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.

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Buff-breasted Sandpiper revisited

Present on the high tide first thing - very probably the same bird as last week, but with so many around who knows?

Great White Egret at Pont-y-cob Road (SS578968)

 The spread of records around the Burry this last couple of weeks makes you wonder if more than one bird is involved. Neil saw one 6km west of here last night at Wernffrwd and last weeks sighting was a further 2km west.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Black Kite at Park Slip

@ 1400hrs a Black Kite flew south east over the Fountain Pub Lake at a height of about 150mts. If it continued on this line, it would have passed over Bridgend, Cowbridge and hit the coast just west of Barry. Seen well for 30 seconds and appeared to be an adult.

Monday, 26 September 2011

Turtle Dove at Lamby lake this a.m.

Wryneck at Mynydd Gellionen

A record shot of the Wryneck at Mynydd Gellionen found by Barry Weston yesterday afternoon. I missed it by 10 mins yesterday and saw it at distance briefly earlier this morning having been relocated by Graham Roblin. It was searched for without success for 3 hours before reappearing around 12:45. It showed reasonably well at distance for about 45 mins until 13:30 when it was left feeding in in thick scrub.
Congratulations go to Barry Weston on finding such a nice bird on local patch, which has been enjoyed by a few today.

Sunday, 25 September 2011


A Wryneck has been found at Mynydd Gellionen [SN7062 0398]. Showing well on fence-line. Parking on nearby junction.

Serin at Eglwys Nunydd Res.

Report: A Serin was seen to fly low over 2 observers towards Kenfig Ind. Est. and was then lost to view over the southern reedbed. No further details.

Friday, 23 September 2011

Pectoral Sandpiper at Llanrhidian Marsh

Pectoral Sandpiper (c) M. Hipkin
Some video footage of the Pectoral Sandpiper can be found following the link below

Pectoral Sandpiper video

Buff-breasted Sandpiper at Llanrhidian Marsh

Buff-breasted Sandpiper (c) M. Hipkin
Some video footage of the Buff-breasted Sandpiper can be found following the link below

Buff-breasted Sandpiper video

White-rumped Sandpiper at Llanrhidian Marsh

White-rumped Sandpiper (c) M. Hipkin
A little bit of video footage of the White-rumped Sandpiper can be found following the link below

White-rumped Sandpiper video

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Weobley Triangle

A great late afternoon was enjoyed at Weobley Saltmarsh (NPR, ND). Buff-breasted Sandpiper was located first, followed by White-rumped Sandpiper, Curlew Sandpiper and two Little Stints among dozens of Dunlin and Ringed Plovers. We had just about given up on the two Pectoral Sandpipers seen earlier today, when they flushed from almost under our feet and subsequently showed well. A few digiscoped photos were taken as the light diminished, but I'm sure better will follow. A Green Sandpiper flew in to the edge of the marsh as we left. Well worth the stomp!

Buff breasted Sandpiper - Weobly

Very poor record shot from 22/09/11

Not OOC!!!

I thought yesterday was good (and it was)! Today was even better still. This collection of Nearctics may very well represent my best ever Glamorgan birding day, certainly my best to date. I hope they stick around for a while and many more can enjoy this fantastic spectacle. Paul Roberts certainly gave this collection of waders a  bit of perspective when he described the situation as "madness."

White-rumped Sandpiper and Buff-breasted Sandpiper 22/9/11

A couple of Pectoral Sandpipers 22/9/11

Waders in the 'Weobley Triangle'

Some record shots from this morning up to 9am with the following waders noted:

1 White-rumped Sandpiper, 1 Buff-Breasted Sandpiper, 2 Pectoral Sandpipers, 1 Curlew Sandpiper, 1 Little Stint, 1 Golden Plover, 6+ Dunlin and 6+ Ringed Plover.

Buff-breasted Sandpiper (c) B. Stewart
Curlew Sandpiper & Pectoral Sandpiper (c) B. Stewart
 Little Stint & 2 Pectoral Sandpipers (c) B. Stewart
 Pectoral Sandpiper (c) B. Stewart

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Unidentified Petrel species, Porthcawl

Slightly larger than Storm Petrel, closer to Leach's in size. Upperwings shaped like Storm but held in shallow bow like leach's when alighting over wave and feeding with dangling legs in trailing surf. Upperwings all dark/black with no wing bar, head black as well as back, white rump with no split, tail dark/black, short and square ended. Flight lazy, small zig-zags with regular quick single flap. Underbody - belly and breast off white with a brownish border running along the wings. From below head was dark including chin. Underwings were more browinsh than black with light grey shading to a large part of centre wing running from base of wing to 2/3rds to tip. In view for 2 to 3 mins and drifted slowly west. Distance was 2/3 way to yellow bouy, so as scope views go, regarded as close and well seen. All waders and hirundines have been excluded in identification because of its closeness and feeding behaviour.  - comments (proper ones) welcome

Also seen in 2hrs seawtach - juv Sabine's Gull sitting on sea for 15mins before flying west, 1 Arctic Tern, 1 Common Tern, 1 Auk sp, 3 Whimbrel & 5 Turnstone.

