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.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Snow Bunting at Werfa

 The Snow Bunting found by Dave Cornish, on Sunday, was still present this morning and showing well. It was a little further along the track to the NW, today, at SS91129439

Whooper Swan and Long-tailed Duck

The 1st winter/female long-tailed duck was present this morning on Kenfig Pool. The swan was there until about 10am when the resident mute swans chashed it and it flew off south-east. There was no sign of the pink-footed goose.

Monday, 29 October 2012

Long-billed Dowitcher Glamorganside

Whooper Swan (c) R.H.A. Taylor
 Broad Pool 28th October 2012
(c) R.H.A. Taylor
Penclacwydd (VC44) 28th October 2012
The Long-billed Dowitcher was with a mixed godwit and Knot flock on the rising tide around 3pm today. When the tide eventually pushed the birds off the mudflats they flew across the river to the Carmartheshire side and the bird appeared in front of the hide at Penclacwydd around 4.20pm. I suspect the best time for seeing it in Glamorgan is on the falling or rising tide. There are good numbers of feeding Bar-wits, Black-wits and Knot visible from Dalton's Point during these periods and I connected on my third check here since yesterday morning - good luck!

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Glamorgan News

A nice selection of news, today, from around the county.

Kenfig Pool - 1 Whooper Swan, 1 Pink-footed Goose, 1 female Long-tailed Duck and also 1 Great Northern Diver. The diver only stayed briefly, but the others were still present till midday, at least. (DGC) & later (GP)

Werfa - 1 female Snow Bunting this afternoon at SS914942 (DCo)

Mynydd Bach - 2 male Ring Ouzel (CR)

Mumbles Hill - 2 Ring Ouzel this morning. 1st W male + 1st W female (MHi, RJ)

Bracelet Bay - 14 Common Scoter(w) and 1 Red-throated Diver(e)

Swansea Bay - 11 Wigeon, 6 Teal and 31 Great Crested Grebe

Late news from yesterday

Lavernock Point - 1 Firecrest (AB)

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Mumbles Hill

Rob Jones found a male Ring Ouzel and a couple of Firecrests at Mumbles Hill early morning. I later joined him and a further search of the area found the male Ring Ouzel still present and showing infrequently till 15:00. Also at least 3 Firecrests were seen in quick succession, but none after 11:00. Otherwise 3 Blackcaps were around the scrub. Overhead migration was fairly constant with good numbers: 300+ Goldfinch, 3 Redpoll, 4 Siskin, 400+ Chaffinch and 1 Swallow seem worth of note.

Bittern - Cosmeston

A Bittern was seen at 10:30 this morning by Ceri Jones from Barry. It flew out of the E lake reeds by the boardwalk and settled back in again.

Friday, 26 October 2012

Ring Ouzels

Two of the four Ring Ouzels reported from Dan-y-darren Quarry by Mike Hogan 25/10/12. The two pictured show a lot of white feathering on the head.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Scaup at Cardiff Bay

A couple of record shots of two of the imm drake Scaup at Prospect Place on 23rd. The third drake had just one small grey feather showing on the side I could see.

Long-tailed Duck still in Rhossili Bay

1f Long-tailed Duck still with Common Scoter in Rhossili Bay. Similarly to Sunday, she seems to prefer being with the Scoter that are closest to the car park, but can also be found alone in the same general area. There were well in excess of 3000 Common Scoter between The Worm and Burry Holms. A search for a scarcer Scoter among the Scoter flocks was unsuccessful, but hopefully the Scoter numbers will remain high around Rhossili Bay this winter and surely with it a chance of a Surf or two. Elsewhere, the eclipse Eider was still around the causeway and 2 Merlins past, offshore while heading east, which brought an angry reaction from one of the local Peregrines.
Overhead passage was nowhere near as busy as on Sunday and the most notable migrants being a female Blackcap and 30+ Redwings.

