Cosmeston

Last couple of days. Yesterday, the imm Ring-necked Duck was joined by a 1st year male, found by Graham Smith. It was not present this morning although the imm bird was still on E lake as was the drake Goldeneye. Late news rec’d as I type was that the 1st yr Ring-necked had relocated to Cardiff Bay, just off the Ice Rink area. Yesterday at Cossie a pair of Stonechat were on the perimeter of the snipe paddock and a few Redwing were in the trees there, and this morning a male Stonechat was in E Paddock with a few Goldfinch.

Cosmeston

Saw my first Common gull of this autumn this morning, a 2ndW on E lake by the feeding area. The latter had me going for a little while as it had a very pale grey mantle [Ring-billed Gull!] but sadly it’s not. In a short fight it had a broad black terminal tail band. Also pair of Stonechat in the snipe paddock and a Common Sipe flew out of the W lake reeds and headed off high over E lake.

Cosmeston

Imm Ring-necked Duck still on E lake Cosmeston. Not easy to pick out if asleep and in with 90 Tufties! Was active for a while but too distant for pix. Also drake Goldeneye still, 2 Pochard and an influx of c.200 Canadas!!

Lavernock Coast 16h Oct

Bit delayed posting this. Had a walk up the farm track opposite Cosmeston, up to the cooastal fields [which sadly may eventually be covered in tarmac and houses]. First bird was a Sparrowhawk chasing a Magpie, then as I crossed the big field, first one, then two then three Peregrines appeared and patrolled up and down parallel to the coast for about half an hour. A large mixed flock of Goldfinch and Linnet constantly flew up, and a distant Kestrel flew by. Having done a circuit of the field, as I walked back a group of 10 Skylark flew over, then a few Meadow Pipits and also a single Siskin, whose flight call I heard, and a few Chaffinches. Standing at the top corner of the big field I then noticed another raptor coming from inland – a Goshawk! It drifted slowly above the big field with the typical leisurely fairly deep wingbeats [unlike the rapid flick flick of a Sparrowhawk], and walost from view over Lavernock Point. All in all a good session. Below, 2 shots of one of the Perrys, and three of the Gos, one showing how high it was.

Cosmeston

Cosmeston late a.m. Drake Goldeneye on E lake near the reeds – thx to Sharon Mullins the ranger for txt. Along the lower Dovecote meadow by Sully Brook, 8 Redwing. 2 Green Peckers, and 1 Gt Spotted Pecker on fence by dipping pond then the uprights of the gazebo.! A few Swallows over.

Boverton from garden

This morning a Raven cronking overhead accompanied, as it were, by a Chiffchaff singing heartily from the hedgerow ( I have often heard one of the latter in September but never October – and so often this year) This afternoon a lone male Bullfinch in the hedge, although it was calling.

Common scoter – Llantwit Beach

I started the day visiting the Boverton Seawatch Centre where I saw a lone barnacle goose in a field. On the cycle back I spotted some large flocks of linnet – 40-50, mixed with about 15 pied wagtails on the roof of a barn. The fence below the barn was scattered with 6 meadow pipits. Other sightings here included 1 kestrel, 2 buzzards, 30-35 goldfinches.

I later arrived at Llantwit beach hoping to get some more views of an obliging golden plover I had seen last weekend. The tide was in so instead I took a walk along the coast path towards St Donats. Here I had a nice view of a female common scoter which was heading from Llantwit towards St Donats at impressive speed. It took me a minute to make the ID as I don’t think I’ve ever seen one locally before. It would be interesting to know whether anyone else has seen one this year in the Vale and whether they’re regular visitors on this part of the coast.

Cosmeston

Very briefly – The three Wigeon were still on W lake, one of which had a vigorous bathe. I had about 12 fly-over Swallows and for the first time in years, actually heard the harsh call of a fly-over Brambling. Didn’t get a good look at it tho’, but these new fangled hearing aids are ace! Also I saw what I believe was a Hornet Mimic Hoverfly, Volucella zonaria – what a huge beast. Sadly I wasn’t quick enough to grab a photo. It was in the wood behind the dragonfly pond. In the pix below the Green Pecker, Mistle Thrush and LTT were from the 13th.

Zoom talk

We now have a firm date for our first Zoom talk. This will be on Tues 20th October with the Zoom meeting opening to join at 7:15 p.m., and hopefully beginning at 7:30 p.m. So, I hope all interested parties have now installed Zoom. To assist, I have put together a ‘dummies guide’ on its use for meetings of this type, which is available here:
https://drive.google.com/…/1Xc13agdUidrChlbnKij…/view…,
so do have a look at that so you can see what to expect. The talk will be by Mike Shewring who is an ecologist, and he will be talking about the Lost Peatlands Project which has been funded by Heritage Lottery funding. There’s more info on the BBC Wales website here:
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-49584671 so do have a look at that so you can see what to expect.
IMPORTANT: we are not making the meeting ID and password public so if you wish to partake and are not a recipient of our Club News email, you need to contact myself or another committee member for the details. Hope you can join us. John Wilson

Gulf of Mexico Peregrines.

I’m working on a ship in the Gulf of Mexico, and five peregrines appear to have adopted us, staying around for the last five days, even following us when we dodged the hurricane, and returning to the worksite with us. Definitely three juveniles and one adult, not sure about the fifth member, the few occasions when they’re all airborne, it’s too difficult to make out. The juvenile in the picture looked as if it was going to try and land in a choppy sea, but to my surprise plucked a small bird off the surface, presumably one it had knocked down. Poor photos courtesy of mobile phone.

They’re definitely not going hungry on here, the ship is littered with remains. Apologies to anyone who’s a bit squeamish.

They’ve been buzzing some of the local seabirds, including this Frigate bird, some Brown Booby’s and a Snowy (Little?) Egret.