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.

VC41 Glamorgan List

VC41 List Compiled by Phil Bristow & David Gilmore with help from Barry Stewart and John Wilson.
[updated 16/09/2017] by John Wilson

[DATE] : Definite Year of first documented Record, there may be earlier records but are undated or unknown.
(Historical) = Not recorded in 20th or 21st Centuries.
[*] = denotes West Glamorgan only
[**] = denotes East Glamorgan only
(brackets) = Various races of species recorded in VC41
[~] = Greater Glamorgan only - not VC41
The list includes all species recorded within the vice-county & the Greater Glamorgan recording area: those areas which were included in the re-organisation of the boundaries in 1996 when the Unitary Authorities were implemented. These include small areas of VC35 (Monmouthshire) & VC42 (Brecknockshire) which came under the adminisration of either Cardiff, Merthyr or Rhondda-Cynon-Taf Unitary Authorities.
336 Species recorded (includes Red-flanked Bluetail)

VC41 List Compiled by Phil Bristow & David Gilmore with help from Barry Stewart and John Wilson.
[updated 16/09/2017] by JDW [insofar as the order of the list is concerned in line with the 2017 BB list]

[DATE] : Definite Year of first documented Record, there may be earlier records but are undated or unknown.
(Historical) = Not recorded in 20th or 21st Centuries.
[*] = denotes West Glamorgan only
[**] = denotes East Glamorgan only
(brackets) = Various races of species recorded in VC41
[~] = Greater Glamorgan only - not VC41
The list includes all species recorded within the vice-county & the Greater Glamorgan recording area: those areas which were included in the re-organisation of the boundaries in 1996 when the Unitary Authorities were implemented. These include small areas of VC35 (Monmouthshire) & VC42 (Brecknockshire) which came under the adminisration of either Cardiff, Merthyr or Rhondda-Cynon-Taf Unitary Authorities.
336 Species recorded.

