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, 29 December 2014

Whiteford Point

No sign of the red necked grebe this morning but a good selection of birds nonetheless. Notable species included: 4 slavonian grebe, 1 great northern diver, 40 eider, 3 red breasted merganser, 1 female merlin.

Yesterday: 2 - 3 ringtail hen harriers and 2 g w egret at Llanrhidian Marsh.

Friday, 26 December 2014

Boxing Day Birding

This morning Mark Hipkin and I headed to Wernffrwd for a look at the marsh and estuary over the high tide - it also served as a good way to clear the head after yesterday's over-indulgence. From the outer mound the usual waders and wildfowl of the Burry were spread out before us and it wasn't long after that Mark found 2 Slavonian Grebes. A little while after I picked up on a third darker looking grebe that was swimming and diving near one of the Slav's - slowly revealing itself to be a Red-necked Grebe. It was a great opportunity for comparison with the Slav's and also the nearby Great crested grebes. Distance and poor light prevented getting any decent record-shots, but i did mange to get some footage with my Iphone/scope.

A couple a screen grabs from the footage taken.

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Afon argoed.

Great grey shrike present but mobile at SS82692 93536 yesterday (Paul Tabor).

Friday, 19 December 2014


3 Wood Larks still at Overton, Gower [OG]

Bittern at KNNR [PS]

Bittern in reeds on the west lake at Cosmeston 18th. [per B-G]

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Great White Egret at Neath River (29/11/14) record shot

© D. Sharps
Dave Sharps kindly provided a record shot of the Great white Egret that was present mid-morning on 29th November along the Neath River opposite Brunel Dock. This bird showed only briefly before flying upriver and although looked for later that day around the saltmarsh in the afternoon and again at the Egret roost opposite Brunel Dock early evening it was not seen again. This species is rarely seen in NPT and tends not to stick around for long but surely it won't be long before one chooses to winter here.

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Early December

The Hawfinches continue to show well at Fforestganol with 8 there on 10th [GOS] & 3 on 12th [MCP & DRWG]. Best place is to park [with care] near the white cottage [one with the vegetable garden & bird feeders] and look up into the beech/hornbeams for them feeding on the mast. They also feed in the lower canopy and on the ground. The Lesser Scaup is back at CBWR and the Black Redstarts continue to perform well around the houses of Penarth Marina [many obs]. There is a very nice set of photos on Birders in Boxers by Jeff Slocombe of the Black Reds.

Monday, 8 December 2014

1st W Caspian Gull at Cosmeston

Lol Middleton and Andy Burns have found what the gull experts on the UK Gulls blog/Facebook page seem confident is a 1stW Caspian Gull - see the Glamorgan Bird sightings blog for link to the photos - The bird was on E lake.

6 Hawfinches were seen at Fforestganol [GS]

Bittern at Kenfig

© P. Smith
Peter Smith sent in this fabulous shot of a Bittern at Kenfig, today. Taken from the southern hide at around 10:00. Showed for about 10 minutes before disappearing into the reedbed.

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Roath Park Lake

Long tailed duck giving excellent views until dusk (found by Dave Palmer) around the islands. Also present 4 teal, 1 shoveler, 1 little egret and 10+ little grebes. 62 cormorant in the usual roost.

Yesterday - 6 jack snipe at Green Point. 2 great northern divers Llwyn onn reservoir gorging themselves on crayfish.

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Long-tailed Duck at Crymlyn Burrows

© hmmm
A longed for patch tick this afternoon from Crymlyn Burrows - female type Long-tailed Duck was feeding on the Aberavon side of the shipping channel. Also present 3 Shelducks, 4 Common Scoters, 5 Red-throated Divers, 358 Great Crested Grebes, 2 Knots, 151 Ringed Plovers, 729 Dunlins, 1 Snipe, 4 Bar-tailed Godwits and 11 Turnstones. Sanderlings present but not counted.
The Dunlin numbers today are the highest I've ever counted at this location and the small wader flock have been gradually increasing in size at Crymlyn for the last few months. This is in stark contrast to Blackpill where they have been largely absent. The displacement will probably be only temporary and once the university campus opens next year the flock are likely roam more widely across the bay. For now this relatively quiet beach is a real joy to watch around high tide and well worth a visit. A GOS field trip is scheduled for next weekend.

