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Friday, 28 December 2012

Christmas Catch Up

Overall a very wet Christmas, I drove across to Wales to see the family on the afternoon of Saturday 22nd December. At Fleet early morning (staying with cousins) on Sunday 23rd I saw a Grey Squirrel run across the lawn and bury a nut right in the middle carefully pacing it beneath a tussock of grass, no doubt "squirrelling away" for a hard winter treat. 3 Robins were seen, 2 males who inevitably squared up to each other thrusting their chests out and then launching at each other whilst the female looked on disdainfully! Between Reading and Newberry whilst driving west along the M4 I saw a Red Kite on the left hand side of the road flying, using its forked tail as a a rudder in flight, a Buzzard was seen near Swindon. On Christmas day, in the rain a Nuthatch came to the food Mum put out at the Lodge at Llanddarogg and at my sister-in law's at Llannon, I saw 2 Mistle Thrush, perched on overhead wires opposite. On Boxing Day, further rain restricted my birding actvities but 2 Nuthatches came to the food Mum put out plus 3 inquisitive Jays and a loud "croak" revealed a Raven flying over the Lodge and south. A quick visit to the stream and I saw 4 Redwing on a distant tree, a Nuthatch showed well fairly high up in a tree and Goldcrest in trees by the stream. Finally, a Red Kite flew east across the fields seen from the Lodge. Thursday 27th early on the 2 Nuthatches came to food again and I was able to get a half decent shot of one of them. A pair of Raven again flew over the Lodge as did a Buzzard. A visit to the Cymisfael stream revealed an excellent Willow Tit, my first of 2012, by the Whitehall bridge, seen initially foraging deep in some bushes it flew up to a tree showing its bull- necked appearance, long matt black crown extending well onto the nape and a very white cheeks, another buffy bird that flew away earlier may have been a second. Walking back along the stream, first a Goldcrest seen in a fir tree (Treecreeper heard also) and an immature Grey Wagtail seen feeding by the edge. A Buzzard flew over the woods here by the stream. Finally mid afternoon on the return journey, just before turning onto the main road at Llanddarogg, a Raven flew left over the road and the fields. 2 Buzzards seen one near Cross Hands and another near Swindon (a pale bird) on the return journey east along the M4.

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