Mute Swan  Cygnus olor
Bewick's Swan  Cygnus columbianus bewickii [1895]
Whooper Swan  Cygnus cygnus
Bean Goose Anser fabalis [1910]
Pink-footed Goose  Anser brachyrhynchus [1911]
Greater White-fronted Goose  Anser albifrons
(Greenland White-fronted Goose A.a. flavirostris) [1977]
Greylag Goose  Anser anser
Canada Goose  Branta canadensis
Barnacle Goose  Branta leucopsis [1933]
Brent Goose  Branta bernicla 
(Dark-bellied B.b. bernicla)
(Pale-bellied B.b. hrota)
(Black Brant B.b. nigricans)
Egyptian Goose Alopochen aegyptiacus [2015]
Common Shelduck  Tadorna tadorna
Mandarin  Aix galericulata [1981]
Eurasian Wigeon  Anas penelope
American Wigeon  Anas americana [1975]**
Gadwall  Anas strepera
Eurasian Teal  Anas crecca
Green-winged Teal  Anas carolinensis [1981]
Mallard  Anas platyrhynchos
Pintail  Anas acuta
Garganey  Anas querquedula [1870]
Shoveler  Anas clypeata
Red-crested Pochard  Netta rufina [1940]
Common Pochard  Aythya ferina
Ring-necked Duck  Aythya collaris [1989]
Ferruginous Duck  Aythya nyroca [1939]
Tufted Duck  Aythya fuligula
Greater Scaup  Aythya marila
Lesser Scaup  Aythya affinis [2008]
Common Eider  Somateria mollissima [1917]
Long-tailed Duck  Clangula hyemalis [1905]
Common Scoter  Melanitta nigra
Surf Scoter  Melanitta perspicillata [1976]
Velvet Scoter  Melanitta fusca [1927]
Common Goldeneye  Bucephala clangula
Smew  Mergus albellus
Red-breasted Merganser  Mergus serrator
Goosander  Mergus merganser
Ruddy Duck  Oxyura jamaicensis [1969]
Common Quail  Coturnix coturnix
Red-legged Partridge  Alectoris rufa
Red Grouse  Lagopus lagopus
Black Grouse  Lyrurus tetrix
Grey Partridge  Perdix perdix
Common Pheasant  Phasianus colchicus
Red-throated Diver  Gavia stellata
Black-throated Diver  Gavia arctica [1924]
Great Northern Diver  Gavia immer [1838]
Fulmar  Fulmarus glacialis [1929]
Cory's Shearwater  Calonectris borealis [1975] §
Great Shearwater  Puffinus gravis [1973]
Sooty Shearwater  Puffinus griseus [1963]
Manx Shearwater  Puffinus puffinus
Balearic Shearwater  Puffinus mauretanicus [1964]
European Storm Petrel  Hydrobates pelagicus
Leach's Storm Petrel  Oceanodroma leucorhoa [1929]
Northern Gannet  Morus bassanus
Great Cormorant  Phalocrocorax carbo
Shag  Phalocrocorax aristotelis
Eurasian Bittern  Botaurus stellaris
Little Bittern  Ixobrychus minutus [1859]
Night Heron  Nycticorax nycticorax [1956]
Squacco Heron  Ardeola ralloides [1954]**
Cattle Egret  Bubulcus ibis [2007]
Little Egret  Egretta garzetta [1957]
Great White Egret  Ardea alba [1995]
Grey Heron  Ardea cinerea
Purple Heron  Ardea purpurea [1965]
Black Stork Ciconia nigra [2011]**
White Stork  Ciconia ciconia [1900]
Glossy Ibis  Plegadis falcinellus [~1986 & 2010 in VC41]**
Eurasian Spoonbill  Platalea leucorodia [1931]
Pied-billed Grebe  Podylimbus podiceps [1987]**
Little Grebe  Tachybaptus ruficollis
Great Crested Grebe  Podiceps cristatus
Red-necked Grebe  Podiceps grisegena [1833]
Slavonian Grebe  Podiceps auritus
Black-necked Grebe  Podiceps nigricollis [1921]
Honey-buzzard  Pernis apivorus [1876]
Black Kite  Milvus migrans [1979]
Red Kite  Milvus milvus
White-tailed Eagle  Haliaeetus allbicilla (Historical)
Marsh Harrier  Circus aeruginosus
Hen Harrier  Circus cyaneus
Montagu's Harrier  Circus pygargus [1935]
Northern Goshawk  Accipiter gentilis [1962]
Eurasian Sparrowhawk  Accipiter nisus
Common Buzzard  Buteo buteo
Rough-legged Buzzard  Buteo lagopus [1840]
Golden Eagle  Aquila chrysaetus (Historical)*
Osprey  Pandion haliaetus [1841]
Water Rail  Rallus aquaticus
Spotted Crake  Porzana porzana
Sora  Porzana carolina [1888] (Historical)**
Little Crake  Porzana parva [1839]*
Baillon's Crake  Porzana pusilla [1976]**
Corn Crake  Crex crex
Moorhen  Gallinula chloropus
Common Coot  Fulica atra
Common Crane  Grus grus [1988]
Little Bustard  Tetrax tetrax [1895] (Historical)**
Great Bustard  Otis tarda [1902]*
Stone-curlew  Burhinus oedicnemis [1885]
Black-winged Stilt  Himantopus himantopus [2008]**
Avocet  Recurvirostra avosetta [1804]
Oystercatcher  Haematopus ostralegus
Grey Plover  Pluvialis squatarola
European Golden Plover  Pluvialis apricaria
Dotterel  Charadrius morinellus [1942]
Ringed Plover  Charadrus hiaticula
Little Ringed Plover  Charadrius dubius [1965]
Sociable Lapwing Vanellus gregarius [1984]*
