Patch birding - Yellowhammer's and more

Wednesday, March 23, 2011 Adam Tilt 1 Comments


The pair of Yellowhammers that I first saw this time last week on Bryn-bach-Common were once again singing from the Rhododendron bushes on Tuesday evening. Interestingly the birds were on near identical perches as before with the female uttering the "little bit of bread and no cheeeeese" song whilst the male was using a shorter contact type call. They dropped off down the valley side after a while where it's almost impossible to view. I'm tempted to try a stake out in the hope of getting a photo or two.

I was back up there this evening but the sun seemed to have sent the Yellowhammers back into hiding. The garden however was full of Jackdaws with around five present.

24043 - Jackdaw, Pontarddulais

It's quite noticeable that now that our regular flock of Starlings has moved on the Jackdaws are visiting more frequently. Heading up Gopa Hill we saw a Pied Wagtail and Wren while surrounded by at least four calling Chiffchaffs. There was also a solitary call from a Green Woodpecker. There are still no Swallows in the valley but a skein of Canada Geese flying in from the east were a very nice sight against the setting sun. I have heard presumably the same birds flying over the house both early in the morning and late evening so we must be under their regular commuter route.

24046 - Canada Geese at sunset

With the sun dropping below the horizon it was time to head back. Unfortunately some numpty had decided to set fire to a section of gorse, presumably using an accelerant given the speed with which the flames had taken hold. The fire brigade were soon on the scene and had the fire extinguished within minutes but I fear that this is just the start. Last summer the Cwm Dulais valley suffered several such incidents but on no where near the same scale as the Gower peninsula. There large swathes of common land were razed to the ground with the orange glow visible from miles around at night. I really hope we don't see a repeat this year.

After that slightly sour note I thought I'd include a photo of one of our local lambs to lighten the mood.

24042 - Sheep and lamb, Bryn-bach-Common

We also bumped into a Fox on the walk home and saw at least six bats flying around the trees. A few suspicious screeches had me looking for owls but I couldn't spot any in the near darkness. We have Tawny's that call from around the house occasionally so I wonder if it was them?

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