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Griswold's Birding Year 2015

 
 
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Old Friday 2nd January 2015, 16:59   #1
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Griswold's Birding Year 2015

Time to start again Good luck to all here on BF. As usual I'll add any mammals, decent places to eat/ stay etc.

2014 Total: 188

Checking out the New Years Day weather forecast it was clear that West was most certainly not going to be the best. Having misjudged what time it was going to get light I ended up sitting in the car waiting for enough light to get going. This was outside Newport Wetlands centre. Don't think I looked dodgey at all unshaven with my beanie on

Continued my 100% success rate with dipping on Beardies here but to be fair it was very windy and most stuff appeared to be hunkered down in the reeds. First bird of 2015 was a Song Thrush and first mammal was a bunny. Being early a mini murmuration of Starlings was a very welcome sight.

1. Song Thrush
2. Grey Heron
3. Magpie
4. Carrion Crow
5. Tufted Duck
6. Pochard
7. Coot
8. Moorhen
9. Blackbird
10. Redwing
11. Blue Tit
12. Great Tit
13. Stonechat (by lighthouse)
14. Bullfinch
15. Gadwall
16. Reed Bunting
17. Herring Gull
18. Curlew
19. Pied Wagtail
20. Kestrel

Next it was on to Goldcliff. Caught up with Bryan whom I've met a few times at the reserve. A great birder with excellent local knowledge. Good luck with your mission to find a Hawfinch in Gwent this year Bryan Water levels were very high and as the tide was out the number of species was low.

21. Teal
22. Black Tailed Godwit
23.Wood Pigeon
24. Collared Dove
25. Jackdaw
26. Little Egret
27. Shelduck
28. Starling

Some birds are slightly out of order as I'm writing this from my iPad which is more awkward to change.
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Old Friday 2nd January 2015, 17:12   #2
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In the interest of adding to BirdForums mini Ryder Cup I now set off for Llangasty adding the following on the way:

29. Common Buzzard
30. Red Kite

At Llangasty a quick scan gave plenty of birds but not the hoped for Great White Egret.

31. Goldeneye
32. Cormorant
33. Wigeon
34. Pintail
35. Goosander
36. Sparrowhawk
37. Lesser Scaup (+)
38. Mute Swan
39. Northern Shoveller
40. Great Crested Grebe
41. Mallard
42. Robin
43. Dunnock
44. Lesser Black Backed Gull

From here it was time to head home adding the following at Garwnant/ Cwm Cadlan:

45. Dipper
46. Raven
47. Mistle Thrush
48. Fieldfare

And when getting home added:

49. Coal Tit

I'm pretty certain I ended up on 52 which was down on last year so I'll have engage the grey matter to remember the missing 5.

Rich
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Old Friday 2nd January 2015, 17:16   #3
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Just remembered from yesterday:

50. Pheasant
51. Black headed Gull
52. Lapwing
53. Chaffinch

And today:

54. Feral Pigeon
55. Long Tailed Tit

Rich
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Old Saturday 3rd January 2015, 13:28   #4
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Few more easy ones today as I wondered around Kidwely Quay in the wind and the rain.

56. Chiffchaff
57. Nuthatch
58. Jay
59. Redshank
60. Dunlin
61. Golden Plover
62. Greylag Goose
63. Linnet
64. Greenfinch
65. Wren
66. House Sparrow
67. Oystercatcher
68. Rook

Rich
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Old Sunday 4th January 2015, 16:18   #5
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Only a couple more today:

69. Great Spotted Woodpecker
70. Great Black Backed Gull

PS

When the members lists forum for 2015 is set up could this thread be moved there please Mods?
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Old Saturday 10th January 2015, 18:13   #6
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Had a decent afternoon on The Gower with my father today. Pretty certain I had a pair of Great White Egrets but the distance they were away gave enough doubt not to include them.

A birder from Clydach joined us for an hour or so and picked out a handsome male Peregrine. Later a lone Lapwing flew over (away from the flock of a few hundred) and promptly provided a Saturday supper for him. It's always amazing watching these birds hunt.

On arrival a lone female Hen Harrier was also briefly present which was fantastic as it was the main reason for choosing this location to go birding.

