Aberystwyth and Ynys-Hir
Monday, January 18, 2016
Monday, January 18, 2016 Adam Tilt 1 Comments
#pwc2016 Up and Running
Thursday, January 14, 2016
Thursday, January 14, 2016 Adam Tilt 0 Comments
With the surrounding landscape steadily being absorbed into the murk I headed for home with still much of my Cefn Drum patch left unexplored. That didn't stop me picking up a few extra species from the comfort of my own sofa though including one of the local Red Kites, a Lesser Black-backed Gull and Woodpigeons. They all count you know.
Cefn Drum - 2015: 69 / 2016: 23
Upper Loughor 2015: 0 / 2016: 30
Slimbridge - Geese, Cranes and Ducks
Tuesday, January 12, 2016
Tuesday, January 12, 2016 Adam Tilt 3 Comments
Glossy Ibis, Ferryside
Sunday, January 10, 2016
Sunday, January 10, 2016 Adam Tilt 0 Comments
As can be seen above the Glossy Ibis is feeding quite comfortably in the company of various Jackdaws and Rooks. This does though have a couple of downsides. Firstly it means that keeping track of the bird can prove tricky at times as it blends in remarkably well, especially with head down, and secondly any attempt at an approach is almost impossible. Even when sticking to the footpath as we were the gathered birds would always try and keep the maximum possible distance between themselves and us, a side effect of regularly being chased by the local dogs I suspect. Despite this the Ibis appears very well settled and we could be in for a long stayer, especially if the weather stays as wet as it has been.
#pwc2016 Doubling Up
Friday, January 08, 2016
Friday, January 08, 2016 Adam Tilt 2 Comments
I captured this landscape a couple of months ago and it will hopefully give a better overview of how my two patches fit together. It was taken from near the top of Cefn Drum, Bryn-bach-Common on the hill opposite with the Dulais valley hidden in the steep crevasse between. Out of shot to the left sits my so-called northern spur and snaking away towards the Burry Inlet in the far distance is the Loughor. My new patch roughly encompasses the low, flat green area towards the bottom right of the image where the railway viaduct can just about be seen. Within it sits the wooded delights of Coed Bach Park, not to mention acres of marsh and tidal mudflats. Definitely an area with promise.
Cefn Drum - 2015: 69 / 2016: 0
Upper Loughor 2015: 0 / 2016:0
January Starts With A Splash - Literally
Wednesday, January 06, 2016
Wednesday, January 06, 2016 Adam Tilt 4 Comments
And that's a little strange don't you think. I'm more used to hearing Song Thrushes call in this way on summer evenings but on the 3rd January? Not so much. It wasn't the only one either as the reserve was alive with birdsong whilst we saw both Jackdaws and Crows carrying sticks for nest building purposes. What on earth is going on. At least the gathered Lapwings and Wigeons brought a bit of normality to proceedings from the British Steel Hide where other regulars including Little Egret, Curlew and Shelduck were also present. The Lapwings in particular were very flighty with the whole flock regularly taking to the sky and, following a scan of the estuary, we soon found out why. Perched off in the distance was a Peregrine Falcon, presumably digesting a meal given its settled nature. A fairly regular species here but one which we've not connected with for some time.
Elsewhere there were plenty of smaller species including Blue Tit, Great Tit, Bullfinch, Stonechat and a record count of fourteen Collared Doves which went a long way towards building our total before we finished off with six Common Snipe roosting outside the Peter Scott Hide. If we'd found them a little earlier a photograph might have been on the cards but it was by now so dark that we had to call it a day. That didn't stop us from admiring their intricate plumage before we left though, a great way to round out our first couple of days in 2016. Nothing too spectacular I'll admit but a solid start on which to build.
New Year Plans v2016
Sunday, January 03, 2016
Sunday, January 03, 2016 Adam Tilt 2 Comments
Long Distance Walk - Gower Coast
This one sits right at the top of my list for a very good reason. It's my main goal for 2016 and will hopefully involve a walk along the entire Gower coastline in a single sitting, something which I've had my eye on ever since we moved down here all those years ago. Having walked the Gower Way long distance footpath in 2014 this circumnavigation seems the next logical step and at 46 miles should represent a good challenge without presenting too much risk of failure. Given that the scenery in this part of the world is likely to provide more than a little distraction along the way my plan is to allow three days for the route, possibly wild camping on at least one of the overnight stops. We'll start from Loughor before heading anti-clockwise to Mumbles and honestly, I can't wait. Our first realistic opportunity for this, our first joint long distance walk, is likely to be the Easter break but failing that sometime either before or after the main summer heat (if we get any) seems most likely.
You don't have to be much of a naturalist to notice the sheer abundance of insects and birds which visit our garden on a regular basis. Whether it be Bees which seem to love the flowers on our rampantly spreading Mint or Spiders whose main goal seems to be the advancement of scare tactics against my other half, there's no shortage of life out there and that raises the obvious question. Exactly how much? In 2016 I aim to go a little way towards answering that question with the start of a garden pan-species list. That means recording and identifying every bird (easy), insect (tricky) and plant (ugh, if I have to) within our modest boundaries. Along the way I hope to learn a lot, maybe find a new species or two for this area and hopefully, if all goes well, have an answer to that all important question this time next year.
Of the tent variety I should add. Yes, weather permitting 2016 will see us once again breaking out the canvas for a series of trips across the country. Most will be short weekender's, one or two slightly longer, and is there even the possibility of our very first wild camp? Only time will tell. What I am sure of if past experience is anything to go by is that there will be plenty of wind, not an insignificant amount of rain and perhaps even sun.
My second walking challenge this year comes courtesy of Trail magazine. Their seven summit challenge sees, as the name suggests, each participant setting themselves a personal goal of climbing seven summits over the next twelve months. Mine will be a mixture of new and old including a couple of Snowdonian legends which have been on my to-do list for a very long time now. The full list and my reasons behind each choice will be coming in a future post.
So another long distance walk, seven summits and then this, the walk 1000 miles challenge. Its premise is simple, walk 1000 miles in 2016. There's no prize, just a sense of satisfaction at having achieved a significant milestone and hopefully gained a little fitness along the way. At just 2.74 miles a day it should be achievable, especially given what we've just been discussing above.
Getting very specific now and it's time to talk about three bird species which I really want to see this year. The first, Stone Curlew, has always fascinated me with their bulging eyes and lanky legs and as far as I know the best place to see one is over in Norfolk. We came close to connecting last year before plans fell apart but come Spring, we'll be there. Next on the list are two tricky species from my I-Spy Birds book which are currently preventing us from getting a full set. Great Bustard will require a trip out to Wiltshire and the second, Ptarmigan, should be taken care of thanks to our friends who live up near the Cairngorms. Both are likely to be highlights come my next review in twelve months time.
- 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.
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