Friday, 2 November 2018

From Wales to Newton St Loe

Date: 29/10/2018 -01/11/2018
Location: Wales, Wiltshire & Patch
Weather: 
Mostly blue skies but a bit of cloud
Species Highlights: 
Red Necked Grebe, Kingfisher, Snipe, Brambling, Goosander, Red Kite
Observation: 
After the excitement of Mallorca it was back to work and trying to get closer to that #200 birds for 2018 so we headed across the soon to be free Seven Bridge ant to Roath Lake in Cardiff for the Red Necked Grebe, a cracking little lake in the middle of Cardiff surrounded by houses and plenty of birds on it.
To a few minutes to find Grebe but plenty to see.



Lauren's arty side shining through.


A life tick for us both



The bird never really came close but we had had good views, a good start to a monday morning.




From here we headed the couple of miles to Forest Farm where we'd both never been, seen lots of photos of Kingfishers and stuff there so fingers crossed.

First spot were 4 snipe almost right in front the hide.



Within a couple of minutes a Kingfisher started to fish, continuing to dive into the icy waters catching tiny minnows.


Never see enough Kingfishers and always a treat to watch. 


This Jay landed in the shade in front hide , we had to zoom out to get him in the frame!


After a walk around the site I saw a photographer stood camera trained on something it was a Buzzard which flew across field giving us fantastic views.



On the way home a Baird's Sandpiper was on site at another place in Wales, Goldcliff. Again never been so a wander around was required lots of hides overlooking small lagoons the tide was out so we saw very little maybe the Peregrine the reason why?


Saw some waders out on mud flats severn estuary probably the Bairds but to distant to count, it has been seen since but not for us, so we headed off.




Tuesday my cleaning day but once done I headed down to Chew Valley to see what was about. It turns out  a female American Wigeon had been reported from Herons Green Bay I eventually spotted it mixing with the others......still not sure but it was reported on Avon Birds and RBA so tick!( Have since discovered it's no AM just a regular Eurasian Wigeon so i was right to question)



The normal amount of gulls were about racing around trying to get the bread from visitors bringing sacks of it! 
Lesser Black Backed.



Common Gull.



Wednesday I'd decided on going to Stourhead for a Mushroom hunt and to look at the Autumn colours around the lake.

Very few Mushrooms about but a lovely walk through the woodland.



Once at the Lake all the usually Autumnal spender was there.


It had clouded over slightly but still stunning.


I walked around 8 miles a few Siskin tree tops and a Brambling which popped up from the path and sat in tree in front of me, nice.


Still early and another place I'd never been was Langford Lakes so 20 mins later i was parked and ready to explore.



The first few lakes had 3 Tufted duck and a Cormorant on ...very little but i could hear many Canada Geese so carried on walking, a Red Kite in the distance and another hide ahead. I entered and 150 Canada Geese were on the small Lake along with Little Egret, Mute Swans, Shovelers and  another dubious tick :) A Ruddy Shelduck of unknown origin.


Red kites kept me entertained for a hour or so floating over the lake, I saw 3 birds along with Buzzard and Crow that were pestering the kites. 
Only 31 miles from home, only a matter of time before they breed on Newton eh!


Back at car park 100's of Starling gathering waiting to roost, a great place I shall return.


Thursday and my normal patch walk around Newton St Loe.
Up on to Dog walk heard first then saw this stunning Greater spotted Woodpecker.



Feeding in the Tree canopy investigating every little hole for insects.


Pheasant hiding in crossroads fields. Saw 4 Yellowhammer flying over there normal bit nice to see them again with 25 Linnet, Skylark and 2 Meadow Pipit also seen too.


 All very quiet apart from Crow, Jackdaw and Rooks feeding around Send a Cow, a small group of Long Tailed tit feeding in SAC woodland but  Robert phoned me to say a Goosander was on bottom lake i rushed along to see it.
Feeding and looking good on fishing lake... no fishermen.


Watched it for a hour hoping it would come closer but it kept a respectful distance. Our last was 11/02/2018 so lets hope numbers return to the 2017 high 30 birds in January of that year.


The reflection was great but not much to photograph apart from this Moorhen who came to investigate where i was led on the floor! 


A single Black Headed Gull seemingly just floating on lake but sprung into action...



Catching a small Minnow.


Looking fine.


Top lake Goldcrest, Grey Wagtail in between and pleased to see Little Egret still present although Robert and Anne Missed it hiding in its normal tree.


Not really seen it feed much like last year , its been here 3 weeks now so guess it must feed sometimes, was being pestered by the Grey Heron last year but Heron seem to be spending more time on lower brook.

Mute Swan have all changed too, The Family from the top Lake have gone, all 6 of them, Jen from bottom lake has now come up from bottom and has a new home on top. 
Strange eh ?



Top woodland lots of Great Tits, Blue Tits, Nuthatch and 10+ Coal tits, a few Buzzards about this one on my return route through Send a Cow woodlands.


Back in to Village and first thought Kestrel but a high flying male Sparrowhawk was a nice spot.



So ended walk on 45 species not bad and no Redwing or Fieldfare yet, last year 23/10 Redwing and 26/11 Fieldfare number started to come in numbers so any time now.

A couple of Pumpkins to end so till the next one... O and my #200 year list stands at 192 and Lauren 177 42 days left.



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