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.

Monday, 31 December 2012

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to everyone. The very best of luck next year and, hopefully, there'll be some memorable rares for us to celebrate....

5 Waxwing at The Quays, Baglan (LR)
4 Short-eared Owl near Rhaslas Pool (MW)

10 Waxwings at Melrose Avenue, Penylan, Cardiff (JS)

Saturday, 29 December 2012

Recent News

1 Short-eared Owl again at Baglan Dunes, Aberavon (NE)
No sign of the Snow Bunting at Aberavon Beach (AL)

2 Waxwing at Roath Court Road, Cardiff (CH)
1 Short-eared Owl near Rhaslas Pond (BK)
22 Little Egret at Hendre Lake roost (DRWG)

Friday, 28 December 2012

Christmas Bird News updated #1

28th Dec
Waxwing [2] at Penylan - Roath Court Rd.
Little Egret [22] at Hendre Lake, St. Mellons - roost site

27th Dec
Bittern at Kenfig (LR)
Bittern at Swansea Vale LNR (MHu)
Snow Bunting still at Aberavon Beach (JS)
Short-eared Owl at Baglan Dunes, Aberavon (DMC)

Boxing Day
Black-throated Diver at Eglwys (ND) (see below)
Lesser Spotted Woodpecker at Coed Cefn-Fforest (MB)
25+ Waxwing at Roath Clinic, Cardiff (BK)
2 Yellow-legged Gulls at Cosmeston (AB)

Christmas Day
Black Redstart - Cardiff BarrageChristmas Day
Snow Bunting - Aberavon Beach (GL)) (see below)

21st Dec
3 Waxwing at Bryncoch Post Office, Neath (BA)

Black-throated Diver record shots

(c) N Dallimore
Here are a couple of record shots that have been kindly provided by Nick showing the Black-throated Diver at Eglwys Nunydd Reservoir on Boxing Bay.
(c) N Dallimore
Please note that stakeholders committee for the reservoir continue in their stance that access to the site is not permitted by the general public, or indeed any local clubs, societies, etc..

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Snow Bunting:Aberavon Beach

Few shots of the Snow Bunting still feeding on the strand line almost as far west as you can walk along the beach,thanks to Mark for the directions and approx location although the bird was further west then his sighting of it yesterday.Nice to bump into and chat with Terry Tovey on my walk back.

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Snow Bunting at Aberavon

The Snow Bunting found yesterday by Gary Lewis was still present this morning. Judging by Gary's description of where he saw it yesterday, it was further along the beach NW and nearer the Neath River today. It flew from the dunes, or possibly the BP Baglan area, before settling to feed along the highest tide strand-line at the base of the dunes. (SS721921)

Also of note from the area, 23 Raven flew over together in a loose group heading SE and nearby 4 Mediterranean Gulls were with a decent flock of gulls (inc 100+ Common Gulls) feeding on the flooded playing fields.

Tuesday, 25 December 2012


Firstly a Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year to all, from all at the GRC.

News from BBRC & WRP: All taking effect from 1/01/2013

Glossy Ibis is now no longer considered a national rarity and becomes a Welsh Records Panel species

Ring-billed Gull will stay a WRP species

Bearded Tit is now only considered by WRP for descriptions outside Gwent breeding & dispersal area*

Richard's Pipit is now a GRC D-List species

Wood Lark is now a GRC D-List species

*: I have asked for clarification as to the extent of the 'dispersal area' concerning Eastern Glamorgan.

Monday, 24 December 2012

Dear Santa....

(c) Jacob Spendelow
The good birders of Glamorgan were wondering whether it's too late to ask for an American Robin to be found somewhere in the county before the New Year? Preferably at an easily accessible site with lots of parking and minimal disturbance, with inexperienced Sparrowhawks and friendly Mistle Thrushes. Thanks in advance.

Best Wishes to everyone over the festive period and the very best of luck.

Many thanks go to Jacob Spendelow for providing the image (Don't panic; it was taken in West Virginia!) who owns a fantastic website and wanted to wish us "Happy holidays and good birding."

Please take a moment to visit his site by clicking on the photo or via the link below

Yesterday's other news

Llanrhidian - 1 Great White Egret, 2(1m) Hen Harrier, 1 Barn Owl and 1 Short-eared Owl (CDB)
Dalton's Point - 3 f/imm Scaup (CDB, HO)
Penclawdd Pill - 2 Spotted Redshank (CDB)
Whiteford - 3 Red-breasted Merganser and 1 Slavonian Grebe (DP)
Swansea Vale LNR - 1 Bittern still (JE & GE)
Roath Court Rd, Cardiff - 50+ Waxwing (CH)
Cardiff Barrage - 1m Black REdstart (GP)
Rhaslas Pond - 4 Short-eared Owl (MW)

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Long-tailed Duck:KNNR

Couple of record shots of today's visiting Long-tailed Duck,always distant.

