I was stuck running errands this morning (yay haircut) but managed to get some good birding in with a Raven flying over the back lane as soon as I got up accompanied by the haunting calls of an unseen Buzzard. Even just driving through Pontlliw I spotted a trio of Red Kites circling above their usual fields on the village outskirts. Eventually though I was free and headed up to my local patch for the first time this year. Unsurprisingly conditions were somewhat muddy given our recent run of weather but between picking my footings I looked up to see one of the local Jays flitting through the trees. Interestingly this area used to be a real stronghold for Green Woodpeckers with Jays being something of a scarcity, but over the last twelve months or so their roles have been completely reversed to such an extent that I can’t remember the last time I saw a Green Woodpecker on patch. Whether it’s just a coincidence or there is some sort of competition going on I have no idea.
Up on Bryn-bach-Common much of the old bracken has now been mown flat to help improve grazing conditions but I was still able to find a few colonies of Yellow Brain Fungus (above) dotted around. On the bird front things were pretty quiet apart from a solitary Meadow Pipit and a large flock of Starlings until three Ravens turned up harassing a Red Kite. They were only in the area for a few minutes before going their separate ways and once more I was alone. It was only as I was nearing home that the Red Kite reappeared, this time accompanied by five of its nearest and dearest! We’ve been treated to four Kites in the same place previously but this was something really extra special as I watched them soaring upwards on the thermals.
Late afternoon we headed over to Kidwelly Quay where we hoped to connect with a Firecrest that has been hanging about near the sewage works for the last week or so. After much peering into bushes we had to admit defeat but the hunt did turn up a Green Sandpiper in the nearby flooded field as well as a male and female Reed Bunting. It was also great fun watching the Magpies leap the rotating arms of the sewage tanks each time they passed by, never taking their eyes of the flies that were to be their dinner. On the tidal river itself a few more species made it onto the year list including Greenshank and Common Gull, but the real treat was simply watching the large flocks of Lapwing, Teal, Curlew and Redshank move past on the rising tide.