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Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Bewicks & bargain book

Whilst driving over the Breydon bridge at lunchtime, I could see 15 small Swans on the estuary, surely they were Bewicks? Sadly, I couldn't stop to check. This was confirmed when Ricky F tweeted to say there were 15 Bewicks Swans on Breydon Water. At lunchtime, I purchased a copy of the excellent Benny Genbol "Collins Birds of Prey" 2nd edition for just £6.99 at the The Works Bargain Bookstore in Great Yarmouth Market place, there are still 4 copies left (as of lunchtime today). It's a great book too, highly recommended.

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Mutford Lock Surprise


Whilst driving south over Mutford Lock bridge at Oulton Broad, I noticed what looked like 2 Shags on the wooden jetty close to the eastern side of the bridge on the Lake Lothing side. When I went to investigate on foot, there were indeed 2 immature Shags which stood on either side of the jetty, just 20 feet from the road bridge. Whilst ducking underneath the barrier, I unfortunately disturbed a few feral pigeons which flew off, causing the 2 Shags to initially shuffle back a couple of feet but before long they were settled enough to shuffle back to their original postions.
The immature Shag on the left was in clear view, with pale belly, and brownish upperparts and a small white throat. The other bird on the right was partially obscured and mostly had its back onto me. I managed a few pictures and then quietly left. At Lowestoft Asda, 3 calling Siskin flew over in a south- westerly direction.
Nothing else was seen here.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Autumn goes on and on...

An early morning start with the sun rays dispersing the fog and lifting the temperature from a chilly 4 degrees. I walked down to Mariners score checking the top garden and the steps and saw very little but Phil J kindly appeared at the top of steps and beckoned me over to an area at the top of the steps looking south in a run down overgrown garden at the back of the buildings adjoining Lowestoft Old High Street.. Joining a small throng of birders, I didn't have long to wait before the Hume's Leaf Warbler could be seen flitting around in distant Sycamores and then it flew into back of the "garden" where it hopped about in an elder bush. The bird was a little more olivey than the "Crop Shop" bird but still greysh with a buff super and wing bars and darker cap, it flew to ivy bordering the garden wall and showed well here for a couple of minutes before flying back into the Sycamores at the back and eventually out of sight. Steve and I checked a few other area then I walked back to the car and decided to have a look in Arnolds Walk where it was great to have a chat with Robert Win, at the back of the walk near the top a Holly tree I saw a fine chestnut capped female Blackcap.
I am usually delighted to encounter any sort of wildlife but I had an experience early afternoon, that I could have done without! Going into the loft to get the Christmas decorations down, and whilst I was doing this I rested my arm on a bin bag and felt a sharp piercing stinging pain in my arm, feeling I'd been impaled by something sharp, instinctively, I withdrew my arm and then something flopped onto the floor beside me, a Wasp, I'd been stung! I thought I had killed it but when went back up it was crawling around near the hatch and this time I made no mistake in dispatching it, lets hope there's not any more up there!

This afternoon I walked out to Oulton Marshes, taking the path right at the bottom of the hill and walking round by the raised flood defence wall, I looked out over the flooded fields and saw a fine group of 28 White- fronted Geese, just beyond the dyke.
A fine adult male bird with thick black belly bands, flapped his wings and they seemed to be keeping themselves separate from a flock of 29 Canada Geese. I checked each bird carefully checking there weren't any Greylag, Pink- foot or Tundra/ Taiga Beans amongst them. The group were a little wary walking back a little way when a noisy family walked past.
Whilst driving back east along Sands Lane, I reached the junction to Cotswold Drive and a group of what I thought were Starling flew across low and north over the road, but at least one of them was definitely a fine Waxwing showing pale pinky- buff colouration, crest and yellow band on the base of a tail.
Marvellous! sadly, I couldn't relocate the Waxwing. I suspect it was just 1 Waxwing amongst a small group of Starlings.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Hume's Leaf Warbler the third!




