Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Reed Buntings


We have recently moved into the area and have managed to make quite a good start on creating our bird friendly garden (we were lucky if we saw more than house sparrows where we lived before, with the occasional blackbird).

To date we’re regularly seeing robins, dunnock, great, blue, coal and long tailed tits, goldfinch, chaffinch, and almost daily now we have the good fortune to see a greater spotted woodpecker who comes just to see us, and not just to eat the peanuts in the feeders…….

But today we had a new visitor,
    
(Julie and Paul Kerry - Pembroke)

Over to the north of the county the Teifi Ringing Group have started RAS (Retrapping Adults for Survival) project on Reed Buntings. This involves colour-ringing our local breeding population, but you never know where they might turn up !
 For more details of the project see..Wandering colour-ringed Reed Bunting 
 
      


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Newgale and beyond

15 Curlew on the camp site at Newgale, 2 male Hen Harriers in the evening gloom  at Plumstone, no large Starling flocks though.
A flock of 12+ Fieldfare at Lochvane, the first at the coast this year, is snow on the way!?

Our Little Owl still in attendance while we garden !!!

Steve Jarvis

Yellowhammers

There were at least a dozen Yellowhammers at Crug Glas this morning, they've probably been there all winter but I haven't checked the area before.

Kilpaison

From John Freeman - I visited Kilpaison this morning, just before high water. Species recorded :- Oystercatcher 35, Redshank 2, Brent Geese 4, Dunlin 40+ , Turnstone 4.

Newport

In the bay I seen 30 Wigeon, 6 GC Grebes & 5 Turnstone.

Monday, 26 January 2015

News via email for yesterday 25 January

From Simon James - Jess and i spent only 15 minutes at Rosemarket sewerage works  and were rewarded with some lovely views of two firecrests. Having never seen one before it was fantastic to have two together. We also saw 3 goldcrest, Chiffchaff, pied and grey wagtails and two male robins appearing to fight over a female

From Sandra Jane Young - Red Kite at Abermawr today and approximately 100 wigeon a Penberi pond.

From John Jenkins - Ring-necked parakeet seen in garden in Ambleston this afternoon.

From Jane Anthony - Visiting Pembrokeshire for the weekend saw a male black redstart on the beach at Abercastle yesterday at midday.


From Steve Cook - During Garden( loosely interpreted) bird watch at St.Brides found 2 Tawny owls and a chiffchaff.

Castlemartin Corse

Extensive areas of flooding on the Corse this morning but most birds were on the flooded fields at the far, east end, of the Corse - 700 Golden Plover, 800 Lapwing, 70 Wigeon, 48 Mallard, 30 Teal. 4 Greylags and 22 Curlew.

A further 8 Mallard were on the water in front of the reed bed and there were several groups of Snipe flying around - c.80 altogether. A Marsh Harrier (probably the less well marked bird) was seen briefly and good views of a ringtail Hen harrier being relentlessly pursued by a Crow with the  Harrier then turning the tables.

Near Starmans Hall a dozen Skylarks, a few Linnets, 18 Curlew and 4 Chough

Newport

A female Blackcap in my garden earlier feeding on the sunflower hearts.

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Freshwater West area this morning

The usual expected waders were roosting on the beach this morning at high tide. These included: 42 ringed plovers, 84 oystercatchers, 40+ curlew but only a few grey plovers. Perhaps more will arrive if the weather gets colder.



Further up the hill near Castlemartin  I noted several hundred lapwings just inside the Range with a few hundred linnets and a couple of hundred chaffinches. Ravens were busy nest-building at one regular site - when not chasing off the local buzzard.

There weren't too many raptors about where I was but singles of kestrel, merlin and sparrowhawk put in an appearance before quite persistent drizzle started to set in and I decided to call it a day.

And now for something completely different. The RSPB's "Big Garden Birdwatch" is clearly popular. Over the weekend records have apparently come in on-line from more than 110,000 people across the UK, with over three and a quarter million birds counted so far. 6,000 extra ones were added whilst this paragraph was being written!  

Bob

Blackcap

A male in our garden at St Ishmaels today.

Marloes

From Stephen Cook - I was briefly at Marloes Mere yesterday and found some spectacles on the floor,which I left in a plastic leaflet holder.
Saw the usual ducks and six snipe . Then walked past the Deer Park and along the coastal path to St Brides,between there and the path to the Marloes road there was a blackcap(f) in the gorse.
Last week walking between Little Haven and St Brides ,unlike the previous six years at this time, there were no fulmars or kittiwakes which was odd. I did see a bottle nose dolphin.

Mullock Barn Owl .....

...... gave fantastic close views perched on a fence post at 11:45 last night.

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Multi-coloured Med Gulls

A very low tide at the Gann late afternoon, a walk across the mud (nicely moon-scaped in places by the bait diggers) got me closer to the gulls that were roosting, bathing & feeding across the bay.  In all I counted 37 Mediterranean Gulls (28 adults, 4 3CY & 5 2CY).  6 of the adults were ringed, 5 of them with coloured darvic rings: 2 white, 1 yellow, 1 green & 1 red.  I couldn't get close enough to read any of them!  Yesterday there were 15 Brent Geese (14 pale, 1 dark) but none today.

This morning in St. Bride's Bay, 67 Common Scoter at Newgale and another 30 at Broad Haven, along with 8 Red-throated Divers.

Stackpole Dartford Warbler

A walk on Stackpole Warren this pm - and back along the lakes - I was frozen to the spot by an unmistakeable sylvia churr coming from a small gorse in the vicinity of Raming Hole  It was feeding (and churring) energetically in the depths of the bush - all I could see was gorse stems trembling, a shadow from the low sun, a flash of red - then it flew about 20 metres to a bramble patch on the opposite side of the fence, and then 50 metres to another patch nearer the sea. I lost it at this point.

