Grasshopper Warbler over the border

(via Susie) On Wednesday 14th April, a marvellous and rare bird in my own back garden in Builth. A grasshopper warbler!
And I’ve sussed out what attracted it… my little solar fountain had run out of water, but was still trying to pump and it was tweetling away to itself – it may have been doing that for some hours [my mother’s carer didn’t have her hearing aids on!].
Once I put water in it, it stopped tweetlng and worked again – but a VERY similar sound was coming from the hedge at the edge of the garden. I knew I’d only bought one fountain and couldn’t understand where the chirring could be coming from; then the sound moved ten yards.
Instant dawning! Grasshopper warbler – it couldn’t be anything else. I shot inside and Googled the call to make sure – yes. The bird obviously thought there was another warbler. So I feel a bit guilty – but thrilled to bits!
The thing is – it must have been close enough to hear the call and respond – in the urban edge of Builth. They look very like willow / garden warblers. Perhaps there are lots more than we think, loitering in plain sight.
Red letter day – my first in 66 years!

Luv @ L’dod Lake!

With such large birds, it’s oddly  rare to catch them “in the act”! We were treated to a prolonged sequence, which , like all waterbirds seems peculiar-I mean why drown the wife first?? Our aggressive cob made hard work of climbing aboard , but he got there eventually! They do look like Valentines in the end.

L’dod etc.

The “Summer” visitors start to pile in! Got my first Willow Warb yesterday, by the oak at the lakeside junction and struggled with Blackcaps today…finally got some rotten pics of one by the lagoon (Carlton saw it too) and one up here @ Cefnllys. Nb .don’t be fooled by first glimpse of WWarbs/Chiffies legs as instructed by the books-they can fool you depending on light as you can see-best judge by song which is definitive. Plus: forgot to pop hare on up Rhogo by quarry carpark. AND a bat (Pipistrelle methinks) by lagoon at re midday! Gt. to meet Paul & Sue  again (Gizza chip!).

Rhogo & Lake.

Up the Rhogo yesterday , dodging rain/hail/snow! Yellowhammer still and 6 Linnets in gorse ascending the slope towards the grid up top. Several Stonechats too. 2 Swallows on the pond back down the bottom and today the Little grebe. One fleeting glimpse of the Wheatear who seems intent on avoiding us. On the main road just outside Howey , a suicidal Kite grabbed roadkill (Blackbird I think) right in front of our wheels. Lake had 20+ Sand Martins yesterday  plus Heron and 2 swallows today. Reed Warb  still ,but currently impossible to see ( I did wait for 40 mins today!).

L’dod Lake-Egret

A Little Egret perched above mooring boards on the island for quite some time preening and dozing ; the GCGrebe intruder here seen adjusting a “rudder”-most folk don’t realise what huge feet they have! Then indulging in a spot of “growling” and display. 2 Swallows also whipping round. More sad news tho…another Muscovy killed by a car this morn-only 3 left!

Rhogo-L’dod

As the vagrants pile in , it becomes difficult to keep track-but it’s great! Suddenly there’s stuff all over! So… Skylarks round quarry car park up Rhogo plus Mippits in large numbers plus 2 Kestrels and Buzzards, ne’er mind the Wheats. Back to L’dod Lake and the Reed Warb is belting out his song; still 3 Grebes; Heron as per; 2 Otters early a.m.; a fem Sprawk taking pigeons ( yipee!) ,Chiffchaffs all over ; a Treecreeper nesting in ivy by the”prom’ ( thanks to Tobias) and a Small Toroiseshell  to add to the Peacock t’other day up Elan! Phew!

Elan

Having enjoyed lunch in the sunshine and watched 3 Goldeneye, a pair of Goosanders , the Mandarins, Canadas and Greylags, we were joined by a Peacock butterfly! In March! We also had Grey Wagtails, more Mandarins and a Dipper on the Elan below the dam-the latter scoffing a Caddis larva. Finally we saw  a  pair of Wheatears (our first this year ) by Pont ar Elan. Stonechats in plenty of course.

Garden Birds in Llandrindod

(via BarryH) Woodlands, Cefnllys Lane: Good selection of birds in my garden today including 2 male and one female bullfinch, magpies also nesting in a tree 50 yards away, lots of pigeons one chick, wren very busy building a nest in the wooden trestle attached to the house but doesn’t look too secure unfortunately, woodpecker feeding in the fat balls which may have been the one hammering away at a tree nearby early this morning. Sparrowhawk took one of the Siskins and settled under the bird table to kill it before flying off. A thrush early this morning, numerous blackbirds, chaffinches, blue tits. A good bird spotting day really but nothing out of the ordinary.