Monday, 25 September 2017

Landshipping area late this morning

Two ospreys were circling/hunting up the Eastern Cleddau channel late this morning, in an area we've seen them previously. Perhaps they are different to the two seen on Saturday by Richard, further down the Cleddau system at Garron Pill.

Other raptors this morning included a couple of buzzards (making good use of the warm air thermals) and a goshawk that flew over the channel into some woodland on the Picton side.

At Landshipping Quay there was a nice flock of c. 50-60 redshank feeding and resting in the shallows, with a couple of dunlin. With them were 8 greenshank - including a one-legged bird that seemed to be coping. Still not many ducks present although teal numbers had increased a little in the area since last week and several wigeon were present.

Eight greenshank and three redshank. The one-legged bird landing seemed to be feeding etc normally 
Small flocks of swallows were noted to be on the move down channel - somewhere in the region of 100+ noted in a few minutes plus a couple of sand martins. 

The Gann

Met John  Morgan who found this Wader, it was almost dark hence the blue hue as my camera went into "hand held night shot" mode.
On it`s own, bigger than a Dunlin, too small & not grey enough for Knot is the best we could come up with, not the best of pictures - any thoughts anyone?
Only other bird of note was Green Sandpiper

Sunday, 24 September 2017

Greenish warbler

A couple of my best efforts...

Like Dave, based on the good birds that had turned-up on Skokholm earlier I decided a mooch around Martins Haven and the Deer Park might be worthwhile. Beautiful evening with hardly a breath of wind. An aside to this evenings find was news from Dave (who mans the Coast Watch lookout) of a Corncrake on the Deer Park a few weeks back.

GREENISH WARBLER @ Martin's Haven - thank you fate

A Greenish Warbler this evening (1820-1845 when everything seemed to go to roost) in the valley at Martin's Haven, frequenting the east facing steep bank behind the toilet block (on the Deer Park side), mainly in gorse, loosely associating with a Willow Warbler.  Called a couple of times - very like a Pied Wagtail.  Best shots I could manage below, but shows key features separating it from the similar Arctic Warbler (including supercilium meeting above the eye and flaring behind it, short wing bar, darker legs).  Seems as if this is the first record for mainland Wales, the others all having been on Skoholm, Skomer, & Bardsey...

One of the photos below shows me looking down from a cattle trodden path and Brian Southern looking up, just to highlight where it was frequenting.

A brief story of the find - I'd been busy since 5am this morning organising the Pembrokeshire Half Marathon & 10k in Dale.  Finally getting home mid afternoon, shattered, I realised I'd left something in Dale.  So instead of the much needed nap, I headed back down to Dale (after some food and a cuppa).  After retrieving said item, and knowing what was happening on Skokholm, I opted for Martin's Haven for half an hour to see what might be in the valley, or up on the Deer Park.

Whilst looking into Sash's Willows (not a euphamism!) Brian appeared, and we pished, watched & waited with nothing better than a Goldcrest.  Brian mentioned he'd had a pipit at West Hook Farm that looked quite black & white, which instantly had me thinking of Red-throated, so we agreed that Brian would walk back in that direction and I would join him after a quick walk up to the lookout to catch the sun over Skomer.  After going through the Deer Park wall, I decided to have a quick check in the lower valley behind the toilet block and the first bird I saw was....happy days!

Teifi -- Spoonbills

Teifi Estuary 9am Sunday

5 Spoonbills flew into the estuary around 9 am and spent an hour feeding off St. Dogmael's Quay, before heading off upstream. Two of these were colour-ringed (bird 1- left - green above white, right - red above white, bird 2 - left -white above green above white, right - white above red above white). Apparently, 5 arrived at Upton Warren around 2.30 pm this afternoon.

Also present a female Pintail, 4 Black-tailed & 10 Bar-tailed Godwits, one Knot, and there was a juv. Little Stint amongst the Dunlins & Ringed Plover by the Webley.


Western Bonelli's and Barred Warbler among a good little fall. Prob Blyth's Reed Warbler elusive.

Blackbridge Med Gulls

Twenty one this morning, going about their ablutions on the water. I felt a few of them must be colour ringed so I  threw half a loaf of Hovis (in small pieces!) onto the little jetty with the plan of getting them on dry land a few metres away from the comfort of my dry warm car where could easily read all the letters/numbers on their plastic jewellery. I sat camera at the ready while every Herring Gull on site pigged the lot, not one Med Gull didn`t even fly the 100m or so to investigate. Not used to being fed then!
40 plus Redshank 2 Greenshank on the slip.

Saturday, 23 September 2017

Newport Tennis Courts to Bridge this afternoon

6 Wigeon, 3 Teal, 2 Greenshanks, 2 Little Egrets, 1 each Bar T & Black T Godwit & Yellow Legged Gull.
No Meds & no Canadas!.

Garron Pill Ospreys

Around 1 p.m. this afternoon there were 2 Ospreys at Garron Pill (just north of Lawrenny). One appeared only briefly over the trees. The other spent an hour or more hunting over the mouth of the Pill but despite a couple of dives which it pulled out of at the last second it's efforts went unrewarded.

Frustratingly it never came close enough for a decent photo but some record shots above. Eventually it flew off along Castle Reach towards Lawrenny.

