Friday, October 15, 2010

Grey Phalarope

Unfortunately, my golfing partner cried off our game today (fed up with me thrashing him, no doubt!), so I had to find something else to do with my afternoon. I had heard that a Grey Phalarope, a bird I hadn't seen before, had been seen for the last few days at Sandy Water Park, a place near Llanelli. So, there I went!
Not long after I arrived, I met two fellows out looking for the bird. Neither had seen it, so I was not too hopeful. I walked anti-clockwise round the northern shore of the lake, spotting a couple of Kingfishers (or one Kingfisher twice!) as I went. As I came towards the far north-west corner, I spotted a distant bird floating on the water in front of a small reedbed about a hundred yards away across the lake. It looked a little like the numerous Black-headed Gulls that were drifting about on the pond, but a lot smaller. A look through the binoculars revealed it to be the sought-after Grey Phalarope. The nearest place to view the bird was a wooden fishing platform, which was being used by two people to watch it. Once they had moved on, I took their place, and was able to get a few distant shots. Soon enough, the bird moved further along the shore, and I was able to approach very closely to this notoriously tame species, and obtain a few photographs:

When it took flight, it seemed to reveal it had only one leg:

At one point, the phalarope tucked its head under its wing for a few minutes, presumably sleeping, but still seemed to be keeping a beady eye on the world, and all the while on the move, drifting about this way and that with the tide:

After I'd had my fill of the phalarope, I headed across the road for a quick look at 'Peoples Park', where I was told there was another small lake. There, I spotted this non-native Carolina- or Wood-Duck:

Plus, this male Shoveler, with his outsized bill:

And his equally well-endowed female companion:

So, a new species seen, and a new place discovered. Not sure it's better than golf, though! 


  1. Great serie! The phalarope is quite a nice bird, but your duck's image are pretty to ;)

  2. lovely photos, specially the series of the phalarope, what a lovely bird

  3. Gorgeous set of ducks Jeremy! I love the ripple in the water and it is always fascinating to see them in action dipping their heads in and out of the water.... cheers, Linda

  4. WowJust Love that Wood Duck shot.....they are such a canvas of color all by themselves!!!!!Great Capture!!!!! Can't wait to see more!!!!