Northern Lapwing  Vanellus vanellus
Kentish Plover  Charadrius alexandrinus [1888]
Little Curlew Numenius minutus [1982]**
Whimbrel  Numenius phaeopus
Eurasian Curlew  Numenius arquata
Black-tailed Godwit  Limosa limosa
Bar-tailed Godwit  Limosa lapponica
Turnstone  Arenaria interpres
Red Knot  Calidris canutus
Ruff  Calidris pugnax
Curlew Sandpiper  Calidris ferruginea
Temminck's Stint  Calidris temminckii [1970]
Sanderling  Calidris alba
Dunlin  Calidris alpina
Purple Sandpiper  Calidris maritima
Baird's Sandpiper  Calidris bairdii [1972]
Little Stint  Calidris minuta [1927]
White-rumped Sandpiper  Calidris fuscicollis [1957]
Least Sandpiper  Calidris minutilla [1972]**
Buff-breasted Sandpiper  Calidris subruficollis [1977]
Pectoral Sandpiper  Calidris melanotos [1960]
Semipalmated Sandpiper  Calidris pusilla [1990]**
Red-necked Phalarope  Phalaropus lobatus [1956]
Grey Phalarope  Phalaropus fulicarius [1896]
Common Sandpiper  Actitis hypoleucos
Spotted Sandpiper  Actitis macularius [1973]
Green Sandpiper  Tringa ochropus
Spotted Redshank  Tringa erythropus [1876]
Greenshank  Tringa nebularia
Lesser Yellowlegs Tringa flavipes [1953]
Wood Sandpiper  Tringa glareola [1962]
Common Redshank  Tringa totanus
Jack Snipe  Lymnocryptes minimus
Long-billed Dowitcher  Limnodromus scolopaceus [1989]
Woodcock  Scolopax rusticola
Common Snipe  Gallinago gallinago
Collared Pratincole  Glareola pratincola [1973]*
Pomarine Skua  Stercorarius pomarinus [1963]
Arctic Skua  Stercorarius parasiticus
Long-tailed Skua  Stercorarius longicaudus [1967]
Great Skua  Stercorarius skua [1883]
Puffin  Fratercula arctica
Black Guillemot  Cepphus grylle [1956]*
Razorbill  Alca torda
Little Auk  Alle alle [1805]
Common Guillemot  Uria aalge
Bridled Tern  Onychoprion anaethetus [1954]*
Little Tern  Sternula albifrons
Gull-billed Tern  Gelochelidon nilotica [1993]*
Caspian Tern  Hydroprogne caspia [1973]
Whiskered Tern  Chlidonias hybridus [1974]
Black Tern  Chlidonias niger
White-winged Black Tern  Childonias leucopterus [1891]
Sandwich Tern  Sterna sandvicensis
Royal Tern  Sterna maxima [1979]
Common Tern  Sterna hirundo
Arctic Tern  Sterna paradisaea
Roseate Tern  Sterna dougallii [1955]
Ivory Gull  Pagophila eburnea  [1998]
Sabine's Gull  Xema sabini [1957]
Kittiwake  Rissa tridactyla
Bonaparte's Gull  Chroicocephalus philadelphia [1986]
Black-headed Gull  Chroicocephalus ridibundus
Little Gull  Hydrocoloeus minutus [1885]
Ross's Gull  Rhodostethia rosea [2002]*
Laughing Gull  Larus atricilla [1988]
Franklin's Gull  Larus pipixcan [1998]*
Mediterranean Gull  Larus melanocephalus [1964]
Ring-billed Gull  Larus delawarensis [1973]
Common Gull  Larus canus
Caspian Gull Larus cachinnans [2014]**
Lesser Black-backed Gull  Larus fuscus
Glaucous Gull  Larus hyperboreus [1892]
Iceland Gull  Larus glaucoides [1898]
(Kumlien's Gull Larus glaucoides kumlieni [1998])
Yellow-legged Gull  Larus michahellis
Herring Gull  Larus argentatus
Great Black-backed Gull  Larus marinus
Pallas's Sandgrouse  Syrrhaptes paradoxus [1888] (Historical)
Rock Dove [Feral Pigeon]  Columba livia
Stock Dove  Columbia oenas
Wood Pigeon  Columbia palumbus
Collared Dove  Streptopelia decaocto [1962]
Turtle Dove  Streptopelia turtur
Great Spotted Cuckoo Clamator glandarius [~2015]**
Common Cuckoo  Cuculus canorus
Barn Owl  Tyto alba
Snowy Owl  Bubo scandiacus [1972]**
Little Owl  Athene noctua [1860]
Tawny Owl  Strix aluco
Long-eared Owl  Asio otus
Short-eared Owl  Asio flammeus
European Nightjar  Caprimulgus europaeus
Alpine Swift  Apus melba [1973]
Common Swift  Apus apus
Hoopoe  Upupa epops [1836]
European Bee-eater  Merops apiaster [1965]
European Roller Coracias garrulus [2007]*
Common Kingfisher  Alcedo atthis
Wryneck  Jynx torquilla [c1880]
Green Woodpecker  Picus viridis
Great Spotted Woodpecker  Dendrocopos major
Lesser Spotted Woodpecker  Dendrocopos minor
Common Kestrel  Falco tinnunculus
Red-footed Falcon  Falco vespertinus [1903]
Merlin  Falco columbarius
Hobby  Falco subbuteo [1891]
Gyr Falcon  Falco rusticolus [2009]*
Peregrine Falcon  Falco peregrinus
Golden Oriole  Oriolus oriolus [1878]
Red-backed Shrike  Lanius collurio
Great Grey Shrike  Lanius excubitor [1881]
Woodchat Shrike  Lanius senator [1947]
Red-billed Chough  Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax
