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.
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.
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.
A shower passes over the bay on our first evening
I didn’t see any family parties of Chough in the St Martins Haven to St Anne’s Head area.
Not being a local, it appears that Ravens have had a really good year with birds everywhere.
This shot is the right-way up, birds loved the blustery conditions, when on occasions I could barely stand.
Peregrine near Caerfi Bay, watching these idiots, sorry people having fun.
Sparrowhawk over the Deer Park
I love Gannets, particularly the beautiful eyes of the adults
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.
Youngsters were pushed close inshore at Newgale
Great Black-backed Gulls predated hundreds of young if they haven’t moved away from the land.
Fulmars still have young to feed.
Shags are more obvious on the sea than Cormorants
One of only a handful of Wheatear that I saw, but I wasn’t there to bird.
White Wagtail female (above) and Pied Wagtail juvenile (below)
Swallows were gathering on wires and rooftops, soon they should be heading south.
Porpoise off St Martins Head, nearby Common Seals were pupping on the nearby sheltered beaches.
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.
Unlike this pup who’s mum acted as a shield to keep the waves off.
Newgale beach on a better day.
Sunset across St Brides Bay from Little Haven and below is a view of Little Haven, with The Castle Inn where we dined.