Llanwonno Weds 1st June

GBC evening trip to Llanwonno – Weds 1st Jun 2022

Seventeen souls braved the midges and met up in the car park of the Brynffynon Hotel, for our annual foray to hear and hopefully see, Nightjars. We were pleased to welcome along Vikki Howells, MS for the Cynon Valley, who is the Senedd ‘Nightjar Champion’. We headed up the road to the west of the hotel and then took a track up the hill to the south of the road, eventually meeting a forestry track which we gradually walked along. It was pretty quiet compared to some previous years when Song Thrushes had continued singing until well after dusk. We had views of a few Tree Pipits sitting atop small saplings, and a few Willow Warblers were singing out of view. One of the Tree Pipits [the one in the photo] was pestered by a Jay. As the light began to fade it was just a case of patient waiting, watching and listening. At last some churring was detected so at least we knew there were bird[s] present. A movement was detected on the slope below us and eventually a few folk had a brief view of a male, flying into view and then disappearing behind a plantation, flashing its white wing and tail patches. Up to three birds were heard churring, then a sudden fly-by through the trees up the slope caused some excitement until I declared it a fly-by Cuckoo, albeit a brief one. Gareth Jenkins then spotted a Nightjar sitting atop a tall conifer some distance away. I hurriedly started to set up my ‘scope, which turned out to be the kiss of death and the bird flew off out of view. Others of the group then had a view of another bird flying between the trees up-slope from us. Some folk also hard a calling Tawny Owl. As always, it’s a bit hit & miss with Nightjars but at least we heard and saw some. Overall we thought there were 4-5 birds present in that area. John Wilson
Vikki Howells is to my right in the photo below.

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