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Griswold's Birding Year 2016

 
 
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Old Saturday 2nd January 2016, 15:17   #1
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Griswold's Birding Year 2016

Here we go again. Good luck to all fellow BFers keeping a list this year. Mammals, good places to eat and decent beers will be included as usual.

2015 Total: 200

Changing my own rules for myself slightly this year. Combining Rock Dove and Feral Pigeon as most seem to do and not including anything non-biodegradable. The Goldcliff Bar Headed Goose won't be on this year's list I will however, be adding birds that I've heard without seeing - only if 100% +ve. though.

Again checking the forecast East seemed to be the best. First stop was Newport Wetlands picking up Kev from Port Toilet at 7 a.m.

1. Robin
2. Blackbird
3. Herring Gull
4. Moorhen
5. Water Rail (h)
6. Carrion Crow
7. Cettis Warbler (h)
8. Wren
9. Magpie
10. Wood Pigeon
11. Curlew
12. Stonechat
13. Chaffinch
14. Blue Tit
15. Mallard
16. Grey Heron
17. Great Tit
18. Tufted Duck
19. Goldfinch
20. Pheasant
21. Greenfinch
22. Dunnock
23. Canada Goose

Next it was off to Goldcliff picking up a couple on the way.

24. Mistle Thrush
25. Pied Wagtail
26. House Sparrow

At Goldcliff water levels were very high (and it was extremely muddy) so there were not as many species as expected.

27. Common Redshank
28. Redwing
29. Northern Shoveller
30. Common Teal
31. Gadwall
32. Starling
33. Pintail
34. Greylag Goose
35. Lapwing
36. Coot

From here it was off to Forest Farm. Plenty of cyclists and dog walkers all happily using the reserve. On the way the following was seen:

37. Sparrowhawk
38. Jackdaw

At Forest Farm was:

39. Treecreeper
40. Nuthatch
41. Kingfisher
42. Bullfinch
43. Jay
44. Goldcrest
45. Long Tailed Tit
46. Coal tit
47. Wigeon (at Goldcliff)

And now it was off to Cardiff Bay Nature Reserve. On the way the following were seen:

48. Mute Swan
49. Feral Pigeon

Was hoping the Lesser Scaup maybe present despite it not being reported for some time. Not to be though.

50. Black Headed Gull
51. Shag (unusual for this location)
52. Cormorant
53. Great Crested Grebe
54. Little Grebe
55. Shelduck (at Goldcliff)
56. Lesser Black Backed Gull
57. Pochard

Next it was off to Sker Point. Unfortunately the Grey Phalarope had not stuck around but did add the following:

58. Great Black Backed Gill
59. Raven
60. Golden Plover
61. Oystercatcher
62. Meadow Pipit
63. Song Thrush
64. Common Buzzard

All common birds but pleased to get Kingfisher and Treecreeper on the first day.

Rich
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Old Saturday 2nd January 2016, 17:37   #2
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Today the weather was fine this morning so we took the children down to Burryport/ Pembrey. Heaps of people out and about including quite a few paddle boarders and people fishing. Good to see another Kingfisher at Burryport. Also added at Pembrey Harbour were:

65. Collared Dove
66. Rook
67. Rock Pipit
68. Sanderling
69. Ringed Plover
70. Reed Bunting
71. Linnet
72. Little Egret
73. Common Gull
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Old Monday 4th January 2016, 17:43   #3
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Back to work properly today.

Could hear a couple of Tawny Owls in the trees around the back garden and a little later there was a Great Spotted Woodpecker on the feeders.

74. Tawny Owl (h)
75. Great Spotted Woodpecker
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Old Wednesday 6th January 2016, 14:53   #4
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Had a decent couple of hours without any rain at Kidwelly Quay and Penclacwydd today. Had good views of at least 2 and probably 3 Kingfishers. Heaps of Golden Plovers, Curlews, Redshanks, Lapwings, Teal etc. at Kidwelly Quay. Added the following:

76. Red Breasted Merganser
77. Dunlin
78. Greenshank

At Penclacwydd again there were heaps of Lapwings, Shelduck, Wigeon, Shovellers etc. In amongst the Greenshanks were 3 or 4 Spotted Redshanks which are always good to see.

79. Spotted Redshank
80. Brent Geese
81. Siskin
82. Common Snipe
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Old Saturday 9th January 2016, 14:32   #5
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Was hoping to get up to Garwnant today to look for Crossbills, Dippers etc. Unfortunately the weather was appalling so after going swimming with the children we decided to head for home. Added the following species on the Tawe.

83. Goosander.

Hopefully this rain will ease off tomorrow so we can head down to the marsh road at Crofty.

Rich
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Old Sunday 10th January 2016, 17:12   #6
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Had a cracking afternoon with a mate at Ferryside and then Llanrhidian Marsh Road this afternoon. At Ferryside the reported Glossy Ibis was quickly located still on the rugby field whilst a Red Kite drifted over the fields behind.

