Monday, 19 March 2018

Brambling, Llanfyrnach

Female brambling in the garden this afternoon, near Llanfyrnach.  First ever sighting of one of these here.
Jean Dovey

Marloes area

4 Chiffchaff on walk over to Martins Haven and back, (3 feeding along the path beyond Britton hide, 1 near Martins Haven car park, nothing in a sheltered Martins Haven). Pair of Pintail and 3 Tufted duck. 32 Golden plover in Trehills fields. Lots of large gulls, buzzard, pied wagtails and starlings following two tractors ploughing, but no Wheatear. Kestrel near West Hook farm.


On an otherwise unremarkable Webs this morning, a M Pintail with the Wigeon at the Parrog rocks was a surprise.

Iolo Williams TV programme requst

Osian from Aden Productions is seeking information for a new (English language) TV programme on Urban Wildlife in Wales, he'd like to know if you've heard of any birds nesting in unusual spots in urban areas? This can include odd locations in gardens and houses (soffits/fascias). If you fancy appearing alongside Iolo please contact

Iceland gull, The Gann

The Iceland gull was still at the Gann high tide this morning.

Sunday, 18 March 2018

Sand Martin, Haverfordwest

From John Whitehurst: Sand Martin in snow shower over river south of Haverfordwest early pm.

Iceland Gull

Still at  the Gann  around 11:30 this morning, quite distant on the low tide.

Saturday, 17 March 2018

Castlemartin Corse

A bitterly cold WEBS this morning with Rob Lewis and Mike Robinson. Still a fair bit of standing water and corresponding wildfowl - shoveler, teal, wigeon, mallard, and 6 greylag well upstream. Snipe down to under 100, but still 100 golden plover (just 2 lapwing). Water rail were calling a couple of days ago, but nothing was doing anything much in today's conditions.

No marsh harrier - our wintering female seems to have gone. Unless she too was just keeping her head down, but she's not been seen for a week or two.

Friday, 16 March 2018

St Brides and the Gann

At St Brides, several Wheatear (probably 5 or 6) were near the Coast Path only 100 metres from the beach in the Broad Haven direction at about 7.30 am this morning. I also saw one on Monday morning at Dale airfield.

At the Gann, a female Red Breasted Merganser was on the pools before flying off out to sea at about 8.30 am.

Teifi Gulls

A lot of gulls to look through this morning with over 1,000 in the Teifi Estuary.
Mostly Herring and Black-headed but always nice to pick out an Iceland Gull and a count of 5 Mediterranean Gulls was good for the Teifi.
A Great-crested Grebe was out in the bay. Waders included 2 Grey Plover.

Iceland Gull

At the Gann this afternoon, flew down from upstream & landed on the foreshore for 10mins or so before flying back up to the Gull roost by the bridge. Quite a large bird, especially up against the Brent.

Great Grey Shrike, Plumstone Mountain

A quick trip in wellies (essential) to Plumstone Mountain to see if anything had survived the earlier snow resulted in the discovery of a Great Grey Shrike at midday. The bird was on the scrubby bushes to the west of the rock towards Dudwell Mountain at the drier top of the hollow with gorse and brambles (SM912228 approx). It was not keen to be photographed and flew southwards towards the horse paddock. I could not relocate it in the next hour, so this is the best picture I managed -

Wheatears and a taste of spring

Yesterday I stopped briefly at Mullock Bridge. Nothing was passing through on the strong southerly wind, but a Chiffchaff was singing in the willows west of the old bridge and then I was surprised by a Wheatear on the grassy hill, so no more incentive to do a coastal trek.

Another two Wheatears were on the ploughed field by the little car park at Dale airfield. Neither were ringed or moving much, perhaps resting. A single skylark was singing but many more were just wandering around the runway puddles.

At Marloes Mere 3 drake Pintails and a duck were showing at the same time and I think there was at least one more drake. The hide log noted a Sand Martin on Wednesday, but little was moving during my visit.

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Iceland Gull

At the Gann this evening around 5:30, while I was looking through these nineteen Brent for any colour rings it sneaked up from behind, flew above me & off  SSE as it did last week when Brian found it, by the time my camera struggled to focus on it against the Grey sky, it was way out.
Trivial distraction!
What a miss - just a distant record shot....

Also a mixed Grey Plover / Knot flock flying up the river.

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Ramsey - wheatear

With a SE gale and lashing rain this was not the day I expected to see our first wheatear of the year hurtle past me! But I did!

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Westfield Pill this morning, Fishguard Harbour late this afternoon

Having to have a vehicle MOT at Neyland this morning, allowed us to have a couple of hours in the Westfield Pill area. It was a beautiful warm, sunny, spring morning. Pretty well all the resident woodland birds were in full song, including at least one chiffchaff (a new arrival or one that had over-wintered?). The heronry was in full swing with at least 9 occupied nests, some birds were incubating, 2-3 were probably at the final nest-building phase.
Two of at least nine active nests today
How many small heronries (including single breeding pairs) go unnoticed, we wonder? It would be great (in this the 90th anniversary year of the national heronry census) if all known heronries could be counted in the county this year. The BTO web-site has more details link here.

Later in the day we had a walk over to Pen Anglas from Goodwick. Various resident species were noted but there were no obvious migrants.

A red-throated diver was feeding down in Fishguard bay where we also noted a common sandpiper briefly flying along the inner breakwater - presumably an overwintering bird? Other than a couple of dunlin passing through, it seemed fairly quiet here too.

Kestrel at Marloes

Paddy, May be some not-so-good news about the Marloes kestrels. A few weeks ago a friend of ours who lives right at the top end of Marloes reported a kestrel being attacked by two crows. He said the kestrel looked as though it was injured, but whether the injuries were caused by the crows he did not know. He did not see the outcome of the encounter. However, since that time, Sash has seen three kestrels so all is not lost!

St Davids Head am

First (male) Wheatear of the year but otherwise just a Pied Wagtail and a few Mipits moving.