Lavernock Point & LNR

The highlight was a Firecrest (top stubble field hedgerow) in with mixed flock.
Viz-mig was good with Goldfinch & Chaffinch being the most numerous. Also Lesser Redpoll, Brambling, Sky Lark & Linnet. Good numbers of Wood Pigeon & Goldcrests there too. House Martin was the only hirundine. Peregrine over cliffs. 26 Lapwing >NE was unusual for site. [JDW, PB & DRWG]
Late news: Wryneck at Aberthaw 12th Oct [R. Brockway] & Sedge Warbler there 21st Oct [per SPH]

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Black Reds at Nash Pt. ++

Two Black Redstarts around the lighthouse complex this am [DCB]. Still there at 13.00hrs.
Two more Hawfinches over at Lavernock [PB]
Still 6 Greater Scaup at Cardiff Bay.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Lavernock Pt.

Two Hawfinches over NE and 11 Brambling. Good numbers of winter thrushes noted. Several Scaup seen at CBWR. There has been a good fall of migrants along the east coast of England, and the weather looks good for a couple days, viz-mig could be rewarding at coastal locations.

Monday, 22 October 2012

VC41 News

Adult Yellow-legged Gull at Lisvane Res. this pm

Snow Bunting still at Pink Bay, showing really well [per PB]

A Great White Egret at Llanrhidian on Gower & another OOC at WWT (VC44).

Late News [21/10/12]: Snow Bunting & Water Pipit at Berges Is./Whiteford Point also 2 Slav Grebes off shore [MHu].

Sunday, 21 October 2012


Snow Bunting still, near the Pink Bay Lifeguard Station at 08:15 (GR)

Yellow-browed Warbler at Mewslade Valley between 10:50 to 11:10 (RJ)
(This bird was not relocated this afternoon despite searching the area 12:50 to 16:00 (MHi, RJ))

Balearic Shearwater feeding in Port Eynon Bay, late morning (BS)

Great White Egret at Llanrhidian Marsh, below Leason, 11:15 (WT)

    A Jack Snipe at Forest Farm 21/10/12, a species with few photos in VC41. (c) Cliff Woodhead

Sabine's Gull at Rhossili

A juvenile Sabine's Gull was feeding with Black-headed Gulls south of the lookout station at Rhossili, around 10:00. Presumably the same bird as yesterday? Nearby a female Long-tailed Duck was with c250 Common Scoter in Rhossili Bay, till 12:30 at least. Also an eclipse Eider over the causeway and a Red-throated Diver in Rhossili Bay. Common Scoter numbers between Worms Head and Burry Holms 750+

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Sabine's Gull off Common Cliff

A juvenile Sabine's Gull was feeding with an aggregation of Mediterranean Gulls, Black-headed Gulls and Kittiwakes, over the sea offshore from Common Cliff, this afternoon. It was first located at 14:30 and was watched on and off till 16:00. Despite numerous attempts to close the distance, to enable some kind of record shot it kept moving eastwards. Good numbers of Med Gulls here also seems worthy of note, with in excess of 30 birds. A Whinchat nearby was the most noteworthy passerine from the day.

Poor distant video of the bird can be found on the link below

juv Sabine's Gull video

Snow bunting


A Snow Bunting along the coastal path by Royal Porthcawl GC between Rest Bay & Sker Point [DGC]
A Hawfinch at Radyr floodplain [GJJ]
A late juv. Pied Flycatcher at Mewslade, Gower [CB]
Ring Ouzel, Brambling & Whinchat at Witches Point, Southerndown [CG & PP]

Friday, 19 October 2012

pink-footed goose at Ogmore estuary

Lesser Scaup

The returning drake Lesser Scaup was at Cosmeston Lakes today [per MCP]

Great White Egret at Llanrhidian

1 from Llanrhidian mid-morning (WT)

Baglan Bay Seawatching

Baglan Bay- recent seawatching summary 7/10/12 to 19/10/12

19/10/12 - 4 Common Scoter, 1(juv) Gannet, 14 Great Crested Grebe
15/10/12 - 3 Common Scoter, 1 Red-throated Diver, 22 Great Crested Grebe
11/10/12 - 2 Wigeon, 8 Common Scoter, 2 Eider, 13 Great Crested Grebe
10/10/12 - 1f/imm Red-breasted Merganser, 5 Great Crested Grebe
07/10/12 - 2 P-b Brents, 1 Red-throated Diver, 5 Great Crested Grebe

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Water Pipits

At least two Water Pipits were seen on the very high tide this am at Sluice Farm (Gwent) [PB & RP] and another was seen feeding with meadow pipits & pied wagtails on flotsam along the base of the seawall 400yds past the county boundary (RGW, Cardiff).

