Other Wildlife Sightings from around Talyllyn and the Gwent Levels
A quick evening stroll along the Aber Dysynni this evening was rewarded by some excellent sightings. A peregrine very close to the path, followed by the call of a pair of chough coming over Broadwater, and flying within 20 yards, alighting to feed on the short turf by the seashore. Cormorants and greater black backed gulls were perching on the rocks just past the water’s edge, while a few curlew, good numbers of oystercatchers , black headed gulls and crows were feeding along the shoreline. As the light faded, there was a spectacular Cardigan Bay sunset to round the day off!
A real blue sky day, perfect for watching the red kite feeding at Nant yr Arian near Aberystwyth. The lake was a mirror, reflecting the kites wheeling and soaring – around 50 or more of them. Sharing the feast were two buzzards and several crows. On the lake, in addition to the mallard, were little grebe, teal, and two pairs of goosanders in their distinctive plumage. Around the lake edge, especially close the the feeders were large numbers of small birds, tits, chaffinches, dunnock, and resourceful sparrows.
10th & 11th November 2010 – Gwent Levels and Llandegfedd Reservoir
Two fabulous days with every weather imaginable. A great start a few minutes from Brick House, with a grey heron by the edge of a reen by the roadside, with the mistletoe looking spectacular everywhere.
Then a quick visit to Goldcliff Pill, with huge flocks of wigeon by the sea wall, and a good mix of teal, black headed gulls and lapwings in the near lagoon. The teasels, sloes, rosehips and hawthorn berries were all glowing in the sunshine along the banks of the Pill, and a kestrel was in evidence along the bank, as was a large group of goldfinches.
Onto Newport Wetlands, and more goldfinches and kestrels and dunnock in the bramble. In the saline lagoons were mainly teal, moorhen, coot, tufted duck, mute swans and mallard, and further along, the reed buntings were performing their spectacular acrobatics on the tops of the reeds, near East Usk Lighthouse. Along the estuary, at low tide, were more blackheaded gulls, curlew and great views of Steep Holm and Flat Holm islands. Along the reen edges were mixed groups of redwing, fieldfares and blackbirds on the hawthorn. As dusk fell, around 30,000 starlings started to flock, forming, then splitting, and finally coming down in the reed beds at the east of the reserve.
The following morning started wet and blustery, but soon cleared for a visit to Magor Marsh. Huge swathes of mistletoe were everywhere, as well as late flowers of ragged robin. The boardwalks were colourful with their covering of autumn leaves, and the lake was busy with little grebe, shovelers, teal, mallard, coot and moorhen. The reedbeds were waving in the wind, and there was a short burst from a very loud icterine warbler somewhere in its midst. Back in the field by the Visitor Centre were large flocks of crows and blackheaded gulls.
Finally onto Llandegfedd Reservoir tucked away in the hills near Cwmbran. Although too early for the Bewick swans, there were plenty of gulls, cormorants, Canada geese and mixed groups of ducks on the reservoir, with many more gulls flying in as dusk approached. In the woodlands were great spotted woodpeckers and more groups of thrushes, as well as good numbers of the smaller birds on the feeders.
24th October 2010 – Sighting of the Talyllyn Otter!
A glorious sunny day, and I had an awe-inspiring sighting of the male otter at around 12.30pm , initially close to the shore. He then swam towards the midlle of the lake, and I watched as he ate a fish, and splashed around amongst the weed.
Also in evidence in the sunshine were flocks of fieldfare and redwing, a treecreeper, and several great spotted woodpeckers. On the lake were mallard, cormorant, and several little grebe, with grey herons around the margins.