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Post Info TOPIC: Gwent


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RE: Gwent


Couldn't resist any more, what with me keeping a Welsh List (and not an English one!) and with the bird showing well for piccies, I had to go down to see the Rock Thrush today!

I got up at 5am and was on the road early to get on site at a reasonable time, but Birmingham as usual scuppered that and I didn't arrive until about 9.20am. Driving through fog made me worried about visibilty on the tops where the bird is, but also made me hopeful that it wouldn't have flown off in such conditions. I needn't have worried as it was bright sunshine when I arrived. On advice from local forums me & a couple of other birders walked up to the mast and dropped down the far side to the 3rd quarry, a quicker route than the footpath round the botton of the hill, and not much of a climb. On arriving we found that the bird had been seen but then had flown off at 9.10am (pager reports of iot there at 9.30am must have been made with a clock that hadn't been put back! and prob referred to 8.30am in reality!). About 6 of us then split up & combed the area, but not until 10.45am did we rediscover the birds whereabouts, a nervous period indeed!

The male Rock Thrush showed very well and lots of pics were taken (one low res one attached, a different angle from many on the net, on purpose!). Also seen here were 8 Grey Partridges, a Ring Ouzel, lots of Meadow Pipits and other common species. At only 150 miles from home it was well worth the trip and I was home by 2.30pm, to avoid any heavy traffis through Birmingham on the way, which I succesfully did !



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28th October, pwll-du, Brecon beacons.

thought I would make the trip today, as rob creek mentions well worth the trip.

common rock thrush showed very well indeed all the time I watched it. it made a few flights around the quarry & birders present coming to within 10 feet of me at one point.
distant view of a male ring ouzel close to where the cars were parked.
2 red kites
1 sparrowhawk
1 kestrel
2 ravens
3 stonechat
5 grey partridge
5 fieldfares & several redwings over
big numbers of woodpigeons over
8 mistle thrush
green woodpecker heard


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Late post for 27th October,

Pwll-Du Brecon Beacons

Surprisingly for such a bright colourful bird it was difficult to see in amongst the small boulders if you took your eye of it for a few seconds.

A couple of IPhone scoped images below,





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An early morning jaunt courtesy of Mr. Rigby saw us and a couple of other birders in the third quarry at Pwll-du at around 8 a.m. on a cool but beautiful morning, where the Rock Thrush fooled all of us on first scans - by impersonating a rockbiggrin. Back end on and motionless, it was easy to overlook in the grass to the left hand side of the quarry, until some Meadow Pipits flew in to forage near it and one of the other birders saw it move. To be honest we all expected it to be higher up the rock face enjoying the early sun. It soon flew over there and gave further proof of how well camouflaged it was among the boulders before heading down to an area of jumbled stones for a good preen and a meal of left over mealworms, gradually working across until it was perched on a stone directly in front of us, calling from time to time. Then, just as the next birders were arriving it was off back to the scree at the back of the quarry to forage in the sun. Another great bird for this month's tally with close enough views for some half decent photos even with my old camera.

Also around were Linnet, Brambling (heard only passing over), Robin, 2 Magpie, 4 Carrion Crow, c15 Jackdaw and at least 1 Raven, the last three having a bit of an altercation at the far end of the quarry. We just missed a Red Kite here but saw one en route home, along with Buzzard and Sparrowhawk. A good variety of fungi along the level track around to the quarries, mostly Blackening Waxcap, but with some Snowy, Crimson and possibly Butter Waxcaps among them: also one of the dung mushrooms, probably Dung Roundhead although the colour looked more like Psilocybe coprophila and a possible Russula, but many were 'gone over'.

-- Edited by Mike Chorley on Friday 27th of October 2017 06:33:06 PM

-- Edited by Mike Chorley on Friday 27th of October 2017 06:48:32 PM

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You don't HAVE to be mad to go birding but :-D


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Rock Thrush in Gwent, Wales 22/102017

     This bird has been present for over a week in a quarry area overlooking one of the nicest views in Britain, across from the Brecon Beacons, no wonder it has stayed so long. It had been found by a birder looking for passage Ring Ouzel`s, I bet he had a shock when he found this male Rock Thrush. One of our team needed to see this bird to add to his British list, so a trip was organised with Steve B driving, myself and Kevin C. We left a windy, wet Rochdale at 6-30am and were soon heading south on the M6, M5 & M50. About this time a got a call from a fellow birder, Jeff S, telling me that the bird was still present and showing well. As we got onto the A40 past Monmouth we left the road and began heading along a farm track, in the wrong direction, a local farmer had to direct us back onto the correct route. It was no surprise to me that we had got a little lost as we did almost the same when we visited Blorenge for the Marmora`s Warbler a few years ago!

     As we began to gain altitude along a mountain pass, the pub we were trying to find, The Lamb & Fox came into view. Around 25 cars were parked near to the narrow road and a few birders could be seen heading out over the moorland. It was very windy along the disused tramway path that led towards the quarry with not one bird being seen in the 15 minute walk. A few birders happy faces told us that the bird was showing really well. Upon arrival the bird was soon seen and what followed in the next hour and a half was really good. The Rock Thrush would sit on the quarry rock face for a while then come down onto the ground, about 5 yards away and begin to feed on beetles and some mealworms provided by the local birders. It was quite a show from this well marked individual, it also had a couple of Wheatear`s for company, that it tried to chase away. We also met Phil R and Rob C from Greater Manchester/ Bolton birding area, who also enjoyed the bird. I then met my South Wales friend Jeff S and we had a good catch up about life & birds. We had first met in Sharm el Sheik, Egypt a few years ago whilst out birding and have kept in touch ever since, great to catch up again Jeff. We made our way back over the wind swept moorland and as we arrived at the car it began to rain.

