Sunday, 15 May 2011

Neath Port Talbot Day list 14th May 2011

Above Cilfrew from 04:00 (15 new species)
04:07 Tawny Owl
04:13 Robin
04:13 Cuckoo
04:18 Redstart
04:28 Blackbird
04:40 Song Thrush
04:49 Blackcap
04:51 Chaffinch
04:53 Carrion Crow
04:59 Pied Flycatcher
05:03 Magpie
05:05 Great Tit
05:10 House Sparrow
05:12 Woodpigeon

Crymlyn Burrows from 05:20 (38 new species)
05:20 Buzzard
05:20 Green Woodpecker
05:21 Lesser Black-backed Gull
05:21 Herring Gull
05:21 Wren
05:24 Skylark
05:25 Garden Warbler
05:26 Greenfinch
05:26 Sedge Warbler
05:28 Dunnock
05:30 Curlew
05:30 Shelduck
05:31 Meadow Pipit
05:32 Whitethroat
05:34 Reed Bunting
05:35 Whimbrel
05:36 Dunlin
05:49 Redshank
05:53 Swallow
05:54 Mistle Thrush
05:56 Common Sandpiper
05:57 Willow Warbler
06:02 Chiffchaff
06:10 Collared Dove
06:10 Goldfinch
06:17 Great Black-backed Gull
06:34 Ringed Plover
06:34 Sanderling
06:36 Common Gull
06:40 Little Egret
06:47 Oystercatcher
07:03 Cormorant
07:17 Stonechat
07:19 Jay
07:20 Swift
07:23 House Martin
07:30 Linnet
07:31 Blue Tit

Pant-y-Sais from 07:40 (10 new species)
07:42 Reed Warbler
07:45 Grasshopper Warbler
07:55 Mallard
07:59 Bullfinch
08:04 Water Rail
08:05 Grey Heron
08:10 Long-tailed Tit
08:19 Greylag Goose
08:26 Grey Wagtail
08:40 Lesser Redpoll

Llettybella from 09:00 (7 new species)
09:05 Pied Wagtail
09:11 Great Spotted Woodpecker
09:16 Wood Warbler
10:00 Tree Pipit
10:15 Coal Tit
10:23 Siskin
10:35 Raven

Abergarwed from 10:50 (0 new species)

Borrow Pits from 12:10 (7 new species)
12:10 Goosander
12:11 Sand Martin
12:11 Mute Swan
12:15 Coot
12:15 Canada Goose
12:15 Great Crested Grebe
12:20 Little Grebe

Neath River from 13:25 (1 new species)
13:29 Black-headed Gull

Cimla from 13:45 (3 new species)
13:50 Rook
13:52 Nuthatch
13:59 Starling

Aberavon from 14:20 (2 new species)
14:33 Lapwing
13:36 Wheatear

Port Talbot from 15:25 (1 new species)
15:25 Feral Pigeon

Margam Moors from 16:40 (3 new species)
16:54 Pheasant
17:54 Moorhen
19:09 Stock Dove

4 Schedule 1 breeders also recorded during the day not listed above.

Saturday, 30 April 2011

Butterflies at Crymlyn Burrows

Brown Argus
 On my way back from the beach following a bit of wader watching I found a nice area in the dunes which was pretty well sheltered from the strongly winds. It was full of butterflies and I managed to record some good stuff for this site. At least 20 Brown Argus were on the wing here and it was great to see them fly in the company of Common Blue butterflies. They are quite distinctive in flight, the underwing looks quite pale (sometimes described as silvery) and they keep quite close to the ground and fly a bit faster than Common Blue.
Brown Argus

Small Heath
 2 Small Heath were seen flying near this sheltered area and is quite early for this species

Dingy Skipper
 At least 5 Dingy Skippers were flying around the sheltered area and is a good record for this site, although sightings of this species are being recorded pretty regularly this year

Small Blue
 Only 2 Small Blue were found today
Small Copper
At least 20 Small Copper were here and further afield as were the most abundant species today Common Blue which numbered over 60 throughout the site.

Monday, 28 February 2011

Greenshank at Penclacwydd WWT

I made my first ever visit to Penclacwydd WWT today! I've walked the millennium path a few times but, never actually entered the reserve. Having now experienced it I can't wait to go back. I spent my whole time in the British Steel hide and although there were never very large numbers of birds, there was a continual movement of birds to and from the scrape.

