Trip reports

Birdwatching boat trip around Cardiff Bay

Birdwatching boat trip around Cardiff Bay
Craig Watson

Sunday, 24 November 2013

We charter the little steam launch lookalike, the Daffodil, again this year for this popular trip as she is an open boat with a canopy. This gave us good views of both the wild birds as well as what is happening in the Bay area. The weather was overcast, however it remained dry.
The Skipper, Ben Salter, was again very helpful with his knowledge about the Bay and also the birds and their location. We again had two trips, the first starting at 9.30 am and the second at 11.00 am, with nine passengers in each giving us all plenty of room to view the birds.
We sailed from Penarth Marina Barrage and travelled around the Bay and part way up the rivers Taff and Ely. We stopped at areas of interest as well as the Cardiff Bay Nature Reserve.
One thing everyone noticed was the amount of rubbish that was near the shores of the Bay, particularly near the river Taff. Boons had been put into place to stop the rubbish entering the Bay but we were all concerned about the amount of plastic bottles etc that was floating in the water.
Some of the highlights of the boat trips were:
Seeing Common Gulls amongst the Black-headed gulls on the orange buoys as we left the jetty by the barrage. Their green legs contrasting with the red legs of the Black-headed gulls.
Noting at least forty plus Little Grebe diving for food on the River Taff. Some of us were lucky enough to see a Snipe flying over the reeds in the same area.
Seeing Turnstones on the banks of the mouth of the River Ely and a few heard the call of a Water Rail.
Also seen in the Bay were a Great Blacked-back Gull, Lesser-Blacked back Gulls and Herring Gulls. Great Crested Grebe, Cormorant, Mallard and Moorhens.
At the Nature Reserve we saw Grey Heron, Canada Geese and Tufted Ducks.
On the rivers we noted Teal, Pochard, Coots, Grey Wagtail and Pied Wagtails. Our overall total for the two trips was twenty-six bird species.
We all thought it was interesting to see the birds of the Bay and the Nature Reserve from the boat which gave us a different perspective on the bird life.

Viv Jenkins