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Post Info TOPIC: Mid Wales


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RE: Mid Wales


Rob Smallwood wrote:

Long-billed Dowitcher again at Borth...






And I am stuck in Chester until Thursday night.... cry.gif

It would be a nice year tick and Country tick!! biggrin.gif

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Long-billed Dowitcher again at Borth...

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Rob


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Well the Dyfi Osprey project has its first egg, laid yesterday!

Even more fingers crossed that its a success!!! biggrin.gif

Other stuff about around our village - Redstart, several males on territorys, Willow Warblers and Chiffchaffs everywhere, Yellowhammer (quite a scarce bird in Ceredigion) Cuckoo, Housemartins are back, and Wheatears everywhere!



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Belated reports (due to being away on holiday) from several weeks back (Tues 11th to Fri 15th April), where I was completing various bird surveys (mostly for breeding waders) between Llanerfyl (southwest of Welshpool) and Newtown. It was a mixture of sunshine, wind and a little light rain, but the birds did not hold back:

Teal 6
Buzzard 20+
Red Kite 2
Sparrowhawk 2
Goshawk 1 (female)
Peregrine 1 (male)
Lapwing 18+ (not bred in area for a while now, so fingers crossed)
Curlew 20+ (poss 6 pairs so far located)
Dipper (pair at a nest)
Sand Martin 30+
Swallow 20+
Willow Warbler 50+
Chiffchaff 60+
Grasshopper Warbler 4
Lesser Redpoll 100+
Siskin 100+
Crossbill 25+ (many fresh faced juvs in small family groups)
Redstart 6
Stonechat 16+

Nice to see so many migrants back up on the tops after a long hard winter up there. Last years successful breeding looks like it might provide a new generation of breeding birds to take back the areas where they have left in recent times!?!?

Off back down that way, but a little further south, tomorrow evening where I'll be doing some Merlin monitoring and surveys, so looking for to getting back in the fresh air.


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The Cors Dyfi Osprey project has has a good start this year. The Male was back last week and already a female has been on the nest and they have been showing breeding behaviour.

Fingers crossed for a first succesful breeding season for this pair!



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Hello Matt, Coed Y Dinas was certainly worth a look - only visited one hide and possibly only an hour to take it all in but still a little gem! Peter

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Pete Welch wrote:

Went to Gigrin today and had excellent views of the white Red Kite and plenty of resplendent Rooks and Ravens amongst the rest of the kites. Proceeded back through mid Wales via the lovely reserve at Welshpool - Llyn Coed Y Dinas which has a fantastic Sand Martin cliff [within metres of the hide] not occupied yet but there were[well coloured] Sedge Warbler and Reed Bunting showed well and a chap who I think was the warden was most helpful. Worlds end followed [posted in t'other thread]


There are a few Leucistic Red Kites over near us at Nant Yr Arian. Quite a beautiful bird in its own right. ANd down in Cwm Rheidol there are a number of Buzzards which are almost all white. Not been to Coed Y Dinas yet but looks like a nice place to visit. Locally, the Wheatears are flocking in as are Sand Martin. Heard a few Chiffchaff and over the weekend a Willow Warbler was in our garden along with a few distant singing individuals. Also heard a few Skylarks now too!

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Went to Gigrin today and had excellent views of the white Red Kite and plenty of resplendent Rooks and Ravens amongst the rest of the kites. Proceeded back through mid Wales via the lovely reserve at Welshpool - Llyn Coed Y Dinas which has a fantastic Sand Martin cliff [within metres of the hide] not occupied yet but there were[well coloured] Sedge Warbler and Reed Bunting showed well and a chap who I think was the warden was most helpful. Worlds end followed [posted in t'other thread]

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The Golden Eagle debate rumbles on in its thread on Bird Forum. Soem other pics that have emerged of the bid from last March, do show, albeit not very clear, possible leather patch on left leg.

