Friday, 10 April 2015

More from Glamorgan and a Bonaparte's Gull

I spent most of today surveying for goshawk in a Welsh valley, but when the surveying was done, I went back to Cardiff Bay to see if I could find the Bonaparte's gull that had been reported again yesterday.

It was another day of bright blue skies and warm sunshine in South Wales, and on a day like this, sitting on top of a hill and overlooking the valley, my past life of sitting in an office and staring at a computer screen and worrying about code and databases and other I.T. irrelavances seemed a million miles away. I'd recommend a career change to anybody!

After a slow start, I finally spotted a huge grey looking raptor, a female goshawk. I saw it through the telescope flying through the woods at speed before perching briefly in a pine and then shooting off again. Only a brief view but a start. Eventually I managed several views of individual birds, but best of all I had excellent scope views of a pair displaying. I've seen them closer in the past but I don't think I've ever seen them quite so well. The female was awesome!

Then it was on to Cardiff Bay. The Bonaparte's gull had been seen at Cardiff Bay Wetlands NR yesterday, but I decided to start off on the other side of the bay, at Prospect Place, because I reasoned that the light would be better, but also because you get a great view of the bay and Cardiff from here. My luck was in, I got straight onto the bird, the only adult black-headed type that I could see, I watched it as it hawked for insects over the water. My 5th Bonaparte's gull in the UK and my second at Cardiff.

Finally I headed to Taff's Mead Emabankment near the centre of the city to look for an Iceland gull which has been seen almost daily recently, but this proved one bird too far and I had to come away disappointed, but not before I had seen two Ravens on the roof of the Millennium Stadium.

Year: 178 (Goshawk, Bonaparte's gull)

Bonaparte's gull. Prior to yesterday it had been missing for a few days and I thought it had gone, so I was delighted to catch up with it today.

Picking insects of the water. I hope it's sticking to the speed limit!


Millennium Stadium ravens.

Ash tree in flower.

Puple moor grass Molinia caerulea. In summer this species does indeed look purple, but these are last years dead bits which give the moor its characteristic white appearance at this time of year.

Displaying siskin.


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