84. Glossy Ibis
85. Red Kite
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Old Sunday 10th January 2016, 17:17   #7
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Back to Llanrhidian and 3 others were already present. Some cracking birds were had and big thanks to those already present. Despite missing out on Merlin and Peregrine the following were added:

86. Great White Egret
87. Kestrel
88. Hen Harrier
89. Short Eared Owl
90. Barn Owl

A very pleasant afternoons birding finished off by having a decent pint of Tomos Watkins in the Crofty Inn

Rich
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Old Wednesday 13th January 2016, 16:03   #8
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Headed up to Garwnant this morning. Wandering around the forest with nobody else present does my sanity a power of good. Beautiful in the light snow as well. Target bird was acquired within 20 minutes or so. It really is a great place for Common (Red?) Crossbills. As usual they were given away by their "song" before seeing them. c15 males and females. Down at the river a Dipper was quickly seen but not the hoped for Grey Wagtails.

From here it was over to Dryslwyn Bridge. Strangely not a single Fieldfare was seen all day. At Dryslwyn it was good to see that Julie had her feeders well stocked. After 5 minutes or so a handsome male Tree Sparrow came down to feed. From here it was up to Cilsan Bridge where several Whoopers were flying down the valley. A very enjoyable day all in all.

91. Common Crossbill
92. Dipper
93. Tree Sparrow
94. Whooper Swan
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Old Saturday 16th January 2016, 17:43   #9
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Well I've had worse days birding than today. Picked Kev up from Port Toilet at 6 and headed for Parkend, Forest of Dean. A bit too dark when we arrived so had a quick squint at Nagshead. Nothing to be seen but Kev had brought some cracking bacon sarnies so they were consumed. Back to Parkend and a photographer had put some seed down by the cricket ground. Sure enough target bird #1 quickly appeared.

95. Hawfinch

From here it was up to Cannop Ponds. A couple more species were quickly added.

96. Mandarin
97. Green Woodpecker

Was hoping to stop at a location to look for GGS but was unable to locate within the forest. Decided to look for Horsbere Brook Flood Storage Lake to check to see if the Penduline Tits were around. On the way we added:

98. Fieldfare

Took a few wrong turns near Gloucester so finding Horsbere turned out to be a total fluke. Just happened to notice a large number of cars in a lay by with people getting out with scopes. Car parked we headed for the small crowd. Sure enough both Penduline Tits were showing very well in the sunlight. Within 10 minutes they had flown off though so for once, the luck of the birding gods was with us

99. Penduline Tits Lifer #1

From here it was off to Slimbridge.
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Old Saturday 16th January 2016, 18:33   #10
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Big thank you to whoever rated this thread btw

Rich
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Old Saturday 16th January 2016, 18:43   #11
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Didn't spend too long at Slimbridge as most of the hides were fairly crowded. I must admit, leaving for me couldn't come too soon. This is not my idea of birding (though each to their own obviously). Added the following:

100. Bewick Swan
101. Grey Wagtail
102. Greater Scaup (Rushy Pen)
103. Peregrine Falcon
104. Common Crane
105. Barnacle Goose
106. White Fronted Goose
107. Black Tailed Godwit


There were a couple of Ruddy Shelducks on South Lake but definitely not going on the year list.

Rich
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Old Saturday 16th January 2016, 18:51   #12
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Heading back to Wales had a quick call in at Lavernock Point. This was primarily to check out the location for a possible Autumn sea watch. Next it was on to Kenfig Pool. Unfortunately the female Smew that's been there for the last few days hadn't been seen since yesterday. Did have a great chat with a birder from Kenfig though. Good to share some local locations Did add one more species:

108. Goldeneye

Now time for a glass of red. Have a great evening all

Rich
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Old Wednesday 20th January 2016, 15:14   #13
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Dragged myself out of bed today. Suffering with a man cough. Decided to stay local and check out Dead Sheep Gully (gotta love that name) at Afan Argoed. Glad I did as one of bogey birds was seen.

109. Great Grey Shrike Lifer #2

Might head up again soon to try and get a better view.

Rich
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Old Saturday 23rd January 2016, 17:34   #14
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Had a cracking day with Sars down at Whiteford Point today. Always a good place to visit and the quality was top notch as usual. The only downside (for me) was that it was relatively busy. There were at least 20 people that we passed which is c15 more than usual during our 5-6 mile walk

I already knew that the tide would be out but the Hawke scope performed superbly well. For the price it's a great piece of kit. Sitting on our usual log to have our sarnies and scan the estuary it was good to see good numbers of Red Breasted Mergansers, Brent Geese (many more than the last visit), Great Crested Grebes, the odd GBBG and the usual waders. Raptors included Red Kite, Sprawk (both seen on the car journey down), Common Buzzard and a couple of Kestrels. Added to the year list were:

110. Grey Plover
111. Great Northern Diver (at least 3 on the estuary)
112. Eider
113. Slavonian Grebe


And last but not least the long(ish) staying:

114. Snow Bunting

Only one bird this time and in the conditions I really should have got a better pic, so apologies for the shots below.
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Old Saturday 30th January 2016, 18:10   #15
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Looks like I was half an hour too early for the Glaucous Gull at the Knap, Barry, today. Thought I saw it in flight but would need a better view to have been 100%. As we were meeting friends in Cardiff I had very little time and 10 pin bowling was the children's priority

Did add another species whilst driving across the Vale:

115. Stock Dove

Might try again on Wednesday for the gull if it's still around.

