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.

Friday, 30 November 2012

Waxwing Round-up (30/11/12)

(c) M Kirby
A selection of Waxwing reports form the area, today.

Photo showing 23 at Killay, Swansea (MK)

3 near old Vitafoam factory, Maesteg (PPa)

3 at Forge Road, Maesteg (IL)

3 at Llwyn-onn, south end of upper village (MTH)

28 at Asda car park, south Merthyr (MTH)

100+ at Quarrydale Rd area, Rumney, Cardiff (CDe)

100+ at Bangor Street, Roath, Cardiff (DRWG)

Hopefully those who have not yet connected with any Waxwings, including myself, will be able to relax a bit after this weekend.

GRC Important News

Ruddy Duck & Tree Sparrow

As from 1/01/2013 both these species will require a written description or photographic evidence for acceptance in Glamorgan VC41. 
Ruddy Duck is now believed to be present in the UK in numbers of between 60-90 individuals and there have not been any reports from VC41 since Feb. 2011. 
Tree Sparrow is now considered extinct as a breeding species in East Glamorgan and is now only recorded as a very scarce and irregular passage migrant. However there is a proviso concerning Tree Sparrow in West Glamorgan. Records from SW Gower, where the only known colony still in existence in Glamorgan is found, the GRC will waiver all records from this area for the time being. Records from north & east Gower, Swansea & the whole of NPT will however require descriptions.

Rumney waxwings

At least 100 waxwings at Quarrydale/Brachdy Road at 08.40 this morning. (Image shows 94 birds).

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Waxwing sightings

Waxwing numbers and distribution seems to have burst into action today so a little summary seems to be appropriate.


50+ at Quarrydale Road, Brachdy Road, Ty Mawr Road...  Rumney area (many obs)

c50 at Fishguard Rd, Llanishen (many obs)

1 at Rhydhelig Ave, Heath (AK)


8 flying over J35 M4, Pencoed (PT)

16 flew north near Treorchy (NPR)

Late news from yesterday

1 at Penmaen, Gower (per DKT)

Baglan Bay seawatching

Flat calm conditions allowed a decent opportunity to get a good count from the bay at low tide, today. 42 Common Scoter were feeding close to the shipping channel on the Crymlyn Burrows side. Small flocks of Common Scoter appear to be using the bay more frequently and today's birds, as mentioned earlier, were actively feeding which I've noticed infrequently at this site by this species. The Great Cresred Grebe numbered 263 in total (51 Aberavon Beach + 212 Crymlyn Burrows). A cold winter ahead may well force the numbers of Grebes in the bay over 400 which occurred in January 2011 and was a special sight.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Maesteg cemetery.

                                  4 Waxwing today, feeding in a Yew tree just behind the small
                                  chapel, 100 yards inside the main gate. Found by Colin Gittins.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Great White Egrets

2 Great White Egrets from Llanrhidian this evening. Also 2 male Hen Harriers. (CG)

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Waxwings - Baglan Energy Park

(c) J Evans
 Julian has kindly provided a couple of stunning images of the Waxwings that he discovered yesterday morning at The Quays. His good fortune continued this morning when he found 3 at 09:30 which flew from near the Baglan Res towards Baglan. 5 where noted at this same location (SS740927) later on at 12:30 (GL), but a regular feeding location appears more difficult to locate. The sightings today are accessed from the roudabout at Seaway Parade, and the second roundabout in is being defended by a Mistle Thrush with other suitable berry banks nearby; this area may well produce the goodies in weeks to come.
(c) J Evans

Pink-footed Goose

Juv/1st-w, unringed and of unknown origin, Cardiff Bay late morning until at least 1.30 p.m. with Canada Geese, viewable from the boardwalk. Found and photographed by Alex Bevan.

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Waxwing update

1) 20+ seen at The Quays, Briton Ferry by (JE) this morning at 10:00. Third hand information suggest that these birds were present for about 30mins. A little later (LR) saw 3 in the same area. Since then there has been a regular presence of birders at this location, and none have observed the birds to return.
I'm reliably informed that this area has turned up Waxwings in the past and there are still rose hips available to encourage them to return. The lay-by from where the birds have been seen is 300m along the road from the SW exit of the Briton Ferry roundabout (A48) (SS 7368 9348)

NB - It seems likely that the report of 20+ at The Quays, Barry, this morning, is a mistake and probably relates to this sighting?

2) 2 Waxwing were reported by main road, Tesco car park, Swansea this afternoon. (Unknown Obs)

3) 12 Waxwing on Princes Street, Roath 10.30 a.m. Present for 30 mins before flying off. Later seen near Albany Road. Not seen since. (per GBC (D?))

