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Biggest Twitch
Biggest Twitch
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Twitching down south

Last Sunday four birders from North Wales braved the snow and headed south to Gwent to try and see a very rare bird indeed, a Common Yellowthroat. This small warbler from North America had somehow ended up in a hedge at Rhiwderin, west of Newport. It should have been sunning itself in South America!
With snow reducing the A55 to one lane it looked like we might not make it. Luckily as we turned south we left the winter weather behind and the sun came out.
At Rhiwderin we quickly found the site and joined the line of birders

Yellowthroat twitch
Some 200 hundred binoculars were trained on the hedge pic by Marc Hughes

Luckily we did not have to wait long for the little stunner to pop out and wow the crowd. About the size of a Grasshopper Warbler and rather similar in shape and behaviour, though with shocking bright yellow underparts, blackish mask and olive upperparts.

Common Yellowthroat 1
The Common Yellowthroat pops out pic by Rob Sandham

We enjoyed some great scope views as the Yellowthroat played hide and seek with the long line of birders. It always stayed low and moved rather mouse-like through the grass and was easy to lose.
After enjoying good looks at this second for Wales we headed off to look for another rarity not far away.

Lesser Scaup Glamorgan
Drake Lesser Scaup at Cosmeston Lakes Country Park, Glamorgan pic by Marc Hughes

We had brilliant views of the long-staying Lesser Scaup in the sunshine and Eddie even opened his wallet, almost as rare a Yellowthroat, and got the teas in, good man.
We then headed back north but could not resist the temptation of one more rare bird...

Glossy Ibis Borth
Glossy Ibis Borth sporting Spanish rings pic by Marc Hughes

We had amazing views of the Glossy Ibis at Borth in Ceredigion, standing in a very muddy horse paddock just behind the houses!
A great day of top-drawer Welsh rarities, thanks to Marc, Eddie and Alex for the company.


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