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, 30 December 2013


Up to 11 Short-eared Owls between RGW, Wentloog and Lamby Tip. The regular Barn Owl was seen hawking over the Mardy Farm fields early evening 30th.

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

Black Guillemot at Port Eynon & Surf Scoter at Rhossili

An adult male Surf Scoter and female Velvet Scoter were in with 1060-strong flock of Commons off Rhossili this morning. With 2000+ Herring Gulls on the beach feeding on an abundance of moribund shellfish it seems the storm has stirred up the seabed making good foraging. Maybe more storms will bring in more birds? At approximately SS3989 the scoter flock is pretty distant, so don’t expect good views if you go looking for the Surfy. The light this morning was bright and crisp making it pretty easy to to pick out.

Also Dave Morris saw a Black Guillemot at Port Eynon today which was unfortunately killed by gulls!
(C) Dave Morris

Friday, 27 December 2013


The Barnacle Goose, of unknown origin, which has attached itself to a roving Canada Goose flock and has been seen at various sites this month, was at Lisvane Reservoir today with 41 Canada Geese. 

Thursday, 26 December 2013

GND still at Llwyn-On Res

© Mark Waldron
The Great Northern Diver was still present earlier today, at Llwyn-On Res. Seen and captured nicely on camera by Mark Waldron.

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

GND at Llwyn-On Res

                             GND found by Mike Hogan this morning on Llwyn-On Reservoir

Surviving the storms

Great White Egret at Llanrhidian (MP)

5 Hen Harriers and 2 S.E. Owls at Heol y Cyw (per Birdguides)

Little Gull at Gileston (per Birdguides)

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Bittern : Parc Slip NR

A few images of the Bittern taken over this weekend.........

Late News - Snow Buntings at Broughton

A very nice count of 6 Snow Buntings at Broughton Bay earlier this week, on Tuesday (17th) [RET]

Report of a Long-tailed Duck off West Aberthaw 21/12/13 [per BirdGuides]

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Lesser Scaup still, but no sign of RND around Cardiff

The Lesser Scaup was present once again at CBWR (JDW)

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


Probable Ring-necked Duck at Cosmeston CP today. [RF]

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Great Crested Grebes numbers continue to swell in Swansea Bay

A quick stop at the regular lookout points at Aberavon Beach, Crymlyn Burrows and Blackpill, today, produced a single day count record for me.

Aberavon Beach - 72; Crymlyn Burrows - 265; Blackpill - 208

Total - 545

News #1

A report of a Great Northern Diver on Aberdare Park Lake, seen this am by rangers @ c10.30, then another report at midday. No further details.

[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

Colour-ringed Sanderling at Crymlyn Burrows

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.

Mandarin Duck and Hawfinch (late) news

The female Mandarin Duck was still present at Oxwich today - showing from the hide (JNE). First seen by Owain G on Tuesday (10/12/13) where it was found with some Mallard showing from the hide. As far as the records show, this appears to be only the 2nd record of a Mandarin Duck from the Gower peninsular. The other one, from Burry Pill on 13/11/85 was a male seen by S.R. Howe, which also appears to be a VC41 first*. Since 1987 the Mandarin Duck has been recorded every year in West Glamorgan and in 1990 a pair bred on the Neath Canal near Aberdulais. Confirmation of breeding from this location continued intermittently, throughout the 90's. Sightings of our somewhat 'plastic' friend do seem to be less frequent in recent years and any future county lister will no doubt be hoping the Margam Drake has at least a few more years left in him.

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

Late News

1/12/2013 - A Black-throated Diver in Oxwich Bay and another past Tutt Head 2/12/2012. [PL]

The Slender-billed Curlew (Northumberland 1988) has been removed from the British List. Please see for details.

Monday, 9 December 2013

Hawfinches at Fforestganol

© D. Coombs
9 Hawfinches at Forest Ganol, late morning. Just off the path opposite the car park (DCo)

Other late news - c30 Waxwings were reported seen off Lake Road West, Roath (7/12/13)

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Lapland Bunting at Landimore

1 Lapland Bunting was heard calling in flight with Sky Larks at the outer edge of the salt marsh at Landimore, this morning. Nearby 5 Slavonian Grebes were seen from Wernffrwd - (CDB)

Friday, 6 December 2013


A single Hawfinch seen from the carpark. Also good numbers of Coal Tits and a vocal GSW.

