Fairwater Park, Cardiff

The highlight was a Little Egret. This had been reported there for some time. It had the long ‘aigrettes’ breeding plumage feathers on its breast, which seems early. I couldn’t see it’s nape (it was in a tree).

6+ Mistle Thrushes were feeding on berries with a small no. of Redwings, a Song Thrush and many Blackbirds. Woodpigeons were also enjoying the crop. I was able to get close to a pair of Treecreepers, some Goldcrests and 2 Jays. There was a good selection of other typical park birds, including a GS Woodpecker.

The park used to be good for finches – always lots of chaffinches and greenfinches and, particularly in winter, several pairs of bullfinches. I looked hard for any finches, and, at the very end of my visit, I found 2 female Chaffinches (and that’s two more than on most recent visits). The park hasn’t changed. A sad decline.

Also AWOL there and from Fairwater Green or the nearby school buildings and fields were Black-headed Gulls. I’ve lived here for 25 years and there is always a winter flock of BHGs in the area, numbering around 20-25 on average. This year, I’ve only seen one or occasionally two here. On most days there are none. I hope this is just some very local phenomenon, but there was only one seen on a walk along the Taff last week.

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