Friday News

1 Great White Egret flew west over Lamby Lake at 14:00 (SPH, NA)

1 Ad Kumlien's Gull was briefly at Cosmeston East Pool at 14:30 (DR)

Thursday, 22 November 2012


(c) P Tabor
Today - 8 around Ty Mawr Rd either side of midday. Showing periodically but briefly (PT). Also reports of lesser numbers from the nearby New Road today.

Yesterday - 10 Waxwing low through Tesco carpark, Maesteg, at 16:00 (CR). No sign today (PT), but this does follow 7/8 seen flying along Llynfi river, Maesteg, at 09:35 on 19/11/12 (IL)

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Great White Egrets

2 off Llanrhidian this morning at 11:35 (WT)

Waxwings - Quarrydale, Rumney

5 waxwings at Quarrydale, Rumney from 10am.
7 were here on and off throughout Tuesday but were joined by another 9 at 14.45 so two small groups in the area.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Rumney, Cardiff

At least 7 waxwings still at Quarrydale Road Rumney this am.
Also a report of 4 around the Fidlas rd area in Llanishen last weekend.

Velvet video

Some video footage of the Velvet Scoter present at Broughton Bay on 15/11/12 can be found on the link below.

Velvet Scoter video - click here

Monday, 19 November 2012

Waxwings - Quarrydale, Rumney

7 Waxwings in the two berry trees in Ty Mawr Road, Rumney this morning from 08.15.
The birds did not roost in these trees overnight probably due to the two mistle thrushes heavily defending them.
Note. This is actually Quarrydale which is the continuation of Ty Mawr Road.

Update... 16 waxwings @ 12.45

Rumney - Waxwings

Waxwings still this morning but mobile due to the Mistle Thrushes. From 4, early on, now at least 7 in the berry trees along Quarry Dale. The birds have also been seen nearby in roadside trees, near the bus stop, along New Road. (PKG)

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Waxwings - Ty Mawr Road

(c) D Pritchard

(c) D Pritchard

(c) D Pritchard

Waxwings - Rumney

12 Waxwings this afternoon were coming to feed for brief periods in the two large heavily berry-laden trees in Quarry Dale, Rumney about 100m up from it's junction with New Road, where the shops are. Quarry Dale is an extension of Ty Mawr Road where the birds were reported on the GBC site yesterday. A couple of Mistle Thrushes are trying to maintain control of these trees. The Waxwings are quite flighty and don't stay for very long, but they keep coming back.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Waxwings in Cardiff

6 Waxwings were reported in a tree in Ty Mawr Road, Rumney, by an observer on the GBC site who was doing a BTO winter thrush survey. Don't think anyone else has yet checked that out. I might try 2moro.



Neath River - 1 Spotted Redshank flew up river with Redshank towards Brunel Dock(CGi)
(later the Spotted Redshank was seen feeding with Redshank in Brunel Dock. However, it departed and flew further up river after a short time and could not be relocated (11:15 MHi, CHi). Hopefully this bird will stick in the area for a while and Brunel Dock will be a good place to look for it just before and just after high tide). (SS735935)

Baglan Bay - 22 Common Scoter, 3 Red-throated Diver and 80+ Great Crested Grebe (CGi)


Margam Railway Sidings - 1 Firecrest and 1 Brambling over (CGi)

Portobello, Ogmore - 1 Water Pipit (NPR)

Thursday, 15 November 2012

South-west Gower


The 4 Velvet Scoter, found by Chris Brewer on Saturday, have now increased to 5. I've tentatively classed all as f/imm since all appear to show a pale area behind the bill. One, or possibly two, in the group show male features to me.

The group were often split up 4+1 in the bay and showed no real intention of sicking with the 100+ Common Scoter, which was just as well since the majority of them flew off and out of sight, early on. The Velvet Scoters were a little mobile, but only making short flights, and remained on view from 07:30 till 09:00. Occasionally other duck would fly in to join them; these included small groups of Common Scoter which was nice for comparison (see below), also a Red-breasted Merganser and later a Wigeon (both drakes) settled with the Velvet Scoter briefly.
5 Velvet Scoter are the back most birds almost in a line
The best place to look for them appears to be from Minor Point, shown on the OS Map (SS 409 931). During the walk to get there at first light a Short-eared Owl was hunting the dunes and a very nice flock of 25+ Purple Sandpiper flew past heading west.

Rhossili Bay

Further to the reports on RBA and Birdguides, yesterday, the 2 female type Long-tailed Duck were still with the "closest" group of Common Scoter. Their number again, easily, 3000+. 3 Tufted Duck flew around the Bay for a while and 3 Red-throated Diver were also present.

It was also very nice to meet up with, albeit briefly, the EGBC field trip group - John W, Alan R et al. Alan R had picked up another Velvet Scoter in with the closest Common Scoter flock and hopefully there's more nice stuff to come from their very well attended gathering.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

50th EGBR - non bird news so plse excuse

I have just taken delivery of the 50th Edn [2011] of the Bird Report for E Glam. Launch event is on Tues 20th at KNNR, 19:30. Copies will be handed out to GBC members who attend, and there will be a couple of short PPT presentations and refreshments and a open discussion afterwards.

