Cardiff Bay Barrage/R. Ely mouth

Very very bracing walk in a bitter NW wind this morning. 11 Turnstone were resting on the rocky embankment by Penarth Marina. On the Barrage, a couple of Rock Pipits, and 2 Linnet. A Swallow was with Sand Martins at the Cardiff end, my 1st Swallow of the year at last. Managed to hold the binos steady enough to find a couple of 1s cal yr Med Gulls in with the B-h Gulls in the Bay. A Raven flew over the Barrage and another was circling above Penarth. Some sleet bearing cloouds passed over then gave dark skies over N Somerset.

Lamby Lake & Cors Crychydd Reen

Chiffchaffs, Willow Warblers, Blackcaps and Cetti’s Warblers all singing and showing around the lake this morning. 2 Sparrowhawks overhead. Good numbers of Swallows with House Martins among them over the lake. Reed Warblers heard but not seen.

Quiet at the reen with one brief sighting of Common Whitethroat. Peregrine, Buzzard and Kestrel over.

https://ebird.org/checklist/S84903896

https://ebird.org/checklist/S84904018

Heol y Cyw

Was pleased to see first swallow of year over the garden today.

Had singing blackcaps in garden since the 1st April following first garden chiffchaff earlier in the week.

Nesting mistle thrush have been fending off groups of magpies.

Nest boxes being used by blue tits, great tits and sparrows.

Ely Trail Leckwith

First singing Willow Warbler yesterday (3rd). Greenfinches singing in four localities along the trails ever since early March and back to their status here of several years ago. Cetti’s singing at four locations along the Ely between Leckwith Hill and Grangemoor Park. Blackcaps (6) well installed.

Glamorgan Canal/Forest Farm/Taff Trail – 2nd Apr

Yesterday, had a pleasant stroll along Glamorgan Canal and by Forest Farm, then along the Taff Trail. Not too bad although the Taff Trail was bit of a cycle motorway. Had a couple of fairly confiding Wrens. Called in briefly to the one hide that’s open and saw … 1 Rabbit, 1 Squirrel and 2 Crows! 😁 The new hide not yet open. Chiffchaffs were singing and Blackcaps, a pair of Grey Wags were on the Taff but couldn’t find any Dippers, either on the Taff or on the feeder stream.

RGW

Very cold walk from RGW to Peterstone Sluice Farm and back this morning produced some good birds . The Avocet mentioned earlier was near to the marker stones about 11.10 before being disturbed by dog walkers , it flew off east and didn’t stop . Also a flyover Red Kite was a nice surprise . My first Wheatear , Willow Warbler and Swallow of the year were all good to see .

Migrants arriving

While surveying for BTO’s Breeding bird survey in the Bedlinog-Treharris area today, we saw 5 Swallows and heard at least 2 Blackcaps and multiple Chiffchaffs. A group of 6 Pied (or White) Wagtails seemed to be flying through on passage.

Nothing unusual noted in the resident birds, but a group of 4 Bullfinches was a pleasure, and a Wren singing lustily at eye level allowed us to get surprisingly close. Multiple Stonechats seen, including two singing males. Overall, there seemed to be fewer birds about than usual, although conditions seemed very good. Meadow Pipits and Skylarks seemed fewer than expected but, after missing 2020, my memory may be incorrect and I haven’t made a formal analysis yet.

Goldcliff

In the afternoon I decided to go somewhere different, this being the first opportunity for months! I went to Goldcliff in Gwent. The two main interests were a Tundra Bean Goose and an imm European White-fronted Gooses, which were duly seen and photographed from the Snipe platform. Also present were Greylags and Canadas which emphasised the smaller build of the rarer ones. Other wildfowl were Mallard, Gadwall, a few Wigeon, Teal, lots of Shoveler, Tufted Duck, and Shelduck. The annual Avocets were present with 13 on the first lagoons and others elsewhere, plus 100+ Black-tailed Godwits, Redshank [some display], a single Spotted Redshank, 1 Curlew, 2 Dunlin, a pair of Ringed Plover and a pair of Little Ringed Plover doing some display, and Lapwing. Quite a few Skylark were singing. On the lep front I had a brief Small Tortoiseshell.

Cosmeston

Penarth birder Graham Smith saw a male Common Redstart this morning by Sully Brook below the upper Dovecote field. Had a look mid-late morning but couldn’t find it. The Stonechat pair were still present and I grabbed a shot of a male Reed Buting there – he was paired up with a fem but she wouldn’t stay still! Had distant view of a Brimstone in that area and a Comma landed on the path by the brook near the Medieval Village. Also on the dovecote field area, two Stock Doves flew over. The dipping pond boardwalk is now open – a Cetti’s Warbler was singing very loudly there but wouldn’t show, and neither would any Water Voles.

Forest farm

Several willow warbler, blackcaps and chiffchaff were singing today. Great spotted woodpecker and green woodpecker were quite vocal around paddocks and dipping pond area. Two red kites were over UHW Heath at 10.00 AM. Near the Taff there were several brimstone and peacock butterflies as spring harbingers.

Cosmeston

From Twitter: Male Common Redstart this morning by Sully Brook. This was Graham Smith. I’m guessing this is the stretch of the brook just outside Cogan Wood, below where the plantation of saplings is, at the far end of the upper Dovecote fields.

Absolutely heaving at Cosmeston today. Car park more or less full, incl the new extended section. OK in the paddocks, away from the lakes. No song from y’days Willow Warbler, but a Wren posed nicely near the Medieval Village, and there was a total of 3 Buzzards thermalling. Nice show of Primrose in E paddock.