Thursday, 19 December 2013

Meeting Old Friends and Heading North

Yesterday saw us heading north to the RSPB reserve at Ynyshir where we were to meet up with friends.  I first met Barbara and John Perry a few years ago at a raptor watch point called Snicker's Gap in Virginia, USA.  They in turn put me in touch with Ron Bennett one of my birding mates in Languedoc, France.  So having met the Perrys in USA and France we took the opportunity to meet up with them in Wales.  So together with their friend Sue Parker from North Wales we set off for a walk around the reserve.  The weather forecast was grim but we were lucky only encountering a little drizzle.

Barnacle Geese

The usual woodland species such as Blue and Great Tits, Chaffinches and Nuthatch fed on the feeders at the Visitor Centre and it was not until we reached the shore area that we began to see lots of wildfowl.  Hordes of Mallards with about 50 Teal caught our eye by the first pool and a super male Stonechat cavorted on a nearby fence.  Reaching the estuary were soon watching up to 300 Barnacle Geese feeding alongside smaller numbers of Canada Geese. 


Eventually we arrived at the new hide overlooking wet meadows and lagoons so we could eat our lunch.  The ere large numbers of Mallards again with a few more Teal and a Shoveler and a couple of Wigeon.  A large flock of 350 Lapwings were extremely restless and regularly flew round when a hunting Red Kite got too close.  Peering out into the gloom of the estuary we picked up a Little Egret, about a dozen Shelduck  and a couple of Curlew.  Soon the wind got up and we made our way through the woods back to the Visitor centre seeing only a few Reed Buntings on the way.  At least we were out and with the bonus of meeting friends old and new.

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