Looking at the three pics besides this post, you could be forgiven for thinking that you had logged onto Birding Beijing, an excellent blog run by my friend Terry T out in China (check out the link on the right hand side) the birds had a distinct South-east Asian even Chinese feel today with 2 glorious Hume's Leaf warblers (1 very showy individual) and a very confiding (morning only) male Mandarin at Leathes Ham on show today. A look at the Hume's Leaf Warbler behind crop shop, I had a brief chat with Chris M and Peter N who said the Hume's Leaf Warbler was flitting around in the walled garden. It was showing well in the bushes (It was among the brambles and perched nicely on a vertical stem) and the trees here, where I managed to get a few shots before it flew up into the tall trees where we were standing where it flitted around the large branches extending left of the tree and sometimes showing in pretty good light before it flew back to the alley, where it was seen by the far fence. Nice to see Paul & Jane, Jeremy G & Keith D here and Colin J (very briefly!). The warbler then flew right and I walked down the path to the entrance in the anticipation of seeing it in the bushes either side of the alley. Sure enough it appeared in the bush on the north side showing very well before Matt D walked past and flushed it!
Receiving a tweet stating there was a Mandarin at Leathes Ham, i was soon walking down the path and I met Justin L and his brother, who advised me to photograph it on its left hand side! I didn't know what they meant, but I saw the bird by the closest island, amazingly this stunningly colourful duck was standing on the nearside of the island, it was very close, albeit looking straight into very strong sunlight. The bird was facing left and looking resplendent. It even had a brief forty winks, before a couple with a dog walked to the edge and the dog splashed into the water and amazingly the ducks swam towards them and the male Mandarin woke up and swam towards them as they threw bread out. As the Mandarin swam over I saw its right hand side and I could see what Justin was on about, it was missing its right eye! It then thankfully turned around and it swam back and onto the island again.
Shopping at Asda, my Asda bonus this week, was a fine very late Common Tern that flew in at noon from the right (the harbour) and fished over on the far side of Lake Lothing 150 yards west of the Grain silo fishing in particular near the orange boat and it even settled on the far quay for 5 minutes. I watched it for around 20 minutes.
At Oulton Broad, a calling Pied Wagtail showed well on the thatched roof. I saw a family of 6 Egyptian geese on the water, 2 adults, 1 at the front and 1 at the back with the 4 juveniles in the centre. Also on the Broad was a Great Crested Grebe and 1 Cormorant.
Amazingly I received a tweet, stating there was a third Hume's Warbler in Lowestoft this time behind the Royal Falcon pub.
Twenty minutes later, I was walking to the back area of he pub at the top of the High Street and overlooking a rubbish strewn scrubby area (there was a bike frame suspended on some branches one side and old vacuum cleaner suspended on branches the other side!) the excellent third Hume's Leaf Warbler flitting around the base of some bramles bushes and then in some Sycamores to the left, initial impression of this bird was that it was a little greener in plumage albeit with dark cap, buff yellow super and wing bars and mucky underparts particularly on the breast. Some Long- tailed Tits joined it and unfortunately the bird flowed them south and out of sight.
Amongst the initial crowd was David W, Paul and Jane F, Jon E, regular correspondent Paul W and these were joined by OFB and Ricky F & Debbie. Ricky, Debbie and I toured the Scores until Andrew tweeted to us to say he had seen it in Mariners Score and I saw the Hume's Leaf Warbler briefly on the left side of a large Sycamore before it flew to a wall.
Back at Leathes Ham, sadly the Mandarin was missing but a pair of Wigeon were seen up very close but the light was even worse than before!

Friday, 18 November 2011

Hume's Leaf Warbler the second

Finally I managed to see the Hume's Leaf Warbler today before work between 7.40 - 8.40am, which has been showing well sporadically in the middle of Lowestoft. On Wednesday, early morning I had missed it as it had done a circuit have been seen by the big tree just south of Lowestoft registrars office and the bushes bordering the garden on the west side of Battery Green roundabout.
This morning, parking the car along the 1 hour free parking bay opposite the Police station, I walked through the narrow passageway just south of the new flats and east of the Crops hairdressing shop. The excellent Hume's Leaf Warbler was seen in a small Sycamore, half way down of which Steve Jones, the finder, said is it's favourite tree. the bird was then seen then by the bushes bordering the northern fence of the alleyway was flushed by a bag carrying passerby and it initially flew south before settling in a small walled garden area first flitting in high branches of a particularly tall tree before showing exceptionally well in bushes and around the ivy near the base of a tree, the only hindrances for photography was the poor light and foliage growing on the wall I was peering over, the bird was by now calling "chee-witt' frequently.
A big thankyou to Chris D for telling me he was shooting at ISO 800 which gave me the confidence to set my ISO to 1000 the next day with great results (see header).

