Saturday, 26 January 2013
Walking to the edge - 26th January 2012
As a result, we decided to draw a circle around Bangor with the same 7 mile radius as this could easily be done. Ideas started to flow when we saw what sort of habitats we could cover and today, I woke up at 4am and set out alone to Malltraeth Marsh, right at the edge of my circle. The walk saw me arrive at Malltraeth at 6.45 after a 9.2 mile walk in complete darkness.
As the sky started to get lighter, I started hearing the first birds and these were mainly Snipe and Redwing. I noticed a large heron flying over the reeds in silhouette, but I just couldn't be sure it was a Bittern, so this really frustrated me. It wasn't long before I got my first Footit Tick in the form of a Water Rail shortly followed by a flock of 6 Pink-footed Geese flying over the marsh. Shortly after this, I started walking to a body of water that held over 300 Coot as well as several Gadwall and Pochard which were both big surprises! I then caught the familiar song a Cetti's Warbler which again was real quality and a bird we could only get here.
As the sun came up, I knew that that Heron sp was probably my missed opportunity for Bittern, which was disappointing, but this soon went away as a male Marsh Harrier flew low over my head!
The next two birds that I ticked off were two birds that I was incredibly surprised I hadn't got by now and birds I should have gotten on my very first day! These were Reed Bunting and Pheasant! I jumped in the air when the Pheasant first called!
I was extremely tired at the point and I think I knew that I wasn't likely to get that much if I stayed any longer, so I decided to walk the 9.2 miles home to complete the 18.4 mile journey! After covering the majority of the journey home, I noticed some geese in a field which all turned out to be Canada Geese! Another bird that I probably should have got by now, but these are really hard to come by in the Bangor area and I only remember seeing them 2 times before today!
A really really tiring day that the blisters on my feet are reminding me about, but with 19 new species in 48 hours, you really can't complain!