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Yesterday I enjoyed another wonderful, if rather hot day’s birding with my friends from the Glamorgan Bird Club, this time wandering a trail alongside the River Ely near Peterston-super-Ely and Pendoylan.

180711 2 red kites

On the way there, my friend John and I had incredibly close views of three Red kites and more of these magnificent birds of prey were gliding overhead during our walk.

180711 1 stock dove

We saw Stock doves (one pictured above) sitting obligingly close to Woodpigeons so we could see the differences in the two species.

180711 2 red fox

A Red fox was spotted trotting along in a distant field, its lunch in its mouth.

180711 4 meeting the locals

A large herd of large cows moved reluctantly away from the river so we could pass by. You’d have to be crazy to mess with this lady, who was keeping a steady eye on us in case we ventured too close to her calves.

180711 5 participants

The fifteen participants … well, fourteen really, as I was taking the photo.

180711 6 river ely

The meandering River Ely was running low due to the recent drought conditions here in south Wales.

As well as birds, we also saw lots of butterflies, including these: Cinnabar caterpillars, Comma, Green-veined white, Meadow brown, Peacock, and more Small tortoiseshell than I’ve ever seen in one day before.

180711 7 sandmartins

The highlight of the day for me was watching these Sand martins hawking for food over the fields and then returning to their burrows in the river bank to feed their hungry young. Magic!