Long-tailed Duck at Kenfig

One this morning and also a Bittern there (GR, DMC, et al)

Seawatching from Tutt Head 8:30 to 9:30
2 Red-throated Diver; also 20+ Razorbill, 6+ Guillemot and Auk sp on the sea.
nearby 1 Little Egret on the University playing fields was working the significant amounts of standing water there.

Friday, 21 December 2012

Recent news


Llanrhidian - 1 Great White Egret, 3(1m2f) Hen Harrier, 2 Barn Owl and 1 Short-eared Owl (NE)
River Rhymney, Ystrad Mynach - 1 Bittern this morning (KW)
Swansea Vale NR - 1 Bittern still (AL)
Cardiff Barrage - 2 Black Redstart (GP)
Wellington Street, Cardiff - c20 Waxwings (TF)


Llanrhidian - 2 Great White Egret (BS)


Sully - 1 Waxwing (JPH)


Oxwich - 1 Black Redstart (IT)

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Some Recent News


60+ Waxwing Princes St, Roath & 70+ Waxwing New Zealand Road, Whitchurch , Cardiff (CH)
3 Waxwing Schooner Street, Cardiff (SS)
Bittern still at Swansea Vale NR (per AWF) [probably since 11/12/12]
Black Redstart at Cardiff Bay (GP)
Black Redstart at Pencoed (PL)

Last Weekend

Scaup from Salthouse Point ( 8 on Sat 15th, MHu), (4 on Sun 16th, AL)
Spotted Redshank at Penclawdd Pill (1 on Sat 15th, CDB), (1 on Sun 16th, AL)
2 Waxwing at Cosmeston CP on Sat 15th (MB), (AB) [New for Site]

Llanrhidian roost

Andrew Lucas and I were treated to a Llanrhidian special this evening with lots of good birds. We arrived at Marsh Road around 15:30 and the action continued until it was nearly too dark to see through the telescope.

Almost immediately on arrival a female Hen Harrier showed well and she showed off and on for about 20mins during which time she disturbed a male Hen Harrier that hunted thereafter, till the end. A Barn Owl and Short-eared Owl were found as the light began to fade and pretty quickly after that there were 2 Barn Owl hunting, one showing particularly well. A Merlin flew through and at very last (useful) light 2 Great White Egret flew in together from Llanrhidian Pill.

2 Great White Egret, 2(m+f) Hen Harrier, 1 Merlin, 2 Barn Owl and 1 Short-eared Owl

Earlier some seawatching from Rhossili was fairly uneventful 3000+ Common Scoter, 12 Red-throated Diver and c200 Auks (mainly Razorbills and activity around the Worm showed many birds returning to ledges)

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Recent News - updated #2


Snow Bunting still at Sker (DGC)
Black Redstart on pebble beach at Sker (GR)


No sign today in Neath, at Milland Rd or Stockhams Corner
86 at Fishguard Road, Llanishen, Cardiff (MCP)
4 over MacGregor Row, Maesteg (IL)

Baglan Bay - 7 Wigeon, 1f Common Scoter, 301 Great Crested Grebe (113 Aberavon + 188 Crymlyn) & good numbers of Gulls on Crymlyn Beach (2000+) - mainly Herring Gulls


Snow Bunting still at Sker


1 Morriston (JE)
8 Stockhams Corner, Neath (NE, RJ)
20+ Heath, Cardiff
13 Craddock St, Riverside, Cardiff (AB)

Tuesday, 11 December 2012


Great White Egret seen in flight over Sarn heading east towards Pencoed (PTa)

Black Redstart at Dunraven (NPR)


100+ Heath (DT) +  20 Hamiton St (JR) - Cardiff
9 Stockhams Corner & Milland Road, Neath (Multi obs)
Yesterday - 6+ at Bryn , NPT (PM)

Another casualty!

At least 5 Waxwings have tragically flown in to windows in Roath,4 birds in Bangor st last week and now this one in Roath court rd.

