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, 10 May 2013

Pomarine Skuas again from PT Docks

Dark morph Arctic Skua
Seawatching 07:50 to 11:00 (MHi & later RJ)

5 (all pm) Pomarine Skuas and 3 (2 dm + 1 pm) Arctic Skuas were the highlights
Pale morph Pomarine Skuas
Following yesterday's rather nice gathering of skuas I was keen to see if any had stopped overnight or whether more might pass today. A slow start eventually got going at 08:30 with a dm Arctic Skua heading purposely towards Mumbles. Another half hour before 3+ Pomarine Skuas appeared from nowhere (presumed to be on the sea earlier) and did a relaxed circuit between the harbour and offshore from Kenfig river at 09:10. Following this at least 4 Pomarine Skuas were watched flying short distances and settling on the sea in this same general area. The wind dropped off markedly at about 09:40 and about 10 mins later 3 Poms headed out towards Mumbles with much more intent than their earlier flights had demonstrated. Later still at about 10:25, 2 Pomarine Skuas passed close by and were followed, almost immediately afterwards by 2 (dm+pm) Arctic Skuas passing even closer by. We were confident that there was no double counting at play here, indeed there may have been more than 5 Pomarine Skuas involved.

It makes sense that springtime passage should produce good skua days in South Wales, with the skuas heading back north in good numbers, and especially with winds blowing into our bays and channels. There is the added bonus also, that many of them own full streamers at this time, which make the id process a little easier.

NOTE Port Talbot Docks is access by permit only, however I don't doubt that regular seawatching haunts either side of this location would have experience at least the same rewards today, and probably better?

Aythya sp. (1), Great Crested Grebe (3), Fulmar (4), Gannet (2), Pomarine Skua (5), Arctic Skua (3), Sandwich Tern (4), Whimbrel (4), Grey Plover (2) and Dunlin (7)

Pomarine Skua video


TallTwitcher said...

You had better luck than I did, managing only the one Great Skua in a two hour sea-watch between 07:00 and 09:00 at Strumble Head this morning. I think the locals there must have known something I didn't, cause I was the only person at Strumble this morning.

Paul Parsons said...

Nice records and shots Mark.