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.

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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, 11 January 2013

Glaucous Gull at Whiteford

The Glaucous Gull found by a couple of our Gwent neighbours, recently, was still present around the lighthouse at Whiteford, this afternoon. I keep reading records of juvenile Glaucous Gull at this time of year and also of 1st winter birds so I was keen to try and find what this one should be called. It would appear that Glaucous Gulls retain their juvenile plumage right the way through their first year and so technically this bird will go straight into 2nd winter plumage, after a moult this summer. Unlike some of our gulls and particularly Yellow-legged Gull, which moults into 1st winter plumage before it's first winter. I think the Iceland Gull behaves in a similar fashion to that of the Glaucous Gull and I assume that this is because of the climate in their normal range?  Anyway, Gulls are a bit of a minefield and I'm certainly no expert; it's still present and looked quite settled. I get the impression that this bird would be quite approachable on land because it didn't fly off with other Herring Gulls, that weren't so keen on me approaching the waters edge. A bit of luck and better photos are sure to be possible. Also here 2 Great Northern Divers.
A Long-tailed Duck was with a decent sized (1204), close flock of Common Scoters this morning in Rhossili Bay. Also in the area were 5 Red-throated Divers. While I was checking the Scoter flock, a gentleman in the lookout station watched 2 Skua sp chasing a Black-headed Gull just off the Worms Head causeway at 10:15, he later informed me. He went on to state that they were probably Pomarine Skuas? It is worth noting that a Long-finned Pilot Whale has been washed up (dead; reported 29/12/12) on Rhossili beach, between Dines Lake and Burry Holms, which may well provide a regular meal to lingering shuas; so it could well be worth checking the area in case they stick around. Although quite distant, it was clearly attracting the attention of the local Corvids, but no sign of the Skuas.
Glaucous Gull
A very coastal species in Glamorgan and much the scarcer of the two large white-wingers
Iceland Gull
NB all black dots are from the first few months of 2012

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