Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Rhaslas oystercatcher.

After last nights rain I hoped for waders to be present this morning but, alas, just singles of turnstone and oystercatcher. Also nice to meet Rob Thomas who stopped off on his way to Brecon, tidy.

Second mortgage

Just received a copy of the new Heatherlea brochure some cracking trips but my god they're expensive,a week in Gambia comes in at £1645 and both Lesvos and Extremadura a snip at £1545 we really do our trips on a shoestring don't we, anyone know if Mike has managed to get hold of a Mounted Policeman's outfit?

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Excape time

Had a few hours free today as parents wanted to shop in Cardiff so had a quick visit to Llwyn Onn - next to nothing - before heading up to Bryn Du - a new sight for myself but one of Mr Bevan's regular haunts.
Bird life quite quiet, though a couple of Crossbills flew over. Checking the small pools failed to turn up any of the Keeled Skimmers Martin had a couple of weeks ago, but there were plenty of Common Blue, Azure, Large Red and Emeral damselflys. The ponds were full of Ram's Horn snails, water boatmen and diving beetles + at least 1 Leech in one of the ponds.
Due to train delays I ended up with some spare time when I went to pick the folks up from Abercynon station, so wandered across the brown-field site in Navigation Business Park. Several Common Blue's, Sliver Y's, Six Spot Burnet and Lead Belle's were the highlights until a single Bee Orchid was found.

Monday, 29 July 2013

Rhaslas Black-tailed Godwit

Wet weather and winds with a south in the label have worked again; 3 black-tailed godwit this morning at 1130. Not much else though, just usual numbers of LB and HG

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Man in kilt seen flushing yellow wagtail at Llwyn-onn

Due to the current lynch mob attitude prevalent at Llwyn-onn I was forced into searching through my back catalogue of recent snaps. I found one that supports our celtic cousins morning observation, personally I never doubted him. Those that started this rumour should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves.

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Rob please don't read this.

I nipped down to WWT at Llanelli this afternoon primarily to look for the Lesser Yellowlegs but having missed the high tide I duly dipped on it but did pick up a Ruff on the estuary out of the British Steel Hide.
I then wandered over to the lake where the Whooper Swans are and there a Spoonbill put in an appearance with a couple of Black Tailed Godwits.
I then decided to walk over to the Welsh Water Hide, getting to the main centre I stooped to have a quick look at the feeders and lo and behold within minutes a female Lesser Spotted Woodpecker arrived on the peanut feeders and spent a couple of minutes there happily picking away.
On returning from the hide I spent 15 minutes at the feeders again watching a young fox eating the droppings underneath the feeders.

Friday, 26 July 2013

Juv wagtail at Llwyn-onn

I checked out the mud at Llwyn-onn yesterday at 1600 hours; common sandpiper[4], black-headed gull[juv] and goosander[fam 4] were probably the best. Also a large party of pied wagtail[juv 10] distant, flighty and utilising most of the north end mud. One bird constantly stood out with brown mantle and looks possible for juv yellow wagtail, what do you reckon. Bird was still present today but even more distant, north-east bank, south of bird hide feeding amongst canada geese. Tim Griffiths, the Gwent Ranger, had a single Greenshank on the mud the other week, I missed it! Not much on Rhaslas; occasional curlew, lapwing and common sandpiper the last couple of days. Sorry about pic, distant, heavily cropped and intense light, honest.

Thursday, 25 July 2013

butterflies count...

After Phil's trip up around the Giants Tooth earlier this week I was looking forwarded expectantly to completing this months Wider Countryside Butterfly Survey visit which centres on Craig-yr-Efail - the "Tumpy" in Phil speak!
This mornings rain gave way to long sunny spells and the walk up to the start point brought Marbled White, Ringlet, Meadow Brown, and Small Heath as well as the "whites" and several 6 Spot Burnet moths. The transect commences part way along the ridge.
Almost as soon as I started a Fritilary landed on the path in front of me - a Small Pearl-bordered, a tick for the square, and a nice start. Despite the encouraging start, numbers where not that high (blame the stiff easterly wind) but at least 5 Dark Green Frit's were logged as well as good numbers of Grayling.
In total 11 species recorded + 3 moths spp (6-spot, Silver Y and Cinnibar (caterpillars) during the survey but a further 5 species were recorded away from the transects - giving 16 species in total. A respectable total for the North of Glam.

