First group bird survey recordings

We had lovely summer weather for our first outing today with four surveyors starting at the Dolerw Bridge and walking slowly southwards along the west bank, with plenty to see and hear – a feast for the senses! Together we counted 22 definite species as follows: blackbirds (4), blue tit (1), great tit (1), carrion crows (2), chaffinch (4), coal tit (1), goldfinch (1), greater spotted woodpecker (1), long tailed tit (2), magpie (1), mallard (2), nuthatch (1), robin (1), song thrush (1), tree creeper (2), woodpigeon (4), wren (5), dipper (1), swallow (6), house martin (2), blackcap (1). This is a conservative estimate as we used counting technique to ensure we were not counting the same bird twice, I am sure there were many more! We were also excited to meet a man with a long lens who showed us a photo of an otter he had seen earlier in the morning. A very productive morning. Tilde

Japanese Knotweed

During our recent attack on the Giant Hogweed we also identified stands of Japanese Knotweed and Paula sent a report of their location to Natural Resources Wales.  I’m glad to be able to say that today a team from Natural Resources Wales were out on the river bank spraying this nasty invasive.  If you see more stands of either Giant Hogweed or Japanese Knotweed let us know and we’ll try to deal with them.

Common Sandpipers return….

Glad to report that the Common Sandpipers have nested and raised chicks again this year, around the Vaynor area. The parents were calling continuously and eventually a single chick popped out of the reeds and scuttled along the rocks into the undergrowth on the riverbank.
The photo’s below show the parent birds and the very young chick. I noted that one of the parents has a leg ring.

Common Sandpiper calling to the chick.

Common Sandpiper calling to the chick.

Common Sandpiper seen at Vaynor.

Common Sandpiper seen at Vaynor.

Common Sandpiper chick seen at Vaynor.

Common Sandpiper chick seen at Vaynor.

Otter Sighting….

There have been numerous reports of Otter sightings around the area below Penarth Weir, so I was quite surprised when this lone Otter swam across the river close by me at Vaynor. It dived under the water after a fish, but I didn’t see it surface and it just melted away from view.
From the size of it, I would think that it is a dog Otter.

Otter seen at Vaynor.

Otter seen at Vaynor.

Kingfisher fledglings…

We have been fortunate enough to have a pair of Kingfishers breed successfully on our river and this resulted in 2 fledglings being raised. Below are some shots of them taken a few weeks ago.
At the time of posting, it appears that the parents may now have left them to fend for themselves.

The adult Kingfisher returns with a meal.

The adult Kingfisher returns with a meal.

A fledgling begs for food.

A fledgling begs for food.

A fledgling waits for the parent to return with a meal.

A fledgling waits for the parent to return with a meal.

Bird Survey

The RSC will undertake to do a full year survey of birds along the river.  So far several members have signed up to participate so we will wait a little longer and then set up an initial meeting to kick the project off.

If you are interested in taking part, please contact us (Mike or Paula) to let us know you’ll be joining in.  It should be interesting and rewarding.