19 July 2006

And one more

A quick stop at Goldcliff produced four Greenshank and filled a yawning gap on the list. One or two summer migrants are proving a bit of a struggle though, anyone know the whereabouts of a Gwent-based Turtle Dove?

15 July 2006


Another dilemma has arisen, do I cave in and count 'heards'? I'm certainly not going to see this one, perhaps I should keep two year-lists? The ethics of modern birding eh?

The total is now either 154 or 155, or possibly 154 (+1)...

13 July 2006

Sloppy seconds

Another post-work trip to see the Sabine's resulted in rather good views. The bird would appear to be a second-summer (e.g. dull bill-tip and dull, imperfect hood) and is similar to the Farmoor bird pictured in plates 769 and 770 in Gulls of Europe, Asia and North America (Malling Olsen & Larsson 2003).

12 July 2006

Another tasty seabird

Two days working out of county and the place goes nuts, first an American Wigeon turns up at Goldcliff only to be followed by a Sabine's Gull at Llandegfedd Reservoir. A mad dash back from Dorset resulted in views of the gull roosting amongst Black-headed Gulls and then briefly flying after being momentarily flushed by a BLUFO (best left unidentified flapping ornithologist). Once again, conditions were perfect for photography (see below). Also bagged a noisy Tawny Owl fledgling back at the car. The total is now 154, American Wigeon next?

09 July 2006


Two hours of pre-World Cup final seawatching produced 16 Storm Petrels battling their way down-channel, most were pretty close in and a few lingered offshore, so good views were had by all (well, the two of us anyway). They were even near enough to attempt high quality photography (see below), at least until my battery failed, at which point I realised my missus had pinched my spare ... aaaaarrrgh!

08 July 2006

Patience, the cornerstone of a good innings

Content to build my Gwent year-list in ones and twos, I again nudged a quick single this morning (in the form of a Hobby at Uskmouth) before battening down the hatches and playing a perfectly straight bat to this afternoon's googly (a reported Long-billed Dowitcher at Goldcliff). It was good to see the slow build-up of passage waders continues at Goldcliff though, including a single, rather showy snipe, feeding with the Redshank on the first lagoon (see pic below).

Addendum: was I being too subtle? Yes, I do think there may have been a slight identification faux pas relating to the Long-billed Snipewitcher, probably involving a brief view and poor light conditions. It happens to us all at some point... my personal best is flying fish for Little Shearwater (not in Gwent)! I have also been present when Royal Navy helicopter has been called as Chiffchaff (again not in Gwent)!

07 July 2006

One hundred and fifty!

A post-work visit to Slade Woods came up trumps. A White Admiral butterfly provided a bit of interest whilst staking out a small stand of cherry trees; half an hour later a Hawfinch (149) flew out (God knows where it had been sitting) and, after another half hour of mooching around, a couple of Spotted Flycatchers (150!) were bagged. Also heard Willow Tit (would have been 151) but the little bleeder evaporated before I could slap eyes on it.

One hundred and fifty and plenty of 'tarts' still required.

02 July 2006

If you're down at Goldcliff...

... check out the Black-tailed Godwits for colour-rings; one of the seven present today had orange over pale green above the 'knee' on the right leg, but I couldn't make out the colours on the left (it spent 99% of its time asleep with its left leg tucked away). The only other waders worth a mention were four Tunstone on Lagoon 1.

01 July 2006

Back to the list

Now that the perennial World Cup exit has occurred, it's back to the year-list with avengence. Thanks to the cheating **** who goes by the name of Ronaldo, I can now concentrate on the birds. If I ever meet that jumped-up little piece of shit one trick pony, I'll probably be locked up within the hour. Anyhoo...

A pre-match saunter, to quell the nerves, produced Common Tern at Llandegfedd; a post-match wander, to avoid wasting an entire evening plotting Ronaldo's untimely demise (pity he's leaving Man Utd, tickets to the first pre-season training session would have been worth their weight in gold, just to be there to hear the audible crack of Portuguese tibia as Rooney gave him something to really moan about), resulted in Nightjar and Tree Pipit in Wentwood.

148 species in Gwent so far in 2006, hoo-bleeding-ray.

PS. I'm not bitter, it's just, given the opportunity, I'm going to kill the little ******.