09 September 2011

Everything I touched today turned shiny

A 1st-winter Arctic Tern kicked off the day on the South Glos bank, then followed two Curlew Sandpipers and a dose of Wheatear before, at just gone elevenses, four Great Black-backed Gulls drew attention to themselves and the Manxie they were harassing; it had to dive headlong into the drink on several occasions before the gulls got bored and the, otherwise healthy looking, tubenose bolted towards the old bridge. Redstart and Bar-tailed Godwit appeared, then a couple of Siskin popped over, and, as the wind dropped to powder-puff levels, it really hotted up. A flock of 24 (mostly Arctic) 'commic' terns flew low downriver followed by a lone Common Tern and then,... panic! Every gull within half a mile took to the air which proved to be a precursor to a Bonxie heading purposefully downstream, mid-channel, two foot off the water; not giving a second look to the gulls and terns but still exuding an aura that suggested it was constituted of nothing less than pure aggression coated in feathers.

Next stop Goldcliff. I arrived pretty much simultaneously as a flipping female Peregrine and had to make do with the wader leftovers: Sanderling, Curlew Sandpiper, Knot, Ruff and Greenshank. Also a few Wheatear around and about 35 Yellow Wagtail.

Then Uskmouth for some tinkering with a net lane. Due to the window in the wind we thought we'd stick up a net or four, it proved worthwhile as 15 Yellow Wagtails piled in, probably the largest annual total for Gwent since Yellow Wagtails were invented.

Left the house at 08:30, returned 21:15, consider the diem carped.

1 comment:

sambbryo said...

I get the impresion that Yellow Wags are around in unprecedented numbers in western UK at the moment, judging by the Lancs flock (with Citrine, mentioned on birdingfrontiers) counts in Pembs and yours in Gwent. Yellow Wag always used to be an occasional flyover in both Gwent and Pembs. I hope the 2011 Gwent Bird Report will reflect this!