Before the Harriers, Owls and Egrets stole our weekendwe’d spent an enjoyable couple of hours exploring Llanelli WWT. Given the time of year I fully expected to be soaking up the sights and sounds of Wigeon for as far as the eye could see, perhaps with the resident Godwit flock for company. As it turned out there were just 22 Wigeon present and a complete absence of the latter which came as rather a large surprise, especially considering that other waterfowl such as Pintail (two males), Shoveller and Gadwall were all present and correct. Perhaps the very mild conditions of late are to blame although my first Welsh Redwings of the autumn had managed to turn up. As ever they proved incredibly flighty with every raise of my camera greeted by a flurry of wings and a complete absence of migrant thrushes. Not to worry as just seeing them was, for now, good enough for me. 

Back to the subject of our mild autumn and nowhere was this more apparent than in our sighting of at least three Red Admirals and a pair of Common Darters along what I affectionately refer to as the back straight. Both are on the wing at this time of year but I’ve seldom seen as many at once or being quite so active in November. A rather nice reminder of summer and hopefully enough to tide us through the coming barren months.

P1160146 - Red Admiral, Llanelli WWT
P1160137 - Common Darter, Llanelli WWT

Elsewhere on the reserve a calling Cetti’s Warbler, at least three male Bullfinches and a very showy Goldcrest were best of the rest and we also spotted our first Little Grebe at the site for quite some time. Lapwing numbers were also pretty healthy with 38 birds present but Pochard? Not so much. Given that they are now classed as a vulnerable species this is not good news and I shall be making an extra effort to note where we record Pochard going forwards.