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Birthday Bonus

Today was my birthday and for the first time in ages, I couldn't take the day off as I had to go to work for an important meeting at Norwich.
Perhaps this was entirely appropriate as I was hardly in the mood to celebrate my birthday this year.
Having started work at 7.30am I was able to finish at 2.30pm, and I was able to pop over to Corton woods for the last hour and a half of available light on this fine sunny day in the hope of seeing the Hume's Leaf Warbler again. When I arrived OFB, Peter from Norwich and a couple of other birders were staring into the trees on the southern side of the wood. I didn't need to ask the whereabouts of the bird because it was calling a distinctive "chee-wit" call from the tall trees at the edge of the wood.
We couldn't see it so I decided to take the path into the wood bordering the pond (passerines often congregate here especially when the sun is setting) and seeing Long- tailed Tits, I sifted through a small flock of said birds, 2 Goldcrests were also with them and flew across the path and west into the wood, when suddenly a small warbler flitted across, calling "che-wittt" the excellent Hume's Leaf Warbler. but I didn't see it again here as it soon melted into the wood.
I walked back to the crowd who were waiting to see it just outside the wood.
We then walked outside looking over to the western edge of the wood, as the sun was setting and throwing the last vestiges of sunlight onto these trees. No sign again, but returning to the pond area, along the path 30 yards just north of here and looking into 3 tall ivy clad trees the "chee-witt" call was heard twice but the bird wasn't seen again, although around 20 Long- tailed Tits and the 2 Goldcrest were present again.
I then checked a Sycamore tree just to the right of the path and there were 2 birds, both warblers flitting around. The first lower bird was a pale Chiff- Chaff so pale in fact that it looked suspiciously like an "abietinus race" bird from North/ North east Europe with subdued supercilium, dark cheeks and eye-stripe giving prominence to the white eye-ring with very dull pale flanks, duller pale olive- green above. This disappeared from view and I switched my attention to the other warbler.
This bird was smaller and constantly active, flitting and actively feeding on insects on the mid right hand side of the tree. The bird was constantly active and never completely on show, so I had to piece together bits of the bird seen amongst the sycamore leaves/foliage, mucky off white/ grey underparts were clearly and frequently seen, then the buffish wing bars, the lower very prominent and broad. Then on another occasion, the head was seen showing a darkish cap, broad buff- yellow supercilia and dark bill, then on another; the dark legs. It was of course the excellent Hume's Leaf Warbler.
Confident of the ID, I went to retrieve another birder down the track who was delighted to add this sighting to his life list when we returned.
The bird continued feeding now going to near the top of the sycamore, and after some ten minutes of observation it flew left and out of sight. It called once when it flew. I finally saw 2 Goldcrest very close, 1 sat in a bush for several minutes just feet away.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Hume's Leaf Warbler 1st for Lowestoft!

