Lathkill Dale including Mandale Mine and Bateman's House
Friday, May 29, 2015
Friday, May 29, 2015 Adam Tilt 1 Comments
Carsington Water - Tree Sparrows, Barnacle Geese and Reed Warblers
Wednesday, May 27, 2015
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 Adam Tilt 1 Comments
Keeping it company was at least one Sedge Warbler and a similarly vocal Whitethroat whilst the surrounding trees were full of singing Chiffchaffs and Willow Warblers. Out on the water Tufted Ducks and plenty of Great Crested Grebes were about as varied as the waterfowl got but it was nice to see a couple of Oystercatchers and a Lapwing on one of several islands which dot the northern reaches. A couple of large hides were a nice surprise and if Ospreys decide to nest on one of the numerous posts supplied for that very purpose they will provide spectacular views indeed. Today though it was all about the commoner species with Reed Buntings, nesting Coots and even a pair of Barnacle Geese providing the main attractions. In fact it wasn't until we'd reached the visitor centre (an impressive and well appointed complex) that things really took off following an unusual call. Stopping to listen we soon picked up a male Tree Sparrow which then proceeded to lead us straight to the nest box in which its hungry young family were waiting. At least three tiny little mouths emerged to be fed and we got to enjoy both parents comings and goings at close range despite the number of cyclists speeding past.
Garden Birds - An Audience With
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
Tuesday, May 26, 2015 Adam Tilt 6 Comments
#pwc2015 Fledgling Stonechats
Saturday, May 23, 2015
Saturday, May 23, 2015 Adam Tilt 1 Comments
As for new species I'm pleased to announce that House Martins have once again returned to our little corner of Wales with a pair circling Goppa Hill on the 13th. Sadly they didn't stay overhead long enough for a photo so I turned my attention to the blossom instead which on such a sunny evening was looking absolutely delightful (above). In fact conditions were so nice that I stood for a little while simply soaking up the view across the valley and was evidently camouflaged to such an extent that two Sparrowhawks landed in a tree barely a few foot away. Surprised would be an understatement and I had a superb vantage point from which to hear them making an unfamiliar mewing sound before my cover was, alas, broken. As both birds headed out into open territory I was treated to more great views of what I presume is the same pair that we first started seeing here during the winter months.
Llanelli WWT - Catching Up
Thursday, May 21, 2015
Thursday, May 21, 2015 Adam Tilt 0 Comments
Before that though let's get right up to date, kicking off with a visit to WWT Llanelli back on the 10th. In contrast to the previous days exploits on Gower there was to be no sun, but that certainly didn't seem to effect the number or variety of birds on offer. Starting proceedings at the Michael Powell hide were a selection of the usual suspects including a few Gadwall and Shelduck, plus a snoozing Grey Heron which seemed to be attracting its fair share of admirers. Swallows and the sound of singing Whitethroats reminded us that despite conditions we weren't still enduring winter, as did the sight of a solitary Lapwing and Whimbrel out in front of the British Steel hide. Keeping them company were at least another forty eight Shelduck as well as the resident Greylags which had unusually been joined by a party of five Canada Geese. Not something likely to impress the purists I'm sure.
Landimore, Weobley and Cheriton
Thursday, May 14, 2015
Thursday, May 14, 2015 Adam Tilt 1 Comments
Even better was that after a couple of weeks of dull and cool weather we finally had the sun back and for the first time in a long time it actually felt like Spring. Gone were the coats and as we made our way up towards the village we were surrounded by calling Chiffchaffs and Goldfinches. Even better was that hirundine numbers looked to be on the increase with good numbers of Swallows mixed in with only our second sighting of House Martins this year. Hearing them calling as they swooped overhead was a really nice way to start the day and things only got better when we found a couple of Swallows perched on roadside cables. Through a heat haze and hoards of insects (or food if you're one of these fellows) I couldn't resist taking this photo, a smile on my face throughout.
Searching for Dotterel on Garreg Lwyd
Tuesday, May 12, 2015
Tuesday, May 12, 2015 Adam Tilt 2 Comments
Nevertheless we persevered but despite much optimism only managed to turn up a couple of Wheatears and Skylarks for our efforts. Even so the outing was worth it if for nothing other than the opportunity to test out our wet weather gear and navigation skills. We really should try and get up there in better conditions one of these days.
22 Degree Halo, Upper Tangent Arc and Sundogs
Monday, May 11, 2015
Monday, May 11, 2015 Adam Tilt 4 Comments
While out walking last week we noticed what at first glance appeared to be a rainbow forming just before dusk. However there was no rain anywhere near us and having studied the image above a little closer it has become apparent that there was more going on than first met the eye. Some intense googling later has led me to a series of similar images which identified the features as a twenty two degree halo, upper tangent arc and the hint of at least one sundog. I've labelled them up below for clarity.
The main feature is obviously the halo and is formed as a result of the sun shining through ice crystals contained within the thin clouds which were prevalent at the time. Apparently it is always the same size no matter its position in the sky and by stretching out your hand and holding it at arms length your thumb should sit over the sun with your little finger against the halo. Interesting stuff I'm sure you'll agree.
