I have managed a couple of evening outings during the course of this week, and it would appear that autumn is definitely on the way. The nights are drawing in earlier than they have been by a good half an hour if not more, and the birds on offer also seem to be changing.
On Tuesday we headed down to Blackpill on the Swansea seafront to check out the high tide roost. We slightly misjudged the timings and instead got to watch the aftermath as the waters began to recede. The wader numbers were down as a result but we did get to see thirty or so Ringed Plovers (they seem to be doing well around Gower this year), fifty plus Dunlin, a single Turnstone and at least two Sanderlings. These are the first Sanderlings of the year for me and as a winter visitor represent another sign of the changing of the seasons. We were also treated to a superb sunset/moonrise over Swansea Bay that turned everything a pale pink.
Wednesday was another stunning evening and after a report on the Glamorgan Bird Club sightings page we were off to Wernfrwdd on Gower to look for the first autumn Osprey of the year. These regularly pop up at this time of the year along the Burry Inlet and seem to favour the wooden posts in front of Whiteford Point. A quick scan with the bins and I was quickly onto the bird. It was at some distance but its bulk, shape and behaviour were unmistakeable. I still find it amazing to see these birds in the UK. The sunset wasn’t too bad either.
There have been several reports locally of other autumn migrations starting so I think it”s time to get out and do some more serious bird watching for a change.