Monday, 30 September 2013

Bit of Autumn Colour

Taste of this weekend in the Cynon Vallley.

Beaver at Bryn du

I got to the two ponds and there was three Hawker flying around and than Munch jumped in and that was that.

Jack Snipe

Flushed a jack snipe early evening on way to Rhaslas (west), I'd just crossed the road at SO091069 and within metres a jack took off low and silent across road and straight down into usual snipe beds. Good numbers of teal [c30] on a mist/fog bound Rhaslas with canada geese [c150] with small numbers of wigeon [7] and mallard [6].

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Its grand up north!

A nice couple of days on the glorious Yorkshire coast over Fri and Sat catching up with some of the migrants. First stop, Broomhead Reservoir, just north of Sheffield, to catch up with the Two-barred Crossbills that have been frequenting the area for the last month or so. While finding the parking spot was easy, finding the area where the Corssbills were been seen was a bit trickier. All the info said they were seen regularly in the Larch's around the feeders, but could I find the feeders? After about half an hour wandering down different paths I eventually found the feeders. There was a small flock of about 20 Crossbills flying around the area but only Common Crossbills could be id'd. After some 2hrs a Crossbill flew up into a dead tree and a quick glance through the bins showed two broad white bars across the wings. Tick. Up to 4 were seen inc 2 splendid crimson males.

From there it was across to Spurn. Although up to 12 Yellow-browed Warblers had been found that morning, they were proving difficult to catch up with. Eventually one showed itself well in scrub close to the canal scrape hide. A short sea watch produced a Bonxie and Pom Skua heading north, a single Sandwich Tern and half a dozen Little Gull, Red-throated and Great Northen Divers. However birding was hard work with little showing. A call into the new Kilnsea wetlands reserve saw an increase in bird activity with migrant Whinchat (2), Redstart, Wheatear and Lesser Whitethroat showing.

Saturday and a day out at Flamborough Head. Old Fall plantation held up to 5 Yellow-browed Warblers, some showing exceptionally well - down to 3 feet (too close to focus the bins on!), superb. I always enjoy seeing these little Sibe' gems which were a real rarity when I started out birding some 40 odd years ago. A Red-throated and Pied Flycatcher where also in the plantation, the Pied showing better than the Red throated. While watching the Y-b's a Brambling flew over.

Near the lighthouse I bumped into a couple of the birders we met at Backwoods back in Jan. We filled each other up on the later parts of each of our trips to Goa, before talking about future trips. After that it was a three hour sea watch, which produced very little except a passage of 18 Red-throated Divers. Highlight, however, was a pod of around 15 Bottlenose Dolphin's which performed brilliantly passing the twice in 40 minutes. 

Friday, 27 September 2013

Rhaslas hallucinations (continued)

Interesting collection of wildfowl this morning, 09:30 - 10:30 hours, wigeon[5], mallard[7], gadwell[1pr] flushed with mallard, pintail[3], shoveler[3], teal[11] and canada goose[9].

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Rhaslas hallucinations (continued)

Did a circuit in the mizzle after work at 16:00 hours, just teal[6], wigeon[4] and wheatear[2] and lots of disturbance from earthworks immediately east of pond. Feeling glum I plodded on around the north east corner when these little beauties were flushed from the south east corner, worth getting wet for.

Monday, 23 September 2013

Round Leaved Wintergreen.

I found Three plants yesterday and the only plant which it looks like is round leaved wintergreen.

Sunday, 22 September 2013

A bit of a Sickener.

It's called Sickener or Russula and as the book says leave well alone .There must have been hundreds. The view is were they are growing  near Graig Llyn , which is in the back ground.

No Otters

Llwyn Onn Res today no Otters seen at first light. A nice Red fox and hundreds of swallows and House Martins going east.Also 5 Cormorants ,2 Little Grebe , 2 Great Crested Grebe , 15 Mallard , 2 Kingfishers , 1 Dipper , 3 Grey Heron , Common Sandpiper heard. At Craig Llyn 3 Ring Ouzels at far end of Res feeding on Rowanberries .1 male and 2 female type and also 2 blackcap and 1 Whitethroat and 1 pair Stonechat with young. Also of note still 2 Black Darter on the wing and loads  Emerald Damselfly and Common Darter and Migrant  Hawker at sub station pond and no bull.

