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, 30 November 2013

Kenfig Saltmarsh - where east meets west

In the last few weeks Google has updated the satellite imagery for the surrounding area (not sure how far the updated images stretch). It's a timely update since a record of mine concerning a Wood Sandpiper at this location, from earlier this year, has yet to be allocated to a recording area. When I first saw the bird it was in the middle of the scrape where the Lapwing like to roost. My judgement at the time left me feeling it was right on the boundary between the 2 counties, therefore I was delighted to watch it feed moving in a NW direction right up to the reed bed. This, I felt, must mean it's in West Glam!
These latest images allow me to see exactly where the bird was, and significantly where the recognised boundary lies. The Kenfig River forms the boundary between NPT and Bridgend. An OS map would show the boundary to follow the path of the River as shown on the illustration above. Comparison of the map and image allow the recognised path of the river to be followed through the reed bed, and crucially this path lies to the north of the scrape. This also shows me that I only ever saw the Wood Sandpiper in East Glamorgan.
I'm not absolutely sure about the history surrounding the creation of the scrape, but looking at it closely in the images appears to shows the route of the Kenfig River may be changing. I imagine that during periods of heavy rainfall a significant amount of water runs through the middle of the scrape as well as running along what is taken to be the recognised path of the Kenfig River.  However, there are certain signs, which can be seen in the images, that show the scrape route is developing into what will become the main route. This may need to be addressed to keep the scrape in it's current and seasonally favourable condition. If the area is left to develop naturally I imagine that the recognised boundary will need to change.
To summarise, it looks like East Glam will lose ground (or reed bed) to West Glam!

Thursday, 28 November 2013

BTD still off Aberavon Beach & late news from west

The Black-throated Diver was still present late morning viewed from the Dunes. Showing briefly at distance before flying off west towards Blackpill. Also 24 Common Scoter, 5 Red-throated Divers and 124 great Crested Grebes east of the Neath river channel. (DCo)

Other late news from Saturday (23/11/13)

1 Velvet Scoter with 30 common Scoters in Baglan Bay, viewed from Aberavon side. (GR et al)

1 Snow Bunting was still present at Pennard GC around its regular haunt (AJ)

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Great Crested Grebe count Swansea Bay (Plus Eider & BTD)

A quick Great Crested Grebe count from the majority of Swansea Bay between 12:30 and 14:30 was rewarding given the numbers of Grebes and other miscellany of nice records.

431 Great Crested Grebes in total; 95 off Aberavon Beach, 316 off Crymlyn Burrows, 19 off Blackpill and 1 off Mumbles Pier.

Other good stuff included 4(1m+3f) Eiders off Mumbles Pier, 1 Black-throated Diver and 5+ Red-throated Divers off Aberavon Beach. Also 27 Scoters showing distantly from Aberavon (those seen well enough were Common) and a single Scoter sp asleep and showing very distantly from Blackpill.


The drake Lesser Scaup was in CBWR with 100 or so Tufted Duck this lunchtime [GP]

A Black-throated Diver off Aberavon beach towards the docks end. Also 5 RTD there. [MHi]

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Bittern at Parc Slip

A Bittern at Parc Slip (25th Nov) taken by David Smith. This is the 3rd record for this species at this inland site.

Other News: At least 3 Bearded Tits present at CBWR & 1 still at Cosmeston. All 25th Nov

Monday, 25 November 2013

EGBR news

Hope it's OK to post this here. I have the proof copy of the 2012 East Glam Report.  Looks good.  I need to go through it b4 giving the go ahead. It looks like it's going to be cut & glue bound like the 50th Edn as it's too thick for stapling. Hopefully this won't delay things. I think I am going to have to rely on Alan Rosney to pick up and post the printed copies for me as I leave for Panama next Monday.

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Whiteford (BS & JNE)

1 Red-necked Grebe (west side of Whiteford), 4 Slavonian Grebes (east side) and a female Merlin (at the point) were the highlights this morning during a fruitless search for crossbills. Other noteworthy species included 3 Red-throated Divers, 19 Eiders, 3 Stock Doves and counts of 52 Grey Plover and 143 Turnstone. 1000's of Oycs but not counted.