2 peregrines were the avian highlight - an adult male with a juv female.

Monday, 22 July 2013

Lucky Walk

I was asked to look after my friend's 10 year old son Logan today while the family went to a funeral .  I asked Logan want he fancied doing and he said how about a walk up the mountain.  No problem there so I drove down to the " Giant's Tooth " in Abercynon and we then walked back towards Mountain Ash to the top of " Tumpy ".
Usual small selection of birds were seen but had my first Cynon Valley Kestrel of the year and the unusual sight of a Tree Pipit banging what looked like a large caterpillar against a wall.
Butterflies were a different story, there were everywhere Ringlets, Meadow Browns, Gatekeepers, Small Whites, Brimstones, Small Tortiseshells, a few Dark Green Fritillary, Red Admiral, Small Heath and best of all, at least double figures of Marbled White. Speaking to the two Martin's they said that they hadn't seen any around here. Martin Bevan said that he only knows of two single sightings in Cynon Valley. Would be nice if this is the start of a colonisation of the two valleys.

All hail the Emperor

Yesterday (Sunday) saw a not too early (5:30am) start for a trip down to Hampshire for a days butterflying - Bentley Woods and Stockbridge Down the intended venues.
The biggest shock of the day was before we arrived at Bentley Woods when I managed to see a Little Owl from the back seat of the car! - OK, it took a reverse and stop for me to see it, but I did see it, sat atop a headstone in a country church graveyard.
Arriving at Bentley Woods to cloud filled sky's and a bit of a breeze we hung around the car park scanning the tree tops. The first butterfly to show was a Red Admiral, followed by a Silver-washed Fritilary. Then, suddenly, gliding round the tree tops, the Emperor. We watched at least 3 flying round the car park, but unfortunately none decided to come down to ground. However excellent views were had of one male resting about halfway up one of the trees.
As the cloud burnt off, we wandered round some of the rides picking up 17 species of butterfly with impressive numbers of Silver-washed Frit's and Brimstone's.
Next up was Stockbridge Down for chalkland species. Pulling into the East car park, a Buddleia was covered with butterflies including at least 3 Dark Green Frit's. The first Chalkhill Blue was soon flying around the car.  A wander round the lower scrub covered slopes provided no further new species.

In total 20 species logged - surprisingly no Small Tortoiseshell or Green-veined White.

Full list was
Small Skipper
Large Skipper
Large White
Small White
Purple Hairstreak
White-letter Hairsteak
Chalkhill Blue
White Admiral
Red Admiral
Purple Emperor
Dark Green Fritilary
Silver-washed Fritilary
Speckled Wood
Marbled White
Meadow Brown

Saturday, 20 July 2013

WeBS highlights

Did my WeBS count early this am - just as well as Taf Bargoed lakes is set up for a canoe festival! Record count for Mallard - 67 and Moorhen - 9, 1 pair of which were on their second brood - interesting sighting of the 1st brood juv's feeding the second brood youngsters.

Friday, 19 July 2013

Keeled Skimmer

I found three Keeled Skimmers last Sunday at Bryn du and lots of broad bodied chasers and Golden ringed Dragonfly. I also found lots Small pearl bordered Frits and couple dark green Frits and my first in a long time locally Small copper.

Saturday, 13 July 2013

White letter hairstreak

Photo from two year ago but four present today at a different site near by.

Chuffed to Bits

After watching the latest stage of the Tour de France this afternoon I decided to go for a walk.  I thought it would be cooler on the coast so I drove down to Southerdown and walked along the cliff top to Dunraven.  Not much going on bird wise but I did manage to get 2 Choughs, the first I've seen there for a while and a Peregrine putting everything up on a fly through near the cliff top. 
Meadow Browns were everywhere literally hundreds of them, having seen my first of the year in Mountain Ash earlier in the week.

