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.

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Nightjars : Llynfi Valley

Not rare I know but fairly localized in suitable habitat, I paid a visit last night to a local site in the hope of getting some photos and also to try out the high ISO capabilities of my camera.
"Churring" started at 10.00am and a male bird took flight shortly after carrying out a circuit of the clearfell, a stunning bird calling as it flew.
All shot with Canon 70-200mm IS L MkII wide open @ 2.8/200mm and at 16,000 ISO, quite pleased with the results considering it was almost dark.....

Friday, 26 June 2015


As you may or may not be aware, the opencast developers who wish to erase Rhaslas pond and have a massive opencast site in its place, have lost their case - a refusal of application -  albeit only Round 1 in the process of negotiation. The developers will surely appeal against this decision, however it is a tremendous boost for all who have campaigned vigorously for Rhaslas Pond to be kept, along with the surrounding hillside. Well done to all concerned.
The other part in this Shakespearian tragedy is that Rhaslas could form part of the new 'super' Gwent county, as Caerphilly is already administered as part of Gwent, Policing & NHS etc. Could we lose Caerphilly to Gwent - I quote the CO of the BEF at First Ypres, 'there will be no withdrawal!' The recording area boundaries for East Glamorgan are as they stand today & will remain so. The river Rhymney is the border, with the exception of the eastern Cardiff UA (Wentloog & RGW), this was agreed with Gwent in 1996. Rhaslas will remain in Glamorgan, as will all of the western half of Caerphilly for the recording of all avifauna. So to all Glamorgan listers, please rest easy in your beds.

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Long-tailed Duck on Kenfig Pool

Apologies for my prev post - I did not realise that if you are not a FB user you can't view any posts there. With Paul Denning's permission here are his two pix of the Long-tailed Duck that Graham Powell found on Sat 20th Jun. Lower photo by G. Powell.

Purple Heron at Kenfig Pool

With Cliff Woodhead's permission: two of his shots of the Purple Heron for use by GRC.

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Purple Heron : KNNR

Few record shots of the Purple Heron at Kenfig Pool from this afternoon, I had been in the south pool hide for about 45 mins when it flew from the west side reeds at 5.00pm halfway across the pool then turned and flew back to land and perch in trees on the west bank......
Heavily cropped and oversharpenned.

Saturday, 20 June 2015

Purple Heron at Kenfig Pool

Each time a rarity turns up at Kenfig my ability to take a decent photo seems to have slipped a bit. Here's a phone-scoped picture from this morning.

This was the most obliging purple heron I have ever known. It remained in view pretty much all day. Thankfully club member, Kevin Williams was in the southern hide this afternoon and got much better and closer pictures. These are back of camera shots again taken with my phone. Thanks to Neil for finding the second purple heron at Kenfig in two years.

Long-tailed Duck at Kenfig Pool

An imm Long-tailed Duck was at Kenfig Pool this morning, initially associating with the large flock of Canada Geese - found by Graham Powell. It was still present at around midday. A very unseasonal bird! Record shots by Graham on SWB Facebook
EDIT - apologies to non-FB users - I didn't realise you can't view anything on there without logging in as a user. JDW

Friday, 19 June 2015

Purple Heron at Kenfig NNR

A Purple Heron was in the north pool area before being flushed by an imm. Goshawk. It then flew off in a northerly direction towards the rivermouth and the reedbed areas. per ND.

