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 GlamRC@gmail.com 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.
Thursday, 29 December 2011
Wednesday, 28 December 2011
Also 1adwp Med Gull at Sandy Bay car park.
Photo by J. Wilson
The returning drake Lesser Scaup is on west lake at Cosmeston with a Greater Scaup, both in with the regular tufted/pochard flock. The Whooper Swan is also still present. [per JDW]
The Iceland Gull at Oxwich is still present - with another (age unk.). [per BS]
OOC - Turtle Dove at Peterstone Wentloog, near Six Bells Pub & Church with small flock of Collared Doves. [per CJ]
Tuesday, 27 December 2011
Whooper Swan present at Cosmeston CP. It has a darvic ring, orange with black numerals Y59 [left]. It seems it was ringed in early January 2011 in Worcestershire. It is believed to be of the Icelandic race [when ringed it had an orange head which they get from the iron-rich lakes in Iceland]. The bird was found by Alex Bevan this am.
Saturday, 24 December 2011
Friday, 23 December 2011
Tuesday, 20 December 2011
Saturday, 17 December 2011
Friday, 16 December 2011
[Concerning Glamorgan VC41]
European Greenfinch is now Chloris chloris and is placed before European Serin.
Category D (Review of certain species)
Rusty Blackbird (Euphagus carolinus)
Near Cardiff, 4th October 1881
Recorded under the name 'Rusty Grackle', this specimen can still be seen in the NMW in Cardiff and was presented by Robert Drane.
Potential ship-assisted Transatlantic vagrants
Northern Mockingbird (Minus polyglottos)
Worm's Head, Gower 24th July - 11th Aug. 1978
Wednesday, 14 December 2011
Photo by Sam Whitfield [FHP]
Some interesting records from Flat Holm: June-November
Razorbill 1 on 21st Oct (freshly dead)
Common Swift 9 on 13th Oct, coincided with influx of 60 swallows & 12 house martins that day
Great Spotted Woodpecker 1 on 4th Sept. [First Flat Holm record]
Snow Bunting 2 on 20th Nov [First confirmed record for Flat Holm] - see photo above
Widespread declines in birds that spend most of their lives at sea are alarming conservationists. Seven species of seaduck that overwinter in the Baltic – a key wintering site – have dropped in number by up to 65% in 15 years, without any clear explanation.
Declines have also been found around British coasts, with Long-tailed Duck, Velvet Scoter and Red-breasted Merganser among those hardest hit. In North America the trend continues with several seaduck populations significantly down, among them Black Scoters, White-winged Scoters and Surf Scoters.
“These birds just seem to have gone missing,” said Richard Hearn, Head of Species Monitoring at the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust and Chair of the IUCN-SSC/Wetlands International Duck Specialist Group. The scale of the declines in Europe is very surprising and largely unexpected. Most of these species remain relatively numerous but if their numbers continue to fall at these rates, some of these species could soon be in serious trouble.”
A report published in Waterbird Populations and Pressures in the Baltic Sea, shows that the number of waterbirds wintering in the Baltic fell overall by 40%, from 7.44 million to 4.41 million. The declines were revealed by two censuses, staged from 1992-3 and 2007-9. Concerns have been reinforced by monitoring elsewhere showing much smaller numbers of seaducks in important British sites such as the Moray Firth and Clyde Estuary, and in the Netherlands.
Note: Of the three British species most effected, only one, Velvet Scoter, is a description species in Glamorgan. However Long-tailed Duck is being monitored by the GRC, and now armed with this new information Red-breasted Merganser will also be added to the GRC monitoring scheme. Both the latter are uncommon winter passage migrants to Glamorgan, with the exception of LTD in 2010, both have been annual in Eastern Glamorgan since 2005.
[Information supplied by M. Hogan in Countryside Jobs Newsletter, notes by GRC]
Tuesday, 13 December 2011
Monday, 12 December 2011
Saturday, 10 December 2011
Friday, 9 December 2011
1 1stw Little Gull. Also 1 Fulmar and 2 Gannet
9/12/11 Tutt Head 08:00 to 10:00 (MHi and later BS)
4 Great Northern Diver, 11 Red-throated Diver, 1 Great Skua and 1stw Little Gull.
Also 6 Common Scoter, 22 Gannet, 16 Turnstone and 1 Purple Sandpiper
The first of these involved a Philloscopus warbler near the Neath river. I saw it briefly giving a side on view and thought it was a Chiffchaff but then clearly giving a rear view where it was quite obvious that the legs were pale over their full length and not just the feet. I immediately thought Willow Warbler and other features seemed to suit this identification. I spent a brief time setting up the camera for very dark conditions to provide the record shot but I never saw the bird well again after that and despite spending quite a bit of time trying to relocate it, once it had been lost to view in dense undergrowth I never saw it again. Given the rarity of this species at this time of year in the end I decided that I couldn't be 100% sure.
