Tuesday, 21 February 2012

18-2-12, Rhiwderin.

There was really only one place to be this weekend and that was on a cold, wet and windy bryn bach or small hill to the non educated. Yep it was a normal day on the outskirts of Cardiff where a Yankee warbler had turned up along with most bloggers!!!! A group of us headed down to the village early Saturday in full excitement but this was soon extinguished after a couple of hours on site in strong wind and rain, not good conditions and the bird remained hidden. With the conditions deteriorating more then group made the decision to do a bit more birding in the area but birds noted here were Dunnock, Blue Tit, Chaffinch, Bullfinch, Nuthatch, Blackbird, Woodpigeon, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Siskin, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Song Thrush, Buzzard, Long-tailed Tit, Robin, Pied Wagtail, Goldcrest, Magpie and Black Headed Gull. The forecast was to brighten up later so it was off to the car and on to another site.

Cosmeston Lakes CP.

This was a small nature reserve just west of Cardiff and was a temporary home to a Lesser Scaup. Within minutes of arriving the Lesser Scaup was found in with the Tufted Ducks over the far side of the lake so we headed off to get a better look.

Unfortunately my digi-scoping skills deserted me this weekend so this was the best shot I got of it but it was a real cracking full plumaged male bird. After feasting on it we headed back to the car when one of the group found a bonus Mediterannean Gull.
There was also a Whooper Swan on site but if this was gonna be claimed as a year tick then I was going to have the Tawny Owl that had just flown down from a tree and landed on a chaps hand who was, and I am sure very glad he was, wearing a thick glove on one hand!!!!! Other birds noted here were Mute Swan, Coot, Black Headed Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Canada Geese, Robin, Pochard, Great Crested Grebe, Magpie, Common Gull, Moorhen, Jackdaw and Herring Gull.

Cardiff Bay.

With the weather still rubbish we headed for Cardiff Bay where a Bonapartes Gull had been present. We parked up by the barrage and had a walk but we failed to locate a helipad whwre the bird was present, let alone the bird itself. But here the weather was rubbish. Birds noted were Black Headed Gull, Curlew, Cormorant, Pied Wagtail, Rock Pipit, Turnstone, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Herring Gull and Carrion Crow. Oh well, at least there were a couple of year ticks in there. We was at the far end of the barrage when news come through that the star bird had been seen briefly. That was enough.


The car park was now closed as cars couldnt get in or out of the car park so we parked up in a side street, over a stile a in minutes we were with the gathering masses all trying to look in a small ditch adn it was not long before a small browny green bird with an obvious yellow chest quickly popped onto a perch before dropping down again,a COMMON YELLOWTHROAT. This was a 1st winter male blown in from America and it was a real stunner. Like a muppet I had bought all of my gear bar my bins, and all of the gear bar my bins were no good. I tried some photos but the bird was very mobile, only perching for a milli second before back down on the ground. It was chasing small flies and many people commented on the flycatcher like feeding. We watched the bird for about 30 minutes before it had had enough and started feeding along teh hedgerow. As we headed back down the hill to the car park it had moved 200 yards in the space of a couple of minutes and the masses were in hot persuit. We went home. Many thanks to the driver and his navigator for the day, great fun.

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