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Grey Heron

Forest Farm

Last week I made a visit to Forest Farm on what ended up being a beautiful sunny (but cold) day. Most of the day was spent in the first hide with a perfectly lit perch!.. but no Kingfishers. My patience in this case was working against me, as a later trip along the canal brought about some great opportunity with the Kingfishers along the canal, where they are so used to people, you can stand 10ft away from them without them flying away. I wished it was always that easy! A brief day time visit of a Red Fox was a highlight, that and sharing the hide with some great like minded people who share my love for wildlife. 

Is spring here already? Snowdrops and Daff's seem to think so, and I'm happy with that. 

Forest Farm

Our Leopard Gecko 'Maze' had to undergo surgery yesterday in Cardiff to remove undeveloped eggs, having suffered from a disease called Follicular Stasis. Happy to report that the surgery went well and she's now in recovery which may take some time. Unfortunately Lizards, Gecko's and pretty much anything with scales, don't quite heal as well as mammals so she'l need the stitches out and will need a lot of monitoring over the next 6 weeks. I'll keep you updated in future blogs on her progress. 

Maze

While Maze was awaiting surgery, I had a lot of hours to kill, so rather than travel all the home, I had a day in Cardiff. Lucky I brought my camera with me as I didn't end up picking Maze up till 8pm. I spent a few hours at Forest Farm, a cherished nature reserve that many people love due to its very tame wildlife. This is a fantastic spot with 3 hides setup slightly different and offering completely different species to observe. Kingfishers are usually very obliging but they are currently breeding so use the ponds less at this time of year. Plenty of other visitors to keep me occupied with a Heron fishing for 3 hours straight, picking out small fish. Lots of baby Rabbits emerged from the hedgerows too and the cuteness levels hit the roof. Many people feed the animals at FF so I had lots of Grey Squirrels popping their heads into the hide wanting food and I had both a Robin and Great Tit feeding out of my hand, even though I didn't have anything to offer them. (Mistake of the day). Also at FF I heard a Grasshopper Warbler! A first for me! And as far as I know, possibly a first for FF? I'll have to find that out. I had an Early Mining Bee, totally high on pollen and could barely fly it was that loaded up - This gave me opportunity to snap quite a few photos, though I wished I had a macro lens, I did as best as I could with my 100-400mk ii. 

My favourite image of the day though had to be the Feral Pigeon. A bird that many people disregard in their birding life as they are extremely Common and found in places most birders try to get far away from. Personally though, I love them! They bring meaning to what would otherwise be a concrete, lifeless wasteland. And how beautiful are they?! I'm colourblind and even I can see how beautiful those colours are, if only absent in the Reds. I'll leave you to enjoy the rest of the photos. Nobody has probably read this far anyway and if you did, I appreciate your time. 

Frosty Morning!

Averaging around 0ºc this morning and the birds were really showing a difference in behaviour. On the way to my feeding station I watched a poor Jackdaw getting malled by another Jackdaw and a few Magpies. Birds only really have one thing worth fighting for in the Winter and that's food. Same sort of behaviour at the feeding station also with Blue Tits fighting, rolling on the floor like Dogs! 

Another good morning though and todays surprise visitors came with attitude. Both Great Spotted Woodpecker and Nuthatch were jealously competing for the peanuts before I ran out. 

Had lunch at the visitors centre @ Llandegfedd afterwards and the cold weather had brought in a lot more wildfowl that usual. Red / Fieldfare numbers were quite high too, especially at the north end. The annual Peregrine Falcon's are still using the Osprey Pole as a look out along the mud flats. 

Summer Over? Slimbridge

Last weekend seemed to be the last bit of nice weather by the looks. Tomorrow onwards and we're in for a large bout of rain, which is probably going to be a good thing for spotting any migrants dropping in at Llandegfedd. I might make the effort on Thursday/Friday in the rain to see what drops in. May get an Osprey or even more Terns. The photographs below are from last weekend at Slimbridge WWT. When in doubt, go to Slimbridge! I don't think I've ever had a bad time at Slimbridge.