We birders of the Glamorgan Bird Club are tough: we don’t let almost constant drizzle put us off a good day’s birding. Heck, we even sit at picnic tables eating our lunch in the drizzle. As long as our optics (bins, ’scopes and cameras) aren’t getting damaged by the wet, we carry on.
And it was certainly worth carrying on ’cause we enjoyed a magnificent day’s birding. We started off with a walk around the trails at Garwnant Forestry in the morning and followed that with a walk through the woodland to check out Llwyn-on reservoir in the afternoon.
I notched up my 187th bird species for the year with the several Crossbills we spotted and heard in various locations along the forestry tracks, and we also enjoyed good sightings of Willow tits and Willow warblers, Tree pipits and Treecreepers, and more than a few Spotted flycatchers flitting in and out from the trees and shrubs in their constant search for the perfect fly snack.
Crossing the Llwyn-on feeder stream after lunch, I earned some brownie points for spotting a Dipper splashing about upstream, and the Spot flies were also active along the river bank there.
As we walked through the woodland at the northern end of Llwyn-on reservoir, we were amazed and delighted by the sight of thousands of tiny mushrooms (probably one of the Mycena species) growing under the conifers, as well as several large groups of False chanterelles. I even had the birders sniffing at a white mushroom to teach them why it’s called The Miller – ‘It smells of dough/flour’, they correctly said.
At the reservoir we marvelled at the magical sight of over 200 House martins feeding on insects above the shallow water – luckily for the birds, the reservoir is beginning to fill again after our recent drought. And the perfect finish to a wonderful day came with the cheery sight of 3 Yellow wagtails grazing together with, perhaps, 16 Pied wagtails in the grass at the water’s edge.
Here’s my sightings list for the day: Blackcap, Blue Tit, Bullfinch, Buzzard, Carrion Crow, Chaffinch, Chiffchaff, Coal Tit, Cormorant, Crossbill, Dipper, Goldcrest, Goldfinch, Great Crested Grebe, Great Tit, Grey Heron, Grey Wagtail, House Martin, Jay, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Long-tailed Tit, Nuthatch, Pied Wagtail, Raven, Reed Bunting, Robin, Spotted Flycatcher, Swallow, Tree Pipit, Treecreeper, Willow Tit, Willow Warbler, Woodpigeon, Wren, and Yellow Wagtail. Also seen or heard, but not by me, were Blackbird, Great spotted woodpecker, Lesser redpoll, Sand martin and Siskin – well, I might’ve heard the Siskin but I’m not entirely sure.