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Friday, August 31, 2012

31st August

Have no fear I am back safe and sound from a fairly relaxed week in Pembrokshire. The weather did try its best to put the dampeners on it, but really it was only the Monday where we had rain on and off throughout the day. In that eventuality it meant sitting in the car and viewing the showers as they rolled in. This wasn’t to bad for me as it meant hours of sea watching, hoping for something special to come close in shore, unfortunately this didn’t happen. You may have read Birdman-Eustons reports, if not below is a short summary of the best birds that I missed. That will be followed by a short summary of my holiday highlights.

Regent’s Park

Common Sandpiper: the long staying bird was seen again 25th and it was joined by a second bird 26th.

Osprey: well done Dave; he had saw a bird flying NW on 26th.

Northern Wheatear: one was seen on 26th.

Yellow Wagtail: one over 26th.

Spotted Flycatcher: birds were seen throughout with a maximum of 5 on 26th to 29th.

Pied Flycatcher: one was seen in the old Golf and Tennis School area 29th.

Common Redstart: a male was seen in the same tree with the above species at 7.30am 29th.

Kingfisher: well done Birdman another lifer on 29th.

Pembrokeshire

Migrant wise it was fairly quiet, the mainly SW to NW winds doing me no favours.

My highlights were:

2 Sooty Shearwaters 25th, 3 Balearic Shearwaters 27th, Merlin 26th, Arctic Skua 1 25th & 2 28th, Bonxie 30th.

Regular Pembrokeshire birds included good numbers of Chough with the largest group being 17. 80 Ravens playing in the wind was a spectacular sight. 3 Golden Plovers, 2 Ruff and 5 Purple Sandpipers were the most notable waders of the trip, the Baird’s departed before I could get over to it. Peregrine Falcons were around as was a Red Kite, my first one for that county.

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A shower passes over the bay on our first evening

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I didn’t see any family parties of Chough in the St Martins Haven to St Anne’s Head area.

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Not being a local, it appears that Ravens have had a really good year with birds everywhere.

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This shot is the right-way up, birds loved the blustery conditions, when on occasions I could barely stand.

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Peregrine near Caerfi Bay, watching these idiots, sorry people having fun.

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Sparrowhawk over the Deer Park

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I love Gannets, particularly the beautiful eyes of the adults

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Adult Gannet and Manx Shearwater pass Strumble Head. The young that are leaving their nest risk death if they haven’t moved off out to sea by dawn. The winds this week did them no favours as you will see further down.

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Youngsters were pushed close inshore at Newgale

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Great Black-backed Gulls predated hundreds of young if they haven’t moved away from the land.

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Fulmars still have young to feed.

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Arctic Skuas

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Shags are more obvious on the sea than Cormorants

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One of only a handful of Wheatear that I saw, but I wasn’t there to bird.

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White Wagtail female (above) and Pied Wagtail juvenile (below)

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Swallows were gathering on wires and rooftops, soon they should be heading south.

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Porpoise off St Martins Head, nearby Common Seals were pupping on the nearby sheltered beaches.

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This poor pup seemed to be caught between a rock and a wet place. Its mum couldn’t get to him because of a more dominant seal and was constantly swamped by the waves.

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Unlike this pup who’s mum acted as a shield to keep the waves off.

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Newgale beach on a better day.

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Sunset across St Brides Bay from Little Haven and below is a view of Little Haven, with The Castle Inn where we dined.

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4 comments:

Marc Heath said...

Great set of shots Tony, I needed a cup of tea to go through them, there were so many.

Tony Duckett said...

Sorry Mark, I took so many, though the quality could have been better. I hope you enjoy some of them.

linda ashken said...

Thank you for sharing your great photos Tony.
Linda Ashken

birdman_euston said...

1 Sep:

Heavy stratus cloud above 500m, 14 C and light (10kph) SSW breeze at dawn. Knowing Tony had them covered this morning, I eschewed my usual birding haunts in favour of Primrose Hill and the NE section of the Park.)

Common Snipe 1 (flushed from Cumberland Green, area 24 near playing-field water-sprinklers at 07:10, last seen flying W high over Boating Lake).

Lesser Whitethroat 1 ad (in thick high ornamental shrubbery at NE fence-corner of Barrow Hill Reservoir adjoining Primrose Hill, area 48 at 08:30).

Spotted Flycatcher 4 (all in large lime trees: three in Old Golf Course, area 39 'fide' Tony Duckett; one on slope near SE corner of Primrose Hill , area 47 at 09:20).

Willow Warbler c10 (this species currently favours the fenced-off wildlife garden in area 20, best viewed from the W via Marylebone Green).

Chiffchaff c10.

House Martin 8 (feeding low between shade trees beneath Primrose Hill, area 47 at 09:40).

(A murmer of 120 starlings was hop-scotching the tree canopies in SE corner of Primrose Hill, area 47 at 09:30.)

(A flock of 7 Mistle Thrushes fed in N half of Gloucester Green, area 28 at 10:00 - it seems to me this species has become more visible in the Park's open spaces in recent days.)