Robins

Kathy and I spent several hours out at St Davids Head today, following up a report of a large Pipit but with no luck. Our attention turned to Robins when I noticed a strikingly pale individual. About 60-65 Robins come to winter around the Head and I looked at a dozen or so today. They were pretty uniform with warm brown wings and upperparts, red-orange bibs and gingery uppertail coverts/lower rump, standing out from the rest of the upperparts. That is except for the pale bird which was very grey with cold grey-brown wings and upperparts, with an olive tone and including concolourous uppertail coverts/lower rump and paler orange bib. If we'd trapped it in Norfolk, when I was ringing there, it would, without a doubt, have gone in the book as a Coninental bird ssp rubecula.



Castlemartin Corse

To the Corse this morning with my neighbour Mike. No sign of marsh harriers, but a splendid ringtail hen harrier was hunting the reedbed and panicking the snipe. A female merlin scorched through from east to west, scattering the duck - she made a grab at a meadow pipit just in front of us. A buzzard made it a 3-raptor day. 6-800 golden plover plus similar no's of lapwing in the fields on the N side slopes, mainly around the field with the sheep. Lots of duck - couldn't see them all as the flooding now extends well upstream - an approach from the track down from Castlemartin Church probably best for this area. 3 skylark singing in the field behind F West car park, more skylarks singly and in groups along the S side of the Corse. One Cetti's sang briefly.

Friday, 23 January 2015

Duck!

An hour at Strumble produced only a half dozen Porpoise sightings but as we were on our way down to the lookout, a pair of Shell Duck passing west around the light caught my attention. Although a common bird locally not often seen passing by Strumble...
Most Auks and gulls were heading east as did a couple of Gannets. The only other bird of note was another Duck, a male Scoter heading west.

I forgot to mention the huge Feeding flocks spread out for several miles from Strumble towards Fishguard yesterday, very obvious in the clear calm conditions. Today's stormy weather seemed to have broken them up but they have been a feature of this winter. Its a phenomena that is not infrequent during the winter months but not every year and may be dependent on shoaling sprats which the local fisherman tell me are particularly abundant at the moment...


Clet the wandering  Bottlenose Dolphin, Have you seen him?

By the way if anyone spots a single bottlenose dolphin with a split dorsal fin please let us know. He is known as Clet. We first saw him in Fishguard last February (as per picture)  since when, he has been in Penzance in  Cornwall, Baltimore and Doolin in Ireland. In early December he was seen at Mull West Scotland  and then a couple of weeks later the Isle of Man. By the New year he was here in Fishguard, later seen in Ramsay Sound and last week in Milford Haven, a truly epic voyager!

Puncheston

Sightings from Yesterday 22nd from Maria Hemingway:-
From my garden in Puncheston, the usual pair of Buzzards, a Red Kite, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, two Raven and female Merlin. Small group of Fieldfare and the typical garden birds. Snowdrops and crocus started to appear as the sun warmed things up this afternoon.


Thursday, 22 January 2015

Bittern -- Teifi Marshes

The Bittern was seen again from Kingfisher Hide, and four Goosanders on the river now.
(several obs). Photo Jeremy Moore.

Angle

Karen and I did a quick visit to the Corse, and as the earlier blog , saw the well-marked Marsh Harrier working the area below the hedgeline that runs up the hill. 50+ Skylarks went over and several Lapwing in the fields. 
  Carried on to Angle, and as the tide was going out fast, didn't hang around. 2 Barwits, 2 Knot, lots of Dunlin stretched right round the bay.
  Top road produced 200 Golden Plover and 100+ Lapwing in the field next to Fourwinds .
At Pembroke Dock, in a watering-hole car park, we spotted this Rook






   which had an overgrown beak. She came down for Karen's peanut butter sandwich, and her partner fed her, but she was really waiting for the chip under the adjacent car!

   On to Plumstone, and an obliging Peregrine went over when we arrived.  A male Kestrel put on a hovering display at eye-level, but any other raptors or starling flock were absent so we left as the sun went down


Firecrest

One, probably two, Firecrests still at Rosemarket, also a Chiffchaff.

72 Black - tailed Godwits were feeding along the waters edge at Llanstadwell.

St Bride's Eiders

Lunchtime today, in strong winter sunshine, 2 adult drake Eiders put on a splendid neck-stretching performance in front of a single female Eider duck.

When the show was over the threesome focused their efforts on deep-sea diving only to be met on the surface by a pirating Great Back-backed Gull.

Castlemartin Corse

Quick visit this morning (may return pm) - a female marsh harrier was perched on a bush on the far (N) side of the Corse. Prominent white cap made me think it was probably the better-marked of the two birds. Meanwhile a ringtail hen harrier was keeping the ducks on the move around the extensive frozen open water. I didn't try to count the ducks, but there were teal, wigeon, mallard, shoveler and gadwall. The harrier also flushed over 200 snipe. Two chough feeding just E of Starman's Hall, and a flock of 30-ish curlew has been in the coastal reversion fields every time I've been recently.

Carew

A cold, frosty and sunny walk around Radford Pill and Carew River was a real pleasure this morning and got off to a good start with a nice male Sparrowhawk near the Pill.

The very high tide was dropping fast leaving a tide mark of frost way up the banks. Birds noted were:-
Greenshank 4, Redshank 52, Curlew 8, Little Grebe 7, Wigeon 105, Teal 17, Shelduck 2, Kingfisher 1, Little Egret 1, Stock Dove 2, Lapwing 240, Golden Plover 90.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Broad Haven

A cycle out this afternoon was nice with 12 Red-throated Divers and 50 Scoter offshore. Didn't manage to find anything more notable.

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