Sunday, 30 September 2012

Pembrokeshire Sept 22 - 29

The lack of recent posts is due to a holiday with Lyn and two friends, Pam & Rheinallt, at St Brides in Pembrokeshire.

It has to be said that the weather could have been kinder, mostly fresh to strong north-easterly winds and two days written off due to rain. I should also say that the birding was limited to early morning walks around St Brides castle, plus one full day of birding.

Fortunately, Thursday 27 September was the most favourable day for weather by a mile, and I was able to spend it walking from the Gann Estuary, up to Dale airfield, then along the coast to Marloes Mere, on to Wooltack Point, and finally back to St Brides. Pretty knackering. The birds were good though.

The Gann contained three adult Med Gulls, four Little Egrets, a Peregrine, and a Bar-tailed Godwit among over 100 Curlews.

On the way up to the airfield I met an excited local birder, Alan Hanson, who had just found a Lapland Bunting up there. I would love to have spent longer on the airfield, which looked superb for birds, but I duly saw and heard the Lapland Bunting in flight, and also logged several Wheatears and an amazing passage of southbound Swallows going through at about 400 per hour. A Golden Plover called overhead, but failed to show itself.

Walking along the southern cliff to Marloes Mere I chanced upon a Clouded Yellow butterfly, pretty scarce this year. At Marloes I was impressed by the habitat, and saw eight Shovelers, a Gadwall, about 30 Teal, several Little Grebes, and a Merlin before I finally located the long-staying immature Glossy Ibis.

Beyond here I started to find Choughs, at least eight, before a look around the Deer Park produced just a few Goldcrests and Chiffchaffs. The walk back to St Brides added little, but my species tally for the day reached 71.

The remainder of the week had produced mainly common birds around St Brides, although seven White Wagtails on Sept 23 and a Manx Shearwater and a Kittiwake on Sept 26 were more noteworthy.

I would love to go back and maybe spend more time birding at Dale airfield and some of the other headlands. The potential for finding your own birds looks considerable.

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