I have spoken to guy in the know and he seems to think its an escape. Not sure why supressed for so long. Is it because of other possible escapes in Wales, breeding may occur? I dont know but its certainly stirring up intrest!

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Golden Eagle showing very well in Pontrydygroes in Ceredigion. Very near where we live! Origins unknown but wonderful to see all the same!

Compared to a Buzzard, it was huge!

cheers.

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Mark Rigby wrote:

Vanellus from the Latin word Vannus (winnowing basket)?
Explain that one Mr.chorleywink.gif






Simples - the shape and motion of the wingbiggrin.gif

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Vanellus from the Latin word Vannus (winnowing basket)?
Explain that one Mr.chorleywink.gif

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Parus major leucurus?.......Vanellus leucurus = White-tailed Ploverbiggrin.gif

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Feeding frenzy at the moment!

On the feeders in our garden, all the usuals including:-
Chaffinch - Approx 20
Siskin - 10
Greenfinch - 4
Bullfinch - 2 (male and female) at edge of garden
Goldfinch - 6
Blackbird - 3
Blue Tit - 10
Great Tit - 12
Coal Tit - 1
Great Spotted Woodpecker - 2 females
Nuthatch - 2
Starling - 8
House Sparrow - 5

Intrestingly, one of the Great Tits had an all white tail. I am going to insist that the BOU accept this as a new species - White Tailed Great Tit - Parus major alba caudus biggrin.gif Cue Mike 'Latin' Chorley! wink.gif

Quite a lot of displaying calls at the moment. A bit earlier than normal but with slightly better weather than recently, you cant blame the birds to think its spring! There has been the odd pair of dispalying Red Kite about too. And generally lots of Kites about - as you can imagine!

A pair of Kestrels have been seen near a place where I think they breed. Quite a rarety around these parts!




-- Edited by Matt Potter on Wednesday 26th of January 2011 02:20:26 PM

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Ian McKerchar wrote:

I'm assuming (hoping) you've reported the incident then Matt?






The police have been contacted and they have said it is reportable for a whole host of reasons. I have been trying to find the bird as proof but cant find it anywhere.
There are lots of things about this that cant really be made public on a forum as in the sensitivty of this incident. But I will keep you posted of what ultimately happens.

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I'm assuming (hoping) you've reported the incident then Matt?

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A rather sad day yesterday when the gun happy local farm hand shot a Jackdaw. Not only was he less than 50m from our house and the road, a law which is another story, the Jackdaw wasnt killed and he walked off. I tried to catch it to put it out of its misery and had to chase the poor bird around until in went to ground and I couldnt locate it in the brambles. He had shot it through the wing and it was dangling from its body.

Its unlikely he has the required license to shoot Jackdaws under the required legislation. Again, another story.

I tried to locate it again this morning with no success. So it dies a slow painful death, or was taken by a predator. Probably not a fox though as they get blasted up here too!

Its lovely to live it such a beautiful area, but the shooting and general bad farming around here really taints it to the pint of wanting to move away!

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The Barnacle Geese have started to arrive back at Ynys Hir with a peak count so far of 305.

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Only 220 Med Gulls this afternoon reported!

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Cheers Ian, I'll remember that!

And thanks to Jonathan Platt who I now realise I met today at the coast and gave me some good advice without us realising we were both on here...

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I think you'll find that Ian likes to be troubled with ID's. It's what he does

The 'other place' you mention has some very good birders on it but lots of 'keyboard birders' too (and is why I prefer not to have open ID queries on here), so separating the wheat from the chaff isn't always easy when you don't know who you're talking too


Pete Welch wrote:

I will admit to using another place for the odd ID when I'm not sure disbelief.gif... rather than trouble Ian for IDs

And my first thought in the field was Sooty too but then I had no experience of Shearwaters 'til today.

