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 GlamRC@gmail.com 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, 30 December 2013
A 1st W type Iceland Gull was present at the entrance to Lamby Tip, Cardiff (on the roof of a depot storage unit & surrounds) 30/12/2013 and photographed. [via BirdGuides]
NOTE: Observer not submitting record
Sunday, 29 December 2013
Also Dave Morris saw a Black Guillemot at Port Eynon today which was unfortunately killed by gulls!
Friday, 27 December 2013
Thursday, 26 December 2013
Tuesday, 24 December 2013
Sunday, 22 December 2013
Thursday, 19 December 2013
A widespread search for yesterday's Ring-necked Duck at some obvious locations - Cosmeston CP, CBWR and River Taff at Hamadryad. Also Lisvane Res. - have so far produced no sign of it (SRH, DRWG, JDW, )
A Barnacle Goose of unknown origin plus a Med Gull were the best from Cosmeston CP (DRWG)
JDW here - thought I'd add a pic of the Barnacle - a still taken with my video camera
Wednesday, 18 December 2013
Tuesday, 17 December 2013
Aberavon Beach - 72; Crymlyn Burrows - 265; Blackpill - 208
Total - 545
[Further details now in (15:07) confirm the bird in question is re-identified as a Cormorant]
Six Short-eared Owls at RGW this am. [RM]
Unconfirmed report of a GWE coming into to roost at Hendre Lake, St. Mellons.
Sunday, 15 December 2013
Sanderlings have occurred in good numbers along the shore at Crymlyn Burrows, during the second half of this year. They move widely all around Swansea Bay and can be found in decent numbers almost anywhere from Kenfig Sands right through to Blackpill. Roosting birds often choose the beach at Crymlyn Burrows to spend time around high tide and it offers a good opportunity to record numbers. It's still unclear to me whether the roosts here are made up by the entire Sanderling population of the bay, but the high numbers seem to suggest that it might be the case. My peak count (for 2013) was taken at this location on 31/8/13 when 412 Sanderlings were on the beach.
It has become apparent, in recent years that a few of them are ringed. The colourful combinations of ring and flag positions can be surprisingly difficult to record on roosting birds, that often prefer to stand on one leg. Even when they're forced to move to higher ground by the incoming tide they can be remarkably stubborn about keeping one leg tucked away; if it wasn't so annoying I'd be even more impressed by how quickly they can hop. If you can get them having a quick feed or preen before they disperse on the falling tide then that often allows the best chance to record the full combination.
Since the summer I've been able to record 4 individuals
G3WBGW - first caught in Iceland in May 2013 and seen here on 1/8/13
B1YWYB - first caught in Greenland in July 2013 and seen here on 9/8/13
G5WWGY - first caught in Greenland in June 2008 and seen there every summer since up to and including the one just gone. This is the first recorded sighting away from her breeding grounds - seen here on 19/9/13
Jeroen adds -'G5WWGY is an adult female ringed in 2008 and of which I used to find the nest each succesive year. In 2010 she was incubating very close to the field station in Greenland so we could see her incubating each time we went out for field work in the morning and when we returned in the evening (which explains the many sightings, usually two per day) in in 2010. She was also paired with the same male each year, which is unusual for sanderlings. He is a bit of a macho though and we have now genetically shown that although they used to incubate a clutch together in many cases (except for 2010 when she was incubating a clutch by herself) he wasn't very faithful to her; he has produced several extra-pair young, sometimes complete clutches.'
G2WGYY - first caught in Iceland in May 2011 and was seen there again the following year. It was seen here on 19/9/13. This bird was seen earlier this year 26/5/13 by Pete Woodruff at Rossall Point, Fleetwood, but not recorded between Pete's sighting and mine. Pete runs a blog and describes his exciting find on the link Click here - The Rossall Sanderling It's a good blog all round and well worth a visit in any case.
Please note the directional paths in the figure above are only indicative of movement. Indeed the bird that both Pete and I saw may not have gone back to Iceland at all? Of course further movement of Sanderling will take them beyond Iceland, to the north, and from Crymlyn Burrows, likely onwards further south. However any further arrows on the map above and there'll be a real danger of it turning into a psychedelic Intro to Dad's Army.
Many thanks to Jeroen Reneerkens for the information. Please support this project by reporting your own sightings.
On Friday the 13th, and on the way back from the Gloucestershire Desert Wheatear, I called into Fforestganol. The car park was full of birds but no Hawfinches to be seen amongst them. Despite the heavy rain I decided to walk the path the other side of the road. About 150m along this track a flock of Hawfinches flew just above the treetops and above the road back towards the car park. At least 12 and probably a few more. Not seen again on my return to the car but a male Goshawk was seen on 3 separate occasions.
