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.

Saturday, 16 January 2016

Arctic Skua at Aberthaw

© D. Pritchard
Dave Pritchard had an unseasonal Arctic Skua today at Aberthaw. Flying east along shore and landing briefly. Nice record for January.


Seymour said...

Great record but why is it an Arctic?

Mark Hipkin said...

Hi Judd. I based my ID advice to Dave because in my view the photo shows an adult winter skua with some diagnostic features. The breast band rules out LTS. The bill looks very slight and all dark which points to Arctic as apposed to a heavy set, two-toned bill that a Pomarine would likely show. Looking closer at the head and the finer detail of the dark cap also backs up Arctic - showing a small patch of pale feathers just above the bill base, Pomarines shouldn't show any pale there. Also the dark cap on Pomarine continues down to the side of the throat but this bird shows pale feathering there.
Dave Pritchard sent me a further couple of shots taken of the bird just after it flew off. The white primary patches can be seen in those photos are consistent with Arctic and far too extensive for LTS. The bird doesn't have a double-crescent but that's not so helpful in distinguishing between adult Arctic and Pom anyway.
Is there any reason why you don't think this an Arctic?

Seymour said...

D'you know, I could've sworn that the photo I looked at on Sunday night showed the bird with its head turned away demonstrating one of the pitfalls of looking at things like this when one's had a few beers! No, fair dos Mark.

Mark Hipkin said...

Cheers Judd