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.


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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.

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Black Stork over Afan Argoed (26/5/15)

At 13:50 yesterday a routine check on a flying bird that was too far away to identify through the bins became far from routine when the same bird was viewed through the scope. It was drifting along fairly high and heading east at a range of about a mile, but due to the fact my position was fairly elevated I was probably only 100m or so below it. My first view was very much like the top sketch, where I was confronted with a side on view of a completely dark bird with a long out-stretched neck and long legs hanging out the back. It had a very prehistoric look to it. Almost immediately, even before I started to speculate with some excitement what the bird might be, it banked slightly to reveal a very striking pied appearance and the very welcome large white triangle! OMG it's a Black Stork!!
Then panic set in. Too far for a photo with the equipment I had with me and so with the bird's flight taking it towards Maesteg I tried to get news out. Ok I should call a Maestegi! I knew Darren Coombs was unavailable so Paul Parsons was my choice. I found next how difficult it is to keep track of a Black Stork a mile away through a telescope and find a number on my phone. It seemed to take forever, but luckily Paul was there to answer when I called and we spoke for 31s while I gave him directions to where the bird might be. Seven minutes later Paul rang back to say that he'd got the bird and how many different lists the bird was now on. It was a very upbeat phone call.
Sadly we both lost the bird and it appears to have continued an eastward journey with the wind. Subject to acceptance by BBRC this bird will be a first for West Glam. It is also likely to be treated as the same bird as first appeared in Pembrokeshire the day before, and with the winds as they were it certainly seems likely it came from that direction. When I first saw the bird it was roughly 1km south of Cynonville (SS821940) and it seems likely that I watched it cross the border into East Glam, judging by the time that Paul and I lost it from view.
It was a shame that I couldn't get a record shot of the bird but the sketches kind of capture the moment better anyway. A stunning bird and a truly unforgettable experience.

1 comment:

David Gilmore said...

Great find Mark & well done to Sid too. It was seen again over a hay field at Coed Morgan, Abergavenny in the early evening.