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Pretty blustery this morning. c.20 Sand Martin, 1 Swift and a few Swallows feeding over W lake, Green ‘Pecker calling from nr Medieval Village, a few butterflies despite the wind – Meadow Brown, 6-Spot Burnet moth x 2, Small Skipper, Ringlet, and 1 Common Blue.
This evening’s GBC/RSPB walk [18th Jul] to see the swift tower and to learn a bit about the project, was well attended with 25 participants, for which thanks folks. We started at the Penarth end and Alan Rosney have a short introduction. Then we walked slowly across to the Cardiff side, and saw a number of Swift which gradually drifted higher and towards upper Penarth. A Raven was on the Bay shoreline. Across the other side we assembled by the tower, which is just beyond the environment building, and Alan talked in more detail about the project and its aims, and how the tower is set up, and also what other actions are being taken to encourage swifts to nest in our area. Afterwards, we went further along to the old Roath Basin dock where the Sand Martin colony was still pretty active. We also saw 2 Peregrines flying past over the channel, and some pretty large gatherings of Starlings [max one was about 100 birds]. Also in the shoreline bushes a Common Whitethroat gave good views as it scolded a tabby cat. An impressive ‘sun dog’ in the clouds, and a stunning sunset concluded a very pleasant evening.
A few from a quick visit this morning. A couple of Tufted Duck [not photo’d] were a reminder that autumn is coming soon. There were three ad Little Grebes which was quite interesting. I have only been aware of 1 pair and there was an imm bird the other day. Other than that there an imm Crow ‘playing’ with a bit of old black plastic tubing in E paddock [see pic]. The awful pic was taken 2 days ago when I saw an ad Song Thrush feeding three fully grown young. Unfortunately the camera was on the wrong setting when I grabbed the pic and came out completely under-exposed, but I managed to recover a rather grainy image.
Don’t forget our evening walk this evening across Cardiff Bay barrage, starting at 7 p.m. at the Penarth end car park, in partnership with RSPB. Basically a walk to introduce folk to the Swift Tower and to get an insight into what’s behind the Swift Project, how it is hoped the tower and other projects will help, and hopefully see a few Swifts and whatever else might be about.
Glamorgan Bird Club had a successful trip to Dare Valley CP yesterday with 20 participants. Typically for July there wasn’t a lot of bird activity but highlights over and above ‘common’ birds were in threes: 3 Peregrines putting on a good show, 3 Kingfishers at the main lake, and 3 Little Grebe families – an Ad and a juv on the main, middle, lake and remarkably 2 ads wit a total of 6 small young on the small upper lake. We had a few brief fly-over Redpoll and Siskin, Blackcap, Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler, Swifts over the distant houses and a good number of House Martins feeding over the lake.
House Sparrow 9th July
Mediterranean Gull 2 ads BP Great Created Grebe 30 one on nest near boardwalk Mute Swan 121 plus several cygnets Black-headed Gull 80 Peregrine 2 Whitethroat 2 Sand Martin 30 also Black-tailed Skimmer 2 Emperor Dragonfly 4. Large White Orange Tip Painted Lady Meadow Brown Downside Dog jumping into the lagoon chasing wildfowl.
Excellent GBC field trip to Carms today enjoyed by 19 participants, visiting Kidwelly Quay, Pembrey Harbour and Penclaccwydd WWT. 50+ species seen. Highlights – 4 Common Sandpiper, 6 Greenshank and approx 100 Redshank at Kidwelly, plus a distant Gannet, 100+ Curlew and a Whimbrel. A Shelduck crêche of an ad with 30+ ducklings, plus some common passerines. At Pembrey Harbour just 1 Sandwich Tern but 100+ Mediterranean Gulls!, but a couple of Marbled White butterflies were lifers for some, and a Painted Lady there. Also there 100+ Sand Martin were on the beach for a while then all took off. At Penclaccwydd 4 Spoonbill of which two were unusually active [for Spoonbills!], then approx 100 Black-tailed Godwit flying in to the lagoon behind the main hide was spectacular and warranted a celebratory cuppa and piece of cake at the café.
family group of LR plover with. 2 juvs. 3 common sand with 2 common sand by Loughor bridge. 26 med gull loafing on the upper Loughor, 10 ads, 12 3rd c/y and 4 2nd c/y ,,,,,not seen them here before.
32 pied wagtail with plenty of juvs , approx 35 mixed hitundines all enjoying the insects from the sheep dung on the marsh
Noted a pair of Goldfinch this morning at the far entrance to Cogan Wood, one of which was carrying nest material. Took some shots of a LBBG coming dome for bread thrown down for the crows by my pal Lindsay who some folk may know – he walks round every day feeding the crows at various points, and they know him well. Quite a few butterflies on the wing – plenty of Ringlets, a single washed out Painted Lady, Red Admiral, and the fem Large Skipper shown.
Having been noticeable by their apparent absence for some time, it seems a Little Grebe pair have bred by the W lake – an adult was feeding a juv on the far side this morning. Pic is a huge crop. Also the GC Grebe ‘humbug’ is doing well.
Photo: yellowhammer (Richard Dann).
Latest Gower Ringing Group news HERE
At Cossie a couple of days ago, 3 different Cetti’s warblers singing in the E lake reed area from three different positions. There has been song from nest the cafe for most of the last month or two. I suspect a pair have bred but of course no proof. Have not seen one on any visit but just heard.
Swansea – There are a nesting pair of Ringed Plovers with one chick. Or at least only one I have seen. There is always one adult there with it chasing off other birds (seagull/jackdaw/pigeon). I have some distant shots here:
It is relatively tricky to spot.
Yesterday a Kingfisher was sitting in the fallen dead tree on E lake shore visible from the main bridge. Today in W paddock, a group of juv birds – Blue Tit, Great Tit, Robin and Dunnock. Song Thrush and 4 Goldfinch there and one Song Thrush in Cogan Wood, juv Blackbird in Cogan Wood, 6 Swift over W lake plus a few Sand Martins. 3 Rook flew over W paddock – not often seen at Cossie
Another Spotted Flycatcher, some 200-300mtrs from previously reported pair with occupied nest. Also 1 Wood Warbler singing, Crossbills heard and 3 singing Tree Pipits.
Recent ringing news HERE. Photo of Jay by Richard Dann
1-Barn Owl flying up the reen at the eastern end of the lake.19h30
Spotted Flycatcher, pair with nest