Sighting: Collared Doves

Just when I was beginning to grow a little tired of the same old routine, photographing the same birds at almost every visit, today there was a surprise encounter in the harbour. As I sprinkled some seed on the ground for the ever present pigeon flock several other pigeon shaped figures flew in and landed…

Sighting: Goldfinch

This morning I was surprised and delighted to encounter this gorgeous goldfinch (one of my favourite birds). I often see and hear them fly over the harbour with their distinctive twinkling calls but they rarely descend down to the harbour itself. Occasionally during the summer they can be found feeding among the wildflowers growing on…

Sighting: Cormorant

Cormorants are a regular sighting here on the coast of aberystwyth, often seen fishing in the estuary and sunning themselves with wings outstretched on the jetties. They don’t often come close to shore however making photographing them difficult. Today I got lucky when this individual emerged on the harbour rocks just a few meters away….

Turn of the tide

As the tide retreats twice a day here in the Aberystwyth harbour, a small expanse of mud flat is revealed, attracting a variety of bird species to this rich feeding ground. One of the most frequent visitors are the Turnstones, small stocky wading birds found all across the Uk coastline during the winter months. There…

Calm after the storm

Warning: Graphic content! As a cold front nicknamed ‘the beast from the east’ continues to bring freezing temperatures and blizzards to the UK, all around the country birds struggle to cling onto life in these treacherous conditions. This extreme weather has brought many surprising species out of their rural habitats, into out towns and rural…

Sighting: Kingfisher

Whilst Kingfishers are not an unusual sighting here on the river in Aberstywyth, these birds are so incredibly shy and skittish that getting close to them is nearly impossible (at least without a hide). Having had several fleeting glimpses over the years I have never managed to get a photograph. Today I struck lucky and…

Troglodytes troglodytes

The European wren (Troglodytes troglodytes) is Britain’s second smallest bird, rivalled only by the goldcrest, and is one of our most common and widespread species. Despite this, the Wren has proved notoriously difficult for me to find and photograph. After numerous failed attempts elsewhere it was pleasant surprise when, a couple of days ago I…

Sighting: Ringed Plover

Winter always attracts waders back to the coast and here in Aberystwyth the low tide mud flats are a magnet for a variety of these birds. Most commonly seen are the turnstones named for their behaviour of turning over rocks to look for invertebrates beneath. Also a fairly regular sight are the purple sandpipers, although I am…

Sighting: Wheatear

A new bird sighting for me today and quite unexpected. A lovely morning in the harbour soaking up the sun was made all the more enjoyable by the arrival of a pair of these stunning Wheatears as they chased each other around the stationary boats. These birds are related to robins and are summer migrants to…

Sighting: Black Redstart

After several failed attempts I finally found one of the two black redstarts that have been spotted here in Aberystwyth. For some reason the birds have chosen to set up residence on the Old College building, one of the university properties on the promenade. Even now, when the building is covered in scaffolding and undergoing…

Sighting: Leucistic carrion crow

I had heard about an unusual crow that had been spotted in one of my ‘patches’ and I couldn’t resist trying to find this bird for myself. After just a few minutes of searching in the right location, I am pleased to say I was successful. As you can see in the images below this…

Sighting: Purple Sandpipers

Whilst it feels bitterly cold outside to us, our winters are relatively mild compared to much of the northern hemisphere. It is this comparative warmth and lack of snow which attracts many winter migrants to the UK. One such bird is the purple sandpiper, escaping the freezing temperatures of it’s home up in the arctic…