     We headed back along the correct route out of Wales and apart from a 30 minutes delay on the M6, which Steve B really enjoyed, all reached home by 5-30pm. Apart from a little trepidation about the trip initially, we all really enjoyed the experience of visiting a cracking bird in fabulous surroundings.

Dave O.



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Today.
An early morning drive to Pwll-du up in the hills of the Brecon Beacons NP.
Roughly a mile walk from the car near the Lamb and Fox, up the side of the hill over mountainous terrain and overlooking a massive area below. Nice to see Dave Ousey & Co again.

- Common Rock Thrush (Lifer)

The bird had disappeared when I got to the quarry but after 10 minutes or so watching a Wheatear, I caught some movement amongst the rocks and sure enough the bird popped up onto a small boulder.
Everyone was talking and not watching but the noise soon dissipated as I pointed out the bird was showing.
Then after a few minutes, unbelievably as has happened on my last few birding trips, the Rock Thrush decided it was totally comfortable moving to within 10-15 ft of the crowd, and just went about its business. Infact it came too close for some photographers as you could hear them swearing to themselves unable to fire off a reel of shots it was so close!
The mealworms put down by a local birder certainly seemed to be enjoyed by the bird. What a treat to see it up close and a smart looking bird indeed, despite it not being in its breeding attire it was still a good looking bird and well worth the trip.

Other birds of note...
- Northern Wheatear 1
- Chough 4 at least
- Raven 3
- Peregrine 1
- Common Buzzard 1
- Meadow Pipit 4

...and a Ring Ouzel flyover near the car after someone had asked me minutes earlier if I'd seen any, (and I hadn't up to then) how crazy was that!



-- Edited by Rob Creek on Sunday 22nd of October 2017 08:59:15 PM

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After dipping on Saturday afternoon , couldn't resist another opportunity to return for my "bogey bird"  Common Rock Thrush and was rewarded with views down to 10 metres as it happily fed amongst the boulders in the third quarry.

A great bird finally added to my UK list in beautiful surroundings and lovely "calm after the storm" weather and a good catch up with some old faces too.

 

 

 

.

 



-- Edited by Phil Owen on Wednesday 18th of October 2017 12:53:39 AM

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I'm a few days into my latest holiday in the south west now, but it started in Gwent when we dropped the cats off in nearby Glamorgan! An afternoon at Goldcliff Pools proved very productive with a cracking juvenile Curlew Sandpiper seen amongst a small flock of Dunlin. Also present were 2 Knot, 2 Greenshank, 6 Ruff, a Ringed Plover and a Snipe. Not a lot else of note, but racked up around 40 species in a brief afternoon visit to start the holiday list nicely!!

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Ps in addition a male Marsh Harrier quartered the reedbeds at Goldcliff.

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An afternoon visit to Goldcliff Pools, Gwent, whilst we are away in Cardiff for Easter. The usual fare but best of all was a count of at least 60 Avocets. Up to 4 Little Ringed Plovers were on lagoon 1. Also on the lagoons were 26 Black-tailed Godwits, 20+Gadwall & lots of Shoveler, Wigeon and Teal.

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Hahaha, very tempted by this bird, but 2.5hrs sounds a bit too long. For others going there are some good birds in Glam & Gwent. Gwent has Scaup at Newport Wetlands Goldcliff Lagoon & nearby Bearded Tits at Newport Wetlands Centre (Uskmouth) plus Cetti's Warblers.



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Oops thanks. No wonder it took so long to find :)



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Chris Harper wrote:

A two and a half hour look for the Red Flanked Bluetail near Caerphilly was rewarded with a 3 second view at about 12.45. Cracking little thing but boy is it skulking and elusive. Hats off to those trying for photos. 


 Not far from my In-Laws house, but it's in Glamorgan Chris, not Gwent smile



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A two and a half hour look for the Red Flanked Bluetail near Caerphilly was rewarded with a 3 second view at about 12.45. Cracking little thing but boy is it skulking and elusive. Hats off to those trying for photos. 



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Whilst away over Easter we went to Newport Wetlands as usual. This is based on two sites to the East of the mouth of the R.Usk in Newport. The 'formal' reserve & RSPB centre is at Uskmouth in the shadow of the power station, but this does get very busy. It does get good birds, we saw a singing male Subalpine Warbler there in the past, the only singing male of this species that I have ever seen in the UK.

Instead we headed to the quieter Goldcliff Pools part of the reserve. We visit here regularly and have seen Pom Skua on the pools as well as Spoonbill, Great White Egret, Pectoral Sandpiper and other goodies. We counted at least 20 Avocets on the pools along with commoner waders such as Redshank and Oystercatcher. Three Greenshanks together was a nice sighting but recent Spotted Redshanks were not around that morning.

We then moved to an even quieter area, Redhouse Barns, where there is a hide on stilts looking over excellent wetland habitat, managed for breeding waders. On walking to the hide we had a Sparrowhawk hit a Mistle Thrush only a metre in front of us, but the thrush escaped 

From the hide we immediately saw the Glossy Ibis that had been there a while, feeding by the side of a pool with a Little Egret. A flock of wagtails included Pied and White Wagtails, yet another sign of Spring. All too soon we had to head back to my In-Laws house.

 



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