Friday, 22 November 2013


There are two Slavonian Grebes on Kenfig Pool [ND & DGC]

The Siberian Chiffchaff is still at Kenfig, showing along the south pool bushes. [ND]

A Snow Bunting was seen flying over Sker Point towards Porthcawl. [DCB]

Thursday, 21 November 2013

GGS Nr. Llanbradach

A Great Grey Shrike found by Graham Williams & seen by Tony Williams today in the clear fell area @ ST142904. The area is near the old dotterel site (Myn. Eglwysilan) c.1/2m away. The area has been clear-felled, although there is a single stand of conifers, about a dozen or so, next to the farm fields. This is where the bird has been seen, favouring the southern end. Take the road through the Penyrheol estate to the top by the cattle grid. Access along footpath @ ST127900. Caution the road is badly potholed.

Garwnant GGS

The Garwnant (SO001128) Great Grey Shrike seems to have returned to its winter area. Present this am and photographed by Mike Hogan.


A YBW was reported in a garden in Llantrisant (20th), feeding in a Sycamore tree. [SS]. This bird was also seen yesterday morning.
                                                                    © S. Stroud

Monday, 18 November 2013

Black Redstarts about

At least 2 in the area today -

1 in the car park at Dunraven, Southerndown seen by David Smith

1 on the roof of Civic Centre in Swansea, this afternoon, seen by Neil Edwards

Great Crested Grebes at Baglan Bay

Numbers have increased dramatically in last few days. A count after the recent storm revealed only 95 between PT Docks and Swansea Docks on the 14/11/13. This morning's count found 332 in the same area with potentially a few more further out in the bay hidden by the murk. 98 off Aberavon Beach and 234 off Crymlyn Burrows; favouring the western end respectively of both beaches, as they invariably do.

Weekend Bird News

Snow Bunting (c) A. John
Saturday 16th November
Turtle Dove still at Cosmeston CP (JPC, MBi & CBi)
Firecrest at Oxwich Marsh (OGa)
Snow Bunting at Pennard GC (AJ)
Firecrest (c) O. Gabb
Sunday 17th November
Bittern at Kenfig (AM)
Black Redstart (imm) at Nash Point (SER)
Ring Ouzel (f) at Parc Slip (JS)
Bearded Tit (m) at Cosmeston CP (WMS)
Hawfinch (2) at Fforest Ganol (ASR)

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Snow Buntings over Rhossili

2 Snow Buntings flew west over Rhossili, this morning. Not Lapland Buntings, as previously reported! Otherwise a small movement of Sky Larks were heading west and Meadow Pipits were heading east; less than 50 of each.
In the bay 2085 Common Scoters were well spread out, meanwhile at Oxwich Bay a count of 710 Common Scoters were reported present by Owain Gabb. A good count for Oxwich, where Barry Stewart had earlier counted in excess of 900.
Back to Rhossili, where other seabirds included Wigeon (1), Red-throated Diver (2), Great Crested Grebe (5), Fulmar (8), Kittiwake (100+), Razorbill (5), Guillemot (40+), Auk sp (50+)

Thursday, 14 November 2013


A Hawfinch was at Lisvane Res. today, in the hedgerow between the two woods, then flew off north.
According to the GBC database, this is only the 2nd record for the site, the first being 12/01/1947 (Ingram & Morrey-Salmon)

Turtle Dove still at Cosmeston this am. [AMe]

Ring-necked Parakeet

1 in Pennard yesterday and today (Gareth Watkins)

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Sker Point

A Richards Pipit flew over calling heading west towards the Swansea area. [DCB]

News 13th Nov.
At least 4 Hawfinches at Fforestganol [Wenallt] Cardiff in hornbeams. [ND]

Turtle Dove still present and showing well at Cosmeston [ND]

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Marsh tit,Cogan woods.

Dartford Warbler at Crymlyn Burrows

A 1st W Dartford Warbler was in the western dunes at Crymlyn Burrows, this afternoon. This is the first record of this species for me at this site. Fortuitously found along the seaward edge of the dunes while searching for a decent spot to scan the gulls! And no gulls were scanned thereafter!!

