Sunday, 20 May 2012

Tresinwen & Strumble (19 May 12) [Bee-eater !!!]

Made a schoolboy error this morning - I went for a walk without my phone or camera!

I decided to go on my normal circuit - Tresinwen, down Porthsychan, coast path to old Coastguards then back down the road to Tresinwen.  The previous day had recorded over 10 Golden Orioles on the Scillies and a few Woodchat Shrikes had appeared in the SW.  I set out hoping to find one of these.  I left my gear behind as it was dull and cloudy and not ideal photography weather.

Found lots of Whitethroats and Sedge Warblers and noted a passage of hundreds of hirundines.

By the time I got to the coast below the old coastguards the hirundine passage was impressive to say the least.  I decided to stop and scan the passage hoping to find something unusual.  As I stood there I heard a "quip" "quip" "quip" calling right above me and instantly knew it to be a Bee-eater.  I looked up and there it was gliding over me heading out to sea.  Time - 1130.

I followed it with my binoculars absolutely chuffed to have found a Bee-eater - my first for Pembs.  I followed it until it was a tiny dot way out to sea heading NE.  (Surprisingly I could still hear it call).  When it was right on the edge of visibility it turned and started heading back towards Strumble.  It came ashore somewhere above Porthsychan and continued inland at which time I panicked......I might be able to get this on my garden list!!!

I ran to the top of the old coastguard hill in time to see it fly over my house but I then lost it to view.  A few minutes scanning I could not relocate it.

I started to walk back towards the house over the fields below the coastguards and a quick scan half way across the field I spotted the Bee-eater again sitting on the roadside wires just where the permissive path re-joins the road.  Again I sprinted across the field, down the track and then down the road back to the house.  I grabbed my camera gear and phone and dropped my jumper and roll neck (sweating a lot now!).  A quick panic text to Adrian.

Remarkably when I ran back up the road the bird had not moved.  I grabbed some quick shots and then proceeded to try to get better pics.  With the dull white sky I struggled to get the bird on the wires with land as a backdrop.

I phoned the bird in and continued to watch it.  It called almost continuously.  Twice it flew out of view back out to the NE as if it was leaving and then a few minutes later was back on the wires as if it had never left.  It ranged from Tresinwen to the end of the roadside wires.  Last seen at 1220.

Not a bad garden list tick!!!