Lake & Cefnllys

Welcome to a new month-at least the lake is ice-free now and yesterday there were 2 male Goosanders later replaced by 2 females-I’m still rather concerned that we are not hosting the previous large numbers owing to a loss of the smaller fish in the drought. LBB Gull still, even in the iced water-what does he find? Up here a GS Woodpecker has been hammering away for a week now and this a.m. we nearly ran over a cock pheasant ( shame!!!)-sooner he vanishes the better. Treecreeper and Nuthatches looking smart.

Cefnllys.

Another gloomy day with freak views of the odd sunbeam. We looked up the golf and over to Newbridge without success, so back home and a.m. we had Long T Tits plus Marsh for pics-also Tim Sparrow has been enjoying Goldcrests on his feeders with the intro of sunflower hearts-definitely fav seeds as less trouble!!! …fine so long as he doesn’t pinch mine!!!

Merlin in Bwlch y Sarnau

(via Andrew) I had a brief but very welcome glimpse of a Merlin near Bwlch Y Sarnau towards the end of last week. There is also a Kestrel hanging around.

Incidentally, I am about to donate some field guides of various South American countries to the second hand shop in Llani. If anyone would like them then let me know. quentinimages@gmail.com

Elan +

Ventured up the valley ,but didn’t get far! En route we were passing a large field on the right just before the road dips down and re a mile from the VC…amazing sight : at least TWENTY ONE Buzzards and 6 Herons like sentinels strewn across the field; typically the hedge was tall and thick ,but I just managed to squeeze off a few shots from the gate. Probably there were lots more , but we couldn’t see the whole field.Wondered what they could have found to eat , but as you can see , the Buzz is eating a WORM! News to me that they surface in this weather! Later a quick jaunt up the golf in L’dod and 12 Mistle Thrushes on a bare patch of grass.

L’dod Lake

The lake is frozen over and thus the only life form  left wandering round is the LBB Gull-no idea what he’s finding to eat! Otherwise around the feeding stump by the lagoon there are 3+ Reed Buntings, a Song Thrush and some Marsh Tits. I tried to ascend beyond the golf course and preferred to stay in one piece!!!

It’s cold up here!

At home, near Llaithddu, our bird feeders are extremely busy, after the covering of snow this morning.

Largest numbers are of chaffinches, blue tits and tree sparrows ( my husband is in the process of making more sparrow boxes for them) and our flock of pheasants seems to be growing by the day, once we had sixteen! Though they are great for cleaning up the mess under the feeders.

Other birds include the greater spotted woodpecker, house sparrows, coal tits, great tits, dunnocks and so pleased to be seeing a tree creeper every day too.

We’ve also one day, had a fleeting visit by a male Bullfinch and one lonely long tailed tit.

Plus the large number of starlings coming in early morning, being very noisy!

Things are singing in the rain.

At last, I heard my first Mistle whistle down by the lake! Our local parliament of Rooks have begun renovating last year’s nests, generating a nice croaky sort of hubbub. Collared Doves are cooing, Dunnocks sing along in with the the ever present Robins and the odd Coal Tit peet-choo. The Mallards marriage market is also in full swing with much communal circling, whistling and chest raising. Was there a distant glimpse of a Great Crested Grebe on the water, or is that an early fancy? I’ll wait until Kev’s latest.

Interlude.

A break pm .after constant showers am. Popped out and saw 6 Fieldfares oppo golf links in Nicky’s horse enclosure. 6 Goosanders on L’dod lake and 2 on Carregwibber pond. Up here 6 Goldfinches, 4 Greenfinches, 7 Siskins 6 Bullfinches,  and numerous Chaffies( we keep hoping for a Brambling , but no luck) . At least our Long t tits are up to 4 and the solitary Goldcrest dines regularly on fat scraps and any random “bits”too small for the Starlings to bother with! Our Buzzard seems to be dining elsewhere.

A Tour

What vile weather! A voyage  round the Rhogo, Hundred House and Franksbridge revealed only a small flock of Fieldfares and 2 Frenchmen ( ie Red legged Partridges),but up the Golf links a Kite kindly performed, although what exactly I’m not qualified to say! He had a great lump of sheep’s wool in his talons , but it’s rather too soon for nest lining and NO, no meat attached!!! Finally the odd Starling( haha!) crammed on the power lines up there.

Rhogo& home.

