Spring-like day in a Brecon Beacons Wood.

16th February 2018
What a glorious late winter day today in the Brecon Beacons with relatively mild temperatures and light winds. A perfect day for a pleasant stroll while looking for signs of spring. We had hoped to hear a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker drumming or singing because this is one of the best times of the year to hear them. However, we had no luck today and even hearing these birds is becoming increasingly more difficult every year. We did see two Hawfinches earlier this week in Brecon,

and at least you have a chance this winter to see these elusive finches because of a very large movement of them into the UK. Apparently there is a failure of the food crop they feed on in winter, in Germany in particular, and this has resulted in very large numbers of these birds in the UK, flocks of up to three hundred in southern England, unprecedented in our lifetime. We saw twenty birds in a churchyard near Hay on Wye this week which would never usually happen in winter.
As we walked through a local woodland today Susan heard the faint hoot of a Tawny Owl, I know there are birds in this wood and they sometimes sit out sunbathing on a day such as this near to their favourite roosting area. We walked on through the woods and one flew into the open and perched in front of us.

I fired a few quick frames off with my Sigma 150-600 Contemporary lens and managed to get a couple of record shots, something I wouldn’t have been able to do with my Canon 600 f4 lens. The Owl then flew up into the Ivy-clad trees and disappeared, it was all over in ten seconds!

Albeit a very brief encounter it finished off a pleasant walk and we both left contented at seeing a lovely woodland bird.