I've sent Ian the piccies for Out of County so they'll be available for scrutiny shortly. Cheers, Peter






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nice link here to the shearwaters on video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UbJK_3kUlWY

smile.gif

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I will admit to using another place for the odd ID when I'm not sure disbelief.gif... rather than trouble Ian for IDs

And my first thought in the field was Sooty too but then I had no experience of Shearwaters 'til today.

I've sent Ian the piccies for Out of County so they'll be available for scrutiny shortly. Cheers, Peter

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Rob Smallwood wrote:

Looking at the photos (on another forum ashamed.gif) they were Balearic..






Which forum was that Rob?

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Mike Crawley wrote:

should have been in Llanon yesterday evening/this morning (long story), I'd have liked to see that






We will pop down in the week to see them!! biggrin.gif

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Mark Rigby wrote:

" 264+ MED GULL IN FIELDS S/OF LLANON 08:00"

Was the message I got on my iPhone. Have you got one yet Matt?






Not yet Mr Rigby! Next phone will be though!! wink.gif

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Looking at the photos (on another forum ashamed.gif) they were Balearic..

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Rob


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Have you ruled out Sooty Shearwater Pete? Several of this species were also reported amongst the large shearwater feeding frenzy in the last few days.

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Borth seawatch


Got the time to make a very early trip this morning for my first go at sea watching - tempted by a video of Shearwaters feeding in the surf last week I went to Borth on the Welsh coast.

Saw flocks of Shearwaters which were sweeping down the coast in a southerly direction and then out into the bay and back round every 20 minutes or so - I was really pleased to see them even at 100m out they were fascinating to watch. Also with each of the two main flocks were darker individuals which thanks to some help I now believe were Balaerics.

Other notable birds were immature and adult Sandwich Terns and Ringed Plovers on the beaches plus Red Kite and Merganser on the trip home.

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RE: Mid Wales


should have been in Llanon yesterday evening/this morning (long story), I'd have liked to see that

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" 264+ MED GULL IN FIELDS S/OF LLANON 08:00"

Was the message I got on my iPhone. Have you got one yet Matt?

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Note of intrest today, over 300 Med Gulls in Llanon, a coastal village. Last years highest count was around 100! Seems to be up and coming excellent spot for them!!

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Our feeders have been very busy thi summer!

Many fledgling Blue and Great Tits, Chaffinch, Siskin and Greenfinch. The Greenfinch have been badly affected by Trichomoniasis so we have been cleaning the feeders everyday and it seems to be working as we have more healthy looking Greenfinches now!

We also have young and adult Dunnock and Robins and a regular Yellowhammer!

Round about we have lots of wheaters with juveniles and similar Pied Wagtails. A cracking pair of Stonechats, and lots of Restarts with young.

Plenty of Red Kites and Buzzards. A pair of Kestrels with 2 young birds - pretty scarce around here unless you get on the cliffs at the coast. And recently an area first, a juv Peregrine Falcon!

Cheers

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Wednesday night we had a first for our Garden, a stunning male Redstart, eyeing up the feeders!! Fantastic view!

Our feeders are getting a right bashing from many birds, juveniles and adults alike!

Siskin
Blue and Great Tits
Blackbird
Dunnock
Willow Warbler
Greenfinch
Chaffinch
Robin
Jackdaws being very acrobatic on the peanut feeders!




-- Edited by Matt Potter on Friday 2nd of July 2010 12:54:20 PM

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Last night we had a walk around Ystumtuen where we live and saw:-

A stunning male Redstart in an area we have never seen them in before.
Buzzard
Wheater including two different sets of juveniles.
Lots of Meadow Pipits
Linnets
Up on Bryn Bras there were male and female Tufted Ducks, Swallows and 2 adult and 6 juvenile Pied Wagtails on the pond.

We also went up to Look for Nightjars and we rewarded at 10.45pm with a lone bird flying close over us and along the road just north of Llyn Blaenmelindwr, slightly beyond the house. We then heard it in flight. It seemed to take an intrest in our 'A4 white paper male Nightjar'! We also heard a very distant flight call from the area in front of the Cow and Calf Standing Stones. But no churring heard at all.
Lots and lots of midgies up there which took no notice of our Skin So Soft!

