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Snow Days

I’m lucky to have access to Ian Howells Woodland Bird Hide. It’s a nice setup of bird feeders that’s not far from home. I offer to help him fill the feeders, which has proven to be quite a responsibility for him during winter as they need filling at-least 3 times a day.! It’s always worth having a good bird feeder setup to return to on snow days as everything just looks better in the snow. Because of the white bright snow, light is reflected to the underparts of the birds giving you better exposure possibilities in the camera. I was particularly happy with the Great Spotted Woodpecker images as I’ve been after a clean show of the male for a while. Watching him flumping around in the snow was quite amusing.

Before you get too excited, this is an old image at Newport Road Cardiff in January 2017. The reason I’m posting this image as it may just happen for us again this year with the closest sightings so far being Crickhowell and Chepstow. There certainly seems to be the odd small flock in Wales and fingers crossed I’ll get the opportunity again as they are stunning Birds and very photogenic.

Waxwing, Redwing and X-rays

A week of pain, and pleasure: A growing problem with my back has caught up with me, so x-rays and mri scans to come will hopefully get me back on track. Luckily for me however, I haven't had to do any travelling at all! with Waxwing literally turning up on my doorstep. If you'd like to see some for yourself, there is still a flock of 6 near Morrisons Car Park in Cwmbran. I've even embedded the location for you below, doesn't get easier than that! Enjoy


Spent a lot of time close to home this weekend. Even walked around Cwmbran Boating Lake which is especially busy on the weekends which I generally try to avoid. Glad I visited though as I did record a Marsh Tit on arrival and had a great time watching early spring behaviour coming from the waterfowl / Great Spotted Woodpeckers that have already lined up a few nesting holes ready for spring. 

Last night I gave my second ever talk, this time at Gwent Ornithological Society' AGM meeting. Still not a massive fan of talking in front of people but it was received well with some very good questions at the end which proved they were listening lol. On a serious note, my talk was on Mimicry in birds, something that is a difficult topic to talk about considering how much mimicry happens day-to-day. 

Today also saw a small flock of Waxwing at Morrisons Carpark in Cwmbran! Finally starting to get some local sightings. They weren't showing very well though due to the activity there, they seemed a bit shy compared to the urban sightings I've had so far. 

Local Waxing

Dropping in before the weather turns bad, but what will it find but an angry mob of local Thrushes protecting their stash of food. That is what awaited this poor girl before having to find a new location to feed. There isn't much left in terms of berries in Pontypool, as you can see in the pictures! Was a great find by local Birder Craig Constance and a shame it didn't stick around. Hopefully more will come through.. would be nice to get some pictures of these in the snow! :O

Waxwing & Urban Backgrounds

I mentioned in my last blog about the flocks of Waxwing making their way west into Wales, but I didn't have a picture to show you what they looked like! Partly because, I'd never seen them before! So I made the effort this morning to catch up with a flock in Cardiff, in such a random place.. KFC on Newport Road. The grey sky today didn't help with the photography but I was very happy to see / hear them for the first time. In my usual setting, there is greenery all around me, so framing the shots to get a nice background is usually fairly easy for me, but today, surrounded by cars, buses, people and man made objects next to a KFC, there wasn't much to work with. 
I did try my best though...I'll let you decide if you like it or not.

Waxwing, Grey Building Background

Redwing KFC Sign Background

Waxwing Blue Sign Background