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Overton, Gower

Spent the morning at Overton. The 4 woodlarks put in a brief appearance around mid morning. They appeared from nowhere and circled around the stubble field calling and then headed off north.

There was a good sized finch flock in the adjacent field which contained 60+ chaffinch, 10 linnet, 3 reed bunting and 3 goldfinch but despite a good search no common rosefinch amongst them.

A quick look of Port Eynon saw 2 med gulls (ad), 1 eider and 2 red-throated diver.

Male Black Redstart Penarth Marina still performing!

Monday, 1 December 2014

Common Rosefinch at Overton (Gower)

The same field favoured by the Wood Larks is also attracting a decent sized mixed finch flock with c50 Chaffinches and roughly similar numbers of Linnets. While scanning for the Wood Larks amongst the finches on the deck this Common Rosefinch popped into view. It appears to be moving with the Chaffinch flock and the best chance of seeing it seems to be when the flock periodically take up together and gather in the hedgerow that runs along the field's northern boundary.
The photos show fairly warm plumage tones and a well defined double wing-bar, which was clear to see in the field. Therefore I suggest this bird is a 1st winter.
On the way back home, a quick scan from Dalton's Point at HT found a roosting Spotted Redshank. Seems strange to think that in 2014 there will probably be fewer Spotted Redshank seen in Glamorgan than Wood Lark, though this location being one of the most reliable to connect with Spotted Redshank in the county.

Wood Larks at Overton

 Four Wood Larks were present again at Overton, today. Initially five were found by Chris Brewer on 22/11/14 and all five were seen the next day at the same location (OGa, AWF). No further reports of these birds were made before Neil Edwards saw 4 birds flying north from this location on 28/11/14. Yesterday, the same four were seen by a few observers (AJ, BS et al)

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Black Redstart : Penarth Marina

Few pics of the stunning male bird present this afternoon, unfortunately it rarely came down from the rooftops.......

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Black-necked Grebe in Cardiff Bay

Black-necked Grebe
I went to see the Black Redstarts at Penarth marina and found this…


A Black-necked Grebe was found in Cardiff Bay [Penarth Marina/River Ely] and was last seen flying towards the Taff at the Grangetown flyover. [PD & GP]
A Firecrest was in the north pool bushes near the hide at Kenfig NNR. [ND]

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Ogmore & Southerndown

A Water Pipit was on the lower Ogmore Estuary this morning. Not unusually it saw me before I saw it, flying off over the river and into a tree on the edge of the dunes, where it gave prolonged - if distant - views as it preened. A Bar-tailed Godwit (that thinks it's a Redshank) remains, unexpected here this time of year.

A brief stop at Southerndown saw the Snow Bunting still present.

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Red-throated Diver from Crymlyn Burrows

A Red-throated Diver was swimming fairly close to the beach at Crymlyn Burrows, this afternoon. Certainly much closer in than I've seen before, and this resulted in me dashing to the waters edge to get a record shot of it. A close in Kittiwake also passed the beach, which is also fairly unusual.
Otherwise on the sea 4 female Common Scoters, a drake Wigeon and 5 Guillemots (plus lots of distant Auk sp on the sea and in flight). The Great Crested Grebes are now 213+ on the Crymlyn Burrows side of Baglan Bay, with c100 off Aberavon Beach. However, conditions were a bit choppy and there are probably more out there.

Monday, 17 November 2014

Porthcawl yesterday.