With the mild south- east winds continuing, I looked around Gunton woods and meadow first thing in the hope of finding some more eastern gems, but the highlight were the 3 Bullfinches seen and heard from the hedgerow, first the female flew out and then the male whilst another bird was calling from the hedge making 3.
Next stop was Link's road car park where around 30 Black- headed Gulls stood and 1 Common Gull sat. Whilst out to sea, a Grey Seal swam north between the 2nd and 3rd groynes south of the car park. Later it was seen swimming south between the 3rd and 4th groynes and it stuck its head up out from the water. each time I ran down to trying to get some pics it disappeared beneath the waves and stayed under water!
I walked up to Gunton warren and saw very little.
Driving down to Asda, as I walked to the assembled crowd, Paul W showed me his tweet on the phone "Hume's Warbler at Dip Farm" I turned straight round but got stuck by the bridge from 10.40am for twenty minutes as the Police stopped us as the Remembrance Sunday parade complete with drummers sea cadets and representatives from all the armed forced marched down the road and onto the cenotaph by the Pier. Without those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the two world wars and more recent conflicts none of us may have had the freedoms we enjoy today.
So half and hour later, I followed Paul & Jane's car as it turned off Yarmouth road and down Corton road where we parked opposite the shelter belt by Dip farm seeing Andrew, he said it had just flown across the road into the shelter belt. We walked across the road through the shelter belt and looked into the bushes just west of here bordering the Dip Farm Pitch and Putt golf course, a call from Rob Wil and the bird, which clearly looked like a Hume's Leaf Warbler as it was seen in a bush, a Buddlea (?) the bird was seen clearly, like a dull Yellow-browed with duller olive-grey back, darker crown and more buffy-yellow wingbars and supercilia and off white "muckier" underparts. This excellent bird then hopped down to the lower branches before darting up to the middle of the bush and then out into bushes left of there. The Hume's Leaf warbler called it's distinctive Greenish warbler/Pied Wagtail-like call "dsu-weet" call several times, confirmation clearly of it's identity and a great find & ID from Rob Wincup who fully deserves this fantastic find, well done Rob!
Lizard Cup winner for 2011?
The bird then flew over to bushes by the fence bordering the playing field before flying back north over to 3 trees where we saw it moving around at a frenetic pace, calling occasionally, I now only saw the movements of the bird, flitting into trees, always obscured by foliage and always restless and on the move.
Whilst exiting the shelter belt i witnessed the most disgraceful amount of rubbish I have ever seen, there must have been close on 500 different pieces of litter, beer cans, crisps packets etc, it looked like a mini rubbish dump, absolutely disgusting!)
Next stop, before joining Jenny at Southwold, was Asda where I saw Roy & Ruth H walking from the Lake Lothing side of the store who said it was just round the corner at the back of Asda store where a channel of water stretched west for 200 yards. Dick W was trying to get some shots of it, albeit at some distance away. The Red- throated Diver was seen at the end and then it swam right and back to the main channel, it flapped its wings on its haunches once but didn't give particularly close views this time. We finally saw it swimming west out into the main channel of Lake Lothing.
At Southwold, I looked on the marshes for SE Owls but failed to see any, there were several Blackbirds in the Churchyard and a smart and showy Pied wagtail in Church street.
Parking at Kessingland I walked along the beach and the grassy mounds hoping to reach a viewpoint over the levels where I was hoping to connect with SE Owls, I didn't but I was well compensated when I heard a vaguely familiar nasal "ung-unk" call and some largish long- winged Geese, 2 of them were flying south and directly over my head. They had brownish plumage with long dark neatly tapering long sleek wings, orange legs (noted as they flew directly overhead!) showing narrow white tip to the tail and darker brown head with a shortish bill darkish with an orange-tip.
They were 2 excellent Tundra Bean Geese, I had been looking at them as a birder and looking to ID them first and foremost and not a photographer, so I missed my chance for some excellent shots! They continued flying in a southerly directly and clipping over Kessingland levels and probably aiming for Benacre broad or nearby fields?

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Eastern Gems & showy Diver



It was a very grey murky day, but my first stop was for the Red- throated Diver that Andrew had seen from Asda seen on the Lake Lothing adjoining the car park. As soon as I arrived, a Cormorant was drying its wings out on the nearby post and the excellent Red- throated Diver, still with a patch of brick-red, a narrow rusty rectangular patch on its throat, so therefore in transitional plumage and partially retaining this part of its summer garb, was seen half way out on the water.
The bird was still some way away but I obtained a few record shots and drove to the outskirts of Heathland holiday camp at Kessingland. Walking down 100 yards east along the long path to the entrance, I joined a group of birders including Paul & Jane, Chris M and Peter N and Chris D amongst others. Looking over in the direction of the camp I could see 3 wonderful Waxwings which would frequently fly and swoop up into the air to catch some insects in flight.
The Ybw was still not showing and I decided to walk east to the cliff to look out to sea. Not a lot was seen, so retracing my steps
I rejoined Paul and Jane and newly arrived OFB. Paul & Jane had seen the Ybw in my absence, and Paul did ever so well to pick it up in the left hand sycmore amongst the bushes in front of us and I was soon watching the excellent Yellow- browed Warbler which was showing occasionally amongst the foliage but was typically very active. It was seen a couple of times in the middle and the back of this sycamore before it too disappeared. In a far tree at the back, Paul had picked out all 14 Waxwings which were back.
The Waxwings flew from tree to tree occasionally flying up into the air and then down again catching insects. Before several Waxwings flew over our heads.

