Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Foreign Lands (13/06/10)

Well actually Wales!

My first big twitch of the year for a British tick saw me driving into the province. I took the slower but more scenic and interesting route around Gloucester rather than going across the Severn crossing.

The first (and only problem) of the day was that I was running out of petrol and it was still too earlier for most of them to be open, however, I managed eventually to find one.

First stop was a very scenic hill/mountain at Blorenge. I started walking down the hill and as I approached the waiting birders I hear the unmistakable song of my quarry, i.e. the Marmora's Warbler (126). Over the next couple of hours the bird was seen on and off (usually singing) and going in circuits (it used the gorse bushes and a handily placed rock. A few times the bird was seen to be carrying nesting material.

A very smart bird which was basically an ash grey colour all over with an obvious red eye, orangey bill and quite orange legs. When singing it was usually from the top of a bush. In flight it was very obviously long tailed and had quite a jerky flight and looked quite dark (very Dartford Warbler like). The song was quite scratchy like a Dartford Warbler but had more tuneful qualities.

Also in the area were 5 Ravens (127) (probably a family group), Tree Pipit, two Siskins and two very smart Whinchats (128).

Next it was onto the Forest of Dean and Cadira Beeches where I immediately heard some Crossbills flying over but didn't see them. Crossbills were calling all the time in fact. Near to the car park was a very smart Wood Warbler.

I managed to find the area where my next quarry was to be found and immediately heard it singing. I then trudged through the undergrowth where I briefly saw the bird, an Iberian Chiffchaff (129), singing in a tall tree. I bit later the bird moved into a small spindly tree where everyone got good looks. I tried to photograph it, but the light was quite bad so we will see how they came out. The bird was basically a Chiffchaff but with possibly more yellow/green tones. The most distinct thing was obviously the song - roughly a "chiff chiff chiff chiff cheet chit-a-chit-a-chit-a-chit"

My next plan was to go for Pied Flycatcher and decided to go to the Nags Head RSPB Reserve. I was told by the warden where to go and I also asked for his advice on Dippers. I made my way to the hide and there was a group of three guys looking for something. I then found the something was a handsome Pied Flycatcher (130).

I then made my way over to a stream running north from Parkend - it was quite difficult going but I was rewarded with my favourite bird, a Dipper (131). This bird was perched in the middle of the stream on a mossy rock, doing its curtseying. The bird was quite a grey brown and could have possibly been a bird of the year.

Further up the road I walked near a lake and had a pair of Grey Wagtails (132) and a female Mandarin trying to chivvy her brood of three ducklings away from me.

All in all - a very successful day with all species required obtained.

Photos: Blorenge, Nags Head RSPB, Iberian Chiffchaff, Cannop Brook.

No comments:

Post a Comment