Sunday, 7 May 2017

An exceptional day's birding

 Everything seemed to be on the move or newly arrived.  Started at Cletwr where sedge and reed warblers singing well and cuckoo distantly.  Then along the track to Dyfi Junction station where more reed and sedge warblers and a lovely lesser whitethroat rattling away from dense blackthorn (about a quarter of the way along the track).  I think this may be the first lesser whitethroat I've seen in the county.  Ospreys showing well from the platform. 
 On the way back down the track, there were 20 whimbrel on the saltmarsh bank, with an osprey on a post on the saltmarsh behind and numerous swifts, swallows, sand and house martins flying up river.  10 goosander on the river.  All this while lesser whitethroat, cuckoo and garden warbler singing.  Then went to the 'parkland' area behind Dyfi castle where good views of pied fly, redstart and wood warbler.  On to Foel Fawr where tree pipit and another cuckoo.  
Down at the coast, manxies (c. 100) close in with gannets (40+) diving, 2 sandwich tern and single red-throated diver and great-crested grebe.  Down to Ynyslas Point for high tide where best birds of the day - 40 bar-tailed godwit, of which at least 10 were in stunning summer plumage, 12 summer-plumaged grey plover and at least 7 sanderling in summer plumage.  Single cattle egret in the usual field and ring-billed gull showing very well.  It seemed to spend a lot of time flying up before landing briefly and then almost immediately flying up again.  It did this for about half an hour.  Not sure if anyone else has noticed this behaviour.  The field it was in was alive with wheatears as well as at least 15 ringed plover and several dunlin.  
I then walked to Glandwr not expecting to see anything extra.  But it was very good, with a single greenshank and two common sandpiper on the Leri, a nice male whinchat along the fence close to the pools and very close views of a female marsh harrier.  Finally walked to the boardwalk on the north side of Cors Fochno where another cuckoo.  The only negative surprise of the day was no barn owl or grasshopper warbler at Cors fochno  Whitethroats and sedge warblers seem to be particularly prolific this year.  Exhausted!

Chris Forster Brown