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.