71. Greenshank
72. Peregrine
73. Hen Harrier

Rich
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Old Sunday 11th January 2015, 16:31   #7
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#74 was in the back garden this morning:

74. Goldfinch

As we didn't have the children we decided to go for a walk around Garwnant. Nice views of Common Buzzards and Red Kites on the way along with heaps Fielfares and Redwings. Don't think I've ever seen such a big flock of Coal Tits in the forestry there. On the walk itself:

75. Goldcrest
76. Little Grebe (Llwyn-onn Reservoir)
77. Common Crossbills

I struggle to get Crossbills but the area as you come into the forestry seems quite consistent though the flock is fairly mobile.

Went up the Gnoll with children this afternoon. A female Goldeneye was quite unexpected. The plastic geese were totally expected though.

78. Canada Goose.
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Old Tuesday 13th January 2015, 17:22   #8
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Just driving home from work and one of these flew out of the woods and perched on the telephone wire:

79. Tawny Owl
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Old Wednesday 14th January 2015, 13:11   #9
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Just heard my first Green Woodpecker of the year outside the house (my own rules mean I must see it) and there was the first Siskin of the year on the feeders.

80. Siskin

Got the day off on Friday so, weather permitting, I might take a look for some white ducks at CWP.

Rich
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Old Friday 16th January 2015, 19:14   #10
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Had the day off today so decided to head East. 1st stop Cotswolds Water Park. If you haven't been here before please note that the parking is absolutely cac! After driving round and round thinking I must have passed it I thought sod it!!! And parked on a verge. After talking to a couple of decent birders from Hampshire (originally from London) they confirmed it wasn't me. Anyway, at CWP 34 there were several Red Crested Pochards and half a dozen Goosander.

81. Red Crested Pochard

Over at CWP 30 and 29(?) the first lifer of the year was seen A handsome male Smew and an early candidate for best bird of 2015. Over on 29(?) 5 others quickly appeared - 3M and 2F. Superb birds. A showy Green Woodpecker was also here.

82. Smew - Lifer #1
83. Green Woodpecker

Rich
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Old Friday 16th January 2015, 19:21   #11
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From CWP it was over to Slimbridge. Despite 3 visits to the Asian pen I could not nail the Ferruginous Duck despite myself and another birder trying to manipulate a different species into one. It took another birder to come along and casually throw in "its a Baer's Pochard"

Added the following:

84. Ruff
85. Barnacle Geese
86. White Fronted Geese
87. Bewicks Swans
88. Avocet
89. Common Crane

And then on the way home a brief stop at Cannop Ponds (top pond) gave:

90. Mandarin

Rich
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Old Wednesday 21st January 2015, 18:24   #12
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Went for a walk around Burry Port Harbour this afternoon. Unfortunately the tide was out. Could make out quite a few GCG's and some that looked a little "different". Without my scope though they were impossible (for me) to ID. Did add:

91. Rock Pipit

Rich
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Old Saturday 24th January 2015, 14:40   #13
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Dipped on Bittern today at Kenfig Pool and a Cettis was heard but not seen. A single male Goldeneye was on the pond itself along with some Tufties, Coot etc.

Added the fourth mammal species of the year. Very pleasing as it was the first Otter my father had seen in Wales Sorry for the rubbish photo but was quite some distance away.
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Old Wednesday 28th January 2015, 14:09   #14
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Spent a very blustery hour just past Llanelli this morning. Whilst the scope setup remained stable I was blown all over the place!

West of Burry Port harbour were a few:

92. Brent Geese
93. Sanderling

Also enjoyed listening to and watching a Raven cronking over the Loughor Estuary.

Rich
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Old Wednesday 4th February 2015, 13:49   #15
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Grabbed a quick hour out this morning. Nothing rare but certainly some birds I enjoy watching:

94. Skylark
95. Kingfisher
96. Grey Wagtail
97. Common Snipe
98. Kittiwake
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Old Saturday 7th February 2015, 16:11   #16
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Needing a pickmeup after yesterday's "game" I decided to head 40 or so miles East and aim for a big finch and a small bunting.

