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.

Saturday, 31 August 2013


A Nightingale has been found in Cardiff on the Radyr Flood-plain at 10am, seen well but then lost into dense cover at c10.15am. Still being searched for at present by the observers. This is the first in the recording area since 2002. [per DJJ]
Update at 11.45 - no further sightings since original observations. [per DJJ]

Friday, 30 August 2013

Black Terns still in Baglan Bay

The 3 juv Black Terns were again showing from Crymlyn Burrows in with the feeding gull flock, around the mouth of the River Neath and further out into the bay, this afternoon. Wader numbers remain fairly level; counts taken just after high tide.

Ringed Plover (200+), Sanderling (300+), Dunlin (80+) & Black Tern (3 juv)


In Brunel Dock before high tide

Dunlin (67), Whimbrel (4), Redshank (78) & Common Sandpiper (6)


Thursday, 29 August 2013

Black Terns in Baglan Bay

3 juv Black Terns were in Baglan Bay after high tide, today. Initially one was feeding along the shoreline of Crymlyn Burrows and then flying out into the bay, before, a little later, 3 were found amongst a feeding flock of Black-headed Gulls just off Aberavon Beach. The brisk SW wind seemed to be keeping them in the bay and 2 Sandwich Terns were also circulating the open water and shorelines both sides of the Neath River.

Sanderling (345), Dunlin (70+), Ringed Plover (150+), Turnstone (2), Sandwich Tern (2), Black Tern (3).

The dunes held a good group of Stonechats (12) and also here Whitethroat (1), Sedge Warbler (1), Chiffchaff (1), Linnet (c40) & Reed Bunting (4)

(MHi, RJ)

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Marsh Harrier, Marsh Tit and Migration

A fem/imm Marsh Harrier was at Penclawdd, mid-morning (OL) [possibly a lingering bird with one reported at Llanrhidian on 23/8/13]

A Marsh Tit near Bryn Tip was a very enjoyable sighting as were 4 Whinchats on the old Tipping area (MHi, CHi)

2 Curlew Sandpipers at Whiteford Burrows (OGa)

2 Spotted Flycatchers at Melincourt (MHi, RJ)

4 Spotted Flycatchers at the Gnoll CP (NEd, MHi, RJ)

50+ Yellow Wagtails at Sker (DCB)

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Wryneck at Pant Norton

(c) S. Rosser
1 today found by S Rosser, this morning. Later seen again by N P Roberts at SS 8785 7587 around 13:15

Garganey still present at couple of locations and new in -

Hendre Lake - 1
Rhaslas Pond - 1
Cardiff Bay WR - 2

Monday, 26 August 2013

A bit of Migration

 After a number of years or watching the waders at Crymlyn Burrows Rob Jones and I were able to finally pick up some Curlew Sandpiper (3) at this very important wader staging point.
 It was interesting that the first encounter with the Curlew Sandpiper involved 3 juvenile birds, however, only 2 were present later on and that it is possible that another small group of Curlew Sandpipers were located elsewhere on the beach. Other notable small wader numbers included - Ringed Plover (300+), Sanderling (350+) and Dunlin (150+). Earlier Redshank (73) numbers inside Brunel Dock were still high and must surely produce a vagrant wader in the near future.
 Yesterday, Margam Moors showed some nice migrant action with Whinchat (4) and Yellow Wagtail (13) providing the more notable records.
Also yesterday, the Kenfig Saltmarsh and Scrape held some decent stuff too - Teal (60+), Gadwall (2), Wigeon (1) and  Snipe (36). Also nearby the a Green Sandpiper remained on Morfa Pools.

(MHi, RJ)

Elsewhere today -

Rhaslas - An amazing inland record of 8 Curlew Sandpipers! Plus Garganey still present (MTH)

Whiteford Sands - 1 Little Stint with Ringed Plover and Dunlin (CDB)

Kenfig River and Saltmarsh - Teal (c60), Green Sandpiper, Whinchat, Redstart, Spotted Flycatcher (DCo)

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Garganey at Rhaslas

It seems that a mini influx of this species has occurred in Glamorgan, this one at Rhaslas was found by Mike Hogan.

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Garganey on Lisvane Reservoir 24/8

A rather poorly-marked bird... Just about visible are: pale loral spot, pale chin/throat, dark cheek bar, dark lower mandible on longish dark grey bill. Thanks to Shane Faulkner and Mark Hipkin for the ID advice.
Both garganey still at CBWR at 7.30 this morning

Friday, 23 August 2013

Kenfig Saltmarsh complex

 A couple of record shots of the Wood Sandpiper at the Kenfig Saltmarsh, today. It was first seen about 11:15 and still present when I left the area near to 13:00. I watched this bird from the dunes west of the scrape.
It was interesting to watch it swim, albeit briefly.
Other waders in the area were Lapwing (18), Snipe (8), Dunlin (1), Ringed Plover (11f/o) and a Green Sandpiper initially on Morfa Tip pond before spending some time along the Kenfig River, later returning to the pond.
Duck on the pools inside the Reed-bed included Teal (36) and Gadwall (1)

 The resident Lapwing seem to be doing a good job bringing in the waders and the water levels are great. Better to come from here in September I think...

RE: Cardiff Bay Wetland Reserve

Apologies for late posting but I am a newbie on here. Two garganey found yesterday afternoon at 2.30pm. Unfortunately I only had my bins with me so I have had no chance to ascertain age / sex of birds. Also clouded yellow butterfly and 2 wall brown of note.



Cardiff Bay wetlands

Both imm Garganey still present and viewable from boardwalk 12.15pm [MCP]

Wood Sandpiper

A Wood Sandpiper at Kenfig Saltmarsh this am [MHi]. No further news.

