22nd April. An all dayer at the Uskmouth reserve was a very rewarding day indeed. 4 New photo species and 3 of those in the first hour. the light was poor to start so the Bearded Tit shots are a little grainy. Walking to the lighthouse I discovered the worlds only non agoraphobic Cetti's Warbler singing away which was a pleasant surprise. The real star of the day was to hear and then finally see several Grasshopper Warbler. There were at least 4 birds reeling away though they soon stopped as the morning wore on. Also at the lighthouse, mixed in with the busily feeding Swallows, House and Sand Martins was my first Swift of the year, nice and early! Following the sea wall east, there were many Whitethroat singing along with lots of Sedge Warbler and more camera shy Reed Warbler. Towards the east of the reserve a male Reed Bunting put in a bold appearance and then a little patience was rewarded with a singing Lesser Whitethroat. A few more shots of Willow Warbler and Chiffchaff were obligatory! A walk down Saltmarsh lane flushed a Little Owl which managed to conceal itself very well. Walking back west, I flushed a Cuckoo which landed on a gate before heading off into a coppice to start singing. On the far west of the reserve a pair of Stonechat were busily feeding. A Greenland race Wheatear caught my attention which distracted me from another unexpected bonus in a Whinchat. It was quite flighty but I did manage to get another new photo species. Walking back to the car I passed another pair of Grasshopper Warbler that were much more elusive.
27th April. I nipped down to Cardiff Bay with the vague hope of seeing a Yellow Wagtail that had been reported the previous day. No luck with the yellow but seeing several White Wagtail were great compensation. Later that afternoon, a leisurely walk along the canal at Forest Farm in Cardiff was rewarded with a swimming grass snake being chased by a Moorhen! A nice view of Nuthatch, Dunnock and Little Grebe alongside 2 dozen Swifts overhead ended a pleasant afternoon stroll.
28th April. Down to Kenfig Pool to see if anything nice had dropped in. Unfortunately, I learned after I left that I visited between 2 visits by a Black-winged Stilt. Never mind! After listening to a Grasshopper Warbler it was over to Blackpill to get some wonderfully close views of Dunlin and Sanderling and also reasonable views of Sandwich Tern. Heading up the Clyne stream we found a nice Dipper and a busy Grey Wagtail collecting food. Afterwards it was on to the Gower and to Pilton Green to find some Yellowhammer. With the sun out and with a few male birds singing away it was a real delight to be out. Finally a trip down to Oxwich and a Pheasant finally stumbled in front of the camera!
29th April. A quick trip to Caerphilly mountain before the heavens opened to try and find Tree Pipits. I watched and then photographed Pipits song flighting from trees but on closer inspection back at home, they turned out to be Meadow Pipit, Doh!