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 September 2013

Lesser Scaup Cardiff Bay Wetland Reserve

Drake lesser scaup found this afternoon around 4.30pm. It seems to have arrived with a small flock of tufties fresh in. Wonder where it's been?

Late News

A Red-throated Pipit & Lapland Bunting at Weobley Marsh on Gower 28th Sept. [EAH pers comm]

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Red-backed Shrike at Mewslade Valley

Alastair Flannagan found this Red-backed Shrike at Mewslade Valley, this morning. Generally showing quite well both sides of the path but favouring the more elevated parts of the east side of the valley, around SS42328740, as the footpath became busier as the day went on. It was feeding well and looked in good condition.
In many ways, plumage-wise, it was similar to a bird I saw on Skokholm earlier in the autumn, whereby the upper-parts, in particular around the head, would appear plain and not barred. From some angles and in some lights this bird would appear similar to an adult female bird. However, the barring on the mantle and upper-tail coverts show this bird is in it's 1st year.
Some early murmurings had agreed that it might be worth checking for Brown Shrike. The bird showed a dark brown mask but not very dark, the upper-parts showed more contrast between head, back and tail than one would expect from a concolourous, generally darker plumaged Brown Shrike and the outer tail feathers appeared to be clean white rather than pale. The primary projection shown by this bird was not the usual > 1/2 exposed tail length for Red-backed Shrike although still longer that one would expect for Brown Shrike which is normally much shorted than 1/2 exposed tail length. A good looking juv/1st W Rd-backed Shrike and a very nice find by Alastair, which was enjoyed by 10+ birders paying their respects.
Also in the area a probable Wryneck - brief flight views given to a couple of birders independently from the same area as the R-b S. Blackcap (3), Garden Warbler (1), Chiffchaff (10+), Goldcrest (3) & Spotted Flycatcher (4)
AWF, MHi, RJ, JNE et al
A Firecrest was a nice surprise at Llandarcy Saltmarsh, Neath. Showing with a tit-flock early morning
Later a stop off at the Lanrhidian roost was rewarded with a fly-by Great White Egret and a couple of Green Sandpipers.
Red-backed Shrike distribution map for vc41
2013 record in black, all others red with pre-2000 shown as open circles
Firecrest distribution map for vc41

Marsh Harrier and Hobby over Kenfig Pool

Marsh Harrier and hobby both found by Jeff Curtis and Tony Messinger this afternoon. They also saw four dark-bellied Brent geese feeding at Sker Point.

Saturday, 28 September 2013

Cardiff Nightjar

A very late and unusual Nightjar record. This found it's way to the GBC pages via a public comment picked up by Daniel J-J who asked the observer for a photo. So this was seen on a shed roof in Rumney on 28th Sep [!]. Thanks to the observer and to Dan for noticing the comment.

Friday, 27 September 2013

Curlew Sandpipers at Kenfig Saltmarsh

2 juv Curlew Sandpipers were with 7 Dunlins on the salt marsh, today. Also Teal (72) & Snipe (41). Viz-mig included Meadow Pipit (112 in fist hour), Wood Pigeon (24) & Mistle Thrush (14)


At Crymlyn Burrows around HT - Wigeon (1), Teal (1), Great Crested Grebe (1), Ringed Plover (232), Grey Plover (3), Knot (8), Sanderling (372), Bar-tailed Godwit (1), Stonechat (8), Spotted Flycatcher (1) & Goldfinch (c60). Also Swallows heading east, not big numbers but steady movement.


Wader Passage at Rhaslas

Movement at Rhaslas yesterday, photo from Mike Hogan. There have been a lot of Bonxies past on the English side of the Bristol Channel today and there were double figures of Bonxies yesterday at Chew. Big fall of YBWs on east coast too. 

Lavernock Wryneck

Here's a photo of the Lavernock Wryneck taken by local photographer Andy Burns. It was seen first on 18th Sep then again on 25th, on the latter date in the first field past the big house.

