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A Rare Day

Today was meant to be my start day at my new Job at Llandegfedd but for unforeseen reasons it has been delayed. This did however give me the opportunity to catch up on a bit of birding on my local patch and it really did deliver today. Beautiful weather and some pretty rare birds. The day started with a Sparrowhawk hunting through peoples gardens on my street, followed by a displaying Goshawk, Peregrine Falcon and then stumbling onto a Firecrest that had been ringed! It's always nice finding a rare bird with a ring on its leg, hopefully I can find out where it came from. To top it off, I get two Garganey at Llandeg Reservoir and upon trying to relocate them with birding friend Craig Constance, he spots a stunning male summer plumage Black-necked Grebe! Other notables, two Female Oil Beetles, plenty of Green Tiger Beetles along with some more Spring migrants - Swallows, Sand Martins, Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs. If I get the time this week I'll try get some sound recordings also, just need more hands! Difficult to do it all at the same time.. 

Have you seen a Swallow yet? If not, keep looking out for them. For some reason, every one I've seen so far has been flying south.. It would appear that some have overshot their mark and are having to make their way back down the Uk to more southern tempratures. 


Always so much to talk about and so much to show from a Slimbridge visit. I highly recommend the place if you're yet to visit. Plenty of spring activity here too which fighting Coots, Displaying Great Crested Grebes, Wigeon on the move and our Bewick Swans readying for their flight back to Siberia. Male and Female Sparrowhawks were regulars at the Kingfisher hide, though don't expect to get the picture easy! That wasn't the birds playing hard to get, it was the fight you had to put up in order to get thru the crowd of people once you shout Sparrowhawk! I had this really rude Man practically knocking me out of my square hole in the hide just so he could get in on the action. I took that shot below on my tip toes between 7 people who had taken over the seat I was just sat on. How rude! Some people are clearly just in it for the shot. Next time I won't do them any favours and keep my sightings to myself. 

Marsh Tit Theory

Llandegfedd's Winter Feeding Station project is coming close to the end and as a result, I've got a nice collection of Data coming on. As you'll know already at this point, it was started in the hope to aid our Marsh Tit population. With only 1 MT visiting the feeders since the start of the project, nobody has really had great views of the bird since the first 2 weeks of the project. That doesn't however mean it isn't attending the station and I've got a theory as to why this is the case. 
Below you'll see a chart that I've put together using the data from my sightings sheet. You'll notice down the left hand side the time of day and left to right is start to finish of the project. 
Note that the Marsh Tit (in blue) started visiting early but was becoming a regular right up until 1pm until the Sparrowhawk started to visit more often. The Sparrowhawk is literally the polar opposite and started visiting later in the evening but starting coming in earlier in the day. This has forced the very intelligent Marsh Tit to only come in very early in the morning and the last two sightings were all before 7am when it's still dark! Very clever Birds Marsh Tits and this clearly shows just how intelligent they really are. 

This chart goes to show how important a simple sightings page can be which is why I try to encourage everyone visiting to contribute. It takes a couple minutes and could unravel hidden secrets and potentially new science... who knows?

Nightjar & Llandegfedd

What a hilarious way to start July! Nightjar Monitoring went really well, we recorded atleast 2 singing males and this time didn't get bit by the mozzies! ;) In other news, Llandegfedd prior to the Nightjar walk was awesome! Managed to just about capture a Sparrowhawk take a Juvi Pied Wagtail off a perch and our first sign of movement in the form of a Little Egret, Common Sandpiper, Artic Terns and Redshank.