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.

Sunday, 22 January 2017

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!

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