Trip reports

A Field Trip to the WWT Llanelli Wetland Centre

A Field Trip to the WWT Llanelli Wetland Centre
Angharad Jones

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Thirteen of our members arrived at the Llanelli Reserve on a windless day with light cloud and certainly an autumnal nip in the air. Our first sightings of the day were a robin, collared dove and dunnock in the car park.

We all headed off to the British Steel hide which gives splendid views of the Marsh scrapes with the Bury Inlet in the distance. There was a flock of at least 600 black-tailed godwits in one of the scrapes. Amongst these we noted knot, greenshank and spotted redshank.

A peregrine falcon, which some of us were fortunate to see, spooked the flock and it was a special sight to see such large numbers of birds take off into the air in an undulating pattern of waders and then resettle at the scrape.

While we were identifying the various waders, a flash of turquoise passed across the hide and a kingfisher landed on the bank nearby and stayed for a few minutes.

A grey heron stood statuesquely in the shallow water patiently fishing. Also seen at the Marsh scrapes were little egret, to think that these birds were a rarity some years ago, also black- headed gulls in their winter plumage, lapwing, and cormorants.

On the ponds viewed from the back of the hide we saw widgeon, teal, shoveler, with their large bills, tufted duck and lesser black-backed gull. A small flock of greylag geese flew in, aquaplaned and landed on the water. Other species seen were carrion crow, magpie and wood pigeon.

We then moved on to the Michael Powell hide to get a different view of the Marsh scrape and as well as the other bird species mentioned we saw jackdaw and starlings and a few of the party saw goldcrest flitting in the bushes nearby.

The members then splintered into smaller groups to cover the WWT Llanelli reserve area. Our group decided to go to the Visitor Centre for our packed lunch and a spot of armchair birding. So over lunch, we noted blue tit, chaffinch, great tit, coal tit, and an acrobatic nuthatch feeding from one of the feeders near the centre with moorhen and coot underneath the feeder.

After lunch we visited the Heron's Wing hide which overlooks the Deep water lake. There we saw mute swan, mallard, gadwall and little grebe as well as some of the other bird species that we had been seen before.

We then walked to the Peter Scott hide and viewing platforms on the other side of the lake. On our walk we saw long-tailed tits hurrying through the bushes and a flock of siskin with their streaky yellow green plumage in the branches. A cetti's warbler was also heard but not seen!

At the viewing platform we had a very atmospheric view of a pair of mute swans with their young swimming in single file towards us across the still waters of the lake, surrounded by the bare branched trees in the low sunlight of early autumn.

Viv Jenkins