Friday, 18 April 2014

Hello Everyone - I am still here

I know it is over a month since I last posted and have received some email about where I have been. I know I had mentioned from time to time that I have been unwell and this ended up with me being rushed to hospital on March 21st in great pain.  After scans it was revealed I had a severe blockage of the small bowel.  Surgery alleviated the pressure but showed that I have a malignant lymphoma causing the problem.  I have just returned home after a month in hospital and now wait to begin a course of chemotherapy.  I am assured I should recover OK.

Red Kite

What a shock and a month without birding. Glangwili Hospital in Carmarthen must be one of the few places where you are guaranteed a Red Kite from your window so that was nice.  I also managed to see 6 Sand Martins flying by as well.

Sand Martin

I am glad to be home for a bit and look forward to home care, food and sleep. Thanks to everyone who has sent messages of encouragement. I hope to blog again soon.

Sunday, 16 March 2014

The Mediterranean Comes To Wales

The Great Spotted Cuckoo at Penally

I finally weakened and feeling up to it drove down to Penally near Tenby in a quest for a Mediterranean visitor.  The bird in question was an adult Great Spotted Cuckoo.  A spectacular creature which should be in Spain, Portugal or Mediterranean France just now.  These are really interesting birds migrating north from Africa in February and laying eggs in the nests of Magpies.  Having done that most of the adults have moved back to Africa by June.  An extraordinary life history.  This visitor to Wales must have lost its bearings and overshot Europe to arrive near Tenby to delight many people birders, golfers and walkers alike.

Saturday, 15 March 2014

A Walk At Talley Lakes

Talley Upper Lake from the hide
Talley Lakes is just ten minutes or so from my house and is a Wildlife Trust of South & West Wales Nature Reserve.  The lakes are probably made by man and maybe the monks from the nearby Abbey ruins.  There is a pleasant walk through a lovely old churchyard and then along the western shores of the Lower Lake to the a hide in woodland overlooking the Upper Lake.  Today in more glorious weather I managed a very pleasant time.  There are always wildfowl and that made up most of my observations.

Talley Lower Lake

On the Lower Lake there we 15 Tufted Duck and 7 Goldeneye.  There were two males in the latter group and they were displaying by throwing their heads backwards.  There were also 9 noisy Greylag Geese and a couple of Mallard.  Overhead two Buzzards soared over a nearby larch wood.

Captive Great Scaup male photographed at Slimbridge

I soon made my way to the hide and must say I was very impressed by the new padded seats.  More Tufted Duck this time 20 but with a splendid male Great Scaup which I have only seen here once or twice before.  About 20 Teal kept to the reedy areas and a Little Grebe sailed into view calling loudly.  A pleasant walk and the Scaup a new bird for the year.

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Is This Our Summer?

Red Admiral

Continuous warm sunshine which allowed us to have lunch outside.  Lots of bees and other insects obvious including this super Red Admiral soaking up sun on our woodshed.

Monday, 10 March 2014

More Great Weather

I found this Frog whilst pottering about in the garden this morning.

Common Frog
After lunch I drove up to Mynydd Llanllwni but not as good as usual despite the brilliantly sunny weather.  No raptors at all just 6 Ravens a couple of Meadow Pipits and the glorious sound of 2 Skylarks singing.

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Glorious Warm Weather


I sat outside in the garden this morning enjoying very warm sunshine and hoping to hear a Chiffchaff singing.  No luck there but lots of birds feeding in the garden including Siskins, Goldfinches and a single male Greenfinch.


Blackbirds also building a nest near the house and Buzzards calling all around us.  Pity about about the rugby result the only downside of a great day. Incidentally the pictures are again with the new camera.

Friday, 7 March 2014

A New Toy!

Whooper Swans

A week or so ago I was at Penclacwydd and I met a a group of birders all using the amazing small Nikon Coolpix P520 camera with its extraordinary 42x zoom lens.  I was so impressed by its quality and specification that I went and bought one.  My recent ill health has meant I have had few chances to try it out but today I spent an enjoyable hour on Cilsan Bridge in warm sunshine.

Four youngsters from 2013

There were 30 Whooper Swans present really quite close to the road.  Also a male Goosander flew over.  I got a little practice with the camera and am not disappointed.