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 GlamRC@gmail.com 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 December 2013
A 1st W type Iceland Gull was present at the entrance to Lamby Tip, Cardiff (on the roof of a depot storage unit & surrounds) 30/12/2013 and photographed. [via BirdGuides]
NOTE: Observer not submitting record
Sunday, 29 December 2013
Also Dave Morris saw a Black Guillemot at Port Eynon today which was unfortunately killed by gulls!
Friday, 27 December 2013
Thursday, 26 December 2013
Tuesday, 24 December 2013
Sunday, 22 December 2013
Thursday, 19 December 2013
A widespread search for yesterday's Ring-necked Duck at some obvious locations - Cosmeston CP, CBWR and River Taff at Hamadryad. Also Lisvane Res. - have so far produced no sign of it (SRH, DRWG, JDW, )
A Barnacle Goose of unknown origin plus a Med Gull were the best from Cosmeston CP (DRWG)
JDW here - thought I'd add a pic of the Barnacle - a still taken with my video camera
Wednesday, 18 December 2013
Tuesday, 17 December 2013
Aberavon Beach - 72; Crymlyn Burrows - 265; Blackpill - 208
Total - 545
[Further details now in (15:07) confirm the bird in question is re-identified as a Cormorant]
Six Short-eared Owls at RGW this am. [RM]
Unconfirmed report of a GWE coming into to roost at Hendre Lake, St. Mellons.
Sunday, 15 December 2013
Sanderlings have occurred in good numbers along the shore at Crymlyn Burrows, during the second half of this year. They move widely all around Swansea Bay and can be found in decent numbers almost anywhere from Kenfig Sands right through to Blackpill. Roosting birds often choose the beach at Crymlyn Burrows to spend time around high tide and it offers a good opportunity to record numbers. It's still unclear to me whether the roosts here are made up by the entire Sanderling population of the bay, but the high numbers seem to suggest that it might be the case. My peak count (for 2013) was taken at this location on 31/8/13 when 412 Sanderlings were on the beach.
It has become apparent, in recent years that a few of them are ringed. The colourful combinations of ring and flag positions can be surprisingly difficult to record on roosting birds, that often prefer to stand on one leg. Even when they're forced to move to higher ground by the incoming tide they can be remarkably stubborn about keeping one leg tucked away; if it wasn't so annoying I'd be even more impressed by how quickly they can hop. If you can get them having a quick feed or preen before they disperse on the falling tide then that often allows the best chance to record the full combination.
Since the summer I've been able to record 4 individuals
G3WBGW - first caught in Iceland in May 2013 and seen here on 1/8/13
B1YWYB - first caught in Greenland in July 2013 and seen here on 9/8/13
G5WWGY - first caught in Greenland in June 2008 and seen there every summer since up to and including the one just gone. This is the first recorded sighting away from her breeding grounds - seen here on 19/9/13
Jeroen adds -'G5WWGY is an adult female ringed in 2008 and of which I used to find the nest each succesive year. In 2010 she was incubating very close to the field station in Greenland so we could see her incubating each time we went out for field work in the morning and when we returned in the evening (which explains the many sightings, usually two per day) in in 2010. She was also paired with the same male each year, which is unusual for sanderlings. He is a bit of a macho though and we have now genetically shown that although they used to incubate a clutch together in many cases (except for 2010 when she was incubating a clutch by herself) he wasn't very faithful to her; he has produced several extra-pair young, sometimes complete clutches.'
G2WGYY - first caught in Iceland in May 2011 and was seen there again the following year. It was seen here on 19/9/13. This bird was seen earlier this year 26/5/13 by Pete Woodruff at Rossall Point, Fleetwood, but not recorded between Pete's sighting and mine. Pete runs a blog and describes his exciting find on the link Click here - The Rossall Sanderling It's a good blog all round and well worth a visit in any case.
Please note the directional paths in the figure above are only indicative of movement. Indeed the bird that both Pete and I saw may not have gone back to Iceland at all? Of course further movement of Sanderling will take them beyond Iceland, to the north, and from Crymlyn Burrows, likely onwards further south. However any further arrows on the map above and there'll be a real danger of it turning into a psychedelic Intro to Dad's Army.
Many thanks to Jeroen Reneerkens for the information. Please support this project by reporting your own sightings.
On Friday the 13th, and on the way back from the Gloucestershire Desert Wheatear, I called into Fforestganol. The car park was full of birds but no Hawfinches to be seen amongst them. Despite the heavy rain I decided to walk the path the other side of the road. About 150m along this track a flock of Hawfinches flew just above the treetops and above the road back towards the car park. At least 12 and probably a few more. Not seen again on my return to the car but a male Goshawk was seen on 3 separate occasions.
[* The first record for this species in VC41 were 2 fems at Lisvane Res. 6/11/1981. GOS/GBC/GRC Data]
Saturday, 14 December 2013
Monday, 9 December 2013
Sunday, 8 December 2013
Saturday, 7 December 2013
Friday, 6 December 2013
Thursday, 5 December 2013
Wednesday, 4 December 2013
Long-tailed Duck (1) off Aberavon Beach (per Birdguides)
The Long-tailed Duck is a noticeable absentee from my list for this location and I was keen to see if it would still be around the next day. Unfortunately I couldn't relocate it, but I was able to do a Great Crested Grebe count just before HT on each of the next 2 days; an exercise I always find rewarding which also returned some other nice records.
Monday (2/12) -
Eider (4) and Great Crested Grebe (55) from Blackpill
Great Crested Grebe (403) and Grey Plover (3) from Crymlyn Burrows
Common Scoter (23), Red-throated Diver (14) and Great crested Grebe (28) from Aberavon
Tuesday (3/12) -
Dark-bellied Brent (1), Red-breasted Merganser (1), Red-throated Diver (5) and Great Crested Grebe (381) from Crymlyn Burrows
The Grebe count on 2/12/13 is, to my knowledge, the highest complete count for this species in Swansea Bay. 486 is a good total, and has the potential to increase further before the New Year.
Sunday, 1 December 2013
I would like to take this opportunity to express a huge thanks to Harold E. Grenfell and Robert H. A. Taylor for their outstanding work over the years. Harold, one of the founding members of GOS, made significant contributions towards every annual report since the first issue was published in 1968. His eye for detail and commitment to the progression of the society is a major credit to him. Harold’s legacy has provided strong leadership combined with diligence and enthusiasm, which now finds the club in very good health. Robert has committed the last 17 years to keeping accurate records for the society during increasingly challenging times. The combination of his ability, experience and knowledge of the recording area is second to none. During his tenure Rob has also made numerous outstanding finds including the most recent and very popular Isabelline Wheatear.
It will be difficult for me to match what both Harold and Rob have given to the society over the years and I face the daunting task of maintaining their very high standards. However, it’s an exciting opportunity for me to offer a fresh approach and I relish the challenge of developing these roles in the years ahead. Fortunately for me, the task at hand is made less difficult due to the availability of a rich array of help close to hand. The Gower Ornithological Society is full of very able section writers and the committee is full of talented colleagues. I am also pleased to have the support of many members of the neighbouring birding societies that I have had the fortune to know and get on with.
Birding is a fantastic hobby and I couldn’t be happier than when I’m out birding with the company that it brings. I’ve met lots of great people and made good friends through birding in the last few years. My wish is for more of the same in the future with some great birding along the way.