Friday, 1 April 2016

bat, moths, blackbirds, pool and sea front walk

Busy morning! But first of all I had one bat briefly over the garden last night at dusk. It didn't stay for long and I did not have time to move the dial on the bat detector. First one of the year though, for the garden, and I think it could have been Soprano Pipistrelle bat. I will check again over the next few nights.

Moth trap was out last night. It was still cold but we caught 14 individuals of 4 species, one of which was new for the year  - Small Quaker. Other species trapped were Hebrew Character, Common Quaker and Early Grey.

Small Quaker

I came in from the garden and watched from the window for several minutes. The Blackbirds got my attention. There seems to have been 2 males around for some time now, quite often fighting. But at one point there seemed to be more of a stand off and a threat to each other. Both sat on my neighbour's fence, one was still and the other one was pacing up and down towards the still one, as if pushing his luck and limit. While this was going on the female was in our garden rummaging in the garden pots and troughs, having a lovely feast and then on the grass. I suspect they could be nesting nearby or at least getting ready to nest.

After breakfast, as a family, we decided to go for another walk in the Porthcawl area, kids with their scooters in tow. We stopped at the Wilderness Pool that is surrounded by footpaths and a few small wooded areas. There seemed to be a lot of activity and birdsong this morning. We heard Chiffchaff straightaway and as we tried to find it we saw a potential Willow Warbler, another spring migrant to the UK with pinkish legs and longer wings than a Chiffchaff. We were right, after watching it flit from branch to branch. Another one was spotted in a willow bush in the lake doing its very best to find food. 

Willow Warbler

As we continued our walk around part of the lake there were Goldfinches calling from the tree tops, Blue Tits and Great Tits, Robin and Dunnock. Clumps of Bluebells were in full flower and fresh green leaves on trees. A secretive Treecreeper was also spotted, crawling up the tree trunks. 




On the pool itself were 2 immature Mute Swans - we can tell this due to their brown-ish colourings on their wings, head and neck which fades as they mature - 1 adult Mute Swan, 2 Canada geese, several Mallards (ducks) and hybrid ducks with ducklings, Coot, Moorhen, 2 Herring Gulls and 1 Jay heard and a Crow at a nest.


We headed to the sea front for a walk and kids' scooter rides. Quieter in terms of bird life but on the grass land and bushes of Lock's Common were a few pairs of Stonechat, Skylark and Meadow Pipit. Always a lovely sight from these 3 species with lovely songs and calls.
Also 4 Linnet and 4 Greenfinches flying around the bushes, of which the gorse is practically in full flower.
female Linnet


On our return to the car along West Park Drive we managed to spot a flock of Turnstones on the rocks with the incoming tide. But always look carfeully at flocks of birds as you never know what other species are in with a specific species flock. Here we found 3 Purple Sandpipers with the mobile Turnstone flock. I did my best with my camera and 400mm lens!

Purple Sandpiper


In flight here are the Turnstones with Purple Sandpipers. If you look carefully you can see most look the same (Turnstones) but the Purple Sandpipers have different wings markings and are generally darker. You can also compare with the 2 other photos above.  Purple Sandpipers are usually found during the winter months on our rocky shorelines.

No comments:

Post a Comment