Sunday, 29 April 2018

South coast this morning; Llanmill later in the day

After an early morning moth trapping session with Robin Taylor and Paul Culyer at Castlemartin Range (the overnight temperature was too cold really, so not many moths!) we were pleased to see a new pair of chough still nest-building. It's probably a bit too late to expect successful breeding this year but nice that a pair is back at a site last occupied several years ago.

We then walked sections of the coast between Trewent Point and Old Castle Head. Not too many birds of note but there clearly had been a small fall of wheatears. At Freshwater East c.20 were feeding there on the dune grassland and there were at least 30 more near old Castle Head. Most of these were perching on the Manorbier Range boundary fence before dispersing to the coastal slope.

A couple of pairs of chough were at expected breeding locations and a few non-breeders were relaxing and bathing in a rock-pool near Rooks Cave, Manorbier. A female kestrel near Presipe was having a good old dust-bath on the footpath. She flipped right over onto her back briefly, shaking her entire fluffed up body feathers, presumably trying to get as much of the the powdery dust into all the required areas!

Later in the day we went over to Llanmill to see the green heron - and what a lovely little bird! Although it mainly stayed just inside the swamp zone it did venture to the edge occasionally to feed on what appeared to be small aquatic molluscs. A big thanks once again to Simon Hart and his family for allowing birders to come and see it. Just before we left it was also nice to see dipper flying quite high over the tree canopy - we are more used to seeing them flying closer to water level.