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Pink-footed Goose

A Pink-footed Goose was in with a large flock Canada Geese at the Ogmore Estuary [NPR]

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Wood Lark over Lavernock Point, 15/10/12

Wood Lark flew over church at Lavernock Point, yesterday morning. Also Ring Ouzel nearby. (ABv)

Yellow-browed Warbler at St. Mellons, Cardiff 15/10/12 [AP]

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Wryneck at Crymlyn Burrows

A record shot of the Wryneck at Crymlyn Burrows, today. It was quite flighty, but showing regularly while working an area of dunes near a concentration of Broom (SS709928), at 10:20. It showed well in this area for about 20mins and then again later on, in the same general area at 13:30.

Sabine's gull, Heritage coast.

Paul Tabor and I were surprised to see a juv Sabine's gull at 10AM this morning, in light winds and clear skies for a change. The bird came in off the sea at Cwm mawr and flew up the valley, heading east towards Wick.
Cwm mawr is just south of Dunraven at SS895 772.

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Yellow-browed Warbler at Crymlyn Burrows

First seen, briefly, with Tit flock at 13:00, from the track at very west end of wood (SS703929) (RJ)

Later seen, briefly, with Tit flock at 15:00, from the sandy track in Sycamores (SS706930)  (GR)

Great White Egret at Leason

Still around favouring the small pools out on the marsh - viewed from the hill at Leason this afternoon. My first Hen Harrier of the autumn too, a very smart male hunting the marsh, then perched up in fabulous light.

Wood Lark flyover at Lavernock Point

1 Wood Lark flew over heading SW at 12:11 (JR)

Yellow-browed Warblers at Norton Wood, Ogmore

2 present this morning at 09:03 (DCB)

1 showing with Tit flock, but very mobile at 10:25 (JS)

Late News

Late News: Quail at Rhossili 12/10/12 - Chris Brewer

Bearded Tit at Kenfig Saltmarsh 12/10/12 - KNNR

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Yellow-browed Warbler at Cosmeston

yellow browed warbler, between the two observation points at 11.30am

 From Jeff Curtis (Glamorgan Birds)

Monday, 8 October 2012

Wood Larks in Gower

1 Wood Lark at Mewslade, 01 Oct 12 (Philip Croft)
1 Wood Lark at Oxwich, 07 Oct 12 (P. Douglas-Jones & H.E. Grenfell)

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Leucistic sp.

Not a rarity I know so plse 'scuse, but observer would appreciate an opinion To me looks like part leucistic Chaffinch with v pale bare parts - any other ideas? White rump presumably just due to the leucism.

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Yellow browed warblers, West Gower, Today.

                                         One at Mewslade,
                                          and one at Foxhole slade, both found by Colin Gittins.

Yellow-browed Warblers in Glamorgan

Mewslade Valley - 1 top end opposite the Tennis Courts (SS42628758)
(PP,CG) @ 11:00

Foxhole Slade - 1 in light scrub in the last field before the coastal path (when approaching from Pitton Green) above Foxhole Slade (SS43938618)
(PP, CG) @ 13:00

RGW - 1 last seen heading towards border with tit flock
(CE) @ 10:45

Friday, 5 October 2012

Hawfinch flyover at RGW

From David Gilmore @ 10:50
Hawfinch heading west over spartina at RGW

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Yellow-browed Warbler at Cwm Nash

From Paul Parsons @ 08:54
Yellow-browed warbler in trees around the concrete stile at top end of Cwm Nash valley.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Balearic reports

Two reports of Balearic Shearwater yesterday from the area, via birdguides

1) One past Tutt Head, Mumbles at 15:00, landing on the sea.

2) One down channel, past Porthcawl, at 16:00 (GP).