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, 26 July 2014

Marsh Harriers at Llanrhidian

2 Marsh Harriers present again this morning, an adult female and a juvenile (2 video grabs of the adult allow comparison with the Kenfig adult - same bird?). Also a Pied Flycatcher, 26 Sedge Warblers and 7 Reed Warblers were ringed and a minimum of 11 Green Sandpipers noted.

Marsh Harrier still at Kenfig Saltmarsh

The juv Marsh Harrier was still present at the Kenfig Saltmarsh, this morning around 07:30. It was also seen hunting over Kenfig Pool, viewed from the saltmarsh area a little later, around 08:00. (MHi, DCo).
Typical of a juvenile Marsh Harrier seen at this time of year this bird shows a evenly dark plumage to the upperparts, with a pale fringe that runs along the edge of the coverts. However, Marsh Harrier plumages are extremely variable and so the fresh-looking feathers with no sign of any wing-moult also give weight to this bird being this year's juvenile.
A minimum of 3 Marsh Harriers in the area today, with a female and juvenile seen this morning, at Llanrhidian (BS)


A Quail was picked up in a Leckwith garden (off Penarth Rd.) mid month. News via Daniel JJ & RSPB Cymru. [picture below]

Also a report of 3 Wood Sandpipers near the boathouse at Kenfig Pool 22/07/2014

Friday, 25 July 2014

Sad News

Dave Glanville sadly passed away earlier this week. Dave was a Cardiff birder before moving away to Pembrokeshire in the 90s. All at the GRC send our heart-felt condolences to Dave's family at this time.

Please accept my apologies for the lateness of this posting, but Mike Powell, Paul Parsons & myself were in northern Scotland with no access to the internet. Thanks to Phil, Judd & Gary Harper for letting us know this sad news whilst we were away.

Great White Egret at CBWR

A Great White Egret was photographed at CBWR on the 23rd by Ben Salter. A photograph is viewable HERE.

Marsh Harriers at Llanrhidian

A juvenile Marsh Harrier was hunting first thing, which spooked at least 4 Green Sands. A little later Neil Edwards saw two juveniles in the same area SS4993.

in for the kill...

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Marsh Harrier at Kenfig Saltmarsh/reedbed this afternoon

Picture of the marsh harrier found by Darren this morning. Adult female in primary moult?

Vote for Skydancer - a grassroots initiative to protect Hen Harriers.

Follow the link below to find out more and vote for RSPB run project to be Lottery Funded. Voting for this project ends tonight at midnight! All you need is to click vote and provide your email address. Easy!

Hen Harrier Day: Sunday August 10th 2014

On the 10th of August – when the media’s attention is turning towards grouse moors and the start of the ‘Inglorious 12th’ – Birders Against Wildlife Crime (BAWC) intend to highlight the scandal of the widespread illegal persecution of Hen Harriers on upland grouse moors and celebrate one of our most iconic birds of prey.

Follow the link HERE to find out more about the campaigns, background and Hen Harrier Day events.

I think we can show our support on this blog, or any blog, website, twitter etc., by flooding social media with photos of Hen Harriers or describing accounts of Hen Harriers sightings from the past. I've got a handful of Hen Harrier photos from over the years, none of which are going to win any competitions, but I've kept them all because every Hen Harrier sighting is special and each photo means something. The way things are going we certainly shouldn't rely on any future re-introduction scheme as some sort of insurance that these birds won't be lost completely. I hope some of you might join me to post loads of photos of Hen Harriers on the day, and we can show our support to this very worthy cause.

There are also various petitions that can be signed online. Links to some of them will be posted here shortly.

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Poss Red-crested Pochard CBWR

Here are some photos of this duck, the wing bar looks good for Red-crested Pochard but the head pattern and shape look a bit off. Can't immediately find any shots on the internet that show a similar head pattern but if it's a recently fledged bird I guess it could still be moulting through.
Happily coming into bread and squabbling amongst the Mallard!

Friday, 11 July 2014

Late News - Red-billed Chough in Port Talbot

Following up on news passed on to me by David Carrington of a Red-billed Chough reported it Port Talbot I have been able to speak with the observer. Jim Philips was travelling back from work along Harbour Way a couple of weeks ago. The specific date is somewhat uncertain but judging by the weather conditions during the time of the sighting it would indicate 26th June 2014. Mid-afternoon on the 26th the rain was very heavy and Jim noticed a Crow/Jackdaw sized bird huddled low down on a fence post next to the road. As Jim approached closer he could see that the bird had a slender, down-curved bill which was orange coloured! He was immediately shocked when realising that he had just driven past a Chough. The bird was described as being in a bedraggled state and looking sorry for itself in the atrocious conditions!
The description of the bird together and the apparent weather around the time of the sighting in addition to the time of year in which the sighting was made suggest this bird was a juvenile bird disoriented and displaced by extreme weather conditions.
Thanks and congratulations go to Jim for reporting this sighting of a bird, as far as I'm aware, not previously recorded in Neath Port Talbot. Thanks also to Dave for passing on this news.

Quail at Sker 9/7/14

A Quail was found early Wednesday morning, this week, from the public footpath near to Pink Bay pond, by DCB. The bird was calling from a hay field fairly regularly until about 08:45 when the farmer started to cut the field for hay! Although the bird was searched for in-between, it was not heard again until 11:30 by AMe at which time the cutting activities were putting the Quail to flight. AMe saw the bird flying on 2 occasions, the second time saw the bird fly into an adjacent "rested" grazing field with significant areas of low bracken. The bird remained in this field, and was heard infrequently until 18:00 when it was reported last, by RJ.
This Quail was a fairly popular bird judging by the number of birders who travelled to see/hear it; pleasing county (life), life and patch listers alike. At just over halfway through the year it would appear that our recording area is on for a good year for scarce or rarer birds. The sort year that the county year list might be broken, if anyone was going for it? I'm not of course and this Quail became my rather unflattering 300th bird for the UK and 248 on my Glamorgan list. These figures will never trouble the really serious county listers who will be absolutely miles ahead, or indeed interest those who see listing as pointless. I find it does offer a good means of self motivation to get out and record, and any ensuing friendly rivalry can't do any harm either.
Recently, I was reliably informed (not naming any names - NPR), at only halfway through the year that 1st July marks the start of autumn (in migration terms) and judging by the increasing numbers of passage seabirds and waders being reported recently I'm happy to go along with that. Certainly I'll be hoping, as I'm sure we all are, that the second half will be as good, if not better, than the first...

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Red-crested Pochard at CBWR and GWE still at Kenfig saltmarsh

A female type Red-crested Pochard was found early morning at Cardiff Bay Wetlands Reserve, viewed from the boardwalk (AGS). Still present early afternoon (C Hawes)

The Great White Egret was present around the saltmarsh at Kenfig this morning. Fairly mobile, at one point looking like it was heading for Somerset, but later returned. (DCo)