(not the) Glam Bird Club trip to Llanelli

After coming off Woebley Marsh, we decided to head over to Llanelli WWT, where two Grey Phalaropes had been seen yesterday. On making our way to the entrance, we were confronted with something of a queue, and immediately in front of us were fellow Glam birders Jeff Slocombe, Dan JJ and Wayne Morris.

The Warden kindly allowed us to jump the queue (we all showed him our membership cards!) and as we made our way to the British Steel hide we passed a number of the Carmarthen birders who informed us the one Phal' remained as did the long staying Lesser Yellowlegs. Into the hide, and we couldn't find either bird. Some perseverance paid off and the Lesser Yellowlegs was soon located, though in deep water, so the legs were not easy to see. The Grey Phal' then swam out from behind some rushes and we enjoyed good views of both birds. Matt Hunter, joined us after cycling over from Woebley, as the Grey Phal' was a tick for him.

A check on the news services showed that we'd prob had a better day than the official club trip to Portland - the club seem to be a kiss of death to the Ob's every time it goes down - which was running this weekend.

2nds at Weobley

Back to Weobley Marsh today. This time, however, with Phil, and this time over high tide. Result - a bit more about. The walk down/out produced a good number of birds in the small reedbed, several Reed Bunings, Wrens, Willowchiffs, (prob Chiffies, given at least one could be heard sining in the woods behind), a family party of Stonechat and at least 2 Sedge Warb's - unfortunately, we got enough on them that we couldn't string them as Aquatics! Several waves of migrating Swallow moved through heading Eastwards.

Out onto the saltmarsh proper and Mipits were every where, certainly a lot more than yesterday. A Small flock of 12 Lapwing were close to the track, but soon moved further away. Small groups of linnets and Starlings flitted across the merse, while two Peregrines were picked up sitting on the top of the old lookout tower - prob the same pair as yesterday.

We made our way out to the shingle ridge, flushing a number of Snipe, to catch up with the waders. The peregrine's, however, decided a wader or two would do nicely as a breakfast snack, and put the flock up. Only a small part of the flock eventually returned to the ridge, consisting of about 80 Dublin and 40 Ringed Plover.

After no waterfowl yesterday, around 100 Pintail, a few Mallard, 5 Wigeon, about 20 distant Eider and a single Shelduck made it on to today's list. Golden Plover had increased to 20 from yesterdays 6. Around 100 Blackwits flew into roost further upstream - the biggest number I've seen on the Gower side of the Lougher.

While on the ridge we were joined by Matt Hunter, from Swansea area, who had cycled over. As the tide ell we decided to see if we could get closer to the mail group of waders and after walking about 2000m we were about 400m nearer the main flock! but these were dissapearing into the distance as they folowed the retreating tide out, so we weren't able to get a good look through - though I did see one with an all white rump, A Curlew Sand in all likelihood, but I didn't see it land, so it remains unidentified.

Stopping off by the reedbed on the way back produced 3 Green Sand's plus the Reed Bunt's and Stonechat's from earlier.

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Weobley Marsh

A two hour visit over low tide this afternoon produced 1 Little Stint, 2 Peregrines, 6 Golden Plover as well as 50+ Ringed Plover and 300+ Dunlin.

