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Wednesday, 11 September 2019

Look at that eye.

Tuesday, 10 September 2019


Birds seen this week Nightjar first record for me at Llanilid,one was heard at the beginning of the year churring,several whinchat on site two scaup southern pools 1 green sand teal L.whitethroat two wheatear 1 grasssnake

Monday, 9 September 2019


Spent a morning with this beauty on the weekend. First session this year.

The Wryneck from Ogmore.

Water Voles

Early summer at Cosmeston.

Friday, 30 August 2019

Sunday, 25 August 2019

Bay of Biscay – Day 3 – Thursday 22nd August

We were up on deck around 7am again, and the sea state was almost mill pond like. Looking at the GPS on the phone, we were in the Northern Bay, just south of Brittany and the Brest Peninsula. For the first few hours, we had good numbers of Common Dolphins logging and playing around on the surface. The good news was that seabird numbers were on the up today. With plenty of Gannets knocking around, we soon picked up a single and then a group of Sabine’s Gulls. As the Ferry heads through the channel between Ile-de-Sein, Ouessant and the mainland, it’s often a great area for flocks of Shearwaters. This trip was no different and we encountered several large flocks of Manx Shearwater, and good numbers of Balearic Shearwaters. One such flock also contained a group of 7 Sooty Shearwaters and we had some fabulous views of both Balearic and Sooty alongside the boat.

We had a slight stringy moment when Ile-de-Sein got called as Ouessant but our GPS Map soon sorted that one out. We picked up a few Arctic and Great Skuas and as we moved up into the English Channel, we started to encounter Storm Petrels with several groups of 20-30 birds sat on the water. The sea state was ideal for spotting the rather unobtrusive Harbour Porpoise and we had regular small pods as we headed away from the Brittany Coast along with a few Ocean Sunfish. Final action of the trip as we came into Plymouth Sound were a few small groups of Manx Shearwaters and a final Sooty Shearwater. We arrived back into Plymouth at around 5pm and after a refreshment stop on the M5, we were back in Cardiff by mid evening.

Overall, not a bad 2 days, considering that the 4 berth cabin only cost £89 each for the mini-cruise. Prices on board the Pont Aven for meals and beers were reasonable enough, with the option to pay in either Pounds or Euros. The numbers of large Shearwaters don’t seem to be out there in the Western Approaches at the moment, so although disappointed not to see Cory’s, it was good to catch up with both Great and Sooty Shearwater, along with some nice views of Sabine’s Gulls. On the Cetacean front, it would have been great to see Cuvier’s Beaked Whale, but it was not to be on this particular trip but we had some fabulous views of Fin Whale and Common Dolphin.
Species - Arctic Skua 3, Great Skua 7, Storm Petrel c100, Manx Shearwater, Sooty Shearwater 15,  Balearic Shearwater 50+, Cormorant, Shag, Common Tern, Fulmar, Gannet, GBB Gull, Herring Gull, LBB Gull, Sabine’s Gull 9, Med Gull, Common Dolphin 200+, Harbour Porpoise 60+, Ocean Sunfish.

Assuming, the same route is available next year, Plymouth – Santander – Plymouth, then plans are already afoot to firm up a date for an August 2020 trip. Hopefully with a bit of notice and cabin availability we can get a few crews on the trip. Watch this space!

Bay of Biscay – Day 2 – Wednesday 21st August

After quite a few trips over the years, our preferred viewing location is on the side of the boat on Deck 6. Although the top deck gives a better all-round view, the lower decks give better opportunities for photography, particularly of Fin Whales and Dolphins. We started off on the Starboard side and ended up on the Port side coming into Santander as the Sun moved around. Starting off in the Northern Bay, south of the Brest Peninsula, we spend all day on deck from around 7am until we arrived in Santander at 5pm British time.

