17 September 2006


Wilst I was putting in the hours at Llandegfedd, Uskmouth and Goldcliff today (dipping Common Scoter and seeing naff all); the girlfriend, whilst out shopping, was bagging Red Kite (something I am yet to do this year). Once again, the ornithological Gods show what a shabby lot they are. Didn't manage a single year-tick today, however, I did see the leucistic Lapwing for the first time in 2006 (whoop-dee-doo).

14 September 2006

Chlidonias Invasion

The number of Black Terns being reported on Birdguides today was pretty impressive. A quick evening visit to Llandegfedd Reservoir proved the invasion had made it to Gwent, seven fed along with a single Common Tern out from the fisherman's car-park (albeit quite a way out as the water level is pretty low).

11 September 2006

Mr Schminky

The passage waders at Goldcliff have been missing their transatlantic mate for the last couple of days. However, one of the pools still looks good for attracting in something interesting. Whilst on the platform today a certain Mr Schminky put in an appearance, I guess we won't be seeing Water Voles at the reserve for a wee while yet. A quick, Icky induced, hedgerow bash at Uskmouth produced a Gropper and a half decent warbler/tit flock.

09 September 2006

More looks

The obvious, never-doubted, "what else could it be" Semipalmated Sandpiper showed again at Goldcliff today before being flushed over the sea-wall by a passing Marsh Harrier (one of two that appeared mid-morning). The Semi-P and acccompanying Little Stints and Curlew Sandpipers (all bagged during the week) have now dragged my total up to a mighty 167.

08 September 2006

A real doozy

The sandpiper/stint reappeared early this morning, during the day I have oscillated between Semi-P and incredibly dull Little Stint. At this precise moment, given the variability in the appearance of the scap patterning in pics of Semi-P Sands, I'm back in the Semi-P camp. Thank God I don't have to make any important decisions in life (that's what girlfriends are for). Anyway here are some pics from this morning, the light was pretty warm producing a bit of a colour cast on the shots.

06 September 2006

A real rarity

You could tell it was a real rarity cos it turned up late, was watched in the gathering gloom and buggered off in short time - Semi-palmated Sandpiper on my Gwent year-list. The following horrendous pic does little to support the identification, but somewhere in there is a small billed, stint-sized wader lacking rufous tones in the upperparts. One ever-so-slightly interesting thing was that the mantle appeared darker when the bird was roosting, as opposed to when it was running around, presumably it was slightly fluffed up causing the dark centres to become more obvious but who knows.

03 September 2006

Skootie Alan

Two Arctic Skuas in five minutes were just reward during an, otherwise barren, three hour channel-watch at Goldcliff Point. Elsewhere the two Spotshanks were still at the pools along with a Ruff.