And in rest of the world as well I would imagine. Despite my best efforts in the week leading up to Christmas I am still battling to get my digital photography collection properly organised and input into Google Picasa (see my other blog for details on this). As a result I am afraid to say that this will be another post that sadly has no photographs to go with it. However it will hopefully be my last.
On Christmas Eve I went down to Rhosili to walk over the moors in the direction of Llangennith before heading back to Rhosili along the lower coastal path. The highlight was my second pair of Choughs in as many weeks. Whilst this pair were no where near as obliging in terms of getting close enough to take pictures, they put on a wonderful display feeding and calling to each other as they moved along the ground. The Chough really does have a very distinctive call that I had not really heard before. Unfortunately the birds legs were completely obscured so I had no chance to see any rings to help identify any particular individuals. Whilst watching the Choughs a first for me on the Gower popped up; a Red Kite. I know that these birds have been doing better and better in terms of their population over recent years but this is the first bird that I have seen this far down on the Gower. I believe the closest beforehand had been in the proximity of Loughour bridge. Unfortunately the viewing was cut short by a Crow mobbing the Kite until it retreated out of the area. The other notable sightings on the walk were a Buzzard and a Kestrel sat on adjacent fence posts. Despite the Kestrels best efforts it could not chase away the Buzzard much to its annoyance if the calls were anything to go by.
A couple of days earlier I paid a visit to the Cardiff bay area in the hope of seeing the Slavonian Grebe that has decided to overwinter in the area. We parked at the barrage and walked the entire length of the Penarth side of the bay. A few Little Grebes gave cause for excitement but were not to be. Surprisingly there were several Turnstones along the bank which surely can’t have been having much luck given that all of the stones were concreted in! As it turned out the Slav has been spending the last few days on the other side of the bay by the ice rink so another visit may be on the cards in the new year. Other species seen included Rock and Meadow Pipits and Pied and Grey Wagtails. There was also a very large number of Cormorantsin the area.