Returning to Asda car park, the Diver was now 30 yards east of the car park, and I walked across rough ground and was able to get some reasonable shots this time as the excellent Red- throated Diver gradually swam nearer and nearer. It even raised up on its haunches and flapped its wings giving me a wonderful photo opportunity see the result on the picture below the header! Its swimming accelerated when a small boat drove through heading west, doing me a favour as the Diver swam to almost 30 feet of where I was, it then started to swim quickly west for some 50 yards before turning and then slowly swimming east and heading to the middle of the water again.
After a brief interlude for lunch at home, I received a tweet stating that both Ybw and Pallas' had been seen on Maltsters score off the old High street Lowestoft. I parked just north of the Police station and joining Jane we walked/ ran up the score no one could be seen but Andrew was seen just north of here and we then ran up Cumberland Place and in a patch of waste ground the excellent Pallas' Warbler was seen very brieffly in the bush and then a sycamore at the bottom before it flew back into bushes between Cumberland Place/ Maltsters' Score and it was seen at the back and briefly on top of a bramble bush before it was seen in some bushes along Cumberland Place and a Sycamore where I was able to photograph it. As usual a real gem of a bird with striking long lemon- yellow supercilia, yellow central crown stripe and two thick yellow wing bars and lemon yellow rump.This was the first time I've been birding the Lowestoft scores, very historic lanes running down from the old High street to the old fishing village now almost completely disappeared. Sadly, like much of Lowestoft, these Scores which should be a source of historic pride for the local community, looked very run down with boarded up windows and litter and old beer cans littered about.
At Ness Point, in the yard by the Wind turbine, a female type Black Redstart flew onto a pile of wood planking. It then flew over the road and onto the roof of a building along the west of the road to the car park. A fine end to a fine birding day.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Sibe Chiff-Chaff




Taking the afternoon off today, because I had to work this evening. As I parked at 2.15pm, around 50 Linnets flew from the fields up to the trees. I then headed for the new Corton Sewage works, taking the route skirting the western and southern perimeter of the sewage works and then taking the boardwalk to the Sewage pool. As soon as I approached the Sallows, I heard the "hiiip" lost chick call of the excellent Siberian Chiff-Chaff as it flitted through the tops of the Sallows. It was a very grey looking bird with buffish supercilia, grey head mantle and back and whitish underparts with black legs. It flew to the southern edge of the Sallows and showed quite well although it was difficult to photograph. It then flew across the boardwalk and then eventually flew back to the Sallows and then over by the pool. The bird was constantly on the move flying from twig to twig and showed well.
At Links road car park, 2 adult Winter Mediterranean Gulls by the puddles then they flew off as a couple walked along the sea wall. Suddenly a group of 10 waders flew north along the seawall, amongst the 10 Turnstone were 2 Purple Sandpiper. They settled on the rocks of part of the old seawall seen on the beach just off the end of Links road.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

High Arctic Visitor


My first seawatch of the day, a brief one because I had to go to Norwich for work today, took place off Baker's score, Corton from 8.30 to 8.50am. A reasonable sea passage included skeins of 5, 4 and 4 Brent Geese flying south. A big group of 16 Common Scoter flying south all females save for 2 males who were first and third in the line as they flew low over the sea. 1 winter- plumaged Red- throated Diver was seen fairly close in on the sea. 2 Sky Larks flew south too. Sadly, on my journey to Norwich along the Acle straight, I saw the squashed corpse of a Barn Owl at the left side of the road.
My second seawatch of the day, was during my rather late lunch break, which I took on Gorleston Pier (after returning after attending a meeting in Norwich), a dead Robin was seen by the bushes at the start of the pier, but as soon as I had reached the end at 2.15pm, I looked down on the sea and barely 20 foot out, was an excellent Little Auk. I was really delighted to see it, the first one I have seen since November 2009. A superb gem of a bird, a visitor from the high Arctic with short black stubby bill, black upperparts and white underparts. No sooner had I seen it than it flew north a little way to the sea just beneath the sea defence rocks bordering the southern side of the Great Yarmouth outer harbour, showing short stubby wings it pitched down again in the sea for several minutes before flying due east and then north when it had cleared the end of the harbour, a wonderful sight (the Little Auk, not Yarmouth harbour!)
Groups of 39 and 5 Brent Geese flew south. Several Cormorants, 4 were seen out at sea on the water and flying about.

