Gwent Grey Phal – 15/ix/15

The recent winds have forced several Grey Phalaropes inland, and I spent most of the day toying with the idea of twitching one of them. When a report came through at about 17:00 of a bird only a few miles from home, I jumped at the opportunity. A quick 40 minute cycle meant that I was on site within the hour, and immediately connected with the bird, by the near shore of the top pond at Ynys-Y-Fro reservoirs, clearly visible from the road.

I spent an enjoyable evening watching and photographing it feeding actively at close quarters, though the light made things a little more complicated. Here are the best that I managed:

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The bird was clearly a juvenile, going into its first winter plumage. The dark crown, buff edges to the tertials and buff colouring to the throat and cheeks all combining to show this. As well as feeding constantly, the bird took several short flights, showing the dark wings with the white bar – broad at the wing base and narrower on the ‘hand’.

As the sunset behind the bird, I managed a few slightly different, more ‘arty’ shots:

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Another good bird for the autumn for me, and its still only mid-September! I’m off to the east Lothian coast late next week all being well, so lets hope the good birding continues there!

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