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Griswold's Birding Year 2018

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Old Saturday 24th March 2018, 14:52   #26
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Had a lovely couple of hours at Penclacwydd with the boys today. Good to catch up with Paul whom I follow on Twitter and a good selection of birds - 3 Spoonbills, 2 Spotted Redshanks, the long staying Ring-necked Duck and a Sparrowhawk took a Collared Dove no more than 6 feet behind me

Added o the year list:

136. Knot
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Old Friday 30th March 2018, 19:16   #27
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Went for a meal out with my family today as it was my parents anniversary. I can totally recommend the cod and chips at The Shed in Porthgain. My 11 year old can recommend the mussels

http://www.theshedporthgain.co.uk

Anyway. Whilst waiting for the others to arrive we had a short walk around the headland. Ravens were displaying and there were a few Rock Pipits around. Added the following to the year list:

137. Shag

Then stopped off at Newgale Beach on the way home and added another year tick.

138. Gannet

Also bumped into an old colleague from a couple of years ago in the local pub which was a bit of a surprise. Nice to catch up

Rich
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Old Monday 2nd April 2018, 13:07   #28
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Headed down to Kenfig Pool this morning. First Swallows and Sand Martins of the year were over the pool. Was hoping for a Willow Warbler but all I could manage was a few Chiffchaffs. Also present were Goldeneye, Sprawk, Kestrel and good numbers of Greenfinch.

Good to catch up with Neil - a birder from Bridgend. Very knowledgeable and good company.

139. Swallow
140. Sand Martin

Next it was up to an undisclosed site in the valleys. For once a hunch paid off. My usual site for this species has seen a great deal of logging, so all I've seen there on the last couple of visits have been a couple of Common Buzzards, and Ravens.

Anyway, there were 3 displaying in total 2 males and a female.

141. Goshawk

Got tomorrow off so am trying to decide where to head. Given the weather forecast I think it might need to be somewhere with a hide

Rich
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Old Tuesday 3rd April 2018, 15:05   #29
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Headed down to Penclacwydd for a couple of hours. On the way down a low male Peregrine flew over just by the roundabout over the Loughor Bridge.

Again, couldn't find a Willow Warbler but there were plenty of Chiffs around at Penclacwydd itself. The tide was amazingly high - higher than I can recollect before. A couple of Spoonbills were present and the long staying RND was still on the deep pool. Added the following:

142. Mediterranean Gull
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Old Thursday 5th April 2018, 20:09   #30
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Boom!!

I think the book may well and truly be closed for best bird of 2018. Belted down to St Davids with Kev after work and there she was. A massively unexpected lifer

Absolutely elated.

143. Snowy Owl Lifer # 3
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Old Saturday 7th April 2018, 10:12   #31
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Nice to add a year tick from the bedroom this morning.

144. Willow Warbler
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Old Saturday 7th April 2018, 15:48   #32
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Despite the weather, had a lovely walk down from past the Ivy Tower, to the Cimla. Blackcaps were singing at the 4th Gnoll Pond;Willow Warblers at the third; a male Goosander on the 2nd; and more Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs at the first with a few House Martins flying over.

145. House Martin
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Old Saturday 14th April 2018, 17:34   #33
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Had a lovely visit with friends to RSPB Dinas today. Had a picnic down by the river whilst the children played in the river! Looked bloody freezing to me but they don't seem to feel the cold

Still a little early in the year but after a bit of searching my first Common Redstart of the year was found. A stunning male at the end of the boardwalk. A Goosander flew over and Ravens, Common Buzzards and Red Kites were generally getting on each other's nerves over the mountain. (Incidentally there were 15-20 Red Kites over Defynnog on the way home). In the car park I put some seed down and quickly a heap of birds came down to feed- Coal Tits, Nuthatch, Chaffinch, Marsh Tits and Yellowhammers.

A great day out

146. Common Redstart
147. Yellowhammer
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Old Friday 27th April 2018, 15:05   #34
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A couple of nice year ticks this afternoon at Penclacwydd, and near the Loughor Bridge.

148. Little Gull
149. Whimbrel

Got a couple to add from the recent Scotland short break which I'll sort out shortly.
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Old Saturday 28th April 2018, 06:45   #35
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From the Scottish trip:

150. Hooded Crow
151. Velvet Scoter
152. Cuckoo
153. Tystie
154. Guillemot
155. Razorbill
156. Manx Shearwater
157. White Wagtail
158. Fulmar
159. Black-Throated Diver
160. Twite
161. Golden Eagle
162. White-tailed Eagle

Dipped on Black Duck, American White-winged Scoter and Surf Scoter. Only had an hour at Musselborough though as it was on our way back to South Wales. Did have one lifer in the form of a Pine Martin
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Old Sunday 29th April 2018, 08:43   #36
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163. Tree Pipit
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Old Sunday 29th April 2018, 18:22   #37
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Belted down to Pembs today (picking up Kev on the way) after the rugby festival near Pontypridd.

Great views were had of the Green Heron. The owners of the home where the bird is located were incredibly accommodating

164. Green Heron Lifer#4
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Old Tuesday 8th May 2018, 19:29   #38
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Had a cracking short birding session in the Beacons yesterday. No Ring Ouzel at a site I know of but amazing to watch a male Peregrine and 3 Red Kites in the same binocular view

Did have a year tick today whilst sat at my desk

165. Swift
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Old Saturday 12th May 2018, 13:58   #39
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Was heading up to Goldcliff this morning but decided to cross the bridge to the dry side for a change. Glad we did as at Portbury Wharf was a cracking Spotted Sandpiper. Had great scope views but too far for a decent shot.