Rich
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Old Wednesday 3rd February 2016, 17:04   #16
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Dropped into Cotswolds Water Park. On CWP30 were a handsome pair of male Smew and on one of the others a handful of Red Crested Pochards.

116. Smew
117. Red Crested Pochard
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Old Wednesday 3rd February 2016, 17:08   #17
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From here it was over to Marshfield. A great little place. This is my third visit and I've enjoyed it each and every time. Still can't find the Little Owl though

118. Skylark
119. Yellowhammer
120. Red Legged Partridges
121. Corn Buntings

Rich
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Old Thursday 4th February 2016, 08:25   #18
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Stayed here last night:

http://www.lordnelsonatmarshfield.com

Can totally recommend it. Good value. Decent breakfast. Comfortable room (mind your head on the ceiling coming up the stairs). Good beer on tap. Bath Ales "Gem" went down very nicely last night. Very good food at a good price in the restaurant. All within walking distance of the Corn Buntings

Rich
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Old Friday 5th February 2016, 15:53   #19
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Stayed here last night:

http://www.whitehartwells.com

Room was very decent but a lack of wi-fi and the bar/ restaurant being closed (unexpectedly) were black marks against it. On the plus side, this did mean we ended up having food at the Greek Taverna in the Sun Inn. A very decent little place and worth a visit if you're in the area. Website here:

http://www.sungreektaverna.co.uk

Rich
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Old Friday 5th February 2016, 15:59   #20
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Whilst staying at Wells we went for a wander around Ham Wall. This has to be one of my favourite reserves. Another Glossy Ibis was added to the year list along with a couple more Great White Egrets. The new Avalon hide afforded very good views of some Marsh Harriers. Couldn't connect with the Dusky Warbler but still a fantastic afternoon.

122. Marsh Harrier
123. Chiffchaff

Was hoping to head to Steart this morning but a meeting in Cardiff meant this will have to wait for another day. Will add a couple of junk photos when I get home.

Rich
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Old Friday 5th February 2016, 17:21   #21
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Some junk photos but at least you can tell what they are I suppose. Now it's time for a pint of Somerset Cider (or two!)
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Old Sunday 7th February 2016, 13:55   #22
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Grabbed a couple of hours birding with a mate before today's game. Apart from forgetting my memory card and missing out on some easy shots everything went well. For once, everything was where we'd hoped it would be. At the Knapp the Glaucous Gull was showing very well (an early candidate for bird of the year). Initially located along the beach by the car park and then on the pond itself. Stood out like a sore thumb amongst the LBBG's. A Mediterranean Gull was also present amongst the BHG's.

124. Glaucous Gull
125. Mediterranean Gull

From here it was on to Cosmeston. And within 3 feet of the bank on the East Lake was the Lesser Scaup.

126. Lesser Scaup

Next it was on to Penarth Marina. I'd read on the Glamorgan Birds Website that Plas Taliesin was a good place for Black Redstarts during the Winter. It's been years since I've seen a Black Redstart in the UK so we thought it was worth a try. Sure enough there was a handsome male on top a roof. Looking stunningly handsome in the Winter sunshine

127. Black Redstart.

Rich
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Old Saturday 13th February 2016, 13:47   #23
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Went down to Penclacwydd this morning with the boys and Kev. Female Goldeneye present along with the usual Greenshanks, Lapwings, Curlews, Siskins, Reed Buntings etc. Out on the marsh though we had cracking scoped views of a male Merlin perched upon some driftwood.

128. Merlin
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Old Sunday 14th February 2016, 18:34   #24
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Took my brother's dog for a walk down Rhossili. She does a great impression of a mini Wookiee. Didn't get the hoped for Chough but had fantastic views of Ravens. Added to the year list were:

129. Fulmar
130. Kittiwake
131. Common Scoters
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Old Wednesday 24th February 2016, 17:41   #25
ClarkWGriswold
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Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Caerbannog
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Had a cracking couple of hours with my old man and brother's dog at Rhosilli today. The weather was absolutely gorgeous for a change

Didn't get the hope for Chough but the supporting cast wasn't too bad. A few rafts of Common Scoters were out in the bay and a female Kestrel seemed to follow us most of the way around our walk. (She even photo-bombed one of the shots I took of my father). The male only appearing as we came back to the car park. A Peregrine was also good to see along with stunning views of the resident Ravens.

Near worm's head, whilst scanning the water, there were several GCG's dotted about and something which looked significantly different. As I'd left the scope in the car the little SX50 came into it's own. Despite a huge distance between us and the bird we were able to positively ID a RTD. As we walked further round toward the look out point it came a little closer so a very slightly better photo was taken. It was also at this point that another diver species was picked out. This one had the decency to come a lot closer. It's been a while since the old man has seen a Great Northern Diver in Wales so he was more than happy. To top it all off, the hound was immaculately behaved

132. Red Throated Diver
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Last edited by ClarkWGriswold : Wednesday 24th February 2016 at 18:05.
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