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Today’s was another merry meander, this time around Forest Farm Nature Reserve. The sun was actually shining for part of the time, which was a very pleasant change, and I was lucky with my bird sightings.

200103 1 dipper

As soon as I stepped on to the pedestrian bridge that crosses the River Taff from Radyr Station to Forest Farm, I could hear a Dipper singing – such a delightful melody! And there it was, sitting on a rock on the far bank, almost directly under the bridge. I couldn’t have asked for a better start to the day.

200103 2 great spotted woodpecker

The little birds – the tits and finches, Robins and Wrens – were also very vocal and it wasn’t long before I had paused to hand out some sunflower seeds and enjoy their feasting. As I watched, I caught a flash of red – my first Great spotted woodpecker of the year. I also heard, then saw a Green woodpecker but wasn’t quick enough for any photos.

200103 3 kingfisher

I popped along to the second bird hide but all was quiet there and I’m not one to just sit and wait for the birds to come, so I headed along to wander the length of the old Glamorgan Canal, and back. I was soon lucky there too – a Kingfisher was flying and perching on low branches, trying to fish but being almost continuously disturbed by passing dogs and their walkers and noisy families.

Four hours later, I had dished out all of my seed offerings and managed to clock 30 species, four of which were new for 2020 and all of which were lovely to see. But the highlight of the day was probably the sight of 10 Grey herons in one huge dead tree (at one point also joined by a Buzzard but two Magpies soon saw it off)!