Idiotically listening to the weather forecasts we had thought of popping up the Elan…Haha! When we got real and saw the incessant rain , we headed up the Rhogo in a brief interval-nowt! In a field near Franksbridge a flock of Fieldfares ( re 30-40) and virtually in the village 2 ‘Frenchmen’ ( Red Legged Partridge). En route back we spotted the rare Parry species!!!Bout time he contributed!!! Back home and Goldcrest & Blackcap. Weather absurd, forecasts even more so!

Claerwen valley

As we had a brief window in the weather , we headed up the Elan yesterday. First a Heron strolling around a field prior to reaching the VC, then A Buzzard on a tele pole up the Claerwen ; Fieldfares and Redwings at Ciloerwent-you can just see a Redwing on the Fieldfare pic-both miles away! Then a Mistle thrush and finally a Goldeneye on Dolymynach which I could hardly see with binocs!

Golf & Cefnllys

Let’s hope 2023 improves on the last one! Up the golf club yesterday and saw this rather odd Mistle thrush ( one of two)sitting by a bunker-much greyer tones than usual.Further on towards Carregwibber 3 Redwings , but too far for reasonable pic. Back here and delighted to welcome a male Blackcap to the fat.Lastly a Starling displaying some fine colours.

Tree Sparrows-Carol T.

Sadly no pics , but a most encouraging report from Carol at a garden in Llangunllo, where up to 12 Tree Sparrows are feeding on Millet which appears to be their fav. Great stuff! I photographed some in Dolau years back and when we lived in New Radnor , they were prevalent…indeed they were once regular here , but since the old farm went , so did they , along with the Curlews , Yellowhammers etc. Sad days , but that’s life…some call it progress- depends where you are heading!

Cefnllys-leftovers.

Back after a short break , but nothing has changed : the usual finches, but still no Redpolls or Bramblings; plenty of tits and constant visits from the Nuthatches, Hedge Sparrows and Starlings with occasional glimpses of the Wren. No frost , so no winter thrushes tho’ Kites and Buzzards around. A few pics from the year’s end.

Cefnllys

Well, last post afore the break and just the same but more pics! Bullfinch from last week ; Greenfinch ; Goldcrest-as stated , diving into the fat when no-one else near! Snow gives us all probs , but it’s so much better than this wet gloom! Provided we don’t get a few feet! Even saw the Wren today but no pics : he rations those very carefully! Well guys , enjoy your weekend and have fun…and put the leftovers out for our avian friends.

Thaw.

Nothing new up here (Cefnllys) , but a few leftovers from last week ; Coal & Marsh Tit-latter back regularly now-plus Goldfinches and Green; Starlings less of a nuisance as they mostly move back to the fields post thaw and all the Blackbirds save the 2 residents. Goldcrest dropping in quite often , but hates anything bigger ie everything!

Cefnllys cont.

Well , I’m delighted to say that things are hectic at pres! Great!  Finally , 2 Ltts popped up ( everyone else has the normal family groups of 6+!) ,we now have the usual Goldcrest picking up the wee bits which the others drop and another glimpse of the fem Blackcap. Finally , as we popped up Pentrosfa to deliver Xmas cards ( wot price the Royal Mail!!!)  ,we saw these guys surveying the estate! Kites.

Elan and Valley

Little update from the cold and icy valley’s. The Claerwen Valley was beautiful and Dolymynach reservoir was frozen with a layer of ice capped in white snow. Quiet for birds but I got the perfect glimpse of electric blue as a kingfisher flew down the river onto a branch. Reed bunting were about the edges.

on Caban there were 55+ mandarin ducks, most were cuddled up under a big rock. Golden eye and a small group of teal were present.

In the Elan Valley about the farm we have had Fieldfare, starling and a little flock of Long Tailed Tit. Number of woodcock about the farm and along llethyr Melyn in the evenings mostly observed. Accidentally have also flushed out a couple of snipe in the rushy areas from house to barn. Crossbills are vocal in the Gwaelod; I always find them a little bit magical in a woodland. Usual suspects to the bird feeder and they are quite bossy my birds. When the feeders are empty they come to the house and knock the windows. Then follow you around the yard in expectation. Male merlin followed for a bit along the road between hedges at Glan Llyn area. It’s been a quiet waterbird summer with the reservoirs low and maintenance on Craig Goch. There were a few sandpiper early on but I’m not sure how they fared with falling water levels. Lots of people going across our ground to the island so I haven’t heard the snipe as usual down there in an evening.

Little robin to wish you a Merry Christmas and many a happy bird sighting in 2023.

Too easy to add a photo. Signing off from the valley x