Monday 20 February 2012

An early contender for bird of the year (un)Common Yellowthroat - Newport, Gwent, South Wales

2012 is looking like it's going to be one of those years! The year is only 50 days old and I have had 4 life ticks (see previous posts). If this continuous I'll smash through the 400 BOU barrier with ease this year.

Common Yellowthroat is anything but common here in the UK. The recently found individual inhabiting bushes around fields not far from a housing estate in Newport, South Wales is only the 10th UK record and the first twitchable on the mainland. Not only is a Common Yellowthroat very rare, but it is also very smart.

On Sunday myself and Shaun joined both Bradders Jnr and Snr for the journey to the land of my fathers. (I am half Welsh you know). We were all somewhat releaved when the pager confirmed the bird was still there, just after we crossed the River Severn and entered Wales, just 20 minutes from our destination.

Arriving on site we walked the short distance to join the 150-200 birders already lined up, enjoying views of the bird as it worked its way up a line of hedges. Slowly it got closer and closer, although rarely staying still for more than a second or two. We stayed on site for around 90 minutes, enjoying the bird, and the sun that was warming our backs. Eventually it got to within 20 to 30 feet providing some cracking views.

Along with everyone else we moved west to Penarth, Cardiff, to see only my 2nd Lesser Scaup bobbing around a park lake. On site was also very confiding Whooper Swan.

Our final stop was Cardiff Bay for a Bonaparte's Gull. Again, I had only seen one previously, just last year. This time we struck out. No luck. For pics see Hawky's blog via the link (top right). But were we bothered? Er, no. The Common Yellowthroat was a cracking little colourful bird. One if I'm honest I thought I may never get on my UK list and one I wont forget in a long time.

2012 has so far been full of suprises so what is it going to be next?!


  1. Corking shots of a beautiful bird, well captured and no doubt an exciting twitch.

  2. Thanks. Yes it was a cracker. One of my favourite birds I've seen in the UK!