Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Following the trail of.......

Spring watch. I followed in the footsteps of Simon King and visited Lake Vyrnwy in the foothills of the Berwyn mountains. It goes without saying it was beautiful. I spent a small fortune in the RSPB shop and then set about covering some of the ground on foot, with my trusty little terrier in tow.

We walked around the sculpture park after a breakfast of bacon and sausage sarnie. Then on the advice of the lady in the shop we drove over to the car park at Rhiwargor. Another, longer and more challenging walk in the heat, took us to the Rhiwargor falls. Particularly pretty and worth the effort. A heron was disturbed whilst walking along the side of the small brook/ river.

Back at the carpark just as the light was fading and the sky was about to open we managed a few photos of this little chap.

He was flitting back and to between a wooden sculpture and the trees.

These are my first proper shots of the Redstart this year so I'm reasonably pleased.

From Lake Vyrnwy I went west. I went to Trawsfynydd Lake and spent the night in a layby. I had paused for tea on the side of Llyn Celyn and heard my first welsh cuckoo of the year.

In the morning I went to Portmadog on the coast. I visited the River Glaslyn Osprey project on the river near Prenteg. The RSPB have set up a great watching station with live satellite coverage from the nest. There are three chicks which are pretty close to fledging.

They also have a hide on the river from which, using scopes provided, you can just see the nest. Lots of other stuff also use the river infront of the hide including a pair of Merganser, and a pair of swallows have nested in the roof of the hide.

From there I headed north to Anglesey. It is my intention to visit another Springwatch site, South stack. I will update you asap.

Monday, 22 June 2009

In the hills.

I decided not to travel too far from Llandrindod and have spent the last two days at Bishops castle. Its very hilly. I like it, its green and pleasant. The site I'm at is called Daisy Bank its very good, my only complaint is that the washing machine and drier are not good enough. They are not industrial machines. The site is very well organised and extremely pretty. A little expensive at eighteen pounds a night but I think worth it, They have wifi capability for two pounds a night and free TV hook up for all the five terestrial channels and two sky channels.

I have been plagued by bad weather but today I was determined to make the most of whatever chances I had. A fellow on the site pointed me in the direction of Welshpool and a small nature reserve on its outskirts. Formerly a gravel pit it has been changed into a reserve by Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust. The reserve is called Llyn Coed-y-dinas nature reserve.

I could not believe how many different birds there were there. Mute Swan, Cormorant, Coot, Moorhen, Tufted Duck, Mallard Duck, Oystercatcher, Common Sandpiper, Lapwing, Lesser Black Backed Gull, Black Headed Gull, Reed Warbler, Woodpigeon, Canada Goose, Blackbird and Song Thrush. Little ringed Plover and Sedge Warbler had also been seen earlier but I did not see them. Now this may not sound a lot but it is, if you compare it to what I saw at Teifi Marsh which was a much bigger reserve.

Woodpigeon Chick came on the nearest Island.

Black Headed Gulls were there in plenty of numbers, with some sitting on nests. There were a large number of juveniles too.

There was a pair of Lesser Black Backed Gulls on one of the Islands with a chick, here it is.
"Look Daddy I've climbed a mountain"

The Common Sandpiper just appeared from nowhere.

Immediately infront of the hide, which I want to add was in fantastic order, was a reed bed, it came almost up to the front of the hide. This chap or chapess was too close most of the time to catch with my 600 but I did get a few of it, here's one.
I wished for better light, I may return tomorrow when I leave and head for Lake Vyrnwy, of Spring watch fame, it's only up the road.

Sunday, 21 June 2009

Catch up.

Just a quickie, I recently did some Moths with Andy C. I've only just had chance to get round to looking at them.

I'm not big on moths but I think I've got these sorted.

First, White Ermine.

Buff Ermine,

Pale Tussock

Peppered Moth

Elephant Hawk Moth.

Poplar Hawk Moth.

Green Silver Lines

and finally, a Buff Tip.

I've never paid much attention to moths before, but I was amazed by the difference in size and colourings and this is only a small sample of what can be found at night in gardens all over the country. Thanks Andy.