[* The first record for this species in VC41 were 2 fems at Lisvane Res. 6/11/1981. GOS/GBC/GRC Data]
Saturday, 14 December 2013
Monday, 9 December 2013
Sunday, 8 December 2013
Saturday, 7 December 2013
Friday, 6 December 2013
Thursday, 5 December 2013
Wednesday, 4 December 2013
Long-tailed Duck (1) off Aberavon Beach (per Birdguides)
The Long-tailed Duck is a noticeable absentee from my list for this location and I was keen to see if it would still be around the next day. Unfortunately I couldn't relocate it, but I was able to do a Great Crested Grebe count just before HT on each of the next 2 days; an exercise I always find rewarding which also returned some other nice records.
Monday (2/12) -
Eider (4) and Great Crested Grebe (55) from Blackpill
Great Crested Grebe (403) and Grey Plover (3) from Crymlyn Burrows
Common Scoter (23), Red-throated Diver (14) and Great crested Grebe (28) from Aberavon
Tuesday (3/12) -
Dark-bellied Brent (1), Red-breasted Merganser (1), Red-throated Diver (5) and Great Crested Grebe (381) from Crymlyn Burrows
The Grebe count on 2/12/13 is, to my knowledge, the highest complete count for this species in Swansea Bay. 486 is a good total, and has the potential to increase further before the New Year.
Sunday, 1 December 2013
I would like to take this opportunity to express a huge thanks to Harold E. Grenfell and Robert H. A. Taylor for their outstanding work over the years. Harold, one of the founding members of GOS, made significant contributions towards every annual report since the first issue was published in 1968. His eye for detail and commitment to the progression of the society is a major credit to him. Harold’s legacy has provided strong leadership combined with diligence and enthusiasm, which now finds the club in very good health. Robert has committed the last 17 years to keeping accurate records for the society during increasingly challenging times. The combination of his ability, experience and knowledge of the recording area is second to none. During his tenure Rob has also made numerous outstanding finds including the most recent and very popular Isabelline Wheatear.
It will be difficult for me to match what both Harold and Rob have given to the society over the years and I face the daunting task of maintaining their very high standards. However, it’s an exciting opportunity for me to offer a fresh approach and I relish the challenge of developing these roles in the years ahead. Fortunately for me, the task at hand is made less difficult due to the availability of a rich array of help close to hand. The Gower Ornithological Society is full of very able section writers and the committee is full of talented colleagues. I am also pleased to have the support of many members of the neighbouring birding societies that I have had the fortune to know and get on with.
Birding is a fantastic hobby and I couldn’t be happier than when I’m out birding with the company that it brings. I’ve met lots of great people and made good friends through birding in the last few years. My wish is for more of the same in the future with some great birding along the way.
Saturday, 30 November 2013
These latest images allow me to see exactly where the bird was, and significantly where the recognised boundary lies. The Kenfig River forms the boundary between NPT and Bridgend. An OS map would show the boundary to follow the path of the River as shown on the illustration above. Comparison of the map and image allow the recognised path of the river to be followed through the reed bed, and crucially this path lies to the north of the scrape. This also shows me that I only ever saw the Wood Sandpiper in East Glamorgan.
I'm not absolutely sure about the history surrounding the creation of the scrape, but looking at it closely in the images appears to shows the route of the Kenfig River may be changing. I imagine that during periods of heavy rainfall a significant amount of water runs through the middle of the scrape as well as running along what is taken to be the recognised path of the Kenfig River. However, there are certain signs, which can be seen in the images, that show the scrape route is developing into what will become the main route. This may need to be addressed to keep the scrape in it's current and seasonally favourable condition. If the area is left to develop naturally I imagine that the recognised boundary will need to change.
To summarise, it looks like East Glam will lose ground (or reed bed) to West Glam!
Thursday, 28 November 2013
Other late news from Saturday (23/11/13)
1 Velvet Scoter with 30 common Scoters in Baglan Bay, viewed from Aberavon side. (GR et al)
1 Snow Bunting was still present at Pennard GC around its regular haunt (AJ)
Wednesday, 27 November 2013
431 Great Crested Grebes in total; 95 off Aberavon Beach, 316 off Crymlyn Burrows, 19 off Blackpill and 1 off Mumbles Pier.
Other good stuff included 4(1m+3f) Eiders off Mumbles Pier, 1 Black-throated Diver and 5+ Red-throated Divers off Aberavon Beach. Also 27 Scoters showing distantly from Aberavon (those seen well enough were Common) and a single Scoter sp asleep and showing very distantly from Blackpill.
Tuesday, 26 November 2013
Monday, 25 November 2013
Saturday, 23 November 2013
Friday, 22 November 2013
Thursday, 21 November 2013
Monday, 18 November 2013
|Snow Bunting (c) A. John|
Turtle Dove still at Cosmeston CP (JPC, MBi & CBi)
Firecrest at Oxwich Marsh (OGa)
Snow Bunting at Pennard GC (AJ)
|Firecrest (c) O. Gabb|
Bittern at Kenfig (AM)
Black Redstart (imm) at Nash Point (SER)
Ring Ouzel (f) at Parc Slip (JS)
Bearded Tit (m) at Cosmeston CP (WMS)
Hawfinch (2) at Fforest Ganol (ASR)
Sunday, 17 November 2013
In the bay 2085 Common Scoters were well spread out, meanwhile at Oxwich Bay a count of 710 Common Scoters were reported present by Owain Gabb. A good count for Oxwich, where Barry Stewart had earlier counted in excess of 900.