#pwc2015 Nesting Shelducks and Targets Beaten
Sunday, May 10, 2015
Sunday, May 10, 2015 Adam Tilt 0 Comments
Before I get ahead of myself however let me take you back to last weekend where conditions were, to put it mildly, a little mixed. With a wind and rain swept hillside not particularly appealing I instead set myself up in the living room for a spot of birding in comfort (I am getting older you know). In no time at all I'd already tripled my count of patch Mallards for the year as well as enjoying some stunning views of a Red Kite. There can't be many places in the country where such a magnificent bird of prey can be watched at eye level from your couch! Even better was to come however as a Grey Heron lifted itself into the air from what I presume was a garden pond somewhere down in the village, a new tick and one which until that moment I hadn't even realised was missing from this year's tally. The next day I repeated the exercise in even worse conditions and managed to turn up our very first Swift of the year. It was battling against the wind and was only seen for a few minutes before shooting back towards the coast. Fast forward to Monday and a late afternoon visit to the far reaches of the valley turned up a reeling Grasshopper Warbler. Found in almost exactly the same place as one back in 2013 it finally confirms that this species is a regular visitor to these parts.
The Shelduck above gives a good hint as to our star find this week but the full story behind it is quite incredible. Baring in mind we are a good couple of miles inland here the sight of one of these flying over the patch is always cause for celebration. Their appearance has been almost annual ever since we moved in but until now I had no idea what they were up to. At long last that mystery has been solved having watched the individual above first circle around us before dropping down into an area of thick vegetation. From then on there was no further sign and with no possible way that the bird could have escaped unnoticed we were left with only one conclusion; we have nesting Shelducks on patch! There are a number of Rabbit burrows in the area and with Shelducks favouring these as a nesting site that probably explains the birds vanishing act. A fascinating discovery and, as I've already said, exactly the kind of knowledge I wanted to gather this year.
Looking at the debris this seems to be the work of arsonists once again. Depressing but that's not going to stop me doing my best to document and protect this area as best I can.
2015: 65 / 2014: 64
Saturday, May 09, 2015
Saturday, May 09, 2015 Adam Tilt 0 Comments
With the weather turning very nasty on Wednesday we kept the camera inside but it was back out on Thursday for what we hoped would be another eventful evening. Checking the recordings I don't think either of us expected to find what we did. Not only was our Hedgehog back (puzzling a cat along the way) but it had also brought a friend.
Judging from the size difference between the two individuals I presume we have both a male and female present meaning there's a great potential for breeding in the near future. We'll be doing all we can to encourage them to continue their visits with plans for a Hedgehog feeding station and shelter in the pipeline. Meanwhile the camera will continue its nightly vigil and hopefully we'll get some more great footage to share soon.
Friday, May 08, 2015
Friday, May 08, 2015 Adam Tilt 10 Comments
Lliw Reservoirs - An Eely Good Time
Wednesday, May 06, 2015
Wednesday, May 06, 2015 Adam Tilt 2 Comments
Southgate to Pwlldu
Monday, May 04, 2015
Monday, May 04, 2015 Adam Tilt 2 Comments
As with other areas this year the Gorse on Gower is full of flower creating a yellow blanket across the landscape which on days like this certainly helps to lift the spirits. Any sense of warmth however was only in the mind as the strong Easterly wrought a nasty chill that necessitated the reappearance of hats and gloves that I'd thought banished several weeks ago. In such conditions it was perhaps not surprising that birds were restricted to the big stuff with a lone Gannet loafing about on the sea, Ravens overhead and a Peregrine Falcon patrolling the cliffs below. Migrants were almost non-existent with just the calls of Willow Warblers emanating from deep within protective cover providing any hint that this was in fact still Spring and that we'd not somehow slipped straight back into Winter. Helping them along were a couple of singing Whitethroats but the hoped for Swifts? Not a sign.
Dark Arches Caterpillar
Sunday, May 03, 2015
Sunday, May 03, 2015 Adam Tilt 2 Comments
Looking through my photos again from last week I realised that I'd forgotten to include the rather impressive Dark Arches caterpillar seen above. Of course I didn't know its name at the time but thanks to the power of the internet I now have another hole in my knowledge well and truly plugged. We found this lively chap crawling across the ground just inches from where we'd parked at Tywyn Bach near Burry Port. A lucky escape for him and a great find for us.
Early Bluebells at Coed Bach Park
Friday, May 01, 2015
Friday, May 01, 2015 Adam Tilt 5 Comments
- Hello! I'm a thirty something blogger based in Wales with an avid interest in birds, nature, wildlife photography, walking, mountain climbing and kayaking. I love anything that involves the natural world and being outside, though rain and I just don't get along. We regularly find ourselves venturing to the Isle of Mull and harbour dreams to move there one day soon. This blog aims to share our adventures and, who knows, hopefully inspire a few people along the way.
- ► 2016 (63)
- Monsal Trail, Miller's Dale, Monsal Dale
- Lathkill Dale including Mandale Mine and Bateman's...
- Carsington Water - Tree Sparrows, Barnacle Geese a...
- Garden Birds - An Audience With
- #pwc2015 Fledgling Stonechats
- Llanelli WWT - Catching Up
- Landimore, Weobley and Cheriton
- Searching for Dotterel on Garreg Lwyd
- 22 Degree Halo, Upper Tangent Arc and Sundogs
- #pwc2015 Nesting Shelducks and Targets Beaten
- Garden Hedgehogs
- Gwenffrwd-Dinas Delivers
- Lliw Reservoirs - An Eely Good Time
- Southgate to Pwlldu
- Dark Arches Caterpillar
- Early Bluebells at Coed Bach Park
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