Trip reports

Field Trip to Ogmore-by-Sea

Field Trip to Ogmore-by-Sea
Angharad Jones

Sunday, 31 January 2016

It was raining heavily as I drove into the car park at Portobello House by the River Ogmore. There was a large group of people waiting near their cars. I thought that our trip was going to be very well attended, however the group picked up their hiking sticks and set forth into the bracken, it was the hardy local hiking group!

On such a rainy day, five of us turned up to face the elements, however the rain stopped and, although it was very blustery, it remained dry but overcast.

It was high tide as we started by the Ogmore river and we saw goldeneye, mallard, herring gull and black-headed gull on the water. We also managed to see well camouflaged redshank, their red legs enabled us to spot them, as well as canada geese and a male and female teal on the river bank.

We then headed off to the river estuary and shore at Ogmore. The sea was quite rough and it pounded over the rocky shoreline as we walked along the coastal path. We were hoping to see purple sandpiper at this time of year, however this was not to be.

We did see oystercatcher and turnstone, the small group of turnstone with their bright orange legs, white bodies, patterned dark breasts and dark brown backs were stomping the wet grass near the rocks with their feet, just as gulls do, to attract grubs and insects to the surface. A rock pipit flitted amongst the nooks and crannies of the rocky shoreline.

At the river estuary we noted cormorants in breeding plumage and great and lesser black-backed gulls. There were also four male goosanders in their breeding plumage, which is white with a black back and head, without any females. We also saw twelve goldeneye in the river, which was a special sight to see, with the white circular patches in front of their yellow eyes on the males being very visible. This was the largest number of this species I have ever seen together. Further up the river a little grebe and curlew were spotted. As we walked back to the car park we came across a male and female stonechat in their winter plumage.

So what started as a very rainy day turned out to be a good day's birding for us all.

Viv Jenkins