26 January 2008

All good practice

Bagged very little, even less and buggerall, in roughly that order, at various levels locales,... and then I trod on a bleedin' Pheasant.

Another never to be forgotten day to go down in Gwent birding lore. Gotta love the SD702's pre-roll buffer though, I didn't press record until the bird had all but disappeared, sweet (or at least it will be, when the next bird to leap up at my feet and tear off is a Great Snipe).

18 January 2008

Something worth doing

It is going to rain all weekend, so do something useful, avoid a few minutes of the usual shite weekend telly, click here and give your MP a kick in the right direction re the Climate Change Bill. It will take five minutes but the smug feeling of self-satisfaction will last for hours.

13 January 2008


Found this whilst going through some pics from a trip to Varanger, etc. Presumably the bird is using the nicotine as an appetite suppressant to get it through another season of collapsing fish stocks.

12 January 2008

GOSh! How entertaining

Bagged a few Siskins this morning and a Merlin this afternoon, but you don't wanna hear about that, so I'll move swiftly onto the real entertainment,... The GOS AGM. Oh! How much fun can you have in an evening? For those that didn't attend, basically, the AGM consisted of about 100 non-birders (interspersed with a smattering of people who actually go birding) arguing over bird names (yes, that's right, the argument we had throughout the rest of the UK about 15 years ago). It was hilarious and, by the end of proceedings, the camp that started the evening not having heard of the BOU, having no grasp of taxonomy and who wouldn't know a Common Redpoll if it landed on their 50 year old bins, had won the day. You can now look forward to the next report containing such gems as 'Jenny Wren (Winter Wren)', 'Oooh, that difficult brown one (Cetti's Warbler)' and 'Big Seagull (Larus sp.)'.

Perhaps GOS should make up their minds, are their publications for people who are ignorant of all things relating to birds/birding or are they aimed at a slightly more ornithologically educated readership? If the former, perhaps a name change is in order (perhaps drop the 'O') or perhaps a new Gwent Bird Club is needed to cater for people that are actually birders?

08 January 2008

Dead dog dip

I can't believe it, got up early, arrived before dawn, scoured the reservoir and still left empty-handed. Not so much as a sniff. Checked the GOS sightings page at lunchtime and there it was, in black and white - dead dog seen bobbing about in the northern end, aaaargh! That is two dips in three days at Llareggub, JT-FC! I imagine this is how it looked...

The only saving grace was having PJ Harvey's most recent offering massaging the ear-lobes on the way thither and hither. The title track is b-e-a-utiful, right up there, with Grandaddy's "He's Simple, He's Dumb, He's the Pilot", vying for the coveted title of 'The best indie folk-laden rock tune in the world EVER!'

PS. Fudge Duck? What Fudge Duck?

05 January 2008

Damp squib

Went looking for the reported possible first for the county, after fighting through the assembled ranks of expectant Gwent birders, who, in round figures, numbered precisely zero, I spent a couple of hours ensconced in the shelter belt getting rained/hailed on. The shitty conditions didn't help, nor did the fact that I could only see 3-4 Lesser Redpolls, might try again tomorrow; Common Redpoll must be the single biggest glaring hole in the county list. During my private cardueline caper I received news of a Slav at Llandegfedd. By the time I got there, it wasn't. The only grebe in the Green Pool inlet was a greasy starting to show the first signs of summer plum and looked like this...

02 January 2008

On the levels

A little tour of the levels started at Saltmarsh lane and ended at Collister Pill. In between we bagged, in roughly chronological order: 3+ Brambling, 1 Water Pipit, 2 Chiffchaff, 3 Golden Plover and 2 Rock Pipit.