Thursday, 5 December 2013


Bearded Tit still at Cosmeston. Very vocal in the reeds near the cafe c.11.30.

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Swansea Bay and Baglan Bay - last few days (LTD, etc)

Sunday (1/12) -
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.


At least 7 SEO at RGW this am [per CE]

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Cardiff Bay Wetland Reserve

Drake Lesser Scaup still with 120+ tufted duck. A very vocal and showy Willow tit was a nice surprise. It was showing well in alders opposite the cut wild flower meadow just to the left of the start of the boardwalk.

GOS Announcement

It is my pleasure to announce that during the recent Gower Ornithological Society AGM I was named as the new Records Secretary/Report Editor and County Recorder for West Glamorgan.

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

Kenfig Saltmarsh - where east meets west

In the last few weeks Google has updated the satellite imagery for the surrounding area (not sure how far the updated images stretch). It's a timely update since a record of mine concerning a Wood Sandpiper at this location, from earlier this year, has yet to be allocated to a recording area. When I first saw the bird it was in the middle of the scrape where the Lapwing like to roost. My judgement at the time left me feeling it was right on the boundary between the 2 counties, therefore I was delighted to watch it feed moving in a NW direction right up to the reed bed. This, I felt, must mean it's in West Glam!
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

BTD still off Aberavon Beach & late news from west

The Black-throated Diver was still present late morning viewed from the Dunes. Showing briefly at distance before flying off west towards Blackpill. Also 24 Common Scoter, 5 Red-throated Divers and 124 great Crested Grebes east of the Neath river channel. (DCo)

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

Great Crested Grebe count Swansea Bay (Plus Eider & BTD)

A quick Great Crested Grebe count from the majority of Swansea Bay between 12:30 and 14:30 was rewarding given the numbers of Grebes and other miscellany of nice records.

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.


The drake Lesser Scaup was in CBWR with 100 or so Tufted Duck this lunchtime [GP]

A Black-throated Diver off Aberavon beach towards the docks end. Also 5 RTD there. [MHi]

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Bittern at Parc Slip

A Bittern at Parc Slip (25th Nov) taken by David Smith. This is the 3rd record for this species at this inland site.

Other News: At least 3 Bearded Tits present at CBWR & 1 still at Cosmeston. All 25th Nov

Monday, 25 November 2013

EGBR news

Hope it's OK to post this here. I have the proof copy of the 2012 East Glam Report.  Looks good.  I need to go through it b4 giving the go ahead. It looks like it's going to be cut & glue bound like the 50th Edn as it's too thick for stapling. Hopefully this won't delay things. I think I am going to have to rely on Alan Rosney to pick up and post the printed copies for me as I leave for Panama next Monday.

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Whiteford (BS & JNE)

1 Red-necked Grebe (west side of Whiteford), 4 Slavonian Grebes (east side) and a female Merlin (at the point) were the highlights this morning during a fruitless search for crossbills. Other noteworthy species included 3 Red-throated Divers, 19 Eiders, 3 Stock Doves and counts of 52 Grey Plover and 143 Turnstone. 1000's of Oycs but not counted.

Friday, 22 November 2013


There are two Slavonian Grebes on Kenfig Pool [ND & DGC]

The Siberian Chiffchaff is still at Kenfig, showing along the south pool bushes. [ND]

A Snow Bunting was seen flying over Sker Point towards Porthcawl. [DCB]

Thursday, 21 November 2013

GGS Nr. Llanbradach

A Great Grey Shrike found by Graham Williams & seen by Tony Williams today in the clear fell area @ ST142904. The area is near the old dotterel site (Myn. Eglwysilan) c.1/2m away. The area has been clear-felled, although there is a single stand of conifers, about a dozen or so, next to the farm fields. This is where the bird has been seen, favouring the southern end. Take the road through the Penyrheol estate to the top by the cattle grid. Access along footpath @ ST127900. Caution the road is badly potholed.