Lesser Yellowlegs

Unfortunately, not as Rhaslas, but here's the Lesser Yellowlegs from Llanelli WWT today. Much better views than we had at Goldcliffe a couple of years ago! Also there were 3 Knot, 10 Greenshank and a Spoonbill. Odonata included Common Blue, Azure, Blue-tailed, and Emerald Damselfly's Emperor,Dragonfly, Four-spot Chaser and Black-tailed Skimmer


One from last weekend up Cwm Cadlan .Alan has put his point Pelee Trip report on the Glam bird club site.

Friday, 12 July 2013

Redshank at Rhaslas

Did a lap this morning and yet another single redshank present, I've noted them, albeit occasionally, since the 24th june and assumed them to be passage birds. I've inadvertenly flushed one or two and they have always flown off to the south, presumably the ridge, again supporting passage theory. Anybody know of inland breeding records for Glamorgan or has the sun got to me. Also present a single comon sandpiper.

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Bee Beetle

I found this in Robertown Last weekend. It looks like a face to me.

Monday, 8 July 2013

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Summer sun.....

Making the most of the great forecast for today I headed out early (04:55) to walk the "Taf Bargoed Horseshoe" - thru Parc Taf Bargoed, up onto Geligaer Common across Incline Top before heading back down Merthyr Common and down into Bedlinog, back thru Parc Taf Bargoed and home - 30kms (18mls) in glorious sunshine. Highlights - 15 Whinchat, inc 4 juv's, 2 juv Groppers, showing really well, a family party of Spot Flys and 4 Curlew (but no sign of any young)

4 of the large Frit's flew past - just can't get one stationary to firm up id, though they are prob Dark Green
Frit's 1 was on Gelligaer Common at 07:30, 1 was on Merthyr Common, and two at Parc Taf Bargoed (on the return leg). A Small Pearl-bordered Frit was a nice find near the ruined Begwns farm. Also picked up my first Red Admiral, near the Quakers Yard pub on the way home.

On the moth front, just a couple of Silver Y's on the tops and a trio of Triple Bar's on Merthyr Common.

A male Emperor was holding territory at Issac Morgan pond with 7 patrolling the Bedlinog fishing pond. Plenty of Common Blue and Large Red Damselfly's several Broad-bodied Chasers and around 30 Four-spotted Chasers around two small ponds on Merthyr Common.

Saturday, 6 July 2013

A good night out

With warm clear skies and a clear diary, yesterday evening was the first time this year I had the opertunity to get out looking for Nightjars, a couple of text messages and phone calls saw Mr Hogan join me for a nocturnal sorjourn. Work being done at the Gethin CP car park meant it was a walk up, rather than drive. Arriving up on the ridge around 8:15 we had a wait of over 2hrs before the first churring was heard - in the same area as last year. Mike picked up the male "singing" from the top of a distant Pine stump. Result, but better was to come when, as we carefully made our way back to the road, the male flew right past us (within 2 m of mike) before dropping down to land behind a stump, some 4m away. Some quiet calls suggest that there was two birds greeting each other. About a minute later the male flew off and resumed churring. About as close to a proven breeding record as you can get without actually proving it. - Awsome


Thursday, 4 July 2013

Just a single little ringed plover this a.m. with curlew[2], swift[c20] and the usual suspects. What we need is some fog, high winds with a south in the direction and a couple of torrential overnight storms.

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Red Necked Footman

I thought I would change the photo. Yesterday I had a bit of a shock , I was washing someone's gutter and there was a Sparrow box on the house. I was over hanging the box when  two Tree Bumblebees flew past and went into the bloody box. I was thinking  why me but they were pretty good and no attacks today. To think I  have been looking for nests.

Monday, 1 July 2013

Red and Black Froghopper

I found this at Bryn Du yesterday and also four Red Necked Footman and four different  types of Damselflies and roll on the Autumn.