Llanrhidian Marsh SS 4772 9427 (MHi & BS)

Mark photographing the Pec
Pectoral Sandpiper, White-rumped Sandpiper and Curlew Sandpiper feeding together on the edge of the marsh this morning. Chris Brewer got poor views of two birds here a couple of days ago and speculated about the possibility of there being Pec and White-rumped, so deserves credit for the discovery. Also in the creek behind a Great White Egret. Later Mark also had a Little Stint and a few Dunlin. Quite a morning!
Pectoral Sandpiper (c) B.Stewart
White-rumped Sandpiper (c) B.Stewart
Curlew Sandpiper (c) B.Stewart

Monday, 19 September 2011

Another Great White Egret?

The last date I have for last month's Great White Egret, that regularly commuted between WWT & the Upper Loughor was 1st September. There seems a good case for treating a bird photographed at Salthouse Point by Paul Larkin on 15th September as a different bird, especially as this area has been well watched over the last month.
P. Larkin

Black Terns on Kenfig Pool

Nicki Sunter sent these classy black tern shots taken at Kenfig Pool this weekend.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Grey Phalarope in the Burry

A bird feeding mid-channel off Salthouse Point this morning may possibly be one lingering from a few days back. Also unusual to see a Manx this far up the estuary.

Seawatching from Bracelet Bay

07:15 to 09:30 / Wind: W 5 / Occasional Showers

5 Arctic Skua ( 2 at 7:25, 1 at 8:25, 1 at 9:10 and 1 at 9:20) all juvs
13 Sandwich Tern
3 Arctic Tern
1 Common Tern
3 Commic Tern
38 Common Scoter
1 Bar-tailed Godwit
9 Dunlin
2 Chough
Handful of Gannet(8) and Guillemot (3) but no Manx Shearwater.

All birds passing west

Friday, 16 September 2011

Recent splits

The 7th Report of the Taxonomic Sub-Committee of the BOURC has been published in Ibis.

It describes the following splits:

Capped Petrel Pterodroma hasitata (Cat. A)
Bermuda Petrel Pterodroma cahow

Water Rail Rallus aquaticus (Cat. A)
Brown-cheeked Rail Rallus indicus

Kentish Plover Charadrius alexandrinus (Cat. A)
Snowy Plover Charadrius nivosus

Eurasian Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus (Cat. A)
Hudsonian Whimbrel Numenius hudsonicus (Cat. A)

Sandwich Tern Sterna sandvicensis (Cat. A)
Cabot’s Tern Sterna acuflavida (Cat. A)

Sand Martin Riparia riparia (Cat. A)
Pale Martin Riparia diluta

European Stonechat Saxicola rubicola (Cat. A)
Siberian Stonechat Saxicola maurus (Cat. A)
African Stonechat Saxicola torquatus

Bullfinch Pyrrhula pyrrhula (Cat. A)
Azores Bullfinch Pyrrhula murina

The large skuas have been re-examined; 3 Hippos and 1 Acro have been renamed (finally) into Iduna (Eastern Olivaceous, Booted, Syke's, Thick-billed); chats and flycatchers have been re-ordered (again); eastern Lucinias have been renamed, as have Siberian Thrush and Greenfinch.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

St Brides, Gwent

At high tide this morning 1 Juv. Little Stint and 1 Curlew Sand, 3 Sanderling, 6 Barwits, 2 golden Plover- 1 adult northern race- 5 Wheatear and Good numbers of Meadow Pipits & Swallows.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Grey Phalarope at St Brides Major

Reported on Birdguides - does anyone know any more about this?
[This sighting refers to St. Brides, Wentloog in Gwent VC35]

Grey Phalarope - Neath Port Talbot

Another Grey Phalarope was found today by myself and Colin Gittins, being the 13th so far this month. 2001 being our best previous year with possibly 16 individuals recorded on mapmate. The bird looked quite healthy and seems to be eating Stone Fly nymphs. The area where it was found is quite sensitive and private so details will be sent to the county recorder and not published here (ps It's not Eglwys)

Kenfigs Grey Phal,this a.m.

