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.

Thursday, 30 April 2015

Status of Egyptian Goose in VC41 (Glamorgan)

As most birders in Glamorgan are aware, this species was removed from the Glamorgan List prior to the publication of the last Birds of Glamorgan 1995 (Hurford & Lansdown). In it the authors stated that  "There is no evidence to suggest that individuals from the self-supporting feral population in Norfolk wander far from their adopted home". With this information it was subsequently removed and placed in Appendix for birds of unknown origin - probable escapes.
The GRC have now been reviewing this species as to its status in adjacent Welsh & nearby English counties to Glamorgan. With self-supporting feral colonies now just over the channel and speaking to the relevant County Recorders concerned, the GRC have decided to reinstate Egyptian Goose onto the Glamorgan A List. 
The criteria for this is as follows:
In cases where there is no evidence to suggest that the bird is an escape - no collection type rings etc., then the bird can be treated as likely to be of feral origin.
All records of birds seen in Glamorgan will be treated as from self-supporting colonies of feral origin, unless proven to be definate escapes, from 1/05/2015. 
A description or good photos will be required until 31/12/2015 or if the GRC have reason to ask for a description after that date.
This decision is not retrospective, that is all records prior to this date (01/05/2015) will be treated as birds of unknown origin as per the Birds of Glamorgan. All records from 01/05/2015 of birds of true feral stock, will be treated as good unless proven otherwise and can be listed on the Glamorgan A List.
NOTE: The bird that has been present at Peace Park, Aberdare is considered to be of unknown origin and will not be liable for consideration by the GRC.

Monday, 27 April 2015

Garden tick?

It's surprising what you get in your garden in deepest Abercynon. This rather exotic individual was seen this morning & photographed by Keith Norris. Not a Norfolk migrant from the Wolferton triangle I may add! One for the 3 Valleys birders to watch out for. Thanks to Ceri Binding & JDW for photo & info.

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Hoopoe at Rhoose

Seen & photographed yesterday by Chris Collins in his garden. Report of one at Rhoose Point today (21st), probably same bird - no further details. 7th East Glamorgan record since 2002.

Friday, 17 April 2015

Duck bill bands

Not a rarity I know, but Andy Burns posted this pic on the SWB Facebook page today, taken at Cossie this morning. Anyone know anything about this 'scheme'. Seems a bit cumbersome for the poor duck. I haven't had much luck looking online. Searching for 'duck[s]', 'bill' and 'band' or 'ring' just brings up pages about Ring-necked Ducks and bill markings.

Another GSCuckoo pic from 16/04/2015 from Thomas Winstone

Two common cranes over Sker Farm this morning

The birds struggled against the wind trying to head east but eventually gave up and flew over Kenfig Pool where Neil Donaghy saw them drop down into the dunes somewhere. Neither bird appeared to have leg rings or wing tags.
This pair were subsequently seen flying over Kenfig NNR 18th, Llantrisant 19th & Cowbridge 20th April.

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Great spotted Cuckoo 16/04/2015 Cwm Cadlan

Without warning the bird that had been 200m away flew into a tree just 30m away in front of myself and Thomas Winstone and due to his selection of lens he will have much better shots than this and also 'in flight' shots. Thanks to the finders for this much sought after Glamorgan tick!!

Great Spotted Cuckoo

Firstly well done to Martin Bevan for finding his 2nd county first. No tie I'm afraid but enjoy your well earned pint. Secondly to MCP for the excellent directions for me to scope it from the road, having one's leg in a cast isn't the best for birding 'off road'. And lastly well done to Dean Bolt, who today becomes the county's top lister over-taking the late SJM. Photo above sent by Phil Hill.
Notice to local birders - please log and record all your other species sightings at the sites along the valley, as this is an under-recorded area. Thanks GRC/GBC.
Stop Press: Judd Hunt who is in Sicily this week on tour found a Cream-coloured Courser, the first for island since 1977.

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Great Spotted Cuckoo at Cwm Cadlan LNR nr Penderyn

The Great Spotted Cuckoo found this evening by Martin Bevan was still present until dusk apparently.  Grid ref SN 961 095. Only parking for 5 cars near the reserve track so best to park in Penderyn then walk 1 mile NE towards Cwm Cadlan. Instructions as given on the South Wales Birding Facebook page are as follows:
At the LNR, take the path down into the valley, cross the bridge, take the path to the left and follow for about 500m to open area. Grid Ref SN 961 095.
A record shot can be seen on SWB FB page at [scroll down in Adrian Merediths post].