A quick look through the records shows at least 1 other record at Crymlyn Burrows since 2000
[1] 08/04/2001 - I.T. Greatrex & J.D. Moxham

Prior to the Dartford - Great Crested Grebe (167 ((85 of CB) + (82 off AB))), Ringed Plover (179), Sanderling (181), Dunlin (137), Bar-tailed Godwit (1) & Turnstone (4)

Recent News

Turtle Dove was showing at Cosmeston CP, late morning today, in the usual place at west paddock. Also the male Bearded Tit was showing from the Boardwalk. - (DCo)

A Siberian Chiffchaff was seen from the boardwalk north of Kenfig Pool, yesterday afternoon. - (ND)

A 1st W/female Black Redstart was showing at Port Talbot Harbour, late morning on Sunday (10/11/13). Access by permit only. (RJ, GR)

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Turtle Dove : Cosmeston CP

Few pics taken this afternoon of the Turtle Dove at Cosmeston Country Park.


A flock of 20,000 Woodpigeons flew west, also Brambling and about 200 each of Fieldfare and Redwing. A Woodlark dropped in but never settled for long.

Bearded Tit and Turtle Dove at Cosmeston CP

 A busy mid-afternoon Cosmeston CP saw a rather reserved male Bearded Tit and a very showy juv/1st W Turtle Dove still present. Even though the Bearded Tit didn't show in the open very often it was still a joy to behold watching it work through the reed bed, sometimes only a matter of feet from the busy boardwalk.

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Pale-bellied and Dark-bellied Brent and Barnacle Goose at Aberthaw

4 Pale-bellied Brent, 2 Dark-bellied Brent and a Barnacle Goose at Aberthaw rivermouth.

Cosmeston CP

(c) M. Binding
A Turtle Dove at Cosmeston on the high ground above the the dragonfly pond. Showing well. Photographed by Matthew Binding. [per JDW]

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Flat Holm

I have just received a report of a Cirl Bunting on the island [per PB]. No further details.
The bird was a male and seen by two observers.

OOC in Gwent.

Penduline tit outside the visitor centre at Uskmouth reserve 30 mins ago. (per MM)

Still there (8th) by Reserve Centre & today 9th & showing well.

YBW in Bridgend

A YBW was seen in Neil Donaghy's garden at 09.30 this am and was present in an apple tree for about 15 mins.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Flat Holm

News of a Hoopoe, west of the Lighthouse, seen by the wardens on 4th Nov. [Thanks to C. Jones VC35 & P. Bristow for the news]

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Bearded Tit Cosmeston 4/11/13

One for the records!

Dark-bellied Brent from Crymlyn Burrows

A Dark-bellied Brent Goose flew past Crymlyn Burrows, this morning. This is only my 6th individual in NPT following an injured Dark-bellied at Eglwys in 2011, 2 Pale-bellied past Aberavon last autumn and 2 Dark-bellied past Port Talbot Harbour last month during a sea watch with Rob J. The only other NPT record from this autumn, that I'm aware of, was made last month by Gary L who saw 7 fly west from Aberavon Beach. They rarely stop in this part of the bay, however, to find either race of Brent Goose around Blackpill during the winter season is not unusual.

Also at Crymlyn Burrows, today: 196 Ringed Plovers, c200 Sanderlings, c80 Dunlins and 1 Turnstone.

Yesterday from Aberavon dunes: Common Scoter (14), Red-brested Merganser (1 redhead ->e), Great Crested Grebe (122 ((51 off AB) + (71 off CB))), Knot (1), Sanderling (269) and Bar-tailed Godwit (1)

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Bearded Tit at Cosmeston


Cosmeston: Bearded Tit along boardwalk this am. Report of a Ruff at RGW.

KNNR: [1st] Little Gull 1st W on pool.

Dalton's Point: [31st] Garganey with Teal [see 2013 Records, BS]

Cardiff Bay/Penarth Marina: [30th] Report of a Slavonian Grebe by boom near marina.