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Belated reports from last week (Weds 9th and Fri 11th), where I was completing various bird surveys between Llanerfyl (southwest of Welshpool) and Newtown. Up the hills most of time battling against the mist, but plenty of sunshine in between:

Buzzard 20+
Red Kite 2
Sparrowhawk 2
Snipe 15 (all birds in call on breeding territory - some seen)
Curlew 4 pairs (1 male with 4 chicks)
Tree Pipit 15+
Garden Warbler 5
Lesser Whitethroat 2
Redstart 12
Pied Flycatcher 4
Spotted Flycatcher 1
Whinchat 9
Stonechat 10 (some with juvs too)

Back in a few weeks to check on Curlew chicks and assess other areas for Snipe, so looking forward to it. biggrin.gif Also many other species with fresh young from Great Spotted Woodpecker to Skylark!?



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Over the weekend, our feeders had:-

Blue and Great Tits - Many birds including adults and newly fledged birds.
Chaffinch - 5
Goldfinch - 3
Siskin - 2 Male and Female
Greenfinch - 2
Nuthatch - Several! Including Fledglings being fed!
Dunnock - 2
Willow Warbler - Just Looking!
Blackcap - Heard Only.

Locally to our house (within a few mins walk), usual Cuckoo - you can tell by its sore throat on the third or fourth cuckoo!
Redstarts, quite a few up the lane from us.
Linnets- Seem to be everywhere!
Red Kite - Many over.
Swallows, House Martins, Skylarks, Meadow Pipits!
And Repoll over too.
Buzzard - up to 4 birds around.

Not a bad little list! biggrin.gif

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For those of you still missing, or low on Swallow numbers, there have been reports of large migration numbers heading north over the Ceredigion coast. Someone reported over 4600 birds in an hour!

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A nice weekend weather wise apart from a bit of rain Sunday!

A Barn Owl near our house and a lrge increase in Willow Warblers this weekend.
Lots of Wheatears about! And the Swallow numbers are increasing too. Heard Cuckoo too.

And Ynys Hir

Excellent views of many male Pied Flycatchers, all lookign at propsctive nest boxes! Lots of Wood Warblers all very obliging. Whitethroat, Willow Warblers, Chiffchaffs, Blackcaps, Pied Wagtails, Common Sandpiper, Little Egrets, Great and Blue Tits, Song Thrush and heard Sedge Warbler and Grasshopper Warblers.

Cheers

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Visited Gigrin Farm both Sunday and yesterday. The Black Kite made a 30 second appearance on Sunday - unfortunately I had just left the hide to get a cup of tea and to thaw out so I missed it!! Yesterday, it came flying high over the car park but decided to keep on going so no joy again. Was told that although it does come every day, it tends to come later on , often after 3.30pm and that it appears to have found other plentiful sources of food so it is not now reliant on the farm. However, a wonderful place to be - watching the Red Kite and had an excellent walk around the Elan Valley with Dippers on the River Wye.

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22/2/10

Ventured to the very edge of Greater Wigan today with Mr Thorpe (jnr):

Gigrin Farm (and nature trail):

The Black Kite, which showed very well on two seperate occasions
c150 Red Kite (including the leucistic individual)
22+ Buzzard
c20 Raven
1 Sparrowhawk
many Carrion Crows & Rooks
2 Grey Heron
1 Fieldfare
1 Bullfinch (m)
2 Mistle Thrush
4 Pied Wagtail

We graced the Tower Hide, and paid 15 each for the privilege.......