Monday, 10 December 2012

Whooper Swans Cosmeston

I was informed at the C. Bay Starling roost late this afternoon that there were 2 Whoopers at Cosmeston E lake today. Maybe last year's ringed bird has brought in another? CAn't check them out myself as I have to shoot up to London tomorrow.

Waxwings in Neath

At least 10 around the Stockhams Corner roundabout this afternoon, but flighty due to Mistle Thrush there.

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Sunday News - updated.

Snow Bunting still present at Sker, this morning (AJ)


c120 Fishguard Road & surrounds, Llanishen, Cardiff (PB) (separate to Heath flock please see comments)

200+ around Rhydelig Avenue, Heath, Cardiff (multi obs)

10 at Margam crematorium briefly, this afternoon. (GM)

2 in Neath. Initially on rose bush, Milland Road (SS74099719) before moving to Stockhams Corner roundabout. Feeding on ornamental berry tree at last light (SS75229694) (RJ et al)

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Waxwings:Roath Court Road,Cardiff

c100 birds present in trees opposite Health Clinic at 10.45 this morning until a Sprawk sent them all packing.

Waxwing Update & News

Waxwings were seen at Roath (Roath Court Rd. [c100], Boverton St. [5] & Cathays Cemetery [1]) & Whitchurch 40.
The juv. Pink-footed Goose is at Cosmeston CP with Canada Geese.
Long-tailed  Duck earlier at Burry Port Harbour.
A report of a Richard's Pipit this morning, but no further details.

Friday, 7 December 2012

Waxwing update & News

Waxwings today in Mountain Ash, Maesteg & Cardiff (Heath area [c30], Roath [c30] & Llanishen Res. [1])
Snow Bunting still along the Pink Bay - Sker Point path.
                                                                 (c) G. Roblin

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Waxwing update

The map below should show in black, most, if not all, sites where Waxwings have been recorded this winter, up until 5th Dec. It's possible some records from other MapMate users will not appear until their records have been synchronised.
[NB. Large green dots are the period 2000 to 2011 and small green dots show pre 2000 records]

Wednesday, 5 December 2012


1 Snow Bunting at Sker, 50m west of Pink Bay lifeguards station along coast path (GR)

c50 Waxwings heading north over Tesco Neath Abbey, Neath. (EAH)

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Recent news

Cardiff area Waxwings (3/12/12)

12 in Barry (SPH)

277+ at roost Bangor Street, Roath (RGS). Earlier 4 were seen to fly into a window in this area and unfortunately died (PKG).

PLEASE NOTE: The sightings of Waxwings feeding in Princes St (Roath) refer to berry trees in Roath Court Road, which is off Princes St - there are NO berry trees in Princes St.

Llanrhidian Marsh (16:00 to 16:45, 2/12/12)

2 Short-eared Owl & 1 Barn Owl (AL)

Swansea Bay & Baglan Bay (2/12/12)

2 separate counts of Great Crested Grebe on this day

From Swansea Docks looking into Bagaln Bay 329, all off Crymlyn Burrows (RJ)

From Blackpill 137+ (BW-D, WW-D)

Saturday, 1 December 2012


Whiteford - 3 Velvet Scoter and 1 Great Northern Diver (CDB)

Penmaen - 29 Waxwing flew east over Great Tor (BS)

Neath - 6+ Waxing lower Cimla Road to Dyfed Road (NE)

Cardiff - Waxwing numbers continue to grow at the regular locations. 200+ (multi obs)

Rhaslas Pond - 1 Short-eared Owl, today (CJo); 5 Short-eared Owl (possibly up to 8), yesterday (MB)

Rhossili, Broughton & Crymlyn Burrows

Rhossili (08:00 to 10:30) - 2000+ Common Scoter scattered around the bay. A drake Pintail amongst them seemed unusual, but no sign of the Long-tailed Ducks. 1 Teal flew west, 1 Gannet, 30+ Kittiwake and 4 Red-throated Diver also in the general area. While scanning from the headland at Rhossili a fishing boat/trawler with some sort of separate barge (?) could be seen working beyond the gap between Burry Holms and the mainland, in the Bluepool area.

Broughton (11:20 to 13:00) - Very little on the sea except 2f Common Scoter and 1 Slavonian Grebe. A good search for the Velvet Scoter was unsuccessful here and a wider search found only small groups of Common Scoter just off Burry Holms. Also on the beach at low tide 100+ Brent Geese, those seen well enough were Dark-bellied.

Crymlyn Burrows (14:00 to 16:00) - 26 common Scoter and 191 Great Crested Grebe.