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Proposed New Councils

In todays Western Mail, the headlines explain the proposed new council set-up, apparently ear-marked in a 'leaked map' (not shown) as to what will happen if these plans go ahead. As predicted, Cardiff will merge with the Vale. RCT, Bridgend & Merthyr will form another new authority and Caerphilly will be lumped with a super Gwent council. In West Glamorgan, NPT will merge with Swansea/Gower. So with the exception of Caerphilly (west of the Rhymney), it's basically the old West, Mid & South Glamorgan back again.
As stated, the existing boundaries between the West & East Glamorgan recording areas will remain as they are. Although as far as the more localised new councils and the art of 'listing' are concerned, this offers new dimensions. The old South Glamorgan was not as extensive in its borders as the new Cardiff & Vale will be. The Cardiff UA created in 1996 included new areas such as the Garth, which were not in the the old South Glamorgan, and the old Vale never went as far as the Ogmore River and estuary. Whereas the new C & V council will now include this area, as the Vale of Glamorgan UA does today.
I know observers & listers can keep to their various lists as it now stands, but a scope will exist for new boundaries and new lists. I haven't as yet worked out my new C & V list but a fair wedge of my Glamorgan list comes from this area. I'm sure most listers will come to some sort of compromise when new and potentially bird rich areas become available in nice new rearranged borders. The one anomaly is Caerphilly (West). I would think this would be included in the new RCT/Bridgend/Merthyr council - an old Mid Glamorgan, without the Garth area & the western bit of the Vale.
Perhaps even new more localised areas could be marked out: for example the Maesteg listers might annexe Parc Slip into a new 'Greater Llynfi Valley'. If it was me, I'd do it - think of all that lovely expanse of water, especially those scrapes! 
The $64 question is, will it happen? Possibly, if the politicians can make their minds up that is. Perhaps a delegation from the various bird clubs could help. We could end up with Cardiff & Eilat!!
Not to come into affect until 2020. 

Monday, 15 June 2015

Roath Park Lake

Seen on one of the islands today by Geoff Steed. Believe or not, it's the first record for the site and since it has been reinstated to the VC41 List, it's a Cardiff Tick! Although local listing may take on a whole new meaning when the new Unitary Authorities or Councils are announced this week. Cardiff could well merge with the Vale, so a new Cardiff & Vale list is created. Goodness knows what the Valleys will look like politically. Whatever happens the West/East Glamorgan boundary will be as it is now, as will be the East Glam/Gwent border. The Watsonian Vice-county (VC41) only applies to all the other Taxa, whereas birds has the 'Greater' Glamorgan prefix. Lucky for us, otherwise Martin's GSC would be a Brecknockshire bird..!!

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Nightjars at Llangynwyd

Probably 2 pairs at Gilfach (west), Llangynwyd. One male bird passed within 6ft. Started churring at 2209hrs and showed at 2212hrs. One pair in West Glamorgan, the other in both recording areas but suspected of being based in East Glamorgan.

Monday, 8 June 2015

Nightjars in Caerau

5 male churring Nightjars starting at 2206hrs and flying at 2212hrs were seen and heard at Foel Fawr and Mynydd Caerau tonight [same total as last year]. All recorded as based in East Glamorgan.

Saturday, 6 June 2015

Seawatching stats from Tuesday 2/6/15

06:00 to 10:00 (MHi, MHn, GP) - Great Northern Diver (1sp), Fulmar (12), Manx (c50), Storm Petrel (16), Gannet (7), Whimbrel (2), Turnstone (1), Arctic Skua (1 light morph), Razorbill (1), Guillemot (1), Sandwich Tern (1), Common Tern (8), Roseate Tern (2), Arctic Tern (1), Kittiwake (12)

Early afternoon - (AMe) - Manx (c50), Storm Petrel (6), Gannet (14)

AM (NPR) - Storm Petrel (1), Pomarine Skua (1 immature)

PM (NPR) - Storm Petrel (6), Bonxie (1), Razorbill (1)

(1/6/15) AM (NPR) - Arctic Skua (2)

Margam Breakwater
16:00 to 18:30 (RJ, MHi) - Ringed Plover (2), Dunlin (7), Arctic Skua (2 dark morphs), Bonxie (2), Sandwich Tern (2)

Lougher Bridge
From 17:30 (CDB, BS) - Fulmar (1), Storm Petrel (1), Gannet (1), Sandwich Tern (2)

Dalton's Point
AM (BS) - Arctic Skua (1 dark morph), Sandwich Tern (2)

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Roseate Tern pics


Some late news for 2/06/2015: A Lesser Spotted Woodpecker seen at St. Mellons Business Park & a Hobby seen in NE Cardiff.

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Roseate Terns from Porthcawl

Two Roseate Terns flew past down channel this morning. Above a record shot of one Roseate Tern with some Common Terns*. A few better images and some totals from the seawatch later...