5 Greenshank (shown above) were showing on and off throughout the day. Other nice stuff were a fine drake Pintail, 3 Little Egret, 2 Black-tailed Godwit and 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker over the centre.

Mediterranean Gull on Aberavon Beach

This fine adult Mediterranean Gull was on Aberavon Beach on Saturday. Although good numbers are often found around Bracelet Bay they are much more uncommon at these nearby beaches. It was very confiding and completely on its own in the middle of the beach. A Black-headed Gull joined it briefly but, was unable to put up with the activity on the beach that this Gull could.

I found it during a volunteer survey to look for birds that have been washed up along our beaches. This survey is conducted nationwide with particular interest in oiled birds or signs or oil. The stretch I covered was between the Neath river and Afan river. It is pleasing to report that no signs of oil was present. Even more pleasing, were the very good numbers of Sanderling present along this same stretch. I counted 529 Sanderling here, with 375 on the main beach and a further 154 in the smaller bay at the mouth of the Afan.

Friday, 25 February 2011

Lesser Scaup on Eglwys

In very depressing conditions at eglwys today, the quality of species present brightened things up a good deal. Duck numbers fluctuate quite a lot at Eglwys from day to day. The female Lesser Scaup was definitely present last week on the 16th and 17th but, I'm not sure if it was seen there after those dates, even though it was looked for. Today she was showing quite well, albeit distantly, and feeding frantically.

The slavonian Grebe was still present, as were 2 drake Scaup. All these birds were viewed from the locked gate near reedy bay.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Slavonian Grebe on Eglwys

Slavonian Grebe at Eglwys Nunydd Reservior today.It showed well down to about 30m in the NW corner of the res.

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Merlin at Baglan Bay

This gorgeous female Merlin allowed me some fantastic views this afternoon. She was hunting the old BP Baglan grounds and when I found her she was using this brick building to check out the local passerines.

As the video below shows, the Carrion Crows wouldn't let her settle for too long but, they didn't chase her for long probably aware that she is far too quick for them in any case.

Grey Plovers at Crymlyn Burrows

The shingle ridge at the Western end of Crymlyn Burrows is a very important roosting area for waders during big high tides. Today there were 18 Grey Plover which represents my best count of this species at this site. Also roosting here were 88 Ringed Plover, 39 Sanderling and 149 Dunlin. Out at sea there were very few Great Crested Grebe off Crymlyn Burrows with only 8 noted but, there was 1 Red-throated Diver fishing offshore and 4 Kittiwake in with some Black-headed Gulls and Common Gulls further out.

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Stock Dove at Margam Park

I found a pair of Stock Dove today near Margam Castle, possibly the same pair that Martyn Hnatuik found last year and maybe returning to the same location, I'm not sure? Whatever the case they have quite a local breeding distribution in Wales and, with the exception of the well known roosting area near Eglwys are not that commonly recorded within Neath Port Talbot. Armed with just my digiscoping gear today I chose to Video the male bird (confirmed by singing)
The video isn't that good but I've decided to post a few "frame grabs" just to show the bird and some distinctive features. In the photo above the sitting bird does not show the white collar of an adult Woodpigeon or the white wing flashes that occur on both adult and juvenile Woodpigeons.
The flight shots show a very broad tail band and also the much more extensive dark band that runs along the trailing edge of the inner-wing. Also the complete lack of white wing flashes separate them from Woodpigeon.

Monday, 31 January 2011

Afan Argoed

In 2010 I tried to see as many different species as possible within the boundaries of Neath Port Talbot. I managed to see 165 species and the last new species I saw was Marsh Tit. It was at Afan Argoed, around the feeders, at dusk on 28th December. Today, I tried to catch up with this species again at the same location. I didn't manage to see a Marsh Tit today, but, there was an abundance of activity around the feeders including some birds that are always good to see.

 male Greater Spotted Woodpecker
Coal Tit
The Afan Argoed centre can easily be found by car off the A4107 on the right-hand side going up the Afan Valley, beyond Pontrhydyfen and before Duffryn. There are lots of well marked tracks that pass through a number of very nice habitats. The feeders are right next to the centre and the birds seem well used to the presence of people which makes it a bit easier to catch them on camera.