Magpie  Pica pica
Eurasian Jay  Garrulus glandarius
Nutcracker  Nucifraga caryoctatctes [1968]*
Jackdaw  Corvus monedula
Rook  Corvus frugilegus
Carrion Crow  Corvus corone
Hooded Crow  Corvus cornix [1884]
Common Raven  Corvus corax
Goldcest  Regulus regulus
Firecrest  Regulus ignicapillus [1905]
Penduline Tit  Remiz pendulinus [1996]**
Blue Tit  Cyanistes caeruleus
Great Tit  Parus major
Coal Tit  Periparus ater
Willow Tit  Poecile montanus [1926]
Marsh Tit  Poecile palustris 
Bearded Tit  Panurus biarmicus [1965]
Woodlark  Lullula arborea
Skylark  Alauda arvensis
Shore Lark  Eremophila alpestris [1976]
Short-toed Lark  Calandrella brachydactyla [2008]**
Sand Martin  Riparia riparia
Barn Swallow  Hirundo rustica
House Martin  Delichon urbicum
Red-rumped Swallow Cecropis daurica [1973]*
Cetti's Warbler  Cettia cetti [1977]
Long-tailed Tit  Aegithalos caudatus
Pallas's Leaf Warbler  Phylloscopus proregulus [1994]
Yellow-browed Warbler  Phylloscopus inornatus [1981]
Wood Warbler  Phylloscopus sibilatrix
Common Chiffchaff  Phylloscopus collybita
(Siberian Chiffchaff P.c. tristis) [1984]
Willow Warbler Phylloscopus trochilus
Blackcap  Sylvia atricpilla
Garden Warbler  Sylvia borin
Barred Warbler  Sylvia nisoria [1979]**
Lesser Whitethroat  Sylvia curruca
Common Whitethroat  Sylvia communis
Dartford Warbler  Sylvia undata [1969]
Grasshopper Warbler  Locustella naevia
Savi's Warbler  Locustella luscinioides [1987]*
Icterine Warbler  Hippolais icterina [1978]
Melodious Warbler  Hippolius polyglotta [1993]
Aquatic Warbler  Acrocephalus paludicola [1962]
Sedge Warbler  Acrocephalus schoenobaenus
Marsh Warbler  Acrocephalus palustris [2010]**
Reed Warbler  Acrocephalus scirpaceus
Waxwing  Bombycilla garrulus [1859]
Eurasian Nuthatch Sitta europaea
Eurasian Treecreeper  Certhia familiaris
Wren  Troglodytes troglodytes
Common Starling  Sturnus vulgaris
Rose-coloured Starling  Pastor roseus [1836]
Dipper  Cinclus cinclus
Ring Ouzel  Turdus torquatus
Blackbird  Turdus merula
Black-throated Thrush  Turdus atrogularis [2006]*
Fieldfare  Turdus pilaris
Song Thrush  Turdus philomelos
Redwing  Turdus iliacus
Mistle Thrush  Turdus viscivorus
Spotted Flycatcher  Muscicapa striata
Robin  Erithacus rubecula
Common Nightingale  Luscinia megarhynchos
Bluethroat  Luscinia svecica [1970]
Red-flanked Bluetail Tarsiger cyanurus [2017]**
Red-breasted Flycatcher  Ficedula parva [1943]
Pied Flycatcher  Ficedula hypoleuca
Black Redstart  Phoenicurus ochruros
Common Redstart  Phoenicurus phoenicurus
Whinchat  Saxicola rubetra
European Stonechat  Saxicola torquatus
Northern Wheatear  Oenanthe oenanthe
(Greenland Wheatear O.o. leucorhoa) [1927]
Isabelline Wheatear Oenanthe isabellina [2011]*
Desert Wheatear  Oenanthe deserti [1989]*
Dunnock  Prunella modularis
House Sparrow  Passer domesticus
Tree Sparrow  Passer montanus
Yellow Wagtail  Motacilla flava
(Blue-headed Wagtail M.f. flava) [1941]
(Syke's Wagtail M.f beema) [1992]
(Ashy-headed Wagtail M.f. cinoerocapilla) [1981]
Grey Wagtail  Motacilla cinerea
Pied Wagtail  Motacilla alba yarrellii
(White Wagtail Motacilla alba alba) [1898/99]
Richard's Pipit  Anthus richardi [1967]
Tawny Pipit  Anthus campestris [1982]**
Tree Pipit  Anthus trivialis
Meadow Pipit  Anthus pratensis
Red-throated Pipit  Anthus cervinus [1992]**
Water Pipit  Anthus spinoletta [1961]
Rock Pipit  Anthus petrosus
(Scandinavian Rock Pipit A.p. littoralis) [1958]
Brambling  Fringilla montifringilla
Common Chaffinch  Fringilla coelebs
Hawfinch  Coccothraustes coccothraustes
Common Rosefinch Carpodacus erythrinus [2007]*
Bullfinch  Pyrrhula pyrrhula
Greenfinch  Chloris chloris
Linnet  Carduelis cannabina
Twite  Carduelis flavirostris [1897]
Lesser Redpoll  Carduelis cabaret
Common [Mealy] Redpoll  Carduelis flammea [c1890 & 1986]**
Common Crossbill  Loxia curvirostra
Goldfinch  Carduelis carduelis
Serin  Serinus serinus [1972]**
Siskin  Carduelis spinus
Snow Bunting  Plectrophenax nivalis
Lapland Bunting  Calcarius lapponicus [1976]
Black-headed Bunting Emberiza melanocephala [2012]*
Corn Bunting  Emberiza calandra
Ortolan Bunting  Emberiza hortulana [1962]
Cirl Bunting  Emberiza cirlus [1876]
Yellowhammer  Emberiza citrinella
Reed Bunting  Emberiza schoeniclus
Little Bunting  Emberiza pusilla [1957]
Bobolink  Dolichonyx oryzivorus [2010]*