Turned out to be just what the doctor ordered. After a couple of poor views a couple of birders from Pontypool got me on to a decent view of the big finch. Thanks to Jon (Caerleon) and Rich (local) as well. A very enjoyable hour. Also at Fforest Ganol were Common Buzzard, GWP drumming, Raven and I'm pretty certain a Brambling but the view was not good enough to be certain. On leaving I bumped into a couple of birders from back West who clearly had the same idea as me - great minds think alike gents

99. Hawfinch Lifer# 2

Chuffed with this one as it was last year's and this year's "target" bird.
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Old Saturday 7th February 2015, 16:21   #17
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From here it was a 5 minute drive to Forest Farm on the outskirts of Cardiff. If only all birding was easy as this. Walked onto the hide. Asked birder from Tonypandy if the bunting was showing - checked to see if I still had my wallet after I found out he was from Tonypandy - and there it was within a few feet of the hide

Similar to last year - another great bird to bring up the 100

100. Lifer#3 Little Bunting

From the farm hide I went for a wander over to the other hides. Spent a fantastic hour wandering around the reserve with Paul (Ely) and had good views of some great birds - Jays, Goldcrest, Kingfishers, Common Snipe and species number 101:

101. Water Rail

One of my best days birding in a long time. Superb birds and met some great birders/ photographers
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Old Wednesday 11th February 2015, 12:31   #18
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Grabbed another quick hour this morning whilst my 4 year old was in school.

A few Bullfinch around and a heap of Redwings and Mistle Thrush in the fields behind the house. Down at Penclacwyyd bumped into a couple doing a species year list - good luck with that both

Added the following:

102. Spotted Redshank
103. Red Breasted Mergansers
104. Knot

Hopefully heading to Rhossilli on Saturday (depends on the weather) so will keep an eye out for Chough.

Rich
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Old Saturday 14th February 2015, 18:29   #19
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Headed to the Gower today. Stopped off at Penclawdd for breakfast and added:

105. Common Gull

From here it was on to Rhossili. Unfortunately no Chough were present but there were plenty of other birds despite it being quite busy. Good to see a pair of Ravens - one with a beak full of nesting material. First Shag of the year and on Valentines Day as well

A couple of Porpoises were briefly seen and rather surreally an American tourist asked me to take a photo of him on his phone as if he was running toward the edge of the cliff. Apparently, Mumford and Sons filmed a music video there and he was re-enacting. I'll need to look that one up

106. Rock Dove
107. Shag
108. Eider (male and way offshore)
109. Meadow Pipit (at last!)
110. Fulmar
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Old Monday 16th February 2015, 16:34   #20
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Had a quick wander around Aberavon this afternoon and added:

111. Turnstone
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Old Sunday 22nd February 2015, 11:40   #21
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3 weeks to go til first Scottish trip of the year. The weather here today is extremely squally so decided to stay in. The Shaun the Sheep Movie maybe on the cards

Whilst making a cup of coffee this morning #112 was added at the base of the conifers out the back.

112. Treecreeper

Rich
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Old Friday 13th March 2015, 19:47   #22
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113. Woodcock - Loch Garten
114. Red Throated Diver
115. Whooper Swan
116. Pink Footed Goose
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Old Saturday 14th March 2015, 16:34   #23
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Nice to have 2 year ticks before 7AM this morning from the balcony.

117. Long Tailed Duck
118. Common Scoter

Went for a walk to Findhorn Bay next and added:

119. Slavonian Grebe
120. Yellowhammer
121. Velvet Scoter Lifer#4
122. Hooded Crow
123. Gannet

And Wales have just beaten the Irish to round off a fine day

Rich
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Old Sunday 15th March 2015, 21:21   #24
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A great days birding today around the West of Scotland.

124. Ringed Plover
125. Ptarmigan
126. Black Throated Diver
127. Great Northern Diver

Rich
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Old Saturday 21st March 2015, 19:08   #25
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Ducked out after the game today with my youngest boy (congratulations to Ireland for winning the Championship). A short walk around Usk Reservoir gave several Red Kite, Common Buzzards, Ravens, GSW, Goldfinch etc. The drive home gave my first Northern Wheatear of the year at Crai.

128. Northern Wheatear

Rich
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