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.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Short eared Owl:RGW,Cardiff

One of about 15 SEOs at first light this morning.

Great Grey Shrike on Mynydd Margam

per Mark Hipkin: 'From Gwyn Randall G.g. Shrike Mynydd Margam near Bodvic Stone SS829886'
Now the 5th site in NPT where this species has been recorded in 2011.

Sunday News

Black brant at wernffrwd with 173 db brents seen by Rob Taylor

Great Grey Shrike, mynydd margam near bodvic stone ss 829886. Seen by Gwyn Randall et al

Seawatching from Aberavon Beach
1stw Little Gull around the river mouth before flying off east. Also 6(f) Common Scoter still but only 84 Great Crested Grebe

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Snow Bunting at Rhossili Down.

From GBC sightings: Snow Bunting seen by Mark Barber on the east side of the down today.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Bittern at Hensol Lake

A Bittern was reported from Hensol Lake 20/11/2011 by Nigel Moss. According to the archives, this is the first record for this site.

Slavonian Grebe at Lisvane Res

The Slavonian Grebe is still present this morning from the carpark. [First there since Jan. 1999]
NOTE: Birdwatchers can still view the reservoir from either the carpark at Lisvane or from the observation platform on the eastern side. Access to the rest of the reservoir & Llanishen Res. is unfortunately not permitted.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Lapland Bunting at RGW

Mike Powell had a Lapland Bunting flying along the seawall near the blockhouse, turned and dropped into the Spartina in front of Jake's Hide.


Late Northern Wheatears

According to the database this Northern Wheatear found at Brunel Dock , Briton Ferry at first light today was the latest one recorded in Glamorgan since 1989 when 1 was at Kenfig NNR on the 23rd November. The latest one on record comes from 1970, when on 12th December P.W.Richards found 1 around Sker Point area. There may well be other late records not yet processed but this year has seen a scattering of late Northern Wheatears around the county during the last week so further late records may well follow and of course there is always the hope of something better than Northern!

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Black Brant at Whiteford

Black Brant with Dark-bellied Brent Geese

The Black Brant found last weekend by P Hill, M Hogan, R Gaze & M Bell was still present this morning. Initially showing well along Whiteford Sands and on the rocks near the lighthouse at Whiteford Point with Dark-bellied Brent Geese. Later the bird relocated to Great Pill and was showing well in front of the hide at Berges Island.

Follow the link below for video footage of the bird.

Black Brant video

Friday, 18 November 2011

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Ogmore estuary today.

                         2  Red Breasted Merganser.  Probably the same birds Paul Roberts saw passing Southerndown yesterday.

Monday, 14 November 2011

Snow Bunting near Prissen's Tor (SS426937)

Belated news of a Snow Bunting photographed by Veronica Shenston on the 11th Nov.
(c) V. Shenston

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Black Brant at Whiteford

Black Brant seen by P. Hill, M. Hogan, R. Gaze & M. Bell today, plus presumably the same Red-necked Grebe still present. Also I notice that Bernie Beck (from Burry Port) saw 2 Long-tailed Ducks flying into the Burry Inlet yesterday, so well worth looking out for these if anyone goes out there for the Brant.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Whooper Swan at Kenfig pool this afternoon.

Isabelline Wheatear

Still present late this morning. It's been a long week waiting for a day off work but worth it in the end! Thanks Rob for the find and all for posting updates!

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Rose-coloured Starling at Mumbles

 I'm certain there will be better photos to come but I managed to catch up with the juvenile Rose-coloured Starling at Mumbles today. The photos show some of the diagnostic features including the short and blunt bill which has a orange-yellow base. Dark wings and tail with a slightly paler rump.
The bird did not show when I was present this morning between 09:10 and 10:10 but showed well later on between 12:20 and 12:45. It was more than holding its own on the feeder chasing off Common Starlings. When it wasn't on the feeders it was in the big Holly bush, sometimes in view but more often deeper in.
Many thanks go to Margaret and Tom Green for allowing details of this bird to be released and congratulations on having a rare bird come to the garden which you've identified yourselves. Thanks also to John Wilson and Barry Stewart for arranging access. The directions are first class!