Garwnant GGS

The Garwnant (SO001128) Great Grey Shrike seems to have returned to its winter area. Present this am and photographed by Mike Hogan.


A YBW was reported in a garden in Llantrisant (20th), feeding in a Sycamore tree. [SS]. This bird was also seen yesterday morning.
                                                                    © S. Stroud

Monday, 18 November 2013

Black Redstarts about

At least 2 in the area today -

1 in the car park at Dunraven, Southerndown seen by David Smith

1 on the roof of Civic Centre in Swansea, this afternoon, seen by Neil Edwards

Great Crested Grebes at Baglan Bay

Numbers have increased dramatically in last few days. A count after the recent storm revealed only 95 between PT Docks and Swansea Docks on the 14/11/13. This morning's count found 332 in the same area with potentially a few more further out in the bay hidden by the murk. 98 off Aberavon Beach and 234 off Crymlyn Burrows; favouring the western end respectively of both beaches, as they invariably do.

Weekend Bird News

Snow Bunting (c) A. John
Saturday 16th November
Turtle Dove still at Cosmeston CP (JPC, MBi & CBi)
Firecrest at Oxwich Marsh (OGa)
Snow Bunting at Pennard GC (AJ)
Firecrest (c) O. Gabb
Sunday 17th November
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

Snow Buntings over Rhossili

2 Snow Buntings flew west over Rhossili, this morning. Not Lapland Buntings, as previously reported! Otherwise a small movement of Sky Larks were heading west and Meadow Pipits were heading east; less than 50 of each.
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


A Hawfinch was at Lisvane Res. today, in the hedgerow between the two woods, then flew off north.
According to the GBC database, this is only the 2nd record for the site, the first being 12/01/1947 (Ingram & Morrey-Salmon)

Turtle Dove still at Cosmeston this am. [AMe]

Ring-necked Parakeet

1 in Pennard yesterday and today (Gareth Watkins)

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Sker Point

A Richards Pipit flew over calling heading west towards the Swansea area. [DCB]

News 13th Nov.
At least 4 Hawfinches at Fforestganol [Wenallt] Cardiff in hornbeams. [ND]

Turtle Dove still present and showing well at Cosmeston [ND]

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Marsh tit,Cogan woods.

Dartford Warbler at Crymlyn Burrows

A 1st W Dartford Warbler was in the western dunes at Crymlyn Burrows, this afternoon. This is the first record of this species for me at this site. Fortuitously found along the seaward edge of the dunes while searching for a decent spot to scan the gulls! And no gulls were scanned thereafter!!

A quick look through the records shows at least 1 other record at Crymlyn Burrows since 2000
[1] 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)

Recent News

Turtle Dove was showing at Cosmeston CP, late morning today, in the usual place at west paddock. Also the male Bearded Tit was showing from the Boardwalk. - (DCo)

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

Turtle Dove : Cosmeston CP

Few pics taken this afternoon of the Turtle Dove at Cosmeston Country Park.


A flock of 20,000 Woodpigeons flew west, also Brambling and about 200 each of Fieldfare and Redwing. A Woodlark dropped in but never settled for long.

Bearded Tit and Turtle Dove at Cosmeston CP

 A busy mid-afternoon Cosmeston CP saw a rather reserved male Bearded Tit and a very showy juv/1st W Turtle Dove still present. Even though the Bearded Tit didn't show in the open very often it was still a joy to behold watching it work through the reed bed, sometimes only a matter of feet from the busy boardwalk.

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Pale-bellied and Dark-bellied Brent and Barnacle Goose at Aberthaw

4 Pale-bellied Brent, 2 Dark-bellied Brent and a Barnacle Goose at Aberthaw rivermouth.

Cosmeston CP

(c) M. Binding
A Turtle Dove at Cosmeston on the high ground above the the dragonfly pond. Showing well. Photographed by Matthew Binding. [per JDW]

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Flat Holm

I have just received a report of a Cirl Bunting on the island [per PB]. No further details.
The bird was a male and seen by two observers.

