Archive for the ‘Birds’ Category


Robin (Erithacus rubecula) in the snow yesterday

We had serious snow here in Cardiff on Thursday and Friday – so bad that I was sent home from work at lunchtime on Thursday after a Red Warning was issued. Only a couple of us remembered it was St David’s Day (March 1), a day for daffodils.

Then on Friday I was really frustrated that I couldn’t get into work, after boasting that of course I would be there – I was sure the snow wouldn’t be as bad as they were forecasting. But it was and no buses were running in the city. If I had walked it would have taken me a couple of dangerous hours and I would have been sent straight back home again as soon as I arrived.

So instead I got some housework done, watched some TV and tried to capture the birds outside the kitchen window. We always put out fat blocks and pellets and sunflower seeds and every morning I throw out a couple of handfuls of raisins for the blackbirds, which are always there waiting. We have up to seven or eight of them on a good day. (more…)


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Great crested grebe (Podiceps cristatus) on the Wharf a few weeks ago

Here are some more images from my lunchtime walk around the Wharf (old Bute East Dock) alongside Cardiff County Hall. This time the focus is on the water birds and the waterside bushes. (more…)

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Argentine red shoveler (Anas platalea) with an itch

I didn’t have many days off over Christmas and New Year and the weather was mostly wet and windy, but we did manage to visit the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust’s Llanelli Wetland Centre this week, on a day that was quite dry but with a cold wind.

We have been there many times before, as we are WWT members, so many of the birds seem like old friends… (more…)

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Cormorants at dawn on the former Bute East Dock in Cardiff

I now find myself working as a temporary admin officer for Cardiff Council in the Highways department at County Hall. I have been there a week and love it. I am acting as maternity cover for someone, so I hope it will last for a while.

County Hall is in Cardiff Bay and not far from the main attractions of Mermaid Quay, so I will share my images of that area on another occasion. But what I have discovered in my first week is that many water birds nest on a long rectangular lake alongside the council HQ. It used to be the East Bute Dock when Cardiff was the main port for the export of South Wales coal. (more…)

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Robin (Erithacus rubecula) at Dunraven on Christmas Day 2016

When it’s fine on Christmas Day we often go to Dunraven Castle at Southerndown in the Vale of Glamorgan to eat pâté and pickle sandwiches in the walled garden – our main meal of roast beef and Brussels sprouts is in the evening. This year the weather was good, with a cold, brisk wind that kept the cloudy sky interesting. (more…)

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Grey wagtail (Motacilla cinerea) on the neighbour’s roof on the first day of December

It’s that time of year when I start to see birds again. The greenery that has been hiding them all summer has now fallen away to reveal our winged friends. They have probably been there all along, just not noticed since last spring. (more…)

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Male blackbird (Turdus merula)

Over the years you hear sounds in the garden that tell you it’s a certain season. And sometimes it takes you years to work out what makes these sounds. This was the case with the squeaking of the cockchafer (Melolontha melolontha) in summer, which I wrote about here.

Another sound, which I can hear as I write this, is the thin, plaintive, high-pitched squealing/shrieking/wailing of the baby bird season. I have had trouble describing it, but I have seen some people online give it a name – and that name is “Tseeep”. It could also be “Tseeeeep” or even “Tseeeeeeep”, as it is quite drawn out and mournful. (more…)

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