Saturday, 20 February 2016

A fairly quiet walk around the Nant area produced sightings of five Woodpigeons taking flight from one of the gardens and seeking shelter on the side of the mountain, a pair of Ravens, just two Magpies, a Carrion Crow and two Wrens. Rounding the eastern end of the plantation on the route back a high piping call was emitted from the lower edge of the mountain. Not the high pitched and sweet call of a Goldcrest but the slightly harder call of a Firecrest. It took ten minutes or so to track down the exact location of the calling through the strong westerly winds but eventually it was narrowed down to a small patch of brambles where the Firecrest gave very fleeting views before taking flight and entering some more brambles lower down not to be seen again, a very nice interlude to break up the quiet spells of census.

Signs of spring, the emergence of new leaves on some of the Willows around the plantation

High tide around the narrows continued the quiet theme but wasn't without wildlife. 80 Oystercatchers formed a tight flock resting on some of the remaining rocks in one of the bays as 38 Curlews took flight and flew towards the mountainside. Six Redshanks nervously took flight at the appearance of human life, 13 Turnstones busily picked around the shingle and driftwood and nine Mallards were also present, with an additional six more seen on the west coast. Four Choughs, three Shags, five Rock Pipits, a single Pied Wagtail and Carrion Crow, two Greater Black-backed Gulls, six Herring Gulls were seen and a male Stonechat and Robin were noted close by further north.

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