26 November 2006


Three new species of wildfowl today! Unfortunately, due to the wonderful array of species kept (at least until allowed to escape) in captivity nowadays, all lurk under the 'Cloud of unknown origin'. A smart male Mandarin on the Monmouth-Brecon Canal was fully-winged and quite skittish and goes straight on the list as category C (somebody check its legs for rings mind). The Whooper Swan at the Newport Wetlands is also on the list, though it will come straight back off if the bleedin' thing summers on the reserve. Finally, I'm umming and arring over the status of Barnacle Goose in the county. One or two notable members of the Gwent birding glitterati suggest they all derive from the category E birds in Cardiff but what if one or two are from the category C birds at Slimbridge/Frampton? Not on the list at present, but who knows how desperate I'll get come December 31st.

13 November 2006

She's back

Got a tip-off of an interesting Aythya at Ynysfro yesterday, as a result my lunch-break consisted of eating crisps on the dam. The bird in question was still present and, after a 10 minute snooze, awoke to allow a few snaps to be grabbed. Having perused the pics it would appear to be the same individual that was at Uskmouth, Goldcliff and Slimbridge(?) last winter/spring (see entries for 5th March and 6th May). Structure and bare parts point to Pochard whilst overall darkness and tone to the plumage, particularly now it is definitely not a 1st-winter, suggest Tufted Duck (or maybe Fudge Duck?). I'm still opting for 'mostly Pochard', once again, Gwent produces another avian gem.

11 November 2006

That's more like it

An Atlantic alcid, the perfect pick-me-up for those suffering from post-hols depression, drooping dampness of the spirits, dismal blue devil doldrums and dejected disconsolate despondency. What might prove even more amusing is any forthcoming tale of how the bird was found, temporarily duffed and finally identified, next month's Birding World (?),... can't wait.


02 November 2006

Oh well, back to the shit

Due to predicted northerlies (and the possibility of flights being cancelled) we cut the end of our stay on Corvo short. Peter and I had a flyover Bobolink on Monday but, beyond that, the end of our trip was all a bit of a rush to get off. Terceira produced 3 Ring-necked Duck, 1 Night Heron, 3 White-rumps and 1 Lesser Legs but it was, to say the least, a bit 'after the Lord Mayor's show'. Back in shitsville now planning the next trip away.