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.

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Velvet Scoters in Baglan Bay

A couple of Velvet Scoters flew into Baglan Bay, early afternoon. They flew to various different locations between Port Talbot Docks and Swansea Docks, presumably looking for a decent feeding area. Both Gary Lewis and myself were watching them for a while before they landed just offshore from Crymlyn Burrows. Having gone down to the shore to get a closer look at them we found that they'd been joined by an immature Pintail. One of the Velvet Scoter is an immature bird, but the other, which appeared almost jet black, I found harder to categorise its stage. The lack of any yellow in the bill and bill shape perhaps suggesting this bird is a very dark adult female.
In Neath Port Talbot the record of Pintail is rarer, for me, than Velvet Scoter. This bird being my 4th since 2010 including a pair at the Kenfig Saltmarsh earlier this year. Other fowl in the bay included Wigeon (3), Teal (5), Common Scoter (4) and a female Red-breasted Merganser flew east. Also 10 great Crested Grebes, today. Yesterday, Teal (8), Common Scoter (25) and Great Crested Grebe (11)
Probably the most notable and definitely the most enjoyable sighting came late morning when a 'ringtail' Hen Harrier was found flying low over the sea midpoint between Mumbles and Port Talbot Docks. From there I was amazed to watch it follow a line towards the Neath River before coming onto Crymlyn Burrows near the point and heading off towards Crymlyn Bog. The best video stills show a rather hooded individual with a large white rump, but the cold ground colour of the underbody seems to rule out suggestions of an epic sea journey!
weighted Velvet Scoter distribution
(NB. Other than 13 of Rhossili on 03-04-96, all records are of 10 or less individuals)

1 comment:

Barry Stewart said...

Very nice Mark, liking the flight shots.