Previously "Diary of a Birding Medic"

Previously "Rugby Birder"

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

A Morning on a Welsh Hillside!

I had to do it! Having seen Dave Huttons superb images, I needed to go to Blorenge, Gwent to see the long staying mega Marmora's Warbler (Lifer).  My decision was not made until quite late Monday evening and with my alarm set for 0400, I was soon embarking on the two hour journey into Wales. Leaving home the morning was bright, after an hour the sun was shining bright, but arrival on Blorenge was horrid! It was dull, cold, windy and only lacked rain & snow! With two fleeces, waistcoat, waterproof coat, woolley hat (no gloves - forgot them, after all this is summer?), but only lightweight trousers and I was soon feeling the windchill, and wished I had kept my pyjamas on underneath as I sometimes do in winter! I parked by the radio masts (as per RBA directions) and walked half a mile down the hill to join a small number of hardy birders - the walk and a coffee warmed me , and I was ready for a couple of hours scanning. During a quiet period, I "raced" back up the hill to warm myself up and bring the car down to the lower car park where everyone else had parked. The sun eventually appeared and the temperature started to rise, as did the Marmora's activity.The mood was good, entertaining and everyone was well behaved (no excursions onto the moor).

The Marmora's Warbler was quite elusive and it was about an hour before it showed, singing its heart out and tending to favour the holly bush. Regular viewers reported a circuit that the bird completes, but today it did not follow any pattern, remained distant with only a brief appearance on the bush near the road that it carries nesting material to.

While waiting, several Whinchats (two year tick) posed for the cameras, Tree Pipits sang out from their posts on the scattered bushes competing with Willow Warbler, a solitary Stonechat made a brief appearance and overhead Buzzard and Raven  soared. The only other bird of note was a female Redstart seen in the wooded areas on my descent back to the main road.

I stayed until 1130, leaving when the Marmora's took up its favourite perch on the holly bush, singing loudly and showing no sign of moving after twenty minutes.

The images below are nowhere near as good as Daves, but they are better than I expected and will serve as a memory of this fantastic life "mega". I still do not consider myself a "twitcher" though!


Marmora's Warbler

Todays "typical" view!

An "atmospheric" pic!

(More images on my website - see link opposite)


Dave Hutton said...

Kevin glad you took the chance superb bird + it took me 3 visits to get any decent photos so you can be proud of those

Kevin Groocock said...

Thanks Dave. Indeed a super bird and worth the journey. Not sure if I will return, though!!!

Kevin Groocock said...

Glad I went as the bird had gone next day (and the weather had improved!).

Max Silverman said...

Excellent stuff Kevin.I was going to have a go but I think it's gone.

Kevin Groocock said...

Cheers, Max. Yes it has gone - went the day after I saw it!