Little Stint - Ogmore - 09092011

Grey Phalaropes in the Burry

There were 3 Grey Phalaropes on this morning's tide:
1 near Salthouse Pill (SS516953)
1 mid-channel off Salthouse (SS518963)
1 edge of Penclawdd saltmarsh (SS541967)

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Grey Phalarope on Kenfig Pool

Juvenile on south pool beach this evening. Two black terns, two Arctic terns (adult and juvenile) and a second GP were seen on the pool this afternoon. Dean's GP flew up from near post 8 on the yellow trail on my way back to the reserve centre this morning.

Today's storm-driven sightings

Leach's Petrel
   1 off Mumbles Head (B. Stewart)
Grey Phalarope
   2 at Kenfig Pool (N. Donaghy, G. Roblin & G. Roberts)
   1 at Sker Pool (D. Bolt)
   1 at Southerndown c.p. (P. Dunn)
   1 probable in Cardiff Bay (J. Wilson)
   2-3 on Eglwys Nunydd Resr, (G. Morgan)
Sabine's Gull
   1 off Porthcawl (N. Donaghy)

Monday, 12 September 2011

Grey Phalarope in the Burry

Chris Brewer saw a Grey Phalarope off Wernffrwd on the evening tide, possibly the same as the one off Llanelli Beach yesterday?

Sabine's Gull off Mumbles

Paul & David Larkin had a juvenile Sabine's Gull in Bracelet Bay today. Other birds seen 1430-1700hrs included ~20 Sandwich, ~450 Common, ~50 Arctic & 2 Little Terns and 5 Arctic Skuas.  

Porthcawl (0730 - 1700hrs)

Another juv Sabine's Gull was seen today @ 1320hrs, this time in close. Initially was seen flying west until it reached in front of shelter. Then gave up and landed on the sea and drifted back east towards the lighthouse and then into the bay. It was on view for 20mins and at its closest was no more than 120mts distant.

Other birds of note included 2 pp Arctic Skua, 1 Great Skua, 1 Storm Petrel, 1 Red Throated Diver, 1 Pintail, 51 Arctic Tern, 3 Common Tern, 2 Sandwich Tern, 2 Whimbrel, 3 Dunlin, 2 Manx & 1 Med Gull.

Later in Trecco Bay Car Park  - 2 Med Gull & 1 Sandwich Tern.

Turtle Dove, E Cardiff

A Turtle Dove was reported yesterday, 11th at Wentloog Ave, Lamby. Posted as Wentloog Ave/CCW "by gate to path". Wentloog Ave is photos here

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Arctic Skua:Ogmore Estuary

Myself and Peter Morgan were just returning to my car at Portobello Island having walked the river (no sign of Little Stint) when the 200-300 roosting gulls all took flight in a mad panic,in amongst them causing havoc was an Arctic Skua !
Peter got some shots by I failed to get on to the bird with my camera before the skua and the gulls all headed down river.
We dashed down to the rivermouth car park in the car and found the skua still terrorising the gulls,we both managed some record shots before the bird was lost heading east up channel.
Looks like a dark phase juvenile to me but I stand to be corrected.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

River Ogmore:Little Stint

Little Stint still this evening 200m downstream from Portobello House associating with a Dunlin and Ringed Plover,light lousy and drizzly.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Another good un at Porthcawl

1330 - 1800hrs
1 Sooty Shearwater @ 1515hrs, 1 juv Grey Phalarope @ 1648hrs, also seen 1dp Arctic Skua, 7 Sandwich Tern, 24 Arctic Tern,  3 "commics"

Martyn Hnatiuk, Adrian Murch, Graham Powell, Dave Smith.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Porthcawl (0700-1630) SW(6)/CLOUDY/14c

A juv Sabine's Gull passed west at 1017hrs today, also seen were 4dp Arctic Skua, 1 Great Skua, 16 Arctic Tern & 1 Common Tern amongst the commoner birds.

 Martyn Hnatiuk, Paul Roberts & Adrian Murch.

Balearic Shearwater off Port Eynon Point

One of only four shearwaters seen during a 1 hour seawatch. Also of interest 1 Arctic Skua, 1 Stormie and a few terns moving west after last nights gale.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Hoopoe at Langland

A Hoopoe put in a brief appearance on John Powell-Jones' back lawn in Langland on 3rd September. The surrounding area has been searched, but without success.