Spoonbill and Friends

Saturday, January 17, 2009 Adam Tilt 0 Comments


With a weekend of very changeable weather forecast we decided to go and explore the Lliw reservoirs that sit in the hills at the back of Swansea on Saturday. The number of birds on offer was relatively disappointing with nothing on the water in terms of waterfowl with the exception of the usual Mallards. Even they had left by the time we went home. It was nice to see the Red Kite quartering the hillside around the Lower Lliw, and a Buzzard further up the valley gave a nice display unwilling as it was to take flight. A very noisy Raven was also seen at the Upper Lliw reservoir. The best spot of the day though were two Nuthatches feeding by pulling moss off from the branches of various trees. I have only ever seen this species singularly so to see a pair was a nice surprise. Overall the valley was very quiet bird wise. I can only think that the cold weather from the last couple of weeks has driven the birds down to lower altitudes. I will revisit in a month or so to see if the situation has improved.

On Sunday we paid our regular visit to the WWT site at Llanelli. The birds were in no short supply here with two Redwing, a male Bullfinch, a singing Goldfinch and a Song Thrush all on the first few meters of path. Over at the British Steal Hide it was nice to see four Greenshanks and around thirty or so Dunlin. Also present were the usual Widgeon and a not so usual Spotted Redshank. Outside Goodhalls Hide a male and female Pintail were having a good sleep along with several Shoveller and Teal. Elsewhere on the reserve the numbers of Shellducks and Lapwings each reached over one hundred individuals. The number of Little Egrets has fallen further with just a single bird seen all day.

The highlight of the day though was the single Spoonbill that I first sighted on the marsh scrapes before it relocated over to the observatory pool. Fortunately it was close enough to allow me to take some photographs but they are not as sharp as I would like given that they had to be taken through glass. I wish hide designers would take account of photographers as well as the glass hide is becoming more and more common. The Spoonbill was seen feeding and roosting for at least a couple of hours and was still present when I left. The bird did not appear to be ringed so I assume this is a different individual from the one that I have seen at this site previously.

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