I left mine at the lovely hour of midnight feeling under the weather and not really in the mood to drive 5 hours to the other side of South Wales. After picking up Jake, Jon King and finally Chris Glanfield, we soon covered the M4; seeing a half squashed cat, whilst the other half remained normal; and had a lovely Mcdonalds at 3.30am just inside Wales. This would have been ok, but breakfast didn't start until 5am, so a quarter pounder and chips was soon ordered, much to my body's dislike at this untimely hour.
We arrived on site around 6am feeling pretty grim (mainly due to our unexpected breakfast), but spirits remained high and we soon entered the 'queue' and thankfully we were first into the small front garden.
It wasn't long before the Orphean Warbler showed itself to the crowd feeding low down in the apple trees, and good views were had by the group, unfortunately the light being a tad low for any respectful photographs (by me anyway).
Due to the 'queuing' system, it was only fair to let others have a look, and for us to walk away. Having seen both Eastern and Western Orphean abroad, and with satisfactory views, I retreated back to the car.
An hour after was spent not seeing any Lapland Buntings or Choughs, so we went home. I arrived home at 3.30pm, totally exhausted, even more ill then when I had set off, but was it worth it.......oh yes!! Great company and a successful day.
Western Orphean Warbler (cardboard cut-out) - although the upperparts appear pale in this image, in 'real life' the upperparts were slightly darker, as well as a darker hood, mainly down to the poor light.
The small front garden of Orlandon Cottage