Bird wise it was extremely slow, with only 7 seabirds of 4 species seen. But it was quality rather than quantity, and we did have good views of both Great Shearwater and Sabine’s Gull.  A pair of Common Swifts following the boat for an hour or two, were a great example of migration in action and with bird numbers so low, most of the time was spent looking for Whale blows and Dolphin splashes. We had regular blows as we headed south through the Bay, and several great views of Fin Whales that surfaced along the boat. Dolphin numbers were low, but we did manage both Common and Striped, although disappointingly, no Pilot Whales or Beaked Whales.

Mini-cruise passengers have to disembark in Santander and after checking in and collecting our boarding cards for the return trip, we headed straight over to our favourite Bar/Restaurant, in the square next to the Cathedral. With the Ferry in Santander for only around 3 hours, you get just about enough time for a quick meal and a beer or two and at 5 Euros, our Burger and Chips was great value.Heading back out of Santander, it was dark, so no more birding for us and straight to the bar for the evening Cabaret.
Species - Great Shearwater 1, Sabine’s Gull 2, Yellow-legged Gull 3, Kittiwake 1, Common Swift 2, Fin Whale 7, Rorqual sp 19, Common Dolphin 5, Striped Dolphin 5, Dolphin sp 20+

Bay of Biscay – Day 1 – Tuesday 20th August

Leaving Cardiff around midday, we made good timing to Plymouth Ferry Port for our 6pm sailing, with a stop at Taunton Deane Services on the way. Parking is available right outside the terminal building, and we paid the £12 per day for 3 days, working out at £9 each. Once inside, the news was that the Pont Aven was running 2 hours late, so we settled in to await boarding and departure. Once on board, after finding our cabin, we headed to the self service restaurant, for 4 lots of Fish and Chips. After eating, myself and Phil opted for a quick look on deck in the last of the daylight, whilst Steve and Alun headed to the Bar!

Species - Manx Shearwater, Gannet, Sandwich Tern.

Thursday, 1 August 2019


2 wood and 3 green sands this morning 1wood left tonight before  flying off high  1 green also left southern pools

Monday, 29 July 2019

Southern pools Llanilid

Wood and green sand kingfisher and juv redstart
400  plus  wintergreen plants

Friday, 26 July 2019


A Lesser Emperor found dead there this morning.
Hobby over Llancadle.
Great White Egret over Gileston yesterday.

Wednesday, 24 July 2019

Sunday, 21 July 2019

Cardiff Bay

Mat picked up 2 Sandwich Terns giving good views around the Barrage late evening and they appeared to roost on Buoys in the middle of the Bay. 4 Med Gulls included 2 juvs.

Thursday, 18 July 2019

Tawny owls

Tawny owls down to five  ft tonight to close for photos unreal views

Tuesday, 16 July 2019


Young Tawny/s  visting my Garden every night this week

Monday, 15 July 2019


A Common Crane flew over Rhoose this morning in a westerly direction.

Thursday, 20 June 2019

Southern pools Llanilid

First returning waders 1 greenshank 1 green sand with another wader spec (green sand with no barring on tail completely white rump and tail not greenshank)

Saturday, 15 June 2019

Sluice Farm

Med Gulls on the move tonight. 17 birds all First Summers amongst the Black-headed Gulls over the high tide.

Saturday, 8 June 2019


Twanyblade in a old local quarry Llanharry

Recognise anyone?

Tuesday, 4 June 2019


Long journey to see these today also at this site Tawney Owl Family badger set but none see when rain set in also on Saturday birds nest orchids at Tongwynlais 

Friday, 31 May 2019


200 plus Bee Orchids mowed down along with 3 or 4 pairs of lapwings with chicks 1LRP nest skylarks stonechat linnets blackbird nests  and prob grasshopper warbler and lesserthroat

Friday, 3 May 2019

WTF !!!

Thursday, 2 May 2019

Caerphilly Tawny owls, i failed to locate the 3 young. Maybe next time.

Newport wetlands and Redhouse barn hide.

A Male Marsh harrier and singing Lesser whitethroat at Newport wetlands. The Redhouse barn hide produced some decent birds with Glossy ibis, Garganey, 2 Hobbies, a male Marsh harrier and a Cuckoo.