Today was a pretty incredible day for Birding in Gwent. This morning started pretty early, arriving at Blaenserchan before sunrise to get an early look at the reported Great Grey Shrike. I bumped into local ecologist Steve Williams and as we searched together for the Shrike, we were greeted instead with a pretty large flock of 150+ Brambling! This year has been terrible for Brambling with winter numbers quite below average so it was nice to see such a large flock of them, especially this late in winter. So late in-fact that our first Spring/Summer migrants are arriving on the same day! With Chiffchaff, Wheatear, White Wagtail and Sand Martin being my first spring visitors of the year. Other birds for the day, Reed Bunting, Stonechat, Skylark, Meadow Pipit, Yellowhammer, Greenfinch, Green Woodpecker, Sparrowhawk, Buzzard and many more.
Second evening visit, finally caught up with the Great Grey Shrike, observed for a good hour mimicking the sounds of Siskin and Redpoll, I suspect to lure them in closer for the kill. Pretty incredible birds. My favourite pic was the sun going down, just about lined it up at the top of a beach tree between the mountain in the distance.