As you can see I have finally succeeded at getting those elusive Yellowhammers on camera after many failed attempts over the last few weeks. The bird shown here is not one of the usual pair that I watch up on Bryn-bach-Common (they were there but were keeping well into the shadows) but a new bird for me further up the Cwm Dulais valley in the vicinity of the old colliery. It posed perfectly in full sun against a clear sky whilst belting out its familiar call of a-little-bit-of-bread-and-no-cheeeeeeese. Amazingly for this species I was able to approach relatively close before it started to look hesitant and I dropped back a few meters. A quick glance to check that I was no threat and it was soon singing away happily again. These are by far my best Yellowhammer shots and I am very pleased with them to put it mildly.
Also out in the valley was my first Swift on patch for the year along with the usual Swallows and flocks of constantly on the move Linnets. Unfortunately though it seems that the Cuckoo has either stopped calling or moved on. I hope its the former as I’d love to get another chance to photograph it before the year is out. Two Buzzards and a Red Kite were quartering the valley sides while the woods on the return route held a Jay and a pair of Bullfinch. A quick scan of the river didn’t result in any Dipper sightings but there are long stretches that are now out of sight due to vegetation growth so there is every chance that it is still hiding away somewhere. We last saw the Dipper back in February so at least we know that it made through the winter. I’ll keep you posted if I see him.