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, 29 January 2017

Red-flanked Bluetail, Wern Ddu, Caerphilly

This elusive bird showed briefly on the path through the woodland before the open area around the railway tunnel airshaft at 08.30 and again at 08.50 in poor weather conditions, then disappeared back into woodland (Alex Bevan, John Aggleton & PB).

Friday, 27 January 2017

Red-flanked Bluetail Location

The red cross marks the favoured location of the bird this morning. It appeared to be doing a small circuit and occasionally popped out onto the forest track. Fingers crossed it hangs around.....

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Red-flanked Bluetail in Caerphilly

 What an absolutely stunning find by Alan Cripps today at Caerphilly!!

I've copied Alan's notes giving directions for those who like me will be hoping this bird sticks around for a bit.

Red-flanked bluetail at Wern Ddu Caerphilly. Park in coed Parc-y-van car park on the Caerphilly to rudry rd. Walk back 50 yds towards Caerphilly and you will see a lane on the left. Follow this lane over the railway bridge and then right to the Warren. Turn left here and follow the lane towards Cardiff for about 200 yds. There is a notice board on the right and a bridle path on the left. Take the bridle path and the bird was either side of this path but highly mobile.

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

LtD in Cardiff Bay on a sunny day

Taxonomy - BOU to adopt IOC list from Jan 2018.

Hi all. Just noticed this:

The BOU is going to adopt the IOC World List from Jan 2018. Results in a few spits and lumps although may not affect us too much, although without looking at the detail, not sure if it will affect the taxonomic order we currently have in the bird reports.

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Llansamlet Waxwings

 33 feeding in Cotoneasters this afternoon viewed from the Range car park, Llansamlet, Swansea.

2 Drake Surf Scoter in Rhossili Bay

Apart from the good spread of Waxwings around the county this winter it seems memorable for its good selection of Wildfowl. Lots of Scaup and Long-tailed Ducks around, and I imagine record numbers of both species over a single winter period across Glamorgan?
Having just led a guided walk around Rhossili Cliffs this morning I decided to scan Rhossili Bay from the car park to see how many of the 6 Long-tailed Ducks seen yesterday that I could find. Eventually I found a single male and then not long after 3 fem-types joined him in a decent sized Common Scoter flock not far from the breaking waves, around 3Km from the car park. By 13:15 the light was getting better and the LTD's much easy to pick out in the swell. A further scan further out in the bay found second decent sized flock of Common Scoter and I thought to check them for more LTD's. Instead of mainly white ducks I noticed a Scoter with a bright white patch on its head and on closer inspection could make out the coloured bill. About 5mins later the sun broke through the clouds again briefly and it was clear to see that there were in fact 2 Drake Surf Scoters with the 150 or so strong Common Scoter flock. The flock spread quite well at this point and it became obvious that there was also a fem-type bird associating closely with the 2 drakes. The general tone seemed right for female too but the distance was just too great for me to call this bird safely. Sadly not long after this by 13:30 the sunshine was fading fast and it was extremely difficult to keep track of the Surf Scoters. It was a real eye-opener to me that in what I might consider decent light that the drake Surf Scoters could remain unnoticed among the Common Scoter. Hopefully they will stick for a while and someone can clinch the female; the way this winter is going perhaps the number of Surf Scoters in Rhossili Bay will increase!

Saturday, 21 January 2017

Marsh Harrier at Kenig Pool

Record shot of today's marsh harrier. There must be lots of better pictures of this bird as there were lots of photographers in the hide.

Here's a much better shot by Jonathan Wright which he took during the GBC guided walk.

Monday, 2 January 2017

Chiffchaffs CBWR (Update 03/01)

Both birds were present in front of the hotel for a short time this morning, one flew off around the front of the hotel towards the Norwegian church, the other just disappeared a short time later. One of the birds called this morning. A monosyllabic weet, not as piping and plaintive as what might be regarded as a typical tristis call but there are certainly similar examples on Xeno-Canto. A couple of extra photos but not sure they really add anything.

Any thoughts on these two Chiffchaffs photographed this afternoon in the bushes in front of St David's Hotel, Cardiff Bay? Apologies for the poor quality, they were extremely active and for the most part against the light.

Through bins they really stood out as being sandy brown above and whiteish below - both birds had the same appearance and unfortunately both remained silent the whole time I was watching them.

I think I managed to get both birds. The tail of the bird in photo DSC_5037 has broad rounded feathers and is either an adult or completely moulted the tail when compared to the narrower feathers of the bird in photos DSC_5047, 5050 and 5052, DSC_5034 may also be this bird as the tail feathers appear narrow.