31 July 2011

All a bit post-Boris

This morning's high-tide was the dampest of squibs, the Pec Sand hadn't returned and the numbers of Dunlin were well down. It didn't leave much to work through in the hope of pulling out another goody and, come eleven o'clock, it was time for some pretty full-on TMS-accompanied snoozing. The weekend's haul at the reserve hasn't been a bad start to the passage period proper though, with 'mentionables' including: the mobile, attention seeking 2nd cal year male Marsh Harrier popping up all over the shop; passage waders including LRPs, Grey Plover, Blackwits, Whimbrels, Greenshanks, Green Sands, Common Sand, Turnstone and, of course, the Pectoral Sand; and a few odds and sods including Cuckoo, Kingfisher, Yellow Wags, Gropper, Beardies, etc. And, amongst all the fun, we found time to hand out rings to 150 passing acros - Sedge Warbler passage is well and truly underway.

30 July 2011

Look! A bird worthy of the label 'bird'

Finally, a half decent bird in Gwent. Found by the all powerful County Recorder late this afternoon, the Pec Sand was present until high tide when it flew west, towards the 'grasslands'. Hopefully, it will reappear on tomorrow's high tide, which reminds me,... bed-time.

Possibly the best image of a scarce wader in the history of the world ever.

27 July 2011

Still no birds...

... but I've got a couple of little gems for ya.



Writing about common shite in an overly excitable manner,... it might just catch on you know.

24 July 2011

They seek him here,...

Stumbled over this a few days ago whilst attempting to avoid a boot full of bog. Not rare but pwetty.

Bog Pimpernel Anagallis tenella (or, at least, I hope it is) described in Blamey et al. as "charming", one of its more subjective identification features.

22 July 2011

Garden beastie poker

I see your Forest Shieldbug (albeit this one looks a bit more 'coppery') and raise you,...

... one Slow-worm.

PS. I would just like to state that I am not responsible for the cleanliness, or otherwise, of the kitchen window on which the shieldbug is sat. Not my job. Not. My. Job.

20 July 2011

Positively Mediterranean

The last three wet-dry-wet-wet-dry days in the field have been lovingly sprinkled with Med Gulls, Whimbrels, Common Sands, Yellow Wags, etc. It would seem stuff is thinking about being on the move through these 'ere parts. The autumn is upon us. Time to don the Superbirder pants, find the *MONSTER* that will, inevitably, rock up in Gwent this year and claim my rightful place in the pantheon of ornithological gods that roam the banks of the great grey-green, greasy limpid Severn stream.

[Note to self: drinking Ribena from the bottle is neither big nor clever,... take more water with it (or at least dilute to taste).]

19 July 2011

Common Sands Ho!

You're gonna need to click here and...

Common Sands.

Common, Common, Common,
Common Sands, ho!

Common Sands are on the move,
Common Sands are loose,
Feel the magic, hear the tswee,
Common Sands are loose.

Common, Common,
Common, Common Sands.

Common, Common,
Common, Common Sands.

[ad bleedin’ infinitum]

16 July 2011

A shiny little button for an eye

I'd forgotten I'd taken this. Just look at him back there, all cutesy-schmutesy, bright-as-a-button, don't you just wanna scoop him up in your arms, bundle him in cotton-wool and keep him forever? Awwwww, who's a pretty ickle boy? Who's a lovely little first-summer male Pied Wheatear then? Eh? Who's got a fluffy little tummy? Mmm? Who's a pretty ickle 2nd calendar-year Oenanthe pleschanka? Mmm? Oh yes you are,... oh yes you are.

Obviously, for the full serotonin, prolactin and oxytocin releasing experience, you will need to click on the image for the larger version.

[NB. Gwentbirding - Little Owl photo free zone.]

15 July 2011

Even cuter than...

... a million photos of Little Owls.

The first bubby Oystercatchers to be ringed in Gwent since before forever?

07 July 2011


House Spider Tegenaria gigantea, the size of a dinner plate,... honest.

05 July 2011

Is that Sugarloaf in the background?

My girlfriend went on holiday to the Alps and all she brought me back was this choughing picture.

02 July 2011

Raise, call or fold

You only call? Well let's go visit Mr. More, your Creeping Thistle,... and I raise two Musk Thistles and a white variant Marsh Thistle.

I can't stand it.


I'm going south.

South street Seaport the man says, can't stand the heat, he can't stand it.

You wanna play cards? The bet is two Musk Thistles and a white variant Marsh Thistle.

Basic botany for fans of Saint Etienne and/or David Mamet,... and they said it couldn't be done.