Patchwork Passage

Sunday, August 31, 2014 Adam Tilt 0 Comments


My outings around our local patch this summer have been rather like my blogging activity of late - patchy at best. It was therefore a pleasant change to steal away for a couple of hours last Tuesday evening in an effort to catch up with proceedings. As it turned out I couldn't have timed things better with a large passage of birds really bumping up resident numbers. Chief of these were the huge number of House Martins that seemed to fill the entire valley, their white rumps being picked out a treat in strong sunlight. Numbers steadily increased as I walked further inland with the largest concentration being focused around the old colliery site.

P1080564 - Cwm Dulais

Back up on Bryn-bach-Common and another large influx, this time Linnets, were doing a slightly better job of posing for the camera. Much of the hundred plus flock were perched up on those infamous cables, a popular haunt for anything of interest passing through this particular area. Although my records are far from extensive I'm pretty sure that, like the House Martins, this is the largest single gathering of Linnets I've yet seen on patch.

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Osprey at Llanrhidian Marsh, Gower

Saturday, August 30, 2014 Adam Tilt 0 Comments


Living directly beneath a prime Osprey migration route you'd think that we'd have been simply drowning in sightings of them by now. Instead all I seem to have managed are a couple of very distant possibles from the north Gower coastline and a quite impressive list of near misses. Some of this misfortune has undoubtedly been down to my own inaction and never one to break the habit of a lifetime I've been sat in front of this computer all day despite my twitter feed informing me that another autumn Osprey has just rocked up off Llanrhidian Marsh. It was therefore with not a little scepticism that we drove across this evening, happy to catch some late summer rays if nothing else.

P1080671 - Llanrhidian Marsh, Gower

We parked up at the infamous humps and after interrogating a very smart female Wheatear for something a little rarer turned our attention towards the channel. Almost inevitably the tide was at its lowest but a scan across what little water there was soon picked up a large, dark bird patrolling back and forth. Holding the scope steady against a brisk westerly proved far from easy until the bird in question did us a great favour and landed on one of the numerous wooden posts. It only took a few moments to confirm the identification before settling back to enjoy what were easily my best views of a local Osprey to date. Even with the large distances involved I felt a record shot was necessary so top marks to the first person who can spot said bird in the photo below.

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