Monday, 29 February 2016

Pan Species challenge update

I'm now 2 months into my 1000 species challenge. The going has been a bit slower, as expected. The current total is a paltry 181 species, broken down as
Birds - 129
Fungi - 20
Plants - 11
Lichens - 8
Mammals - 5
Liverworts - 4
Molluscs - 2
Amphib's - 1
Mosses - 1

There have been a number of "tick's" particularly in the Lichen's, Liverworts and Mosses. 

The plant's in particular look a bit slim, but I expect these to jump now that more are coming into flower/leaf. Plus, of course, the insects will be on the wing shortly.

Sunday, 28 February 2016

Quiet Sunday Walk

I set off for Garwnant and went over the Cadlan bright and early, it was nice to catch up with the Fieldfare flock which was about 130 in total with only 5 Redwing which was a surprise being so low. I saw very little else and I made good time getting to Garwnant and on getting to the felled area I was suprised to see no sign of the Shrike. I than  worked my way along  the bottom path and came up in the North Plantation where I got a Red Kite and my first for Wales this year, yes I know pretty bad . Also found a Kestrel but still no sign of the Shrike there. So I thought better make my way back to the first site and just as I was getting there I spotted the Shrike in the tree below and had brilliant views, it was so worth the wait, so glad I went looking and did not just sit in my car and see if it would turn up. So time to move and find my next bird and and made good time getting there and had a Pair of Ravens carrying wool to line their nest also nice to see spring could be on it's way. After two cups of coffee and two Apple Doughnuts I got to my next stop, its a site I have been to dozens of times but never tired of going there, Site A to look for Red Grouse. It was kind of brass monkeys cold and felt like no matter what I had on the wind passed right through it. Also it was nice to see the Skylarks back on site and counted easily 20 and great to hear their song again and I sat there for five minutes watching them fly and chase each other over there territories. When I finely arrived at the site it was fairly quiet and so I started my search and made my way slowly over the site. It only took me 10 minutes before I struck gold had my first and only Red Grouse. It flew off into the distance, did not call and looked like a female. I carried on my search and found very little droppings and was starting to thing maybe this small population is doomed. Has I turned around I saw a Peregrine Falcon flying low over the site hunting. I did find more droppings and yes I would say there are more than one still on site and will try again later in the year. Has I was about to leave the site I flushed a small flock of Golden Plover, there were six in total and one was in summer plumage and looked
very smart in the sunlight.

I also got a Macro Adapter and for eight pound I thought I would give it a shot. I thought it was not to bad and will try and use it more to get used to it.
 Sphagnum Mosses and could be Capillifolium and great looking stuff.
 Up close and Coltfoot is a very smart Flower also Danelion.

 I found this lichen and been tolds it's Usnea Florida and was at  Llwynonn Res.

Thursday, 25 February 2016

Green Elfcup Visit

On Saturday afternoon, I will be leading a small group from the Glamorgan Fungus Group, to the Green Elfcups I posted on here a few weeks ago. We'll be meeting at 1 PM, so if anyone here (the Three Valleys Birders) wants to come along email me for the details of where to meet.
As for the fungi themselves, I assume that after all this dry weather, they will be looking somewhat shrivelled, but at least you will know where to go in wetter weather next winter to see them in their prime.

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Garwnant shrike

At last, found today at 14:50 on clear-fell between green barrier and the farm, always distant, using tops of broad-leaf scrub around perimeter of clear-fell. Watched it until 16:00, when Mr & Mrs GF Thomas and the dogs turned up, ticked it and left. It made 1 kill, small mammal, probably Pygmy Shrew which it appeared to eat completely.

First Curlew at Rhaslas yesterday, 1700 Herring Gull & 125 Lesser Black-backed at Pontsticill Reservoir, also yesterday. The gulls arrived at 17:00 hours, so plenty of time to view but alas no white wings, oh bugger.

Photo Hide Thailand

This is the Tree Shrew which popped out when Phil was fast asleep and said we never saw one.
 Kalij Pheasant was a cracking bird which came too close to focus on but was great to see and watch so close.

Red Junglefowl

Monday, 22 February 2016

Wet Sunday

Wet day at Porthcawl, the sea was hard work and I could not see very far out. Best thing seen were two Fulmar, two Med Gulls, 1 Turnstone, 1 Oystercatcher, hundreds of Black Headed Gulls and this very smart Herring Gull with rings on both legs. I have been onto Dan who is finding out where he is from.

Stopped at Kenfig Pool, there were good numbers of ducks like Wigeon, Tufted, Mallard, Gadwall, Pochard and nice to see the female Pintail was still present but sadly no sight of the Scaup which was why I was there .
Forest Farm was pretty good and great to see Reed Bunting numbers starting to grow again. Loads of Bullfinch, this male looks like he got Bumble Foot and was very sad too see. The Kingfisher was on show staight away, the water rail showed well for a bit too also lots of common snipe.

Saturday, 20 February 2016

Little Bit Of Thailand From Me

These Gecko's shared a room with us and were brilliant to watch. The bottom one is a Toke Gecko and there were two of them. There was also a big one which was nine inches long and hid in the toilet. I thought he was very brave I thought they only used cannaries to test for gas.

 The Water Monitors were big beasties and were like little dinosaurs
 We found these Water Snails and were the biggest Snail Shell I have ever seen.
We found this thing on a beach and I thought it was a Horse Shoe Crab and after turning it over Martin said he thought that it was a Ray and yes I think he is right but dont tell him .

 On the Beach there were lots of Fidler Crabs too

 This was our transport which was nice and cool as we went along and was very relaxing.

 Caspian Tern
 Chinese Egret

The locals were in the water collecting shellfish and must be good pickings as there were lots of them. I always wanted to see Coconuts growing on a beach .

Some More Thailand Pics

Siberian Blue Robin

Siberian Blue Robin

Long Tailed Broadbill (record shot)

Taiga Flycatcher

Steppe Eagle

Asian Openbill

Painted Stork

White Vented Myna

Wood Sandpiper