Saturday was that time again, Speedway time ! Which always means the obligatory walk around Bute Park and a walk along a section of the River Taff beforehand, before obviously going to the highly impressive Millennium Stadium, with this my tenth visit. I shan't bore you about Speedway because you probably aren't interested suffice to say the crowd was just under 40,000 with Formula 1 driver Mark Webber and Keith Flint of one of my favourite bands The Prodigy in attendance, Mark Webber is a huge speedway fan and a close friend of Jason Crump, a fellow Australian and three times World Champion while Keith is huge speed freak and keen bird watcher and naturalist. I dare say they both had a great time as did everyone else.
Anyway, the all important birding, on the journey there, which was a coach from Perry Barr Stadium, home of the Birmingham Brummies, birds spotted were, Peregrine Falcon, Buzzard, Long Tailed Tit, Starling, Collared Dove, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Magpie, Woodpigeon, Feral Pigeon and Mallard. The Peregrine Falcon was spotted on the comfort stop at a petrol station, I heard it first then saw it swoop down to promptly snatch some poor unsuspecting bird. Buzzard's were seen riding the thermals high in the air all along the journey but surprisingly I didn't see a single Kestrel. I also saw two amazing sights, the first was seeing a mixed flock of five hundred plus Jackdaw and Carrion Crow take to the air while there was still many on the ground destroying some poor framers crop, there were also possibly some Rook in the flock but as you can imagine there was only seconds to take it all in. The second sight was seeing a mixed flock of five hundred plus Gull in a pool of water that had formed in a farmers field. Not bad spots I think you'll agree while traveling at seventy odd miles an hour.
Then after arriving in Cardiff, it was straight off to Bute Park which is minutes walk from the car park and adjacent to the stadium and runs alongside the River Taff, birds spotted were, Pied Wagtail, Dunnock, House Martin, Swallow, Swift, Blackbird, Woodpigeon, Feral Pigeon, various Gulls, Cormorant as well as a few Grey Squirrel. Not bad again for an hour visit to a very busy park minus ones binoculars. The park is massive with plenty of centuries old established trees which are obviously home too many birds including Cuckoo. The Speedway is normally in May or June so the park didn't look as spectacular as those times of the year such as there are normally some huge Allium which have now died off as well as hundreds of other varieties of colourful flora. If your ever in or near Cardiff, Bute Park is well worth a visit especially with hundreds of eateries, pubs, clubs and even Cardiff Castle all within minutes walk.