Back to Rhossili, where other seabirds included Wigeon (1), Red-throated Diver (2), Great Crested Grebe (5), Fulmar (8), Kittiwake (100+), Razorbill (5), Guillemot (40+), Auk sp (50+)
Thursday, 14 November 2013
Wednesday, 13 November 2013
Tuesday, 12 November 2013
A quick look through the records shows at least 1 other record at Crymlyn Burrows since 2000
 08/04/2001 - I.T. Greatrex & J.D. Moxham
Prior to the Dartford - Great Crested Grebe (167 ((85 of CB) + (82 off AB))), Ringed Plover (179), Sanderling (181), Dunlin (137), Bar-tailed Godwit (1) & Turnstone (4)
A Siberian Chiffchaff was seen from the boardwalk north of Kenfig Pool, yesterday afternoon. - (ND)
A 1st W/female Black Redstart was showing at Port Talbot Harbour, late morning on Sunday (10/11/13). Access by permit only. (RJ, GR)
Sunday, 10 November 2013
Saturday, 9 November 2013
Thursday, 7 November 2013
Wednesday, 6 November 2013
Tuesday, 5 November 2013
Also at Crymlyn Burrows, today: 196 Ringed Plovers, c200 Sanderlings, c80 Dunlins and 1 Turnstone.
Yesterday from Aberavon dunes: Common Scoter (14), Red-brested Merganser (1 redhead ->e), Great Crested Grebe (122 ((51 off AB) + (71 off CB))), Knot (1), Sanderling (269) and Bar-tailed Godwit (1)
Monday, 4 November 2013
Saturday, 2 November 2013
Wednesday, 30 October 2013
Tuesday, 29 October 2013
The 2012 Cosmeston Kumlien's Gull (Larus glaucoides kumlieni) has also been accepted and is the first record for this N. American race in East Glamorgan, 2nd VC41 & 3rd Welsh Record. D. Rich
[The First was an adult at Blackpill which returned to the area during the period 1998-2000]
Monday, 28 October 2013
Sunday, 27 October 2013
1 Snow Bunting dropped into Port Talbot Harbour, late morning. The bird landed on grass next to the Long Arm - Please note this site is accessed by permit only (DMC, RJ, GR, PR)
No sign of yesterday's Bearded Reedling at Cosmeston CP in difficult conditions.
Saturday, 26 October 2013
1 - Morfa Sands
35 - Port Talbot Harbour
42 - Aberavon Beach
25 - Crymlyn Burrows
0 - Swansea Bay (Swansea Docks to Mumbles Head)
A decent total (103) given the conditions and I expect some smaller numbers were undetected today. The next 3 months should see greater numbers arrive, peaking in December or January.
A later search of the wider area found decent numbers of Mipits, Sky Larks and a Wheatear but no further sign of the Lapland Buntings
Wednesday, 23 October 2013
Sunday, 20 October 2013
Anyway, following a night's kip on the verge of what is now the Amazon roundabout, this global rarity duly put in a brief but much appreciated appearance to a rather small assemblage of birders shortly after dawn, then disappeared into the distance and was not seen again as far as I'm aware. One unfortunate and subsequently desperate soul from our group disappeared for a few minutes to grab an ill-timed breakfast snack! Below is my notebook entry along with scanned prints of the photographs taken by Ian the day they found it.
|(c) I. Tew|
|(c) I. Tew|
Saturday, 19 October 2013
Friday, 18 October 2013
|Small flock of Great Crested Grebes|
Also Common Scoter ((10)(8)(2)) on the sea, Great Crested Grebe (42), Guillemot & Auk sp (30+) and Swallow (4 heading east)
The Great Crested Grebe numbers are starting to build in the bay. Swansea Bay qualifies as being Nationally Important to Great Crested Grebes and the numbers that occur between Port Talbot Docks and Swansea Docks make a significant contribution to the overall total. The timing of their arrival is thought to co-incide with seasonal influx of herring, sprats and other fish species that shoal and travel up the Bristol Channel from November through to January. Outside of this period in the winter months the Grebe numbers can be fairly low, sometimes surprisingly so. When the fish are present Great Crested Grebe numbers sail past the 1% threshold (190) and have occurred at more than twice that amount. This year I'm hoping to organise a count, using recorders positioned across the bay, which should help us understand the numbers involved more accurately. I have a feeling the there may be many more than has been previously estimated and documented, however, numbers do fluctuate seasonally. We wait and see..
Thursday, 17 October 2013
Wednesday, 16 October 2013
A Bittern was seen at Kenfig Pool, yesterday. The bird showed on several occasions over the course of several hours from the Southern Hide (KNNR)
Tuesday, 15 October 2013
There were 53 Guillemots spread out on the sea and feeding offshore from Aberavon Beach, on the falling tide today. This eclipses my previous high from this location, taken last year, with 41 on 14 November.
|Photo taken 12/10/13|