31 December 2017 I’m being a bit sneaky here as I managed to fit in one last walk along the embankment before the start of 2018 but after I’d written my December summary. So, on the last day of last year there were 5 Turnstones, 2 Redshanks, 2 Pied wagtails and 2 Grey wagtails, 1 Rock pipit and a couple of Crows.
1 January 2018 The very next day, New Year’s Day, I passed this way as part of a complete circuit of Cardiff Bay. It was a glorious blue-sky day but there were just 3 Turnstones present.
11 January This was another glorious day and another circuit of Cardiff Bay, though in the opposite direction. And it was a bumper day for the Ely embankment, with four Redshanks (including the ringed bird, shown above, which I’ve seen and written about previously), 6 Turnstones, 1 Pied and 4 Grey wagtails, and a Rock pipit.
16 January With 40-mph winds blasting down from snow-covered areas further north, the air temperature was hovering below zero when I walked along the embankment late morning. I wasn’t surprised, then, to find very few birds around – a single Turnstone that was wandering along half way up the embankment (not wanting to put its feet in the chilly water?), which was good for me as it was closer for photos, and just two Grey wagtails. There weren’t many birds on the river either, just a couple of coots, one Great crested grebe and several Black-headed gulls looking hopefully in my direction.
20 January I didn’t get out till late afternoon as it had rained most of the day, so the light was going as I strolled along the embankment path. But I was pleasantly surprised to see a few birds: my friends the Grey wagtails never disappoint (two of those); just one Turnstone poking away amongst the stones; and two Redshanks, including my little buddy the colour-ringed bird. Floating along the river were a Little grebe, a Great crested grebe and a pair of Goosanders – the latter were scared away by a boat cruising by and flew off towards the other side of Cardiff Bay, where I had seen a pair a week or so previously – perhaps the same birds.
25 January I detoured along the embankment on my return from a longer walk and was delighted to find six Turnstones (lovely to see so many), two Redshanks (but not my little ringed mate), two Grey and two Pied wagtails.