Swift sp photographed off Porthcawl seafront -

                                                                     © M. Cobb

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Snow Bunting at Southerndown

Here's a record shot - taken by David Ripley - of the male Snow Bunting present on the cliffs at Southerndown, late afternoon. This stretch of the coast has a good track record for the species, certainly by our meagre standards!

Friday, 14 November 2014

News (Early November round-up)

Ring Ouzel still present at Pant Norton, Ogmore 12th [NPR]
                                                                     © NPR
Black Redstart 2 around Penarth Marina/Barrage most of month [multi obs]
                                                                    © D. Lack
Osprey over Kenfig Pool 10th [DGC]
Marsh Harrier at Llanrhidian Marsh 9th [JNE]
Water Pipit at Ogmore Est. 9th [NPR]
GND off Mumbles, still present 9th [OG]
                                                                  © D. Rouse
GND on Kenfig Pool 8th [DGC]
Brambling reported at Oxwich 8th [OG] & Rudry Common 7th [TF]
Lesser Scaup still at CBWR till 6th at least. [CJ]
Bittern at KNNR 6th [TM]
GGS north of Llwyn-on Res. 1st

Thanks to observers

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Kingfisher at Blackpill

© J. Garside

A Kingfisher was at Blackpill this afternoon. Also there 6 Dark-bellied Brent Geese briefly at 14:30 before flying off west and 2 Little Egrets, later flying off east.

News from James Garside

The Kingfisher appears to be a very nice sighting with only a couple site records on the database. 

Tuesday, 4 November 2014


The YBW is still present at Pant Norton. Also 2 Ring Ouzels present there. [DCB]

A Velvet Scoter past Porthcawl mid afternoon on 3/11/14 [SR]

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Derek Moore's Funeral

Derek Moore's funeral will take place at Narberth Crematorium on Friday 7th of November at 1.00pm. Refreshments afterwards at Plas Hyfryd Country House Hotel nearby.

Further details can be found on the Carmarthenshire Bird Club website HERE or via the link in the sidebar

Friday, 24 October 2014

Derek Moore

It is with great sadness that we receive news that Derek Moore passed away yesterday. Derek's name is synonymous with conservation and celebrating the joys of birdwatching. Sadly I never got to know Derek well having only met him once at a WOS Conference a couple of years ago. I listened to him address the conference that day and his passion for the Society and the bigger picture regarding conservation had the conference completely captivated. With his passing we lose a much admired figurehead and special person. Our thoughts and condolences go out to his wife Beryl and his family.

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Yellow-browed Warbler at Pant Norton

A Yellow-browed Warbler was at Pant Norton, this afternoon. Calling and showing well off and on. (DCB)

Kentish Plover Crymlyn Burrows 18-20/10/14

It would appear the Kentish Plover has moved on from Crymlyn Burrows, having not been seen at high tide on either 21st or 22nd. It was a showstopper for me, particularly since on the three days I saw it I didn't count the other waders present. So normal services resumed yesterday with a couple of counts revealing 51 Dunlins (down from c80) and 183 Ringed Plovers (down from c220). The Sanderling seemed fewer but were not counted. Prior to the Kentish Plover's arrival the small wader numbers had been keeping fairly constant and so it seems likely that a small movement of waders away from the area has occurred in recent days, perhaps due to the stormy weather.

It was particularly rewarding to watch the Kentish Plover amongst the regular mix of waders and pleasing also that so many other birders managed to visit to see it.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Kentish Plover still at Crymlyn Burrows (20/10/14)

The Kentish Plover showed well with the wader roost yesterday evening over high tide. Present for it's third day.

Monday, 20 October 2014

Cwmdu, Maesteg.

                                One of three Ring ouzels there today.

Black-throated Diver in Swansea Bay (19/10/14)

Owain Gabb had a Black-throated Diver in Swansea Bay, yesterday morning. It was showing offshore from Knab Rock, Mumbles.

