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, 31 January 2015

Sad News

Ron G. Davies passed away on Christmas Day. He was a local birder from Rhiwbina who used to birdwatch at the reservoirs & Roath Park. He was a long standing member of the GBC and always sent his records in beautifully hand written. Our sincere condolences to his family.

Cardiff Bay Gulls

Any thoughts on these? Top photo is a closer shot of the standing bird in the middle shot (taken 25 minutes earlier so unfortunately the light is completely different) and bottom is a closer view of the sitting bird with its eye open. Unfortunately the sitting bird didn't move in the time I was watching it.

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Late news 2014

A drake Mandarin (unknown origin) was seen briefly at Talygarn Lake on 23rd Oct. 2014 by Mark Hebden. This is the first record for this species in the recording area since Aug. 2006 when a fem. was seen on Caerphilly moat [NJD] per GBC/GRC data.
Mark also recorded a GWE there on the 13th Oct., same day as one was at Lavernock Point [PB].

Monday, 26 January 2015

Lesser Scaup, Cardiff Bay

The Lesser Scaup was close in near St David's Hotel this morning and managed to get some photos. Here are a couple for the 2015 records.

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Important Request

Bonaparte's Gull in Cardiff 2014
I am compiling notes on the Bonaparte's Gull[s] in Cardiff during the period Jan/Mar 2014 for BBRC. I am especially looking for photos in Cardiff Bay. I have some shots from GNS on the foreshore and I have one from LM when he saw it at Cosmeston. I know that several observers saw two adults together in Cardiff Bay on 30th March - did anyone get a photo? Can anyone send me notes with drawings attached of the two, pointing out any differences between them (head pattern esp.). Please email me with any info. Many thanks. DRWG

Special thanks to:
Phil Bristow, Peter Howlett, Graham Smith, Lol Middleton, Andrew Burns & Gary Light.

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Firecrest : Ogmore-by-Sea

Few "record shots" of the Firecrest still adjacent the sewage works from earlier today, very mobile and elusive and eventually found about 300m upstream of the bridge mainly in trees, near the horse crossing point on the river.......

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Hybrid Gull at Cosmeston

As well as the Glauc, there was a hybrid HG type which Jake and Mike thought it was possibly a so-called Viking Gull - i.e. HG x Iceland. I didn't get a photo this morning [no camera] but it was still present late afternoon and I think this is the bird in the photos below. This has been around for some time and I had always taken it as a part leucistic HG. Freely admit I've never heard of a Viking Gull.

Glaucous Gull Cosmeston

The bird discovered this morning was still present at 3:30 this afternoon. It is really very tired and spends most of its time sitting down, but it has flown short distances a couple of times.

Pink Bay Glaucous Gull

Today's 1st winter Glaucous Gull at Pink Bay. It had an injured leg which hung down in flight.

Monday, 12 January 2015

Great Grey Shrike at Fairwood Common (11/1/15)

A packed bit of birding around Gower yesterday morning and into the afternoon with Darren Coombs was rewarding. The main target bird was Little Auk but sadly it didn't make it into the notebook, perhaps it will later this winter. Some highlights from the day are shown below.
Blackpill - 209 Great Crested Grebes and a Bar-tailed Godwit
Oxwich Bay - One eclipse drake Eider, c250 Common Scoters, a Red-throated Diver, a Great Northern Diver, a Great Crested Grebe, a raft c40 Kittiwakes and 20+ Guillemots were in the bay. An adult Gannet flew into the bay and much 'toing & froing' of Auk sp (but not little Auk sp) further out.
Overton Field - (mid-morning check) - no Wood Larks but c60 Chaffinches
Port Eynon Point - Nine Common Scoters, a sub-adult Gannet, a Little Egret, a Red-throated Diver, c40 Auk sp. (inc. Twelve Guillemots) and 40+ Kittiwakes mainly heading west. It was disappointing to accept that a Rock Dove watched in stormy conditions working hard against the wind to return to the cave below the head should be considered not completely pure. I suppose some reassurance can be taken from the fact that some maintain their post during the winter.
Overton Sewage Works - Fourteen Long-tailed Tits, two Goldcrests, two Chiffchaffs and a female Blackcap.
Overton Field - (early afternoon check) - Three Wood Larks
Fairway Common - One Great Grey Shrike
Lots of observers connected with the GGS yesterday, following news from CDB that it was still present, including EAH, BS, SJS, RHAT, PS, PRM, SLM, DCo & MHi.

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Great Northern Diver : Cardiff Bay

The Great Northern Diver was refound by Peter Morgan and myself mid-afternoon today and showed quite well on the barrage side of the bay about 200m east of the sails..........

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Wood Larks still at Overton, Gower

This afternoon three Wood Larks were present at Overton, Gower. Originally, a group of five was found by CDB on 22nd Nov 2014 but by 6th Dec 2014 their number had fallen to three. Nice then to find today that the three have chosen to stay in the area and made it safely into 2015.
Stop off searches for the Great Grey Shrike at Pengwern Common and Fairwood Common were made on the way to Overton and on the way back with no positive news to report. Hopefully the Shrike is still around and with so much suitable habitat available in the wider area I wouldn't be surprised if it turns up again.

Monday, 5 January 2015

Great Grey Shrike on Gower

Yesterday, a report was made to Birdguides about a Great Grey Shrike at Pengwern Common. The grid ref given showed that it was seen in the south-east corner of the common. This morning the bird was still present at first light being seen briefly by AJ. By early afternoon the Shrike had been relocated by JNE just west of the airfield on Fairwood Common.
As is often the case Great Grey Shrikes will often be found in the same general area that previous birds have been seen to use. The Fairwood Common site has recent form too - with a Great Grey Shrike being found on 12th Nov 2007 by BS that went on to stay 4 days at least. Interestingly a Woodchat Shrike was another visitor that made use of this exact same area in 2011 found by WT. That bird stayed only 3 days. Hopefully this bird will stay a bit longer than previously found shrikes.

NOTE - finders G. Rees and A. King

CBWR hybrid

A couple of record shots of the hybrid on the reserve this morning - perhaps TuftedxPochard? Lesser Scaup is in the background of the lower shot.
GND was also close to the Cardiff Yacht Club mooring lines this morning (saw it from the Barrage side but would have had a good view from the boardwalk).

Sunday, 4 January 2015


The drake Lesser Scaup was in CBWR along with the hybrid lookalike. Also an adult YLG in the Bay. No sign of the reported GND seen in the Bay earlier. [AB, PB, DRWG & MCP]

Hawfinches were again seen at Fforestganol, parties of 17 & 7 being noted today. Also a Goshawk of note there. [PT & PB]

Bitterns were at KNNR [2] & Forest Farm. [ND & DJJ]

Up to 6 Pale-bellied Brents were at Aberthaw. [JDW]

Spotted Redshank & Greenshank at Penclawdd [BS]

LTD at Crymlyn Burrows [MHi]

A probable immature Caspian Gull was seen in the gull roost last night at Cardiff Bay 3rd. {Possibly the Cosmeston bird?}

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Happy New Year

Wishing all Glamorgan's birders a very Happy New Year from all at the GRC.

Many thanks for your support and records. Let's hope 2015 brings some good birds to our shores.