Aberavon / Baglan Bay

2 f/imm Black Redstart were inside the BP Baglan fence. Around the buildings and rubble piles in the NW corner (SS726916)

On the sea 4f Common Scoter,1 Red-throated Diver, 83 Great Crested Grebe and an impressive site count of 41 Guillemot off Aberavon Beach. Also of note nearby 150+ Common Gulls on the playing fields.

Elsewhere, Rhossili Bay produced bird news alerts, this morning, concerning 2 Long-tailed Duck in with the Scoter flock

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Monday, 12 November 2012

Hoopoe sighting

I have received a call from SPH (13:30) stating that he had seen a Hoopoe in Llancadle. A search is presently still underway to relocate the bird. More news when we have it.
Update: Unfortunately not seen again since original sighting.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Sunday News

Llanrhidian - 1+ Great White Egret in the Burry (possibly 3). Also Red Kite, 2 (m+ringtail) Hen Harrier, Merlin, Green Sandpiper & 2 Barn Owl (SM. PM)

Rhaslas Pond - 1 (sub-ad m) Hen Harrier and 6 Short-eared Owls (MB)

Mynydd Bach - 2(f) Ring Ouzel at Torcerrig Farm (CR)

Kenfig Pool - 1(f) Long-tailed Duck still (DJ)

Broughton Bay - 4 (m+3fem/imm) Velvet Scoter still (MHu)

Salthouse Point - 1 Great White Egret (MHu)

Cardiff Bay - 5 Scaup still, off Prospect Place (DA)

Saturday, 10 November 2012


4 Velvet Scoter (1m+3imm/fem) at Blue Pool Bay, NW of Burry Holms. Also 1 Pale-bellied Brent Goose with D-b Brent's at Broughton Bay. (CB)

1 Water Pipit at Portobello, Ogmore Estuary. (NPR)

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Black Redstarts +

1m Llwynypia Hospital 7 to 8/11/12 (KH)

1m ad Cardiff Bay Barrage 7 to 8/11/12 (GP)
1m 1st Yr Cardiff Bay Barrage 6 to 7/11/12 (GP), (JDW)

1m ad Sker 5 to 7/11/12 (per DGC), (MHn, PPa), (GR)

1 Pennard Cemetry 4/11/12 (BW-D, WW-D)

Snow Buntings

No sign 5/11/12
2 Pink Bay to Sker 4/11/12 (A?)
3 Pink Bay to Sker 3/11/12 (GR, CR)

Baglan Bay 8/11/12

The BP grounds scanned for Black Redstarts but none so far. On the sea a small group of Common Scoter (16) and 232 Great Crested Grebes ((35 Abreavon + 197 Crymlyn)
Nearby a Jack Snipe was with 22 Snipe at Panasonic site, Baglan Moors.
Following one at Merthyr Mawr 3/11/12 (DCB)

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Lavernock Point

Hawfinch (1) >S

Also Redpoll (5) <N, Swallow (1) & Common Crossbill (4) moving west + good numbers of thrushes and finches, although not in the numbers reported there in previous days. (DRWG)

Long-tailed Duck video

I've put together a video showing the LTD present at Rhossili bay 21/10/12 to 25/10/12(at least) and Kenfig Pool 28/10/12 to 5/11/12(at least) on the link below.

LTD video - click here

Monday, 5 November 2012


Sker - 1m Black Redstart and 2juv Wheartear, but no sign of yesterday's Snow Buntings (MHn, PPa)

Kenfig Pool - Long-tailed Duck sill present (DL)

Baglan Bay - Great Crested Grebes on view from the dunes now totalling 199 birds. Of these 120 were off Aberavon Beach and 79 off Crymlyn Burrows. Also a female Common Scoter with the Grebes and 1 Red-throated Diver also in the bay.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Great Grey Shrike near Carn Brynllydan

A Great Grey Shrike was watched in a remote part of NPT by Nick Edwards, this afternoon. It was using the Bwlch Ffos Opencast area and watched flying around the machinery (not operational today) located there. Nick describes the area as being the top of Glyn Castle road, which is useful as a means of choosing a starting point to access the site. However, quarrying activities will be fully operational during the week and caution is advised if trying to look for this bird; it may not even be possible to enter this area during operational hours? Another point of access could be from the Glyncorrwg side. The grid ref for today's bird is SN 8697 0182

Barn Owl - Ferry Rd - Cardiff

poss unusual for Cardiff UA in the city surrounds itself - a Barn Owl was report as hunting around near the Aldi supermarket by the Ferry Road complex on 3rd Nov at 18:30.