Monday, 7 November 2011

Brief Seawatch

A twenty minute seawatch from Baker's score Corton revealed 3 Meadow Pipit flying north, close in 28 Brent Geese south and 1 Guillemot north. Not really the Auk I was hoping for, but welcome nonetheless. I couldn't stay any longer as I had to be at Beccles very early to deliver my car for it's MOT.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Sea Passage


At Ness Point, an assembled team of birders already there included James B, Paul & Jane OFB, Roger W and others.
There was an impressive sea passage of birds flying north mainly duck and of those mainly Wigeon and Teal with groups of 18, 32, 24 of Wigeon and 16, 8 and 4 Teal flying north. Also flying past was a a respendent male Goldeneye and 1 female Goldeneye and 2 female Red- breasted Mergansers. Brent Geese also flew past 1 very close in flew north plus a further groups of 8 and 12 also north.
Eiders flew south including a glorious male and 5 females too.
Walking over to the finger 1 Purple Sandpiper seen amongst a group of 12 Turnstone plus 2 flew past going south so 3 Purple Sandpiper in all.
At Links road car park, amongst the Gulls was an old friend the adult winter Mediterranean Gull with green ring sporting the white letters 3XA9.
Walking north I checked warren House Wood and checking the hill behind it with the fence, I disturbed a Woodcock that flew into a fence and was momentarily dazed as it flapped around before it flew up and over the wood.
walking north along the beach, I saw further groups of 8 and 12 Brent Geese flying north and a large group of 32 Teal and 27 Wigeon going north. Nearing the seawall, 4 excellent Snow Bunting flew a short way south and walking along the sea wall, I spotted first 4 then another singleton Snow Buntings, totalling 5 in all feeding on the beach by the marram grass. Dog walkers were flushing them and they moved north briefly feeding before being flushed by them once again.
Finally, 2 singleton Curlew flew north.

Friday, 4 November 2011

Lunchbreak Pallas's

On Friday 4th November, at 12.20pm I took a short lunchbreak trip to Corton Old rail track hoping to see the Pallas's Warbler.
This bird had been really elusive during its stay but I was fortunate enough to see it 4X during my 45 minute stay and seeing it well on two occasions.
Seeing a group of birders including OFB, Steve P & Andrew G amongst others, all standing half way to the Dell, I joined them and no sooner had I done so than we started to hear Long- tailed Tits calling. The Tit flock came through and following it was a small warbler with short tail and silky white underparts. It then disappeared into bushes and called a soft "tsuiiee" call, it was the Pallas's Warbler. Around half an hour later, looking at the bushes bordering the east side of the old rail track bushes by the Dell, I serched through a flock of Long- tailed Tits flying right, a Chiff- Chaff was with them plus several Blue Tits. A shout went up from Steve P and the flock flew to the south end trees of the Dell in the middle of the track, the Pallas's Warbler flew across and I could see its bright olive upperparts and a riots of yellow wing- bars. It disappeared within a thickly foliaged Holm Oak.
Walking away from the group, I walked along the east side of the Dell and looked east peering into the shrub border and looking through to the back, I could clearly see the excellent Pallas's Warbler.
This Siberian gem always lifts the spirits and was desperately needed at this time. A glorious birds with olive green upperparts yellow supercilia and 2 yellow wing bars, it flitted around the back and I watched it for a minute before it flew a short way to the right.
Having to go back to the car to return to work at 1pm, I again saw the excellent Pallas's Warbler as it followed several Long- tailed tits which flew across the track (west path) which was 30 yards north of the Dell to the middle set of bushes. The Pallas's Warbler flew across and it perched on a branch in full view with the sunlight illuminated the bird wonderfully and the olive upperparts yellow supercilia and wing bars could be seen really well, albeit for just 10 seconds before it flew south.
Finally it was really good to see and have a quick chat with Tommy C an excellent field birder who I hadn't seen for several years.

South Wales


On a strictly family trip to South Wales recently, I saw a calling Nuthatch was in a tree opposite LL Lodge front door as I arrived and up to 2 Nuthatch seen around here all week. I did manage 2 visits down to Cymisfael stream and fields and saw the Dipper by the bridge which I was able to photograph as I sneaked up close to it. A Stonechat was also seen on a distant tree. A Nuthatch in a tree flew into a bush.
The second visit to Cymisfael stream after some heavy rain, revealed a torrent of water rushing along the stream and I wasn't surprised not to see any Dipper this time but the walk revealed 3 Fieldfare and around 10 Redwing too. Plus 5 spiralling Buzzards over the fields here and 2 Ravens too. A Red kite was seen circling over the fields by the Llanddarog turn off.
On a visit to Cefngoleu I was able to show my nephew a distant Red Kite, calling Nuthatch which was seen in a close tree and a very confiding Red Admiral seen on the patio in the back garden, which even flew onto Alfie's shoulder and leg!
Finally, on the return journey, 3 Red Kites flew over the east bound Reading services by the M4.