Monday, 30 June 2014

bloody buses

After picking up my first Goshawk and Kingfisher for the year on Saturday I had to wait all of 2 days for my second for each.

On the walk to the station this morning I heard, then saw, a Kingfisher dash up the Taff. Then just before I boarded the train, alarm calls from Mistle Thrush and Magpies alerted me to a fly past male Gos, complete with Magpie in it's talons.

Sunday, 29 June 2014

weekend round up

The weekend started early on Friday with a Tawny Owl showing well on my walk to the station to go to work. After work I had a nose around Navigation Park and found 23 Bee Orchids.

Saturday saw me do an hours sea watch of Tutt Head, Mumbles between 06:45 and 07:45. Highlight was a feeding pod of around a dozen Common Dolphins. After coaching, a 90 min visit to try to catch up with Honey Buzzard failed in that respect but I did pick up my first Goshawk of the year - can't believe it's almost July and I'm only getting my first Gos' of the year!

Then off to Goldcliffe, where 3 Med Gulls and 3 Common Gulls were the avian highlights. The Avocets appeared to have had a successful year with a number of juv birds on the estuary. On the insect side a Ruddy darter showed well and a moth tick - Dark Arches - in one of the hides.

My late BBS visit for this year was almost as species poor as the early visit, though numbers, thanks to the juv's, were up. Family parties of Stonechat, Blackbird, Whitethroat, Green Woodpecker, Skylark, Linnet, Robin, Chiffchaff, Redstart, Blue Tit and Nuthatch all showing well. Raptors, however, were much in evidence with Red Kite (my first BBS record), Buzzard and Sparrowhawk all making it onto the BBS list. A Kestrel and Peregrine were both just outside the recording area.


Sunday, 22 June 2014

Weekend Wanderings

 Is this Corncockle?

I had to go and meet up with some relatives in Swindon last Friday and with members of this blog strewn around different parts of the UK I decided to keep going east and end up in Norfolk then stay two nights and arrive home this evening. 
No new birds were seen but a good few years ticks were observed including 7 Stone Curlew, Golden Pheasant ( only a female ), Little Tern, Common Tern, Red Crested Pochard, loads of Grey Partridge, Red-Legged Partridge, Corn Buntings, Marsh Harriers, Spoonbills, Muntjac.

Parties and what to take

I attended an all nighter at wobbly bob's (VC42) last night, being a single gentleman I took along my battery driven heath and a box of spitfire. Parking the heath at the rear of the shrubbery I entered the throbbing sweating mass of the 'do' only to emerge 8 hours later, still immaculate but with an empty box. I sought out the battery driven heath and was pleased to find c25 species 2 of which were personal ticks; treble brown spot & brussels lace.

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Mum at home, Dad at work, Kids at play!

Did what I thought would be my final breeding Peregrine survey of the year earlier this morning.

The main, established, pair have had a good season. Mum was sitting on the edge of the nest site when Dad departed on a hunting trip. Meanwhile the three youngsters were having a ball chasing each other, honing their flying and hunting skills. It was a most enjoyable hour just watching them chase each other.

The newcomers, just 2km up the road had not given away their nest site on my previous visit. This morning it took me almost 20 minutes before I finally found the nest. Unlike the main pair, there was no mass of white below to give the location away. It was a change of viewing location/angle and a downy white chick that eventually gave the nest away. Strange to see this pair with a chick that looked about 10 days - 2 weeks old when the first pair's youngsters are flying. I thought a second chick was present but the angle didn't help, so another visit in a couple of weeks is on the cards.

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Tawny Owl

I had an hour away from the computer this morning and went in search of Mr Bell's Tawny Owl from last Sunday. It took me awhile to locate it but eventually it gave itself up. In fact I'm almost sure there were two. Sad to say this is the first Owl I've seen in the UK this year. Must do better!

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

A couple of shots from the weekend.

 Green Tiger Beetle.
 Bryn du Any ideas on this Moth.
 Robertstown on waste ground and found under a piece of wood any ideas.
Small Tortoiseshell Caterpillar.

Some more colour from Canada

 America Redstart.
 Cedar Waxwing.
 Magnolla Warbler.
Cliff Swallow.

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Bits and Bobs

  Hoverfly Chrysotoxum Bicinctum or small wasp looking thing and Four spotted Chaser below.
 My only dodgy shot is a Hoverfly Bomby  Lanus.
 Golden Ringed Dragonfly and what a cracker.

It's all going cuckoo

After doing this months WeBS - highlight was my first Common Lizard for the site - I wandered around Craig Fargoed and Cwm Bargoed. Almost as soon as I crossed the railway line into CF I heard a male Cuckoo calling. Within minutes a brown female flew past me. 10 minutes later 2 females flew over, while the male continued to call. The male and one of the females were virtually always in sight, or sound over the next couple of hours. At one stage a second male flew in only to be chased off. A total of 4 Cuckoo's giving great views.
Supporting cast in CF were 5 Whichat (3 male, 2 female), 12 Stonechat (4 prs with several young), a very showy Tawny Owl, and at least 6 Smooth Newts in a roadside water tank.

Another (?) Cuckoo was calling mid way up Cwm Bargoed, but otherwise the valley was quite quiet, bird wise. I added Common Blue Damselfly, Golden-ringed Dragonfly, Small Pearl-bordered Fritilary, Silver Ground and Green Carpets to the year lists.

Coming down into the Taff valley a Yellow Shell was a new moth tick and my first Dingy Skipper of the year.

 Small Pearl-bordered Fritilary
 Chrysops caecutiens (?)
 Tawny Owl
Yellow Shell

Craig y Llyn and Cwn Cadlan

Few photos from a walk with Martin Bevan this morning around the top of the valley. Bird wise very quiet apart from cracking views of two Cuckoos and hearing Crossbills but only the one bird seen distantly by Martin.
 Golden Ringed Dragonfly
 Dingy Skipper
 Stonechat and 4 Spot Chaser below
Insects were good with loads of year ticks like Golden Ringed Dragonfly, 4 Spot Chaser, Small Pearl Bordered Fritillary, Green Tiger Beetle and finding Green Hairstreak at Cwm Cadlan ( overflow carpark!!!! ).

A couple of diggers for a change

 These bloody Diggers are parked on the Pyramidal Orchid site and I have not seen any there this year yet. So the good old forestry commission strikes again.

Saturday, 14 June 2014

Large Skipper

 I went to Bryn Du today to look for Small Blue Butterfly but had no luck. But when I was walking along the road I spotted a Large Skipper and went to take a photo and a pale butterfly stroke moth flew past me and for that second I was sure I had Grizzled Skipper. But on getting closer it was this pale Mother Shipton moth and I thought how easy it would have been to come away thinking it was Grizzled Skipper, well there always next time.

Out and About

Out doing my WeBs this morning and a couple of hours near the Mountain Centre in Brecon today give me a chance to test drive my new camera.
 Grey Heron
 Broad Bodied Chaser
 Chaffinch and Meadow Pipit bathing below

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Cosmeston Night Heron

Rob and myself took a trip down to Penarth to see the Night Heron found earlier today. We had to wait awhile before it finally left his roost and took a quick flight around the lake before returning to land on another tree.
Couple of record shots above.

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Quiet, very quiet!

I think, bird wise, its a return to Glumorgan, at least at this end of the shire; the moths appear to be Argyresthia trifasciata and A cupressella, which both turned up in my trap on Friday night. Me and the toad are on the look out for brown hawker, only 3 previous records; Heolgerrig, Baverstocks and Llwyn-onn north, theres a box of Spitfire on it.