OOC in Gwent.

Penduline tit outside the visitor centre at Uskmouth reserve 30 mins ago. (per MM)

Still there (8th) by Reserve Centre & today 9th & showing well.

YBW in Bridgend

A YBW was seen in Neil Donaghy's garden at 09.30 this am and was present in an apple tree for about 15 mins.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Flat Holm

News of a Hoopoe, west of the Lighthouse, seen by the wardens on 4th Nov. [Thanks to C. Jones VC35 & P. Bristow for the news]

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Bearded Tit Cosmeston 4/11/13

One for the records!

Dark-bellied Brent from Crymlyn Burrows

A Dark-bellied Brent Goose flew past Crymlyn Burrows, this morning. This is only my 6th individual in NPT following an injured Dark-bellied at Eglwys in 2011, 2 Pale-bellied past Aberavon last autumn and 2 Dark-bellied past Port Talbot Harbour last month during a sea watch with Rob J. The only other NPT record from this autumn, that I'm aware of, was made last month by Gary L who saw 7 fly west from Aberavon Beach. They rarely stop in this part of the bay, however, to find either race of Brent Goose around Blackpill during the winter season is not unusual.

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)

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Bearded Tit at Cosmeston


Cosmeston: Bearded Tit along boardwalk this am. Report of a Ruff at RGW.

KNNR: [1st] Little Gull 1st W on pool.

Dalton's Point: [31st] Garganey with Teal [see 2013 Records, BS]

Cardiff Bay/Penarth Marina: [30th] Report of a Slavonian Grebe by boom near marina.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Juvenile little stint on eastern shore at Kenfig NNR

Little Stint and Rb Merg at Kenfig

A juvenile Little Stint has been reported from the pool's east shore, at 11:00 this morning, via Birdguides

Also a Red-brested Merganser on the pool, this afternoon (DGC)

Little Gull still at Kenfig

The 1st W Little Gull seen at Kenfig Pool, yesterday, is showing once again over the pool, today. (DGC)

Tuesday, 29 October 2013


The 2012 Loughor Gull-billed Tern has been accepted. [3rd VC41 Rec.] B. Stewart

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]

Possible Ortolan Bunting at Baglan Bay

G Lewis has reported a possible Ortolan Bunting, which was seen briefly sat up in a tree before moving deeper into cover, this morning. The bird was in an area along the Wales Coast Path with lots of other birds, including many Reed Buntings. It is in the same general area as the YBW and Lapland Buntings were earlier this month (SS726921). A 30 min wait/search of the area by GL produced no further sign of the bird.

Late News (Ring Ouzel Kenfig Ind Est)

A male Ring Ouzel watched for 5 mins at Kenfig Ind Est, late afternoon yesterday, before fly off towards Kenfig (MHn)

Monday, 28 October 2013


Seawatching this am: [07.00-11.30]
Common Scoter (3), Med Gull (ad W), Great Skua (2), Arctic Skua (3), Manx Shearwater (1), Guillemot (1), Kittiwake (187). [MCP, DRWG]

Cardiff Bay: Drake Lesser Scaup present with 80 Tufted Duck. [AB, MCP & DRWG]

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Sabine's Gulls and Snow Bunting

2 Sabine's Gulls past close inshore at Mumbles Head, today. (Clive J)

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)

Little Stint at Cardiff Bay

Cardiff Bay and Ice Rink

Lesser Scaup still and a Little Gull in the bay. Nearby at the Ice Rink (Cardiff Pointe) a Little Stint. (This is the first record for this species in this area since Sept. 1977 and the first record proper for the Bay area.)

No sign of yesterday's Bearded Reedling at Cosmeston CP in difficult conditions.


Porthcawl seawatch

Arctic Skua (5) and Great Skua (1) past this morning (per MCP)

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Bearded Tit at Cosmeston

One along the boardwalk, today. (C Hawes)

Great Crested Grebe count Swansea Bay (OCT 13)

Not great conditions for long distance counting but a full count of the (wider) Swansea Bay for Great Crested Grebes was completed, today. Morfa Sands (viewed from Port Talbot Harbour) through to Mumbles Head
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.

