Maerdy Water treatment works

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?

Kingfisher,  Clydach Vale

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.

Sand Martin colonies

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.

Llwyncelyn- Penrhiwgwint, Porth

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.

Mynydd y cymmer, Porth

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

Penrhiwgwint to Llwyncelyn, 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.

Bronwydd park/woods & mynydd dinas , Porth

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” !

Pendoylan

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.

Llwyncelyn (Porth) to Llanwonno forest.

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

Abercwmboi Lake

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