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Little Stint at Crymlyn Burrows

A juvenile Little Stint was found by Dave Cornish on Crymlyn Burrows Beach this morning. I managed to get down to see it in the gloom and take a short bit of video from which the freeze frame above was taken. It looked a little pale and big at first glance but the split supercillium, prominent tramlines and pointy bill soon dispelled any hopes of a transatlantic visitor. Nice bird though and a nice find by Dave; certainly worth getting soaked for!

Sanderling numbers are holding nicely around the 350 mark, there were 353 on thursday of which 35 were juveniles.  Ringed Plovers are regularly c250 strong and 20 Knots also this morning. Yesterday, there were 4 Great Crested Grebes in the bay; today, no sign of the bay!

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Wryneck at Lavernock

A Wryneck seen briefly this morning by Lol Middleton along the coastal path unfortunately could not be relocated despite searching.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Seawatching at Lavernock

To High Tide [16.00-18.15] West backing NW 5/6>7
Lavernock LNR shelter
Bonxie 1 UC
Arctic Skua 1 dark phase UC
Manx 4 all DC
Gannet 5 all DC
Kittiwake juv UC
Turnstone 8 DC probably making for Sully Is. roost.
House Martin 10+
Lesser Whitethroat 1

Seawatching at Porthcawl

A Leach's Petrel past porthcawl this am, also a Red-throated Diver. [GP]

16/09: A juvenile Sabine's Gull past Porthcawl [GP]. Also there Bonxie & Arctic Skua [PH & MJB]

16/09: 1 (sp) Great Northern Diver and 2 Great Skuas past Port Talbot Harbour during an evening sea watch [RJ]

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Lisvane Wagtail

(c) Rob Thomas [cropped but otherwise unedited]
The best of three record shots taken by Rob of a wagtail that ticks most of the boxes for Citrine. The weak wrap-around supercilium is a little off-putting, but could just be an effect of the dull light and the head being turned slightly towards the camera? All the other features appear to be spot on. This will be an interesting one for the rarities panel.

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Ogmore by sea

Wryneck at Ogmore-by-Sea

 Present this morning, ranging around the gorse scrub along the coastal path.

Wryneck at Ogmore

The Wryneck found yesterday by Karen & Alan Thomas is still present this morning at Ogmore @ SS 8696 7421 [NPR per VC41 text service].

Also report of a Wryneck at Llantwit Major on 10th.

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Ruddy Shelduck

A Ruddy Shelduck, of unknown origin, was at RGW [Cardiff, East Glam] today at high tide, moving down to Sluice Farm [Gwent] where it roosted. This is possibly the same bird seen at Peterstone Wentloog [Gwent] in mid August. This individual or another was seen at the wharf the previous day & at St. Brides Wentloog [Gwent] on 8th [CE pers comm].


The juvenile Marsh Harrier is still present, watched hunting the marsh straight out from the car park this morning - later seen on the Carms side of the estuary at Penclacwydd (Wendell Thomas et al).
Rubbish video here, but bird readily identifiable from this and five merged phone'scope video grabs below.
I presume this is the same bird first seen by Mike Piercey on 23 Aug and subsquently by Owen Leyshon, Owain Gabb, Wendell Thomas, etc. Hopefully someone will get a better pic at some point.
Marsh Harrier is more of a spring bird in Glamorgan, but there is a good spread of records throughout the year.
2013 records centred black, the Burry records presumably relating to the same bird.

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Curlew Sandpiper at Brunel Dock

This evening at Brunel Dock - Little Egret (1), Ringed Plover (1), Curlew Sandpiper (1juv), Dunlin (65), Whimbrel (2) & Redshank (96)

Neath Saltmarsh - Canada Geese (149) & Little Egret (1)

Yesterday evening at Brunel Dock - Little Egret (1), Ringed Plover (1), Dunlin (29) & Redshank (89)

Crymlyn Burrows - Mute Swan (4 past -> east) Common Scoter (4 past -> west), Great Crested Grebe (1 on sea - 1st this autumn), Ringed Plover (252), Sanderling (294), Dunlin (164) & Turnstone (9)

2nd Sept.
20 Spotted Flycatchers seen on the Cefn On Ridge [NJD]. The highest count for this species in East Glam since 1978.

Distribution of Curlew Sandpiper records in Glamorgan with 2013 records centred black