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 GlamRC@gmail.com 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.
Monday, 30 November 2015
1 distant skua sp. (prob pom)
1 brent goose
Interestingly two tankers heading up the estuary were followed closely by flocks of some 30 kittiwakes each. I am sure these flocks encouraged the skuas into the estuary.
My first seawatch here for a while as I have previously been disappointed by the lack of birds. I now have renewed faith in Lavernock.
Monday, 23 November 2015
Friday, 20 November 2015
Wednesday, 18 November 2015
Of the observers that have seen them, the common theme is that they appear wary.
Thanks to ND, JC, GP et al for the reports.
Monday, 16 November 2015
Sunday, 15 November 2015
Curlew 9, Razorbill 1, Guillimot 1, Auk sp 1, Kittiwake 27+, Arctic Skua (up), Common Gull 4, Gannet 3, Great Skua 1, Common Scoter 3, Leach's Storm Petrel 1; down channel past Monkstone then appeared to turn and go back up channel.
07:00 - 12:30 Common Scoter (8+), Great Northern Diver (2), Diver sp (1), Great Crested Grebe (1), Fulmar (4), Gannet (7+), Leach's Petrel (1), Golden Plover (1), Sanderling (c20), Curlew (1), Turnstone (13), Kittiwake (40+), Guillemot (3) & Auk sp (20+)
Thursday, 12 November 2015
Wednesday, 11 November 2015
Tuesday, 10 November 2015
Another session this morning was more rewarding but with slightly lower numbers of birds passing. The star bird by far was a cracking winter plumage Black-necked Grebe, giving a fly by appearance. Passing range was well inside the yellow bouy, but sadly not stopping before lost to view heading down channel. Seemed a little unfair to have another late Manx but no Balearic, and for the second day running the Auks passing close enough to be identified were all Guillemots.
Wigeon (2), Common Scoter (4), Fulmar (1), Manx Shearwater (1), Gannet (9), Shag (1 ad), Kittiwake (c80), Guillemot (c55) and Auk sp. (c60)
Monday, 9 November 2015
Common Scoter (5), Great Crested Grebe (1), Fulmar (5), Manx Shearwater (4), Gannet (11), Shag (1 juv), Sanderling (18), Turnstone (10), Mediterranean Gull (4 (2xad, 2x2ndW)), Kittiwake (144), Guillemot (151) and Auk sp (100+)
All birds passing down channel.
Friday, 6 November 2015
The 5th of November is fast becoming a memorable date for Glamorgan Birders. In the not so distant past the Isabelline Wheatear turned up on this date, back in 2011. This year Eddie Hunter found a Pallid Swift from the comfort of his home (nice garden tick!). I've already freed the diary for 5/11/16 to spend the day birding.
Anyway, after last night's mild ID uncertainty, today the Pallid Swift gave itself up to a few brave Glamorgan listers as well as some of the finest Carmarthen and Pembrokeshire have to offer. Appearing to fly from roost in a tree at the playing fields off Addoldy Road at 08:02, Rob Jones spread news that the bird was still present. Not long afterwards Phil Bristow and myself were watching it drifting over the rooftops nearby. Over the next 2 hours the weather remained overcast, but the cloud was higher than yesterday afternoon. In these conditions the bird seemed to prefer feeding well above the rooftops, which meant it was generally much easier to keep track of its whereabouts. However, these same conditions found it ranging fairly widely and it was seen NE of Glyn-Neath at 09:30. Rain started to fall around 09:30 and the cloud level dropped, this brought the Pallid Swift back over Gellidawel Road, where it had been showing best for most of the morning. By about 10:00 the bird had drifted out of view low over the rooftops and hasn't been reported since.
The consensus of opinion on site was that it looked good for Pallid Swift. Some occasional brighter areas in the cloud would allow the bird's pale plumage tones to be seen, but rarely much more detail as it kept it's distance. The jizz of the bird always appeared good for Pallid, particularly the broadness of the wings with blunt tips. The languid flight action was noticeable, and comparison of sorts was made possible when an overhead Peregrine caused it fly more frantically - resembling a Common Swift with fast action. After the danger past the flight immediately returned to an unhurried action with distinct periods of gliding.
The distance between observer and bird meant that plumage detail was always tricky to make out. However, the photo above (taken at 08:27) caught the bird when it was fairly low down. A slightly raised right wing has allowed the underwing flight feathers to be partially illuminated. This photo shows pale fringed greater and median coverts, and the contrast between them and the lesser coverts appear obvious. Therefore, in my view, the combination of this plumage feature and the structural features of the bird, together with its flight action and behaviour mean this bird can be considered a Pallid Swift.
Obviously this will have to go before BBRC for an official judgement on the bird's credentials, but I'm confident it will produce a favourable decision. In the meantime I would like to pass on my congratulations to Eddie Hunter for delivering the latest addition to the Glamorgan List.
Thursday, 5 November 2015
Never seen Pallid before so armed with camera I rattled off as many shots as I was able to take. It showed at close range over the rooftops and School off New Street but the light was tragic and constant drizzle not helping either.
A few looks at it through the bins made me feel it was paler than I'd expect a Common Swift to look and that upper wing coverts were boldly fringed pale making the inner wing look scaly. The overall upper tones of the bird seeming fairly concolourous with no obvious saddle. Away from the upper wing I did not particularly notice a scaly look to the body plumage of notice any underwing features. Flight appeared more relaxed and lethargic, it appeared a bulky bird too.
Photos now processed show that no plumage features can be assessed safely from them. However, the shape and structure of the bird does make it look interesting. A few features to concentrate on are the relative length of t4 and t5, the broadness of the wing towards the tip, the bulk of the body and size of the bill. T4 & T5 seem fairly similar in length as expected for Pallid. Wings do appear broad towards the tip which is good for Pallid. The body appears fairly heavy which is good for Pallid. And the bill appears very prominent and big which is good for Pallid. Whether the structural appearance of this bird is enough to ID safely I'm not sure. Barry Stewart shares my sentiments and I thank him for his comments. We agree from the photos it probably is a Pallid but without the support of plumage features fear it might not be enough to be certain. Perhaps others might like to comment?
Sunday, 1 November 2015
Lesser Scaup @ CBWR
Ring Ouzel @ Lavernock LNR
Black Redstart  @ Penarth Marina
Water Pipit @ Ogmore Est.
Lesser Scaup @ CBWR
Firecrest along Penarth Coastal path
Black Redstart 2 x male @ Penarth Marina
Wood Lark  & Bramblings @ Lavernock LNR
Bramblings @ Lavernock Point
Hawfinch @ Cathays Cemetery, Cardiff
Also good numbers of Redwing & Fieldfare