GRC Blog

Welcome to the GRC Recorders pages. This blog provides details on all the relevant news of Glamorgan’s scarcer birds, plus all BBRC & WRP decisions that affect us locally. It will also be used to document the status and occurrence of these scarcer species and we welcome contributions from anyone with photographs, artwork or documentation of rarities past, present and future. The GRC also welcomes all seawatching news from around Glamorgan and news of passage migrants in spring & autumn, uncommon birds in our area and unusual behaviour.

All visitors are welcome. You must first register by sending an email to before you can contribute. An invite will be sent to your email address. Blog content will be strictly moderated. Access to pages and downloads are available to everyone. All photographs on this blog remain the property of the originator.
If you would like to use photos, please arrange permission beforehand.

The Glamorgan Rarities Committee, in conjunction with the Glamorgan Bird Club & Gower Wildlife , have agreed to co-operate with the Welsh Ornithological Society in the sharing of bird records & photographs in the interest of keeping accurate records and to promote birdwatching in North, Mid & South Wales.

Monday, 28 February 2011

Pink-footed Geese

Still present at KNNR this morning. They are feeding in the fields around Heol Ton, near the reserve centre and then flying down to the pool. [report per: OJL, DCB & ND]

Friday, 25 February 2011

Eglwys Nunydd Res

The female Lesser Scaup & Slavonian Grebe are still present at the reservoir both in the reedy bay area. [Report M. Hipkin]

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Slavonian Grebe on Eglwys

A bit of Grebe movement about at the moment, it seems. Today, a Slavonian Grebe was showing well in the NW corner of the reservoir. Associating loosely with some Goldeneye at first but later on it's own. Almost a year to the day when M Hnatiuk and E Hunter had a single bird 27th February 2010. That bird didn't stay long, only one day, hopefully this one will.

Black-necked Grebe in Cardiff Bay

A Black-necked Grebe has joined the Slavonian Grebe at Prospect Place inlet, near the Ice Rink in Cardiff Bay. [Report by A. Bevan]

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Slavonian Grebe in Cardiff

Still present showing in Prospect Pl., Cardiff Bay near ice rink. [photo & observation DJJ & GJJ]
[Present 1st Mar. at same location]

Friday, 18 February 2011

Lapland Buntings gone?

Negative reports from the Paviland stubble fields of over the last couple of days suggest that the Lapland Bunting flock may have moved on? This makes Mark's sighting of 22 on the 12th Feb the last record.

Redpoll species

A "frosty" looking Redpoll species turned up in the garden late afternoon today. A quick look at it had me running for the camera with high hopes of a Mealy Redpoll in mind. My initial indicators were the pale flanks and white wing-bar.
 I didn't have too much time to look through the books after taking the photos but, a quick call to Barry this evening led me to a very good Redpoll article online. Having read through the article now it looks like this bird is an adult female Lesser Redpoll. The females especially show a great deal of similarities and I can appreciate the WRP's recent notification regarding Mealy Redpolls. Many other more experienced observers  may even have identified this species straight off but, I was surprized to find areas like the pale rump and larger appearance may have a lot of overlap with Lesser Redpoll.
 These last 2 photos have been brightened up a lot and the bottom one was also taken through a window. I just wanted to illustrate the size of this bird next to a Siskin. I've had Lesser Redpolls before but, I've never noticed one as pale as this one before.
The dark head with a lack of more defined facial markings and the quite dark uppertail-coverts seem to suggest Lesser Redpoll? Please feel free to shed more light on this area.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Lesser Scaup (male)

The male Lesser Scaup is still present at Cosmeston CP today viewed from the West Lake.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Lesser Scaup on Eglwys Nunydd

 A female Lesser Scaup was showing well today on Eglwys Nunydd Reservior. It was associating quite closely with 2 male Greater Scaup when it was feeding. However, at other times it seemed happier with Tufted Duck or Pochard.

Interestingly Eddie Hunter and Dominic Davidson found a female here near enough a year ago on 13th February or maybe a couple of days before that. Amazingly Dave Lewis, who I was speaking to yesterday, had metioned that the Lesser Scaup turned up at this time last year and that people should be "on the look out for it!"

 Try as I might it wouldn't show the upperwing pattern to me but, apart from that it looks pretty good to me.

Important changes to the Glamorgan D-List

The WRP have decided that all records of Ring-billed Gull & Richard's Pipit will be adjudicated by WRP in 2011 for a one year trial period. This is to establish patterns & species scarcity.
Common [Mealy] Redpoll - photos preferred but not required BUT a good quality description needed.

tristis – due to confusion over the UK situation (classic dull brown ones only) & Dutch position (any that give the call). WRP has decided to ask for descriptions of any “Siberian Chiffchaff” which gives the “bullfinch-type” sibe call. PHOTOS & DESCRIPTION OR SOUND recordings & description.

WRP will process these into one of two groups:

a) classic tristis – dull brown, with the sibe call

b) grey-type – pale, washed out grey jobs which call like the above.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Pink-footed Geese still present

The 14 Pink-footed Geese were still present, for their forth day, today. Not showing so well from the gate at the east end of Heol Ton but, luckily there is a footpath/bridleway that runs along the south end of the field. A walk to the top of the field, along the track, gave much better views. They don't seem too bothered by people at distance but, I certainly don't recommend leaving the track!

I spoke with a couple of residents today who informed me the field was used for growing Maize last year and also contained a lot of Daffodils. They seemed surprised at the attention the Geese were getting and wanted to know how long they would be present? They seem settled at the moment and seeing them like this makes me wonder how many slip through the net?

Birds still present 22/02/2011

Slavonian Grebe

 The Slavonian Grebe at Atlantic Wharf 19th Jan. 2011
The Slavonian Grebe in Cardiff Bay 15th Feb. 2011.
The grebe was showing well from the area by the Norwegian Church and the three old wooden moorings. It was diving and feeding on small fish.

Monday, 14 February 2011

Late record

Water Pipit - Ogmore (03 Jan), In a small creek on the Bridgend side opposite portobello house.

Pink Feet

The 14 Pink-footed Geese remain at Ton Kenfig, although the Greylag appears to have departed.

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Pink-footed Geese

A flock of 14 Pink-footed Geese at Kenfig NNR [east pool fields] found by Jeff Curtis. Still present this morning 14th Feb.
(c) M. Hipkin

Slavonian Grebe in Cardiff

Slavonian Grebe at Cardiff Bay barrage near Channel Dry Dock [same as Atlantic wharf bird?] 12th [RAC - ?] & 13th Feb. [G.N. Smith].

Report of a Great White Egret reported from a Staffs birder on fields left of Wentloog Road, Rumney. Possibly past Gypsy camp near county border?

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Bewick's Swan at KNNR

An adult Bewick's Swan at Kenfig Pool 8th & 9th Feb.
(c) D.G. Carrington

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Lapland Buntings at Paviland stubbles

Summary of observations of the unprecedented influx of Lapland Buntings at this site during the 2010-11 winter:

21-Nov-10       4         C. Brewer (finder)
21-Nov-10       26       B. Stewart & J.N. Edwards
22-Nov-10       17       D.R.W. Gilmore
24-Nov-10       24       E.A. Hunter
26-Nov-10       46       B. Stewart
28-Nov-10       17       P.R. Murray & S.L. Murray
11-Dec-10       30       B. Stewart & J.N. Edwards
11-Dec-10       43       M. Hnatiuk & P.Parsons
02-Jan-11        18       C. Brewer
29-Jan-11        36       B. Stewart & C. Brewer
12-Feb-11       22       M. Hipkin
(c) M. Hipkin