03 May 2017

The last week on the patches

A reasonable mix of stuff on the local patch over the last week or so.  The two Temminck's get top billing but also Curlew Sand, two Med Gulls, Hobby, 30+ Turnstone, a few White Wags, handful of Groppers, Spotshank, Greenshank, Whimbrel and Barwit passage picking up, Blackwits, a few Grey Plover, up to c.600 Dunlin, Greenland Wheatears and the odd Snipe still around.

And on the local local patch, Hobby, a couple of Common Sands and breeding Reed Bunting.

 Chunky Wheatears passing through Goldcliff, presumably on the way to Greenland.

 Wheatear with grockle admirers.  Everyone loves a Wheatear.  

Second calendar-year Tropicbird Gull.  If we assume the gull is about 60 cm bill to tail, then the 'tail' of anthropogenic detritus is about 6 m long!  As with every gull trailing crap, this one put the fear of Christ up everything as it flew over the lagoons.

01 March 2017

All the rage

Isn't it nice that Common Gulls are getting their moment in the sun.

23 February 2017

The sea gives and the sea takes away,... but mainly gives

A couple of hours on the point, with the tail end of Doris and this afternoon's rising tide, produced a couple of Gannet and handful of Kittiwake (with another 15-20 probable Kittidots on the far side). Not the hoped for aukfest but better than useless.

Yesterday's incoming tide also produced. The female Scaup, reported on and off at Peterstone recently, flew in to the mouth of the gout for a wash and brush up in the rain. Well worth a slither about in the mud and horse shit. 

17 February 2017

Distant ducks,... mostly

Popped to Peterstone Gout for high tide and the reported Scaup. Saw an f. distant dot that was probably the Scaup, convinced myself for a while before the birding conscience kicked in. The fact it didn't even cross the threshold for a Gwent year-tick should give you an idea of just how shit a view it was. Did have a Common Scoter drift slowly down-channel on the falling tide though (also distantly, perhaps v. distant as opposed to f. distant) so,... swings and roundabouts.

Found a dozen of these guys on the way home. Fly-catching from roadside trees, not a berry in sight. 

13 February 2017

Flying elephants

A Jackdaw outside Tescos giving a withering look to someone who mistook the 'mother and baby parking' for the 'fugly and lazy parking'.  Jackdaws,... famously judgemental.  And, boy, do they hold a grudge.  Memories like elephants,... tiny, evil, flying elephants.

09 February 2017

Withering before the blast

A finger-numbing morning in an easterly on the eastern levels.  Checked out the Lapwing flock on Caldicot Moor, nearly 600 birds but not a single Golden Plover (or anything more interesting) among them; did bump into a couple of Red-legged Partridge though.  Decided on more wader fun in the form of a Jack Snipe foray.  A quick potter on the saltmarsh between Collister Pill and West Pill produced three Jack Snipe and 30 Snipe.  The dense cord-grass along this stretch doesn't make for crippling views on the deck but got decent enough looks of all three of the stripey ickle sweeties in flight. 

05 February 2017

Red-flanked Bluetail

Finally caught up with the bluetail, only took the five visits.  Not easy to dig out but, once it appeared, it showed down to about five yards, albeit briefly, just beyond the point where the stream goes through the plastic pipes and under the path.  Luckily, it popped up in a reasonably sunny spot so half-decent views were had by one and all (well, all two and a half of us). 

31 January 2017

Bettws Bittern

Breakfast, Bettwsbound, Bettws, bagged Bittern, back.

Not the best,... but not the worst views of Bittern. Also Kingfisher(s) knocking about.

29 January 2017

Was today International Shite Day?

"… I folded away the letter and put it in my inside pocket 
All of a sudden I felt brushed by the wings of something dark 
May the Lord have mercy on Stringy Bob …"