Other interest yesterday included :-
Great Skua down channel past Porthcawl (GP)
Curlew Sandpiper, 32+ Sandwich Terns & a few Commic Terns from Dalton's Point (BS)

Pomarine Skua at Port Eynon (18/10/14)

Martin Bell had a session at Port Eynon on Saturday morning. 1 Pomarine Skua was the highlight. Also 2 Arctic Skuas and 3 Sandwich Tern

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Kentish Plover at Crymlyn Burrows

Following a number of years dreaming of seeing a Kentish Plover at Crymlyn Burrows, today I finally got to see one for real. Clearly a late individual and some murmuring have entertained the idea of Snowy Plover! To be honest the reference material I have leaves me thinking this is a Kentish Plover, but I doubt that I could make a wholly convincing case to completely rule Snowy Plover out. Can it be done? The plumage seemed good for juvenile, not showing much dark in the broken collar. On some occasions, particularly at closer range, the bird didn't look very long-legged, however as the below photo shows it would often look very long-legged, which seems better feature for Kentish. Otherwise, my trusted Shorebirds suggests that Snowy Plover can often have pale legs, but this bird showed the dark legs that I was expecting to see.
It's not the first time a Kentish Plover has been seen at Crymlyn Burrows. Dr Bryn Richards' Bird Life of Neath and District from 1952 to 1972 has a systematic list that shows ' Rare; one record only, Jersey Marine, October 1970.' This record has no observer details.
A search of the database records shows more details relating to the 1970 record -
1 - 4th October 1970 - D.M. Hanford
Two other records that year both coming from Blackpill
3 - 17th May 1970 - P.G. Lansdown et al 
1 - 8th June 1970 - R.A. Hume  

Friday, 17 October 2014

Yellow-browed Warbler at Kenfig River

© D. Coombs
Darren has kindly provided a record shot of the Yellow-browed Warbler he found alongside the Kenfig River, this morning. It was seen along the Tarmac Road leading to Kenfig Saltmarsh from the Kenfig Ind. Est. (SS793831)

Wednesday, 15 October 2014


2 Wood Larks over the Point at 08.50 (PB, MM) seen to drop into fields behind holiday camp. Also lots of vis mig, mainly Redwings, Meadow Pipits, Skylarks and Swallows.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014


A Great White Egret was seen on Talygarn Lake flew off towards Hensol Lakes at midday [Mark Hebden], possibly the Lavernock bird? Also a Ring Ouzel at Cwm Nash [NPR].

Of interest - OOC: 300 Ring Ouzels at Dungeness today! Hundreds of skuas in the North Sea + 6 bonxies off Somerset coast & loads of YBWs on the east coast - all heading our way?

Monday, 13 October 2014


Lavernock Point: A Great White Egret f/o mid morning. Good migration still, with movements of hirundines, mainly swallows with a few house martins, meadow pipits and finches. At least 2 Merlins were present there this am, a male and fem/imm type. [PB & LM]

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Wood Lark at Lavernock & Whooper Swans at KNNR

A Wood Lark was found at Lavernock this am and was still present early afternoon - two photos supplied by GNS 13/10/14 [GNS & PB].

Two Whooper Swans were on Kenfig Pool briefly until being chased off by resident Mute Swans. [multi obs]. Photo from JDW.

A Ring Ouzel was seen at Caerlan Farm [PM & AMe].

Saturday, 11 October 2014

The very confiding Grey Phal refound on the RGW .

Pomarine Skua over Bracelet Bay

A couple of record shots of the pale morph adult Pomarine Skua that was found by Darren Coombs on the GOS Vis-Mig field trip to Mumbles. Seen from Mumbles Hill this bird might easily been missed by a sea watcher positioned on Tutt Head due to it flying too close! Luckily for us it made one of 50 species seen today, which also included Dartford Warbler and Great Northern Diver. A decent hirundine movement occurred with c650 Swallows noted plus 34 House Martins including a party of at least 25 birds that lingered around Mumbles Hill till midday.