Lapland Buntings at Baglan Bay

2 Lapland Buntings along with 6 Meadow Pipits were put up by a dog walker along the Wales Coast Path, Baglan Bay (SS727922). Calling and flew west over the trees before being lost to sight at 14:30
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
(MHi, RJ)
2 Bonxies d/c this morning at porthcawl

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Lesser Scaup

The Lesser Scaup was in Prospect Place, Cardiff Bay this afternoon with 57 Tufted Duck. The CBWR was taken over by a flock of 205 Canada Geese and a feral white Greylag.

Sunday, 20 October 2013

29 years ago...

...I made my fourth visit to Glamorgan; my first and second visits being Oxwich and Kenfig in 1982 to see Purple Heron and Little Whimbrel and my third visit was earlier in 1984 to see Ring-billed Gull at Blackpill. Our destination this time, on our return journey from Scilly to Sunderland, was Jersey Marine where a Sociable Plover was found the previous day by Richard Harbird in the company of Ian Tew (not DG as stated in Gower Birds Vol.4, No.3). Incredibly, before seeing the bird Ian joked with Richard, "spot the Sociable Plover" as a flock of Lapwing took off - really, what are the chances of that happening!
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
Let's hope 2013 can deliver a bird of this quality before the year is out. 

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Yellow-legged Gull (?) at Morfa Sands

 An adult Yellow-legged Gull was with a mixed gull flock on Morfa Beach this morning. Quite a small individual, but seemingly of a size within range. All other features show expected Yellow-legged Gull characteristics, although I was surprised by the pinkish wash to the legs. This was more noticeable from certain angles albeit in rather poor lighting conditions. The toes and webs appearing almost fleshy pink at times, however, I have seen a photo of an adult winter Larus michahellis michahellis, also taken in October, from Portugal that suggest this leg colour is also within range. Any further comments on this gull will be welcomed.
Offshore from the Port Talbot breakwater some nice stuff passed before the rain came:- Dark-bellied Brent Goose (2 ->w), Wigeon (19 ->e), Gannet (7), Red-throated Diver (1 ->e) & Merlin (1f ->e). On the sea Common Scoter (5), Great Crested Grebe (30), Guillemot (6+) and some mobile feeding gull flocks that included Mediterranean Gull (7) & Little Gull (1 Ad W). A gull roost inside the Harbour contained a noteworthy 24 Mediterranean Gulls.
(MHi, RJ)


Velvet scoter u/c at 8.15 + 76 turnstone just below irongate ( 29 + 47)

Friday, 18 October 2013

Firecrest at Dunraven

A Firecrest was seen in scrub near the walled garden, this morning. (NPR)

Velvet Scoter remain in Baglan Bay.

Small flock of Great Crested Grebes
The 2 Velvet Scoters were showing distantly from Baglan Dunes. Offshore from Aberavon Beach at the Neath River shipping channel end.

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..

Great Northern Diver off Mumbles Pier (17/10/13)

An adult Great Norther Diver still showing some traces of sp. was showing c300m off Mumbles Pier, yesterday afternoon. Also 3 Red-breasted Mergansers in Swansea Bay. (OGa)

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Leser Scaup still at CBWR

The drake Lesser Scaup remains at Cardiff Bay Wetlands Reserve. Showing this afternoon (AGS)

Late News (15/10/13): Bittern & Snow Bunting

A Snow Bunting was seen between the car park and coastal path at Ogmore, yesterday. A flighty bird seen in the morning, but despite searching was not seen again from the wider area in the afternoon. (MP)

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

Velvet Scoter still in Baglan Bay.

 The 2 Velvet Scoters were again seen this afternoon in Baglan Bay. They kept distant and were not flying around at all that I saw today. However, they do seem to prefer being near to the shipping channel leading from the River Neath, so worth looking out for them there.
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
Also in the bay this afternoon: Common Scoter (20), Great Crested Grebe (21) with a Red-throated Diver flying west. 45 Lapwings were inside the BP Baglan fence and a minimum of 32 Reed Buntings were put up from Baglan Dunes