Since returning from Shetland I haven’t had much time for birding, sadly, although I have seen a few bits and pieces over the intervening month.
I have made two visits (26th October and 2nd November) to the Rhyswg Moors (part of my old patch – the Gwyddon Valley), where I have previously seen Jack Snipe at this time of year. Sadly I had no such luck this year, but a few other species were seen including 2 Crossbill, 4 Snipe, a Skylark and a Stonechat. Generally pretty quiet though…
I have also helped in two BTO surveys at my current patch – Newport Wetlands. First a low-tide count on the 10th November produced totals of: Canada Goose (1), Teal (13), Wigeon (22), Mallard (3), Little Egret (1), Kestrel (1), Black-Headed Gull (2), Herring Gull (1), Grey Plover (6), Curlew (26), Redshank (9), Dunlin (97), Snipe (3) and Carrion Crow (8). Again, not exactly worth writing home about.
The second count took place on the 17th November, and was a bit more impressive. The totals were; Egyptian Goose (2), Canada Goose (122), Shelduck (2), Wigeon (1124!), Teal (35), Shoveler (4), Mallard (17), Little Egret (1), Marsh Harrier (1), Black-Headed Gull (5), Greenshank (3), Redshank (20), Curlew (17), Lapwing (12) and Oystercatcher (39). A bit more like it! The Egyptian Geese were a patch tick for me. Two birds flew in and landed with the other wildfowl on the pill for less than a minute but were very wary and soon flew off south and were not seen again.
The morning finished with a nice bonus bird as I made a brief stop at Uskmouth to see the 1st-winter drake Scaup that had been found the previous afternoon. It was still present and gave half decent views for the short time I was there. My second patch tick of the day!