Pending BBRC

Pending WRP

Recent BBRC decision
Redhead  Aythya americana - Species removed from VC41 List Oct. 2011

Species under review GRC
Egyptian Goose Alopochen aegyptiacus
With self-populating feral colonies now in nearby English counties, there is now the distinct possibility that birds from these colonies could wander and very possibly come into the Glamorgan recording area. It is for this reason that the GRC decided to readmit this species to VC41 Glamorgan List as of 01/05/2015.

Bonelli's Warbler Phylloscopus bonelli
{The warbler found at Lavernock Point in August 1963 was identified and accepted as a Bonelli's Warbler, however since the splitting of the races bonelli [Western] & orientalis [Eastern] into two separate species [2002/2003], the origin of the Lavernock bird, whose identity at the time was never in doubt, could not now be truly identified to the exact species, therefore it was deleted from the VC41 systematic list.}

Brown Skua sp.
{The skua was found at Aberavon 2/02/2002, later sexed as a female, and taken to Kenfig NNR then into care. The Ibis report of 2004 says that the "independent biometric & plumage data strongly suggests that the Aberavon bird was a Falkland Skua Catharacta antarctica antarctica", which would be the first record for this taxon in the Western Palearctic. However at present it is labelled 'Southern' Skua, which could be one of at least four races.}
[First Record of Brown Skua Catharacta antarctica in Europe. Ibis 2004, 146, 95-102]

Frigatebird sp.
{A bird seen off Flat Holm 6/11/2006 was accepted by BBRC as being of the genus Fregata, but not identified to exact species. A Frigatebird was found in a moribund condition on Shropshire farmland the following day and was positively identified as Magnificent Frigatebird Fregata magnificens. The possibility of 'two' frigatebirds in the upper Bristol Channel is to say the least, incredible. The Flat Holm bird and the Salop bird, are, to most in Glamorgan, one and the same. However at present it is 'sp' on the VC41 list.}

§ Cory's Shearwater Calonectris diomedea
Cory's Shearwater Calonectris borealis (Category A)
Scopoli's Shearwater Calonectris diomedea (Category A)
Cape Verde Shearwater Calonectris edwardsii (extralimital) 
{A shearwater picked up at Swansea Docks in August 2009 was measured & its plumage features were consistent with Cory's Shearwater C. borealis [Barry Stewart pers comm.]. This then constitutes the first proven record for this newly recognised species in VC41. Unfortunately all the other existing records for Glamorgan may now have to be recorded as 'presumed to be C. borealis'.}

Red-headed Bunting

{One was found at Lavernock on 17/09/1966 of unknown origin}