I was talking to one of the site operators at Maerdy works this morning and we got onto the subject of birds, as you do, and he told me about this large bird of prey that landed here back in the summer( Here are the pics his colleague took). Neither of them thought it to be a Buzzard, it looked larger if anything. My first thought was immature Goshawk but the supercilium is a bit indistinct and the feathers on its wings look a little uniform in colour. Incidentally this is the exact location where I found a predated red legged Partridge last May. Any ideas?
This afternoon, 28 Curlew feeding in field between Zigzag lane and A4106 just outside Newton, Porthcawl.
A couple of Red Kites circling over fields near Lillipot farm, Bonvilston yesterday afternoon.
A couple of crackers this morning, 2 Willow Tits ( a bit early to be paired up I think) attracted by recording and just a few minutes later at the other side of the site, a female Hen Harrier being mobbed by a crow just east of penderyn reservoir.
Yesterday morning . Excellent views of a pair of Kingfishers at Clydach vale country park , one landed in a willow not more than 6 mtrs away from the lakeside path and very tolerant of passing people and dogs. I’ve been here 3 times in the last few weeks and seen them every time. Looking brilliant in the autumn sunshine, I’ll try and get some pics next time I’m there. Also a couple of red head Goosander and a Little Grebe amongst the mallards, Coots and Moorhens.
Working in Abercynon this morning it was great to see dozens of Sand Martins using as nests the weep holes in the stone retaining wall of Abercynon railway station. Some were no more than 6ft high from the pavement. I’ve seen similar use of weep holes in Pontypridd and Porth, whilst in Pontygwaith their using holes in a wall right next to a busy road.
Another beautiful morning for local walk. Fem. Grey wagtail feeding young in river plus 12+ Sandmartins around colony. 10+ Swifts over town centre. Up on top the 3 Lapwings are still in the field, no chicks seen but they’d be very difficult to pick out against bare earth. Excellent views of Peregrine lazily soaring just below Penrhiwgwint farm.
Red kite low over fields this afternoon. (Strictly speaking just out of East Glam area)
An unusual find this afternoon, I found what looks to me like the remains of a Red Legged Partridge. (Unfortunately the head was missing ) I’ve absolutely no idea how it got up here at the top of the Rhondda Fach? Probably a victim of a local Peregrine. The last Red leg I’ve seen was over 20 years ago outside Morganstown.
Loop around hilltop via bronwydd woods this morning which was alive with common species, No Wood Warblers singing yet this year, usually present by now, No Spotted flycatcher either but its early days. Out into scrub where Willow Warbler , Blackcap and Whitethroat seemed everywhere plus pairs of Greenfinch and Bullfinch. Male Kestrel around quarry, cuckoo calling then seen above nant graig ddu,another calling above rhiwgarn. Red kite over. @ Swifts over Porth
Sat 2nd. My one local weekend walk up to the plateau and back down via Nant hafod. Theres now at least 3 Lapwings in the field at the top, Stockdove, Stonechat 2 prs, many meadow Pipit, several Linnets, Skylarks, a distant calling Cuckoo over in Glynfach.Willow warblers, Mistle thrush, Greenfinch and a singing Redstart as I followed Nant Hafod. A couple of very vocal song thrush and several Swallows around Nyth Bran and as I returned to Porth @ 12 Sand Martin swooping around the small colony nesting in weep holes of bypass.
Lovely walk early this morning, so many birds made it a joy. Mistle and song thrush singing, blackbirds a plenty, usual woodland and scrubbland birds including 2 ,presumably male, tree creepers having a right old scrap, chiffchaffs,willow warblers, blackcaps & Whitethroats. Tawny owl hooting (at 8.15!), a Cuckoo calling in the distance, Buzzard ,Jay,Raven & Rooks and 3 male Bullfinch that alighted on a tree together and flew off together. Also a male Great spotted woodpecker harassing a Green Woody. The Greens nest hole was literally a couple of mtrs below the G.S.Woody so not a lot of “love thy neighbour” !
Yesterday 10 am,Single Red Kite SE of Pendoylan. As a sub contractor to Welsh Water I’m either working at their sites or driving between them, hence the wide variation in localities. Apologies to all those in lock down and those who can’t get out to their favourite birding spots, hopefully it won’t be long before we can all get out and about.
Single Red kite above Telemast (Gilfach farm) this morning. They really are becoming an almost common sight these days.
Single Red Kite over Penrhiwgwint, a pair of Stonechats, several singing Skylarks & Meadow Pipit. As we got up on the plateau I scanned a scoured field and picked out a Lapwing keeping a wary eye on a Buzzard perched on a nearby stone wall. 20 yards away was , I presume, the female, stock still and possibly on eggs/young. If this is a breeding pair, its the first I’ve seen on this hill since the ’80s. Further sightings include 8+Willow warbler, 1× Whitethroat, Crossbill, 2×Swallow, 1× Reed Bunting, 8+ Sand Martin
Driving along heads of valleys road at Dowlais this morning, Red kite overhead and a single Lapwing just a few yards off the carriageway. Later driving over Gelligaer common just after Bedlinog turnoff pair of Curlew flew over. I’ve heard them in this area before but haven’t seen any, so hopefully they’re breeding on the common.
Penderyn Reservoir this morning. Willow Warbler, Common Sandpiper
Nant moel reservoir this afternoon. Willow warbler, Sand Martin, grey and pied wagtails. Used willow tit playback but no response, however usual tit species were present.
First visit to this site as part of Willow Tit survey and was surprised by the number of species, which will obviously increase in the coming weeks. Species of note- 1 Willow Tit (close views of male calling), 1 Water Rail, 1 Little Grebe, 20+ Coot, 6 Moorhen, Mute swan (pair nest building), 3 pairs of Canada Goose, several Chiffchaff, Sparowhawk (f), 3 Buzzards and several pairs of Bullfinch
Usual common woodland species including Nuthatch and Treecreeper. Flyover Red Kite plus a pair of Buzzards. Woodcock flushed. This a lovely little reserve which I’ll certainly revisit. Perfect habitat for Willow Tit but no sightings on this occasion.
Single ( possible second) Willow Tit in area of scrub adjacent to former factory site to rear of handball court. Seen and heard at @ 7.45 am on a cold but clear morning. Recorded call was used.