Caban Coch Reservoir:

1 Red Kite
2 Great Tit
2 Blue Tit

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I was there yesterday as well, we had booked 2 places on the other photographic hide - only to be told on arrival it was full - not impressed! We decided against going in the Tower Hide due to the weather, hadn't realised how exposed it was so good decision from that point of view. However normal hides, although the one we chose was empty, are not too good for photography due to narrow windows and to a degree positioning. Nevertheless it was wonderful to say the least, some spectacle, great to get the 'white' one and black kite. Next time Tower Hide though. Wasn't too happy about the snow and resultant road conditions on the return journey, happily only for a short distance.

Called in at the Shropshire Meres on the way through, no good due to fog and Ellesmere and Hanmer being frozen still.

Phil

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Gigrin


Took half a days leave today and detoured to Gigrin, got close to turning back with all the snow between Bristol and Gigrin but really glad I persevered.

Decided to try the Tower hide having found it tricky to see incoming birds on my last visit - well worth the money but completely open bar some shelter at the back - which made it a bit chilly in the snow showers! Was also the only person in the Tower so plenty of time to spot the birds as they flew in - total included:

Appx 150+ Red Kites
1 Leutistic Red Kite
8 Buzzards - one very light on the front
Lots of crows
12+ Ravens
1 nervous starling
6 Pied Wags which flew out into the feeding field in quiet spells

and the star bird for me the Black Kite

Thanks to everyone for the suggestions on how to pick it out - being able to see everything from the Tower it was quite easy to spot with its colouration, straight tail and it did seem slightly stockier looking. I did do a couple of double takes at immature Red Kites at the start as they were similarly coloured on first glance. The Black Kite visited twice in the hour and a half that I was there - first time for ten minutes just after the meat had been put down and then there was a second wave of feeding after all the other visitors had left at about 2.50pm when it returned as did the Leutistic which had hung back on the first wave. As I left about 3.10 a third wave of feeding seemed to be starting. Shame most people missed two thirds of the spectacle!

It was grey and cold today but the time flew by and if anyone else is going I really recommend the Tower Hide for brilliant views - there are also two new hides going up of the same construction, so weekends should be easier for anyone wanting to photograph.





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RE: Mid Wales


Paul is right. Although it was a weekend, and therefore there were plenty of, shall we say, very part-time birders there, there was somebody in the hide who knew what he was looking at, and called where it was and what it was doing. Being somewhat deaf, my wife relayed the instructions to me and I was very quickly on to it. I would say one thing about the tail fork - it is not as noticeable in Red Kites when they are diving and manoueuvring close to the ground - don't rely on it alone to get you on to the Black Kite.
But as Ian says, it is distinctive once you pick it out.

Good luck!

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Every time the bird came anywhere near the hide, several people shouted out where it was, so it was pretty easy to get onto. Trying to get on it with the camera wasn't as easy, but spotting it with the naked eye was pretty straightforward - the bird does look very different from the Red Kites.

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Cheers Ian, useful thing that "out of county" gallery smile.gif

Main thing would appear to be lack of a forked tail, generally darker appearance and from some other videos I've seen now: relative size. I'll just have to give it a go! Cheers, Peter

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Pete, you could do worse than checking out Paul Wilson's photos of the bird on the out-of-county gallery on the Manchester Birding website. You might well then appreciate just how distinctive this bird is

-- Edited by Ian McKerchar on Monday 15th of February 2010 10:55:37 PM

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Richard, a question if I may: I might be able to get there soon - is the Black Kite easy to pick out - I've been before and remember a swirling mass of birds! Thanks in anticipation, Peter

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Just to say that I was at Gigrin on Saturday 13th Feb and the Black Kite, in pristine plumage, put on a stunning performance, picking up meat scraps that were consumed on the wing, meanwhile flying in circles around the feeding area. As a former air traffic controller was much impressed by the density of traffic, and lack of collisions, although one Raven was much startled by a Red Kite dropping through his level, coming from above and behind.

If you haven't yet been for the Black Kite but are tempted, I can recommend it.

-- Edited by richard howells 2 on Tuesday 16th of February 2010 12:23:47 PM

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Many happy returns, Mel cake.gif

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