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Up at 6, collected at 7 and off we headed, west along the M4 for a 9 o’clock meet up with our other Glamorgan Bird Club buddies at the foot of Dryslwyn Castle in mid Wales. This was unexplored territory for me and the scenery of the Tywi (or Towy) Valley was simply stunning, with castles and monuments seemingly on every hill top and the beautiful River Tywi meandering through the valley below them. It was clear but cold, with a bitter wind, and heavy frost and thick ice still blanketing those spots the sun could not reach. Later, we moved on to Tregaron Bog, also known as Cors Caron National Nature Reserve, a fabulous area of marsh and wetland. And what a superb day’s birding we had!

180302 Tywi Valley (1)

A large flock of Lapwing on the fields next to the River Tywi, and a Grey heron flying in.

180302 Tywi Valley (2)

Ducks, geese and Little grebes in the river.

180302 Tywi Valley (3)

A Red kite looks for lunch from its perch on this big old dead tree.

180302 Tywi Valley (4)

Looking towards Dinefwr Castle, with two swans flying off (possibly Mute but we also saw Whooper).

180302 Tywi Valley (5)

A thrush checks through a mole hill for potential food.

180302 Tregaron Bog (1)

Too distant for clear shots, two Green sandpipers (and a Teal), from one of the hides at Tregaron Bog.

180302 Tregaron Bog (2)

Intrepid birders, well rugged up against the chill.

180302 Tregaron Bog (3)

Beautiful countryside around Tregaron Bog, where grazing ponies help to manage the wetland environment.

180302 Tregaron Bog (4)

A Red kite; one of several seen this day and spectacular birds to watch.

My species list for the day was: Mute Swan, Whooper Swan, Pink-footed Goose, Greylag Goose, Canada Goose, Wigeon, Teal, Mallard, Goosander, Little Grebe, Grey Heron, Great White Egret, Little Egret, Cormorant, Red Kite, Hen Harrier, Buzzard, Lapwing, Snipe, Curlew, Green Sandpiper, Black-headed Gull, Herring Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Woodpigeon, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Magpie, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Raven, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Coal Tit, Wren, Treecreeper, Starling, Blackbird, Fieldfare, Song Thrush, Redwing, Mistle Thrush, Robin, Stonechat, Dunnock, House Sparrow, Tree Sparrow, Pied Wagtail, Chaffinch, Goldfinch and Bullfinch. A further 7 species were seen by other members of our group but not by me: Peregrine, Common Gull, Rook, Long-tailed Tit, Goldcrest, Nuthatch, and Greenfinch.