Thursday, 27 September 2012

Winter is upon us....

A walk this afternoon from Pennal village to the Dyfi's northern bank in Gwynedd had two surprises in store for us in the shape of a flushed jack snipe, along with 3 commons, and a brambling at Ynys farm. Both were unexpected as I have never seen either of these species so early in the autumn, and am not used to viewing them without frozen fingers and toes. As today turned out to be warm and sunny, both seemed rather incongruous. Luckily Steffi managed a few quick shots of the brambling as it flittered around the hay barn.


Other highlights on the walk included a white wagtail amongst the dozens of pieds, and great views of circling buzzards against a bright blue sky.

The hideous weather of late had curtailed our birding, and on the few decent days available we've been involved in invertebrate sampling in the local rivers as part of Steffi's work - you may think twice about drinking from the streams around here when you see some of the freaky critters up close that inhabit these places! Plenty of views of dippers, grey wagtails and kingfishers in the process.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

autumn visitor....

This weekend we hosted our first guest to Mach, my old chum Mark from the Peak District. Despite the best efforts of the weather to curtail our outdoor excursions, we managed a few trips out and about to show him the wonders of west Wales. A visit to Ynys-hir and Ynyslas yielded good views of barnacle geese and a ring tailed hen harrier amongst the usual suspects, and a drive along the coast to New Quay produced a late sand martin, arctic skua, chough and whimbrel along with numerous gannets, with grey seal, harbour porpoise and bottlenose dolphin putting on a good show.

The one night it didnt rain allowed us to try out the moth trap, though the days cold weather didnt make for ideal mothing. However a setaceous hebrew character, 2 september thorns and a rosy rustic (photo) made it worthwhile.

The best spot of the weekend was saved until last, with great views of a soggy badger late on Monday night as we returned from the pub, which was Steffis first (live) individual.
After Mark left for home, a walk along the Dyfi into town produced a dipper, male wheatear and a kingfisher. Upon returning home we had the pleasure of a spotted flycatcher in the hawthorn tree at the bottom of the garden.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

In the beginning....

We will briefly summarize the highlights of the past two months before we start blogging regularly. Check out our garden list for an update on what we have seen so far. It all kicked off with a Spotted Flycatcher hunting from the Ash tree, followed by a Redstart in the gnarly Hawthorn tree.

Both species became a regular feature throughout the summer and were one day joined briefly by a female Pied Flycatcher. The gnarly tree proved to be a hotspot for migrants and so far has provided us with Blackcap, Willow Warbler, Wood Warbler, Whinchat, Chiffchaff and Lesser Whitethroat as well the common garden birds. Amongst the more "exotic" species attracted to our feeders are Great Spotted Woodpecker, Nuthatch and Siskins.

The railway line has attracted a Common Buzzard and hunting Barn Owls.

Whilst trying to attract wildlife to our garden, a few birds have become confused and actually joined us in the house!!! We have helped Great, Blue and Coal Tit back out into the wild world and also have a roosting Pipistrelle in our roof.

Tawny Owls call regularly and one morning we found regurgitated pellets on our porch. The latest addition to our garden list was a fly-by Green Woodpecker.