Trip reports

Field trip to Parc Slip Nature Park and Bryngarw Country Park

Male green woodpecker feeding on ground
RSPB Images

Sunday, 20 October 2013

The weather forecast had threatened heavy showers, however the rain held off all day turning sunny in the afternoon. Ten of us met at Parc Slip and the first sighting was a Kestrel in flight from the car park.
We passed the visitor centre and made our way to the first bird hide. Walking on the path through the trees we spotted a Jay and a small flock of Long- tailed Tits darting among the trees.
At the hide overlooking the pond, Teal and Coots were sighted on the water as well as two Little Grebes busily diving and resurfacing some distance away. In the meadow next to the pond Goldfinch were spotted and on the far bank on a fence post we had a very clear view of a Green Woodpecker with its vivid red cap.
When we returned to the visitor centre the warden informed us that a Water Rail had been seen earlier that morning in the reeds next to the centre, however we didn't see the secretive bird.
At the centre we saw Nuthatch, Coal Tit, Blue Tit, Chaffinch and Dunnock busily feeding from the bird table and feeders while we enjoyed a refreshing coffee.
Six of us then moved on to Bryngarw which was very quiet with little bird song throughout the woods. We had our first sighting of a Wren by the river that runs through the park.
Our highlight was spotting a Dipper on some rocks in the river, its white bib contrasting with its brown body and also the flashing yellow colour of a Grey Wagtail flitting over the river.
In the Japanese garden the copper gold autumnal colours of the Japanese Maple shimmered in the afternoon sunlight as we watched bright blue Emperor Dragonflies dart around the ornamental pond. This made up for the lack of birds at Bryngarw and we all had an enjoyable day.

Viv Jenkins