166. Spotted Sandpiper Lifer# 5
167. Sedge Warbler
168. Common Whitethroat

A lovely morning. Now just waiting for my new niece/ nephew to arrive

Rich
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Old Saturday 19th May 2018, 20:03   #40
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Headed over the dry side of the bridge today to look at some pups. Added the following:

169. Common Tern
170. Stock Dove

Rich
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Old Sunday 20th May 2018, 17:06   #41
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Got up early and headed up to Dinas. Must say it was absolutely stunning wandering around and picking out birds by their call. Much easier when you haven't got the children

Also drove up the road a little to check an area I know is good for Whinchat. Right on cue he appeared

171. Pied Flycatcher
172. Garden Warbler
173. Wood Warbler
174. Whinchat
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Old Monday 21st May 2018, 19:19   #42
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Nipped in to Penclacwydd after works. Thanks to Wendell for the advice. Had great views of a male Garganey.

175. Garganey

As an aside, I had a look through a fellow birders Opticron Verano Bga 8x32's. Was very impressed. Very lightweight and a crisp, very bright image. Easy eye placement too. Cheers Bob

Rich
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Old Saturday 26th May 2018, 14:26   #43
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Just with the children at Penclacwydd and added Reed Warbler.

176. Reed Warbler
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Old Friday 1st June 2018, 07:37   #44
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Had a brilliant day with my youngest yesterday. Alarm set for 04:00 we headed off for Gloucs/Somerset.

Arriving nice and early at Highnam Woods there were Warblers everywhere. The boy wanted a walk to stretch his legs and very quickly he was on to a Chiffchaff. He was able to pick this out with naked eye whilst I was struggling with my bins Blackcaps, Song Thrushes, and Willow Warblers were all around us but then we heard the unmistakable notes of the Nightingale. Again, I struggle to pick these out in the undergrowth but he came up trumps again

177. Nightingale

Next we were off to Ham Wall. A Great White Egret flew over us in the car park and along the track Garden Warblers, Common Whitethroats, Blackcaps and Willow Warblers were singing away. But then we heard what we had really come for - a booming Bittern. To say my youngest was happy would be an understatement! With Cuckoos also in the background he was very happy. The RSPB volunteers we met were really friendly and chatty. Woody the Cocker Spaniel was a big favourite. At VP1 we had a flyover Hobby which was another year tick

178. Hobby

Now my original plan was to wander around Shapwick Heath and then over to Westhay. Given that we were both up at 04:00 I decided that this was going to be too much. I really wanted to keep this enjoyable for both of us. Now, looking at RBA, I hatched up a cunning daddy plan - there should be a handbook for birding parents

"Oh look - there's a KFC in Taunton. Shall we go there for a change?" With both agreed we set off. And lo and behold the sat-nav took us past Isle Brewers

A quick walk to stretch our legs and just before we were about to leave, the girl turned up. A stunning female Red-footed Falcon. A great bird and some very friendly birders to boot.

179. Red-footed Falcon

So we headed home via Taunton and Rich's Cider Mill. We ended up having a KFC at Cardiff services where the young fella on the drive through commented on much he liked the seats in the Skoda

The day had turned out to be one of my most enjoyable birding sessions ever. It was great to hear my boy excitedly ringing his grandfather (a keen birder) to tell him about all the birds we had seen. I think the two of us will be heading to Skomer next for the Puffins. We also discussed looking for Golden Eagles next year in Scotland.

Rich
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Old Saturday 2nd June 2018, 16:22   #45
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Went with the boys down to the Mumbles today. Nice to have an easy year tick as the Kittiwakes nest on the pier.

180! Kittiwake
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Old Thursday 7th June 2018, 17:44   #46
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Had a fantastic evening out with the Glamorgan Bird Club yesterday evening. All met up at the Brynffynon Hotel for 20:30 and headed off. A gazillion midges around but the repellent worked perfectly. Redpolls and Tree Pipits were quickly followed by the stars of the show. As it got darker you could hear the trilling. We were then treated to point blank views of 6 or 7 Nightjars. Superb birds and a brilliant birding experience. Many thanks to all the members of the GBC.

181. Nightjar
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Old Saturday 9th June 2018, 15:50   #47
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Had a brilliant day with the boys today. Started off at Kenfig Pool and then headed in to the Beacons. The Pool was fairly quiet but the Pink-footed Goose that's been around for a few days was still there. Not an easy bird in South Wales. The boys enjoyed looking at the abundance of young frogs, Damselflies and Dragonflies.

In the Beacons we had great views of Kites, Ravens, Wheatear and Common Buzzards.

182. Pink-footed Goose
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Old Thursday 14th June 2018, 17:57   #48
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Stopped off on my way home from work today and had great views of a Little Ringed Plover and it's chick

183. Little Ringed Plover
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Old Wednesday 27th June 2018, 20:18   #49
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Haven't managed any birding sessions since Buddy arrived. Haven't minded one bit

Did manage to add a year tick today though whilst out and about in Carmarthenshire:

184. Spotted Flycatcher
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Old Thursday 19th July 2018, 20:16   #50
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Still haven't had a birding trip since the middle of June but did pick up a year tick on my lunch break today. There were c20 Sandwich Terns (including juvs) at Pembrey Harbour.

185. Sandwich Tern

The boy is growing too
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