From Richard Knight –
Javrich mentions below a strangely plumaged goosander. Well, this is almost certainly a first autumn/winter male ( a this year’s baby) rather than an adult in eclipse as all adult males appear to leave us to moult elsewhere. Juveniles of both sexes look very similar until they begin to obtain their adult plumage during the autumn when variable amounts of adult-type body feathers begin to replace the juvenile feathers, hence the pinkish feathers.
You may remember a while ago when I wrote in about invading harlequin ladybirds and urged people to keep a look out for them after I found one in south Radnorshire. Well, last Wednesday, 26th October in the Elan Valley carpark at Pennygarreg dam I found one crawling over a parked car. Whether it flew here or was brought on the car from some distant place we’ll never know – all we know is that at least one has arrived in our study area.
We had a ring ouzel in the garden on Wednesday 27th Oct. It stayed atop a hawthorn bush for about twenty minutes which was lucky as it allowed time for me to move to get it in better light. It was clearly a young one of this year for although it had all the pale edgings to the wing and particularly flank feathers it lacked virtually any sign of the breast crescent. A small group of redpolls and siskins have been feeding on the birch seed near the house for the last couple of weeks and ten days ago a super fresh comma butterfly warmed itself by the pigsty. Hiighlight of the last few weeks though on the 9th October was our third speckled wood butterfly in 23 years of looking at the Cwm