list

After hearing that the Dead's Head Hawkmoths were back at Kenfig Pool for release I thought I had blew my chances of seeing them after hearing too late on Sunday they were there. But there's always a silver lining and Dave Carrington the Warden from Kenfig Nature Reserve said that if I still wanted to see them I could so and Phil jumped at it. It was brilliant to have the pleasure of seeing them The first time for me to twitch a moth.

Sunday, 24 September 2017

Monknash - Nash Point


Martin Bevan slept late for the second time in a week and Martin Bell walked into a tree.

Monday, 18 September 2017

Just a figment of our collective imagination

It's 5am on Sunday morning and I'm standing at Fiddlers Elbow in the damp mist waiting to be picked up by Phil for a day trip to Weymouth and Portland. 10 past and the phone goes off, who's slept in? No sign of Mr Bevan. Phil is trying to reach him. 20 minutes later and the phone goes again, Bevan has surfaced, Phil will pick me up and then we'll pick up sleepy head. So about an hour later than planned, we set of for the south coast.

The rest of the journey went without hitch until we reached the outskirts of Weymouth, to find that a triathlon was taking place that morning and a number of roads would be closed. We hoped access to Lodmoor would be OK. Alas not, the triathlon was based at Lodmoor. We eventually managed to park in Weymouth, about a kilometer from Lodmoor, and wandered through the crowd to the RSPB reserve, hoping that the Least Sandpiper had the decency to stay put for another day.
Fortunately it didn't take long to catch up with this micro wader - a British tick for all three of us - ably put onto the bird by Kevin Hughes, who had managed to beat us down (he didn't have to wait for anyone else to drag themselves out of their pit). Unfortunately the Stilt Sand' had decided to hop it the previous day.
                                           a poor record shot of the peep

From Lodmoor we headed over to Portland, to see what, if anything, was passing through. The short answer - nothing! so we joined Kevin waiting for the long staying Wryneck to put in an appearance in the Obs quarry. After about 20 mins I picked the bird up as it hunted through the long grass and we all enjoyed good views for some time before we decided to leave it be.

From there we walked over to Southwell to try for the Hoopoe that's been hanging around for a while. It took a while, and we just making moves to leave, when it popped up onto a bare snag, a nice year tick for myself and the second this year for both Martin and Phil.

If the start of the journey was delayed, the delays on the return trip started as we approached the bridge tolls. We did, however, find out why Bevan slept in as his alarm went off at 4pm - clearly he was still in Cuba time.

Thursday, 14 September 2017


Swift hawking insects with House Martins over the River Cynon at Mountain Ash at 13.55 for 10 minutes. Unfortunately I did not have binoculars with me to get a closer look given the time of year.

Wednesday, 13 September 2017


Wandered the pool margins today hoping for a blow-in but just the ruff of any interest, found by Ceri yesterday. Thanks to Tom for letting me know, bird flushed from southwest bank, flew to west point and disappeared into the rush. The dunlin is from the the 11th again at west point.

Starry, starry night....

A wander round the local woods this evening produced my first records of Collared Earthstar Geastrum triplex for this site, and my home 1km square. A total of 4 individuals was located.

Last Saturday, I had the opportunity to join the Glamorgan Fungo Group foray to Coed Gelli Draws, just outside Pontpridd. An enjoyable morning wandering around produced some nice fungi, but possible the best find of the day was whilst waiting for everyone to assemble I noticed a gall growing on a Dogwood leaf. A couple of photo's and a bit of research suggests this is a gall caused by the larva of a fly Craneiobia corni. According to Aderyn, there is one one previous record in Wales - from Monmouthshire. The gall takes the form of a red - darkening to purple knob on the upper leaf, whilst on the underside the gall looks more like a green flask.

Wednesday, 30 August 2017


[Dunlin May 2016] The Nant Llesg appeal process, apparently, is about to kick off, as such can all birders who have visited the area in the last 5 years please hang on to all note books and images and have / make  them available, if necessary, for forensic analysis. Also both butterfly and dragonfly species, not noted during the RPS(*) managed ecological surveys,  have recently been photographed and recorded, as such can all naturalists who have visited the area in the last 5 years please hang on to all note books and images and have / make  them available, if necessary, for forensic analysis. 
(*) RPS if you can ever forget, the chap in charge, stated in not 1 but 2 public meetings that the only birds using Rhaslas were, and I quote, "seagulls". He was pulled by a member of the public, who unknown to him happened to be an ecologist. At the next meeting he repeated the statement, he was again pulled by a member of the public, another ecologist. 
It's sad that the character most admired by the people I love and know is integrity, while it is the character most detested by both those who govern us and their mealy mouthed underlings.