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Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch
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Biggest Twitch
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Biggest Twitch


We left Llandudno early morning and headed for Cardiff in South Wales. It was dark and raining not ideal conditions for driving and did little for our hopes of good birds. Soon after dawn, the rain had almost stopped, a Red Kite soared over the road, what a fantastic bird. That was to be the only bird of note during the journey as the rain returned with a vengeance. We arrived in Cardiff early so thought we would have a look at Cardiff Bay, first priority though was find a loo! Great there is one in the car park over looking the bay. Ah, would have been great had it not been fenced off for refurbishment! Plan B was called for so we headed for the rather posh St. David’s Hotel on the waterfront. Luckily as we were on our way to a meeting we looked a little smarter than our usual birding attire. We ordered hot chocolates and used the facilities, whew! It has to be said that the service was pretty slow and the time the drinks arrived it was just about time to leave. Suddenly we went from plenty of time to no time, panic as we tried to find our way across the city in heavy traffic hampered by red lights every fifty meters. Luckily we made it only a few minutes late. The meeting with the RSPB at their Cardiff office went well and Alan now has a four week contract doing some research work.
Meeting done we were free to go birding so set off west for Penarth and Cosmeston Lakes Country Park and the lure of Lesser Scaup and Bearded Reedling. First things first though and into the café for a quick bacon sandwich and a mug of tea. We were now ready for the bitter cold afternoon. Just as we were about to venture out we met Sarah Lewis and RSPB showing people birds officer who was working at the park, yes you have guessed it! Showing people birds! Sarah was able to tell us that the male Bearded Reedling was still about and the Lesser Scaup had been seen at least as recently as day before yesterday, great thanks. The lakes held loads of birds mostly Pochard, probably over 450, impressive. Amongst the grey backs and chestnut heads were smaller numbers of Tufted Duck, Eurasian Teal, Shoveler, Great-crested and Little Grebes all very nice but try as we might we could not find the Lesser Scaup. Now numb we returned to the reed bed but by now the wind had really picked up and the reeds were being blown all over the place, not a bird to be seen!
Back into the Cardiff traffic and again a nightmare as we tried to find our accommodation for the night in the crazy one-way systems with poor sign posts and heavy traffic, but we got there in the end and were happy to crash out after a frustrating day.


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