Tag Archives: Cuckoo

Sunshine returns

18 Jun

Oddly… I had booked a day off for today and there was a large fiery thing in the sky and all there seemed to be holes in the grey bits of sky with blue showing through. Surely an unusual day was afoot.

I headed out up to Druridge bay for a bit of a wander. Druridge Pools was pretty dead… the budge pools had just a grey heron, a pair of tufties and a greylag goose and a pheasant watching from the sidelines.

On to East Chevington and there were better signs. Within 30 seconds of arrival I had a female marsh harrier hunting over the reed beds. From the hide the north pool was very quiet – a handful of terns and gulls at the south end and the odd reed bunting scooting past and a common sandpiper circling the pool.

Around the dunes at least four little gulls were bouncing around on the breeze amongst the black headed gulls and the sandwich terns.

The bushes around the track were alive with linnets, willow warblers, chiffchaffs, dunnocks and stonechat.

The real highlight though was as I returned to the car and suddenly flashing past was a cuckoo with a meadow pipit in hot pursuit. I reckon the last cuckoo I actually *saw* was about 15 years ago in Surrey, so nice to see one and grab an action shot as it evaded its diminuitive pursuer.

More Welsh Wandering – Ospreys and Roseates

22 May

Further to my last post about my trip to North Wales, I managed to pick up a few new year ticks… some expected and some less so.

Most unepected perhaps was roseate tern at Cemlyn lagoons… I went to see the nesting colony of sandwich, arctic and common terns and I was not let down. Thousands of birds swirling in the air from time to time in a screaming dread I could see all three species in abundance when in the middle a single markedly pale individual floated past me with long flowing tail streamers and a dark beak. I snapped off a couple of shots to double-check later as I lost it out to sea.

Also on the lagoon a dozen red-breasted merganser including a pair obligingly close. After watching them for a while and taking a few more photos I returned out of the biting wind to the car whereupon I checked my photos. “No card in camera” the screen cheerfully reported. What? I opened the hatch for the memory card and there was my memory card in situ, but unlatched. D’Oh!

Anyway, an hour later the pager report chirped up.. roseate tern at Cemlyn Lagoon, so I at least I had confirmation even if no photos.

Also at Cemlyn I picked up my first ringed plover of the year.

The Llanberis pass offered up plenty of raven, pied wagtails, a pair of dipper and a single common sandpiper.

Also slightly unexpected were a pair of nesting osprey not far from Snowdon, a male circling around before heading for a nest atop a large pine tree… further down the road by a mile or so a big bold RSPB sign for “the Glasyn Ospreys” indicated I probably wasn’t the first to find them!

Back at South Stack I found choughs to be much more obliging than my last trip to anglesey – numerous individuals evident on each of four visits, including a pair nesting in a cave inside the cliff face. On the top of the cliff a cuckoo was reported eagerly being fed by an unwitting and long-suffering rock pipit.

I missed out on black guillemot at Holyhead Harbour, and also little owl which I was hoping for, but it was still a most enjoyable trip.