16 May 2006

Dinas - Lesser Spot and Pied Fly

What a day. Dinas is an RSPB reserve located in hilly woodland to the north of Llandeilo, and plenty of birders on Skomer had recommended it to me. I arrived with high hopes, but our eventual haul exceeded every expectation.

The car park had Siskin (20 or more around the feeders) along with a very friendly Nuthatch. Along a boardwalk we found the promised Pied Flycatchers, with Spotted Flycatchers, Willow Warblers and plenty of more common woodland birds (tits, Robins, Blackbirds and so on). We moved on and found another Nuthatch, Treecreepers, a Redstart, and a Tree Pipit along with many Meadow Pipits.

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Along the cliff faces we found one of the nesting Ravens, although sadly not the local Peregrines. However, it was once I went back to photograph the nesting Pied Flycatchers that the day hit its real high point. Unusually for me, I had a feeling I knew what it was as soon as I saw the dark shape fly into some nearby trees.

A few minutes waiting and it finally showed itself – great views of a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker. This tiny, rare and perfect little bird only let me glimpse it for perhaps 10 seconds, but that may still be my birding highlight of this year.

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