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.

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Knap Lake - Barry

Ceri Jones found, and photographed a 1stW Glauc on Knap Lake Barry a 16:45 today - see Glamorgan Birds sightings:

This did go out on the text group. It flew off towards KNap Beach at 16:45.

ScaupxTufted Duck Hybrid at Kenfig Pool

Some digiscoped phone images from this morning. Certainly a striking bird.

Saturday, 23 January 2016

Bitterns in Glamorgan

Not many reports of Bitterns since last Autumn, but perhaps 3 or more birds are being seen from 3 locations so far this year. One at Kenfig last reported on 10th, one at Forest Farm last reported on 11th and a more reliable one at Cosmeston first reported at dusk on 19th. The Cosmeston Bittern has been seen every day since around the West Lake reedbed.

Snow Bunting still at Whiteford

At least one Snow Bunting was still present at Whiteford this afternoon. Described as being midway to the lighthouse.

Two Great Grey Shrikes in NPT

Two Great Grey Shrikes were recorded from Neath Port Talbot, today. Both birds were seen at locations where they've been present in the previous years.
The long-staying individual at Afan Argoed (present since 11/11/15) was showing at its regular territory (centred around SS810942) and viewed from the forestry track that runs above "Dead Sheep Gully" mountain bike route.
The second bird, discovered by Rob Jones, was in clear fell on the eastern slopes of Mynydd Marchywel, west of Crynant (SN77680473). Typically birds at this second site range more widely and can be difficult to find.

Monday, 18 January 2016

Snow Buntings : Whiteford

Few photos of male and female birds yesterday, these were two out of a total of three seen, very active when feeding and also very mobile..........

Saturday, 16 January 2016

Snow Buntings still at Whiteford

Daniel & Gethin Jenkins-Jones had a very productive trip to North Gower today. The two Snow Buntings were still present, more towards the lighthouse than previously seen (SS444956) Also 8+ GND's and 2 Slavs. Later at Llanrhidian a GWE, 2 Hen Harriers, 3 SEO's and a Merlin were around the roost viewed from Marsh Road.

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.

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Smew at Kenfig

Great to catch up with Paul Parson's Smew at Kenfig this afternoon. Showing in good light with Tufted Ducks (112) and the long-staying 1st W male Scaup. Good numbers of duck on the pool generally with the long-staying female Pintail*, a female Goldeneye, 10 Teals and 22 Gadwalls also present.

(*) late addition to summary - see comments

Female/1st winter Smew at Kenfig pool today.

    After seeing 2 Purple sandpiper, a Water pipit and a 1stW Med gull at Ogmore this morning, Dean
McCeachen and I went to Kenfig pool, as Dean had said there were good numbers of Duck on there  yesterday. Amongst the Tufted flock was a smaller duck with a noticeably white face, but it was more down than up. Luckily a man entered the hide with a zoom scope and the bird proved to be a fem/1stW Smew. Dean got this very distant record shot (Coot behind).

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Cardiff Bay gull roost

An impressive gull roost tonight compared with previous evenings. Some 5,000+ large gulls congregated around the mouth of the Taff and off the Wetland Reserve. At least 2 adult yellow legged gulls in the flock. Also an interesting gull which I watched for some 40 - 50 minutes. Photos are phone scoped at distance and with choppy water. I have my views it would interesting what others think.

Monday, 4 January 2016

4 Slavonian Grebes at Whiteford (3/1/16)

Gower Ornithological Society's annual field trip went ahead as planned yesterday despite the very poor weather. It wasn't quite as bad weather-wise as the forecast had suggested, but at times the heavy rain showers made the long walk hard work.
A search for the Snow Buntings along the strand line next to the Lapwing enclosure was unsuccessful. However, after early disappointment things picked up with 2 Great Northern Divers near the Lighthouse plus a few Great Crested Grebes and drake Red-brested Mergansers. One of the GND's showed close in off the beach while the other flew up the inlet. Presumably one of the same GND's showed off the point at the mouth of Burry Pill and a pair of RBM's flew strongly up the Burry Inlet.
From the hide at Berges Island there was lots of activity. 500+ Pintails lined both sides of Burry Pill and c100 Dark-belled Brents were mixed in. There was a Pale-bellied Brent with c40 D-b Brents in front of the hide. Surprisingly, there were 2 GND's way up the flooded pill towards Llanrhidian Marsh with another single bird right in front of the hide. Initially up with the GND's were 2 Slavonian Grebes, and then later, on the falling tide, a further 2 Slavs appeared. 4 together was a minimum count of Slavs with another single Slav appearing briefly, but frustratingly not allowing a conclusive count of 5 birds on a single sweep from the hide.  A scattering of Great Crested Grebes and 3 more RBM's were seen from the hide as were a party of 22 Eider, a drake Common Scoter came as close to the hide as I can ever remember seeing one and a pair of Wigeons just appeared from nowhere in true Whiteford fashion. There was also many waders showing both sides of the Burry Pill. The vast majority were Dunlins (1000+) and mixed in were Grey Plovers (40+), a few Knots and Ringed Plovers.
The rain while walking back from the hide to the cars was 'biblical', but we still managed to summon the moral and chance a look over the roosting area at Llanrhidian Marsh on the return home. This decision paid off as the weather stayed clear except for one heavy shower that lasted around 20 mins. Between 15:00 and 17:00 a decent haul of expected birds showed from Marsh Road. One real bonus was an early flying Barn Owl at 15:30 and over the course of the watch 4 SEO's were seen with 2 Hen Harriers. One of the Hen Harriers was a cracking male that came in from height and quartered the marsh only briefly before settling down for the night. The Egret roost kicked into action late on with 51 Little Egrets arriving in a single group around 16:30 these were followed by some single birds and two further small groups (11 + 8). At 16:55 the 3 Great White Egrets came in with a single bird being followed about a minute later by the long-returning pair.
The Slavonian Grebe count was particularly encouraging since only a couple of observations have been noted previously this winter. January is usually a popular month for birders heading to Whiteford and we would be very pleased to hear from visiting birders and any counts made.

Sunday, 3 January 2016

Name changes 1/01/2016

Mediterranean Gull has moved from Larus to become Ichthyaetus melanocephalus (IOC World birdlist 5.4).

Magpie is sometimes noted as Black-billed Magpie - a North American name, it is now Eurasian Magpie

Wren is sometimes noted as Winter Wren, again a North American name, it is now Eurasian Wren

Finally, Common Crossbill becomes Red Crossbill.