Monday, 16 September 2013

I Do Like to be Beside the Seaside

I was so stressed out after having Bodgeit & Run ( aka Gaze & Dutfield ) put up some fencing for me on Saturday I decided to go with Martin Bevan for a Sunday mornings birding to Kenfig and Porthcawl to get some relaxation.
We arrived at Kenfig around the 7am mark and preceded to walk completely around the lake.  At 8am we were getting back in the car saying that must be the quickest lap we've ever done, reason next to nothing to see. The highlights being a Snipe and a female Teal, we would have been quicker but we stopped to count the Canada Geese, 119.
Next we drove over to Porthcawl to do some seawatching.  The seawatching shelter was occupied by Graham Powell who informed us the highlights so far were 6 Gannets and it stayed that way for awhile till we got excited by some Scoters going past and then things got really busy with a single Manx Shearwater going down channel.  It was edge of the seat stuff now as Martin found another 2 Scoters and I picked out 2 Harbour Porpoises and then 5 yes 5 Scoters flew d/c.  This gripping spectacle continued all morning with all of us shaking with excitement ( or was it the wind which had picked up considerably ).  Birds added were a Turnstone flying over the shelter, a few more Manxies and an Auk sp. going d/c.  Graham could not take anymore of the excitement and left about 12:30 and at 12.45 Martin spotted a Bonxie going d/c which for the life of me I could not get on.  Martin also found a Guillemot sitting on the sea and at about 1.45 a dark phase Arctic Skua flew quite close going up channel.
Total species seen were Gannets x12, Manxies x 11, Common Scoter x 11, Fulmars x 2, Guillemot x 1, Auk Sp. x 1, Great Skua x 1, Artic Skua x 1, Turnstone x 1, Harbour Porpoises x2 and a Grey Seal.
I must admit the bird activity was only slightly faster than watching Bodgeit & Run working so that shows how bad the morning really was.

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Autumn time is fungi time

A couple of pics of (what I think is) the Blusher Amanita rubescens photographed at Llwyn Onn yesterday. The widespread fungi, photo'ed by Martin earlier, around the reservoir at the moment I think might be Kuchneromyces mutabilis rather than one of the Honey Fungus

Saturday, 14 September 2013

A good day....

is any day with Otter sightings and today was one of them as I spent about 20 minutes watching the dog Otter feeding at the top end of Llwyn Onn early this morning. I took at least two Crayfish (American Signal?) while I watched. Bird wise, fairly quiet. Despite the amount of exposed mud, no waders. Highlights were a drake Tufted Duck, Kingfisher and a couple of Willow Tit heard. Coal Tits and Goldcrests appear to have had excellent breeding seasons locally.

Monday, 9 September 2013

Any one for Cricket.

Martin , this is what they look like , Any idea which one and also the Knapweed.

Shit Tick of The Week.

I was thinking Badger. Any ideas Mike. Photographed at a secret location just in case the hit men are watching.

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Slow trickle of single dunlins

Just singles of dunlin passing through at the moment, this one unwound, half opened one eye and immediately went back to sleep. Plenty of pied wagtail[15+] and meadow pipits[c30] feeding around the maergins this morning with the juv garganey still favouring the north west corner, usually with a juv teal. Also I picked up a spider species which appears to be a female Araneus quadratus, we used to get them at Llwyn-onn. Talking of which, kingfisher at both sides of north end this pm and a second report of an early morning 'owl' with long ears at dawn, RCT side of dam road, flies south when flushed.

Shit tick.

Lots of dropping at site A , but no birds seen. I did have two Common Snipe and a Kestel.There was a farmer up there with a dog and he was making a lot of noise rounding up is Sheep.I will try again in two months.

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Devon bits n bobs.

This wasn't  a birding trip but "she who must be obeyed" allowed me a few hours around Dawlish Warren and Bowling Green Marsh, Dawlish was very quiet with singles of Wheatear,Whitethroat,Willow Warbler and Chiffchaff a few Goldfinches and Linnets were around the pond and a quick look out to sea produced 20+ Sandwich Tern off Orcombe Point. We travelled through Powderham in the hope of seeing an Osprey but no joy so moved on to Bowling Green Marsh ,the hide was packed but we managed to get a seat after ten minutes or so and started scanning through the birds. There were 100+ Redshank,good numbers of Black tailed Godwit,a few Lapwing, four Grey Heron,singles of Greenshank and Common Sandpiper,both Wigeon and Teal were present in decent numbers but the highlight was a Spoonbill tucked in among 20+ Little Egret. Final port of call was Darts Farm not for birds but for their fabulous tea and cakes which i got conned into buying again (notice a theme developing here Phil?),almost forgot the resident Slav Grebe was just off the seawall at Cockwood.