I've not really bought into this long distance twitching game, preferring to build up a picture of local wildlife is much more rewarding for me. That said should a noteworthy species occur within a twenty minute drive I will sometimes make the effort. A case in point was yesterdays grey phalarope at Ynys-y-fro Reservoir. A couple of weeks leave coincided nicely with this bird turning up.
Ynys -y -fro Reservoir has always been a little bit of an enigma to me. Well watched in the 1970s, 80s and early 90s coverage dropped off when Welsh Water invested time and effort in fishing and sailing largely to the exclusion of birdwatchers- there must be an answerable equality issue here? For me a visit to Ynys-y-fro has rarely involved a walk around the lower reservoir due to a lack of clarity around access and a perception that the tenant fishing club has a monopoly. Wentwood Reservoir is just as bad littered with keep out signs thereby pushing birders and naturalists to the outer limits peering in like pervy voyeurs. This is why I cautiously welcome the new public access arrangements for Llandegfedd Reservoir. You never know should Jeremy Corbyn succeed at the next election we may eventually see our vital natural resources back in public hands with recreation services managed for all not just the few!
I digress. On arrival I scanned the distance shore unsuccessfully for the diminutive bird, only to discover it was feeding on the margin just four metres away. A supporting cast came in the form of a few pochard and a wheatear that incredibly was more obliging to the camera than the aforementioned phalarope.