PS if you're not familiar with FB click on "View 'x' more comments" to see them all.
For the record here's Martin's record shot, which he has allowed me to copy off FB:

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Marsh Harrier at Llanrhidian

The bird drifted slowly across the marsh in hunting mode heading west at 1950hrs and wasn't seen again despite meeting up with Neil Edwards almost immediately after seeing the bird and looking until 10 mins after sunset. Plumage appeared blackish-brown all over other than a cream cap and throat patch (so presumably a 2cy bird). These couple of ropey video grabs give general impression. Thankfully I had a reasonable look before getting a record video.

Cardiff Bay Wetland Reserve & Hamadryad Park

CBWR busy with migrants late afternoon. Male redstart still showing on & off in front of St David's Hotel. 7+ reed warbler singing throughout the reserve with 14+ willow warbler, 6 + blackcap. Cetti's warbler were particularly vocal and showy with birds perching atop bushes to sing. The grasshopper warbler gave a brief reel mid afternoon but otherwise no sign. 7 wheatears were also on the reserve (my highest count here).

The lesser scaup was showing well at the end of the boardwalk.

Hamadryad Park - walking through the Park home at 1830, a grasshopper warbler was reeling strongly in the hedge where the trees have been cut down. I waited a short while and it popped up and showed well.

Garganey, Fountain pond, Parc slip.

                           Drake Garganey still present this morning.

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Glaucous Gull roosting inside Port Talbot Steelworks

An immature Glaucous Gull was seen flying to the gull roost inside the steelworks this evening. It was seen in flight above one of the buildings a few times and also watched coming into land. The area it was loyal to didn't afford clear views of it standing, but occasionally it could be seen flapping its wings or flying a short distance. That behaviour seems consistent with the Porthcawl bird, which has trouble putting weight on one of its legs, so it seems this is where that bird has been roosting at least part of the time during its long stay.

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Glaucous Gull at Coney Beach

Here's a couple of pictures of the Glaucous Gull at Porthcawl on the weekend.

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Cardiff Bay

One of the adult Bonaparte's gulls dropped into the Bay at 1700. It is now acquiring its dark hood. It flew and briefly landed in the Wetland Reserve before joining the rest of the flock of large gulls. It was the only small gull in the Bay. It flew off in the direction of the Heliport at 1725.

Sunday, 5 April 2015

Iceland Gull and Glaucous Gull still showing well

2 cy Glaucous Gull
 It was a really good day today being able to catch up with the long staying Iceland Gull at Taff's Mead Embankment and the even longer staying Glaucous Gull at Porthcawl. The Iceland Gull turned up at around 15:45 after a waiting over 30 mins for it to show just downstream from the railway bridge. It then proceeded to have bread thrown at it or at least had bread thrown tactically into zones that offered it the best chance of getting some! At times when it was sitting on the railway bridge it almost appeared suspicious about how easy life had become! Top marks to the birder who brought the bread.
2 cy Iceland Gull
Then down to Prospect Place for a quick look for the Bonaparte's Gull(s) but only a handful of 2cy Black-headed Gulls were on view from here. Plenty of "White-headed Gulls" around the bay though. Finally, home via Porthcawl for a second attempt at seeing the Glaucous Gull. It wasn't long before it could be seen from the east esplanade distantly on the sea off the Lookout Tower rocks (Rhych Point). An attempt to close distance for record shots resulted in losing the bird completely, and then a hugely frustrating 30 minutes ended with the bird doing it's very best to be noticed on the most prominent chimney in Porthcawl! Luckily for me I looked there before heading off home. The bird still struggles to put any weight on it's left leg yet seems adamant to continue using it. Apart from that it seems very healthy and never looked in any danger of losing this prime lookout post to the other gulls that were in the area. Both of them cracking birds.

Saturday, 4 April 2015

Parc Slip 04/04/15

The drake Garganey was still present this morning on the Northern Wetlands until 0930hrs when it flew off low eastwards and was relocated at the Fountain [south] Lake 30mins later, other migrants included 6 Chiffchaff and a lone Sand Martin

Thursday, 2 April 2015


The latest issue of BB lists several changes to species moving onto & off the BBRC list from 1st January 2015.

Species going on to the BBRC are: Aquatic Warbler, Tawny Pipit, Red-throated Pipit & Rustic Bunting.

Species now dropped from BBRC are: Lesser Scaup, Penduline Tit, Blyth's Reed Warbler & Citrine Wagtail. {These will now automatically go onto the WRP Rarity List for Wales}


Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Steve Moon

Just an update in case anyone has not seen it elsewhere. After the service at All Saints Church, and thereafter at Margam Crematorium, there will be a 'wake' to which Steve's acquaintances are invited, at Kenfig Reserve Centre, from 3 p.m.
IN case you haven't seen it, Madeleine has written a touching tribute which is published in Walesonline, here