22nd September 2013 - Wales (Mewslade Bay and Llanelli WWT)

Abergavenny Food Festival was a great excuse to head to Wales and get a day in birdwatching there.  The festival was excellent, as usual, and full of cider.  On the Sunday we went on a Chough quest, down the Gower peninsula but unfortunately we didn’t find any.  However, we did have a lovely walk to Mewslade Bay and the best views I have ever had of Raven.  There was a horrific 20 seconds where I had to walk along a narrow ledge on the cliff to get around the corner and was nearly crying (turns out I’ve still got vertigo) but happily made it.  There were lots of Stonechat, but no Dartford Warbler (possibly slightly optimistic in hoping for that one).  A family of 4 Rock Pipit and a Grey Wagtail flying over completed the trip.

Rock Pipit

Welsh Sheep
 We then had to choose whether to visit Llanelli Wetland Centre or Slimbridge Wetland Centre, both part of the WWT family.  There had been reports of a Buff-breasted Sandpiper at Slimbridge, a bird we really wanted to see, but Llanelli was a lot closer and we had never been there.  A quick look at the recent reports made the decision for us - Lesser Yellowlegs and also a Grey Phalarope reported at Llanelli!  Off we went.

We headed straight to the hide where both birds had last been seen.  The Lesser Yellowlegs was a no show, but the Grey Phalarope gave some great viewing.  I was surprised to discover there are only 3 kinds of phalarope in the world – only one to go!  There were also many Teal and Ruff around. With a few Greenshank and a Buzzard sitting surveying the land.  A Dunlin confused me briefly, and a Spotted Redshank wandered into view.
I would have like to spend a lot more time at Llanelli as it was lovely, but unfortunately we had to get back to London.

Grey Phalarope

Trip list: 32
Year list: 189
Lifers of year list: 26


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