Adult male Lesser Scaup.
I set of on Saturday 18th and headed to South Wales with 3 target birds to try and see , the main bird was of course the 1 st winter Common Yellowthroat which had taken up residence at Rhiwderyn , i arrived on site at 7am and after sliding into place in the field car park i set of to try and see it , the weather was overcast with quite strong winds with a light drizzle , so not ideal warbler watching conditions , birders had staked out various hedge rows and by 10 am there had not been even a sniff of my main target bird , i gave it another hour and the weather had got a lot worse , the rain was becoming heavy and the wind had become stronger and i was feeling just a bit dejected to say the least , i decided to head off to Cosmeston Lakes for the adult male Lesser Scaup and within minutes of arriving i was soon on the bird .
This was a very welcome year tick for me , I watched this bird for quite some time getting very good views this is the 4th Lesser Scaup i have been lucky enough to have seen and by far the best views i have had of one .
Lesser Scaup note the high peak at rear of head.
I then headed off to Cardiff to try and relocate one or both of the Bonaparte Gulls of which the first winter bird was found by David Campbell the previous day , great find David . However i was abit unlucky with the tide as it was still out and there was only a handful of gulls and sadly no Bonapartes , i added 3 Bullfinch and a single Chiffchaff here which was good to see plus i had 3 Fieldfare fly through , i got soaked to the skin here as the weather was showing no sign of improvement , i got back to the car dripping wet and was pondering what to do next ??? then the pager bleeped and the Common Yellowthroat has just been seen , so without haste i was off heading back to Rhiwderyn , i arrived on site only to be told the field was flooded and i had to park somewhere else , i found the new parking area and made my way back to the promised land , oops i mean field ...lol
1 st Winter Common Yellowthroat .
Well i no sooner joined the gathered crow of birders waiting in anticipation of the Yellowthroat making an appearance than i heard 'tacc' then this incredible warbler made an appearance , quite stunning , the bright yellow throat and undertail coverts were striking , its partially facial mask was evident , what a stunner it was quite breath taking to be honest , this was not a lifer for me as i had seen one on Scilly in 1997 , but that bird was alot further behind in its plumage and was abit more distant and only seen through my scope , however this beauty put on a show for us all to enjoy .
You can see the bright yellowthroat and face mask .
Sorry about the poor quality of the photos .
Happy Birders .
This was a truly amazing birding experience and a special thanks must go to the local birders who organised this event and the land owner who allowed us to explore his land , a final look for the Bonapartes was without success however i went home very happy .