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Whiteford Point

Late News 16/08/2013
Slavonian Grebe in SP at Whiteford Point [M. Maher]

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Late news 13th & 14th August


Port Eynon 07:00 to 08:30

Arctic Skua (2 (1pm + 1dm)) & Common Scoter (14) - P. Howe

Brunel Dock & Neath River

Arctic Tern (1ad), Whimbrel (6) & Redshank (89) - R. Jones


Forest Farm

Hawfinch (5) - [C. Morgans]

Monday, 12 August 2013

Yellow-legged Gull on Crymlyn Burrows beach

A 3rd Cal yr (2s -> 3w) Yellow-legged Gull was on Crymlyn Burrows beach, this afternoon. It's a species that I'm not able to find as often as I would like at this site, or anywhere for that matter. Herring Gull numbers are often very good in Baglan Bay but also often very spread out making checking them all, near impossible. When the tide comes in, birds that you hope would favour a high tide roosting location somewhere along the beach often sit far out at sea; it's very frustrating.
The photo above shows today's bird is in an active primary moult with P1 & P7 still growing and P8 missing. The legs seem to be in the process of changing colour with the feet still fleshy-coloured, which is typical of this age-group.
I find that the shade of grey that our Herring Gulls show can appear surprisingly dark at certain angles and light, so it was nice to see this bird between Herring Gull adults all facing the same direction. It appears to me that this bird is a female and so the structural differences are more subtle than a male might show. However, the elongated flat back line of a bird standing on long-looking legs with a heavy bill are all noticeable on this bird. Other good features include the remnants of the dark mask, large head and slender hind parts. Combine these with the darker shade of grey on the back and this bird looks good for Yellow-legged Gull to me. I'm acutely aware that the Gull ID scene is loaded with experts, far more advanced than I, as such any comments or differing opinion will be welcomed.
Med, Black-headed and Common Gull mixed flock.
Apart from being very pleased with the YLG, I was also very impressed by the numbers of Mediterranean Gulls present today. I counted 63 (inc 3 juv) on the beach with a further 22 flying in with mixed gull flocks that were feeding offshore.
85 Med Gulls doesn't come close to the numbers found around Blackpill from time to time but it is over four times more than my previous best from this site which was less than 20.

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Sanderling B1YWYB

Late news from Friday. The Sanderling flock continue to hold around the 300+ mark along the beach and at least 2 colour ringed individuals were amongst them. No photo this time (because I wasn't ready!) but one of the birds did show well enough to take its details before going to roost on the shingle ridge.

Blue flag above the left knee = 1; Yellow above White on the left leg; Yellow above Blue on the right leg


Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Roseate Tern in the Burry Inlet

 An adult Roseate Tern was found by Rob Hunt at Pembrey Harbour, yesterday evening, around the high tide mark. Today the bird showed well for Rob J, Darren C and myself. Although it did disappear for 45mins split either side of high tide when it moved off with the chaotic tern flock made up mainly of Sandwich Terns (120+) and a couple of Common Terns. In the past when this bird has turned up, it has ventured over to the Glamorgan side; Barry Stewart has picked it on at least two of the more recent years. The tide height at the moment isn't big enough to force the terns from Pembrey by submerging their favoured sand bar roosting point. However, if this bird sticks around for a few more days the higher tides may persuade the tern flock to explore alternative roosting locations on the Glamorgan side. Probably worth a shout...

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Little Ringed Plover on Neath River

Rob J, Gwyn R, Darren C and I had a quick look around the Neath River and Crymlyn Burrows Beach, yesterday evening. Some counts taken are as follows

Curlew (80+), Whimbrel (17), Bar-tailed Godwit (1), Oystercatcher (c350), Redshank (c70), Common Sandpiper (17), Little Ringed Plover (4), Ringed Plover (120), Sanderling (330+), Dunlin (200), Turnstone (5), Mediterranean Gull (10), Stonechat (2juv), Sedge Warbler (1) and 10 Reed Buntings

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Little Tern on Crymlyn Burrows Beach

 1 adult Little Tern came in to roost with the wader flock, this evening, on Crymlyn Burrows Beach. It would periodically go out into the bay to fish and then return to where the main group of waders were roosting/feeding to rest up and preen. The Little Tern was also seen to be supporting a metal ring on its right leg as shown below.
Also present Turnstone (10), Ringed Plover (150+), Knot (2), Sanderling (240+) and Dunlin (356). Mediterranean Gulls again in small numbers with 8 on the beach including 3 adults and 5 2cy birds

Friday, 2 August 2013

Heron Zapped

This morning around 0600 hrs I watched a Heron [presuming Grey] hit the overhead national power lines running alongside my factory RPC at Kenfig industrial estate. At the point of contact there was a loud Zap like a when a moth hits a bug zapper and the bird dropped like a stone to the ground on the other side of the factory fence into an unviewable scrubby area. Birds regularly sit or collide with these lines and are unscathed because they are not earthed. But in this instance I think the bird was still wet from feeding [ it had a frog in its mouth] and the water must have conducted the electricity causing a power surge around the bird making an electrical circuit at contact. Its the first time I've seen this happen, So if a anyone knows of a better explanation please feel free to comment. As a side note about 10 Days ago I watched 3 out of a flock of 14 Canada Goose make contact with the power lines but remain unscathed. I'll research it a bit more when I get up as I was nights.

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Sanderling G3WBGW

On Crymlyn Burrows this afternoon amongst c350 Sanderling. Ringed Plover numbered an encouraging c150 and Dunlin were c200 strong. The birds were quite mobile though so accurate counts not really possible with so much feeding ground exposed. Hope I didn't miss anything....

I'll put the life history of the Sanderling up here when it's been returned.