Isabelline Wheatear

Still present this morning around the mound 07:30 to 07:40

Isabelline Wheatear:Wernffrwd,Gower

Found this one as I was "chimping and dumping",not the greatest shot but shows the tail band quite well.

Monday, 7 November 2011

Rose-coloured Starling in Mumbles

Details of a Rose-coloured Starling discovered by Margaret and Tom Green at their garden feeder can be found on the Glamorgan Birds sightings page. Basically the bird feeder can be viewed from the church yard of All Saints Church and Norton Church off Mumbles Road. Below are a couple of record shots taken by Margaret & Tom:

Late news

Non Wheatear sightings from around Gower on the weekend include

From Overton 5th November
1 Black-throated Diver flew west past the 2nd Overton valley towards Rhossili. Quite close in and later found on the sea near Common Cliff.
Also passing a Great Northern Diver further out and also heading west.

From Whiteford 6th November
1 Red-necked Grebe feeding in Great Pill and associating loosely with Great Crested Grebes.
Also in the bay 1 Long-tailed Duck and on the way out to the hide a Firecrest moving swiftly through the bushes towards Cwm Ivy.

Isabelline Wheatear - male Werffrwdd 6/11/2011

Whooper Swan at Llwyn-on Res

Whooper Swan found by rangers S. Davis & T. Griffiths. Photo by Mike Hogan

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Isabelline Wheatear cont...

(c) R.H.A. Taylor
(c) R.H.A. Taylor
(c) R.H.A. Taylor
More photos at

Myself and Colin Gittins went down Kenfig River Reedbed this afternoon to see if  the starling roost had started to gather pace yet, we were not dissapointed. Birds started to arrive at 1600 hrs, i decided to give it a go in counting them roughly before the small flocks joined the mass and adding it up at the end. Thousands of birds were coming in from all directions, at 24000 the birds went to roost at 1632hrs in the reedbed, but birds were still streaming in after that and going straight to roost. When i added up the final figure was 41,700. A total not seen since the 70's. The two photos in near darkness are of birds arriving after the main flock had roosted, and the photo in the light is of the birds just starting to gather.

To our great surprise an imm/female Marsh Harrier flew in from the direction of Maudlum and went straight to roost in the reedbed not far from the Starlings at 1645hrs. Also recorded 8 calling Water Rail, 9 calling Cetti's Warbler from different areas, 1 Snipe & 42 Teal. Photos were taken by Colin Gittins.

Isabelline Wheatear at Wernffrwd

Rob Taylor found this Isabelline Wheatear late on this afternoon and I managed to get there and to take a few record shots. Rather befittingly, Rob has some very nice shots of the bird which show the diagnostic features better than my efforts do. Treat this as a bit of an appetiser of some better shots to come!

Friday, 4 November 2011

Wryneck at Earlswood Golf Course

On a particularly slow day for migrants this Wryneck livened things up dramatically. It was first seen this morning around 11:00 and didn't show too well. However, on return to the area with Charles Hipkin at around 13:30 it gave much better views and showed off and on till 14:00 when we left it. It seems pretty loyal to the damp track between the golf course and the Neath River. This area is best accessed by parking on the turn off to the Ferry Boat Inn (SS72949392) and following the track around the back of the golf course, through the wood and 80m beyond the wood to the open area with a wet track (SS73119367). The bird was showing all along the track on both sides.

Snow Bunting at Pink Bay

Couple of nice images sent in by Stephen Hawkes of the SB on the Pink Bay coastal path between Porthcawl & Sker Point on 1st November.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011


2 of the 3 Snow Buntings at Sker seen 2/11/11
(Kindly sent in by David Smith)
Lapland Bunting at Lavernock Point mid morning
Late News: Wood Lark over Myn. Brombil 20/10/11

Sker - Snow Bunting

Snow Bunting reported on Glam Birds yesterday on path from Sker to Porthcawl. Will try & chase up. The obs apparently took a photo.