Monday, 31 October 2016
Paul and I did the western tip of the Gower yesterday, starting at Middleton, where a possible
Hume's leaf warbler was reported calling the day before and plenty of Yellow browed warblers,
amongst other things, had been seen the past week. Two other birders were there at first
light and it was initially quiet, although a Yellow browed warbler showed after an hour. After
another hour, and with only YBW and Chiffchaff seen well, we decided to walk the Vine lane to
the coast and loop back through the fields. There was good vismig, with thrushes aplenty and
around 4000 Wood pigeon going over west. A pair of Chough were on the cliffs and flocks of
Starlings, Skylarks and a few Reed buntings were in the weedy fields. On walking back up the
lane, we stopped to photograph some insects and I heard a warbler call in the hedge behind us.
On searching for the bird, it flew right past me from behind and low to the ground. A green bird
and square yellow rump could only be one thing, it faced me as it landed and I called to Paul,
"Pallas warbler!" The bird was quite showy for a few seconds, then became quite mobile,
moving up the hedge towards Middleton. I managed a short burst of record shots but within
around two minutes, it flew into a dense patch and that was the last we saw of it, despite a
search. Back at Middleton, we spent another couple of hours in the garden, hearing and
seeing another YBW, then, just as we were about to leave, the distinctive call of a Hume's
leaf warbler. It popped up in an Apple tree and was visible for 30 seconds or so, long enough
for a few more record shots. Not an easy bird to catch up with, but we got lucky eventually.
Saturday, 29 October 2016
Tuesday, 18 October 2016
Muntjac, the Dell, Wells woods.
Our annual autumn birding trip took us once again to Norfolk this year due to a week of
easterly winds. We arrived in Wells wood caravan park at noon on friday and headed for the
woods where a few rarities had been reported. There were lots of birders heading back to
their cars, having no luck finding an Olive backed pipit in the wood. When we got to the
spot it was quiet and we soon found 2 Olive backed pipits feeding together, although they
proved too flighty for pictures. There were lots of other migrants around, Robins and Goldcrests
seemed to be everywhere and Redwings and Chiffchaffs were numerous too. I found a juv
Redstart, there was a Red kite, a pair of Egyptian geese and a flock of Pink footed geese
flew by. We spent the last hours of daylight at Warham greens, having no luck with a Radde's
warbler, but seeing Redstart and 12 Brambling.
On the saturday morning we checked Wells wood first thing, Colin finding a Firecrest and Martyn
seeing a Pallas warbler, which I only heard calling. There were flocks of Siskin, Redpoll and
Fieldfare and a Marsh harrier drifted past. After the super-muddy track at Warham yesterday, we
decided to approach Warham greens from Stiffkey. There were plenty of migrants along the path
including lots of thrushes, a Garden warbler, a male Yellowhammer, Skylarks and Robins. Brent
geese were on the saltmarsh and a superb male Marsh harrier drifted by. At Garden grove we got
some great views of the Radde's warbler, a Red kite and Yellow browed warbler.
Burnham overy was next to see a showy Barred warbler, although it never came close enough
for decent pictures.
We spent the last of the day at Cley marshes, seeing 3 Bearded tit, Ruff, 18 Greater white fronted
geese, lots of Wigeon and other ducks, more Marsh harriers and an adult Caspian gull. A blood
moon lit our way back to the carpark.
Dawn from the caravan.
On sunday we headed first to Choseley farm for Dotterel but were out of luck. We saw some Red
legged partridges, a Yellowhammer and a Stoat. The forecast rain started so we went to the hides
at Titchwell. Lots of good waders on the scrapes included Avocets, Golden plovers, Dunlin. Ruff
, Little stint, Grey plover, Greenshank, both Godwits and a Curlew sandpiper. A little ringed
plover flew within a few metres of me after the rain stopped as we walked to the beach for a
seawatch. Fulmar and Gannet were the only passing birds and there was a flock of Common
scoter and a single female Velvet scoter were on the sea. Two brambling and another Yellow
browed warbler were in the willows near the meadow trail on the way back to the car park.
Back to Wells wood in the afternoon, catching up with a nice Firecrest and hearing Crossbills and
frustratingly, a Pallas warbler.
Instead of driving straight home to Wales on monday morning, we decided to detour up the coast
to Yorkshire to see the UK's second Siberian accentor. The roads were clear and we got to
Easington with no delays, seeing the Accentor behind the gas station fence and in an old yard
across the track. Thousands of birders had seen this bird since last Thursday and had to Queue
to see it with viewing time limited,so we were happy to be amongst just 30 or so others watching
the bird at our leisure at close range. An Isabelline wheatear was found nearby, so we walked to
the beach and had distant views of it in a large ploughed field. A small flock of Swallows flying
south along the coast ended a splendid trip.
|Acrocercops brongniardella leaf mines were in the hedge outside our caravan.|
|Isabelline Wheatear, pic by Colin.|
Friday, 14 October 2016
Thursday, 6 October 2016
After recently posting the rare but fast spreading ivy bee Colletes hederae at Kenfig River i came across a single bee on ivy at maesteg cemetery last weekend i'll have to check with Martyn to see if he's came across one in the valley yet as i've been off line if not then this would be a new one for the valley