The second incident came earlier today and involved a presumed juvenile Sabine's Gull off Mumbles. I initially saw a small gull at distance from Bracelet Bay car park which was silhouetted in bright light. I moved out onto Tutt Head and relocated a bird which was again silhouetted and distant but it was moving towards better light but becoming more distant the whole time. Eventually features showed that were consistent with other juv Sabine's I've seen before, notably the dark primary wedge, a significant white triangle and the remaining parts of the wing and back all looked dark. I couldn't be certain of the dark underwing bar, long tail and dark head at this distance but nevertheless I felt confident of its identity and put news out. Knowing Barry Stewart still needs Sabine's for Glam I called him personally.
Barry arrived 30mins later and during this time I had lost the original bird and relocated another bird which didn't quite look as convincing as the original bird and I was wondering whether the earlier bird had in fact been a different one? This bird was lost again mainly due to the very bad light. BS arrived and we both spent some time trying to relocate the earlier bird. Barry found a 1stw Little Gull flying on a similar line to the earlier bird but a little closer in. This bird was watched for a while and lost. A bit later a gull was found further out and it appeared much closer to the appearance that prompted me to claim the juv Sabine's Gull earlier on. Again the light was bad but the contrast between light and dark patterning of the upper bird features looked very good and flight appeared different to the earlier Little Gull. It looked pretty good for Sabine's but the distance and light meant that a definitive view remained impossible and this bird was lost.
Not long afterwards a 1stw Little Gull passed quite close in and at times showed extensive and striking white triangles on the trailing wing due to the sunlight shining through! The flight it showed during this time also appeared more deliberate and less "tern like."
The conditions surrounding this sighting were hard to work with and despite occasional cloud cover the sunlight remained a problem throughout. The sightings, each time involving a single bird, varied with respect to distance from the observer but the patrolled flight line remained very similar and in this regard does point towards the same bird being seen throughout the morning ie a 1stw Little Gull.
Consideration must be given to the separate birds being involved in any of the sightings. It would be possible to generate a description from my original sighting which due to my confidence at the time and features noted could possibly go on to be accepted as a valid record? However, I won't be submitting this record because enough doubt remains in my mind that there is a possibility my original identification of the earlier bird was misjudged. This could be for good reason or due to introduced doubt following the later sightings of a Little Gull? It is very frustrating to have to backtrack on an earlier claim but the accuracy of the record must be the dominant factor here.
Thursday, 8 December 2011
Monday, 5 December 2011
1 Great Skua flew west.
Other noteworthy stuff included 32 Gannet in a feeding party just off Oxwich point and 14(7m) Common Scoter in Oxwich Bay. Plus a slow and steady passage of Auks and Kittiwake passing, heading west.
Sunday, 4 December 2011
1 Great Northern Diver flew into the bay and 3(1m) Red-breasted Merganser in the bay.
From Bracelet Bay car park
1 Great Skua flew west and also 7(1m) Common Scoter past heading west
From coastal path at Rams Tor
1 Velvet Scoter flew west and 1 Great Northern Diver (probably earlier bird) past going west. Also a Diver sp briefly before heavy rain.
|Pink-footed Goose at Neath Abbey saltmarsh|
Thursday, 1 December 2011
|Great Northern Diver in Bracelet Bay|
1adw Great Northern Diver flew into the bay around first light. It soon drifted out of view around the lighthouse and was quite mobile thereafter. Flying west and east past the bay before coming in very close. Later (11:00) while at Crymlyn Burrows a Great Northern Diver flew from the Mumbles direction and landed in the shipping channel leading to the Neath River was considered to be the same bird.
Otherwise not much of note although a steady stream of 300+ Auks flew out of Swansea Bay heading west. Mainly Razorbills (150+) and a few Guillemots (10). Also noted heading west Common Scoter (6), Gannet (7) and Kittiwake (100+)