It may well be that these birds were the two that Bob and Annie have seen recently near Landshipping but it would be interesting to know just how many Ospreys are around the Cleddau.

Dale area

Had a good look in the fields at Kete and St Anns this morning, but apart from lots of large gulls hunkered down nothing to see. Things got bit more exciting at Dale airfield when a small 'buff coloured' wader got up along the 'grassy' runway (SM 79396 06404). Only briefest of views but looked like a poss B-B sandpiper. It seemed to drop back out of sight. Spent next 2 hours combing the airfield till 11 but no further sign. About 20 Ringed plover, a Snipe and a Curlew. 3-4 Chiffchaff on track down. At a blustery Gann: 93 Curlew, 11 Bar-tailed godwit, 5 Dunlin, 4 Ringed plover, 2 Knot, a Redshank and a Turnstone. 4 Little grebe, 4 Med gulls and a Wigeon.

Castlemartin Corse

Rob's female marsh harrier was hunting over the reedbed - well marked bird with extensive creamy-white on wings. Also female sparrowhawk, hunting linnets and being mobbed by crow - we're seeing sparrowhawk on every visit these days. Three widely separated Cetti's, water rails squealing, buzzard. 3 stock doves, plenty of young stonechats and reed buntings along the tracks.

Anyone visiting the hide should be aware there's a very busy wasps' nest in the roof.

Blackbridge, Milford Haven

At least 18 Med Gulls scattered across the water at high tide this morning, most of them adults with a few 1st & 2nd Winters.
The usual mob of 43(?) Redshank + 2 Greenshank.

Friday, 22 September 2017

Leucistic Shag on Grassholm

Anna Sutcliffe took this excellent picture of the Shag that we saw on Grassholm at the weekend. We had previously seen it (or a sibling?) in almost exactly the same spot around a month ago.

Grey Phalarope - Carn Ar Wig

Thanks to Daf Rees from Voyages of Discovery for news and photo of a grey phalarope off Carn Ar Wig (just south of St Justinians) yesterday (21st) afternoon

Thursday, 21 September 2017


From Frances Griffiths - We saw an Osprey catch a fish (probably a mullet) at Roose Ferry, opposite Cresswell River today at about four o'clock.

Castlemartin Corse

Rob Lewis reports a female marsh harrier today - first in a while.

West Williamston

Geese again! 50 greylags on the Carew River, 300 Canadas on the Lawrenny shore. Plus lots of curlew and redshank, a few dunlin, 30 wigeon, 2 little grebe, little egrets, grey heron....

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Martin's Haven & Dale

As well as the wonderful migration of Swallows reported by other observers, there was an interesting movement of birds in the valley yesterday. Not that many warblers evident (but a rather nice Whitethroat), but 15-20 Blue Tits, at least half a dozen Wrens (both high numbers for here) and up to a dozen immature Stonechats. Flyovers included a Grey Wagtail and several Skylarks: really feels like autumn now.

A nice surprise was a juvenile Water Rail which, for some inexplicable reason, jumped out of the dense undergrowth, and then flopped down into the top of a sallow bush. It struggled there for several minutes before finally escaping back to the stream bed. But not before giving excellent views of the rather brown and dull bill, and poorly-marked flanks.

Some nice close sightings on the slipway at Dale in the last few days: two Kingfishers darting around, probably picking up food on the rising tide. Possibly the same two birds I saw at the Gann on Saturday. And a Common Sandpiper that flew in, and then around the jetty for several minutes, calling, and alighting on a number of nearby boats.

Osprey - Hook area (Tuesday evening)

From David Ord: On a sunset & high tide stroll down to the Cleddau at Hook this evening I saw one of the ospreys lift off Sprinkle Pill and fly north over the Hook peninsular towards the western arm of the Cleddau. I walked around the peninsular but did not see it again. At the mouth to Sprinkle Pill a tree on the south bank was adorned with 12 egrets at roost and a sizeable gull roost was forming on the water.

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

The Gann - after Derek

A lot of disturbance tonight and over the last few days. The 5 Brent were right up the river. 2 Greenshank flying out to sea and 35 small waders flying around mostly Dunlin, 6 Ringed plover and a Sanderling.

The Gann

Quiet tonight with a big high tide, however I met a visiting couple from Essex (Gary & Michelle) staying opposite Pickleridge they told me they were watching an Otter from the window on Saturday evening around dusk for quite some time, So for those with an interest it`s probably around more than realised.

Angle / Rhoscrowther

High tide visit this morning: 29 Dunlin, 17 Ringed plover, 12 Redshank, 7 Bar-tailed godwit, 2 Grey plover, 2 Whimbrel and a Snipe. 3 Great crested grebe. 4 adult Med gulls (one with white ring left leg). GBB gull eating a Manx shearwater. Female Wigeon. One of Mike and Paddys Curlews with either EO or 03. Whitethroat, 4 Blackcap (3 'brown'), 2 Chiffchaff and a few Goldcrest. Nice views of a female Goshawk at Orielton.

Red Kites

Red Kites are generally scarcer in the South of the county than in the North. At my house in St Florence, near Tenby I see maybe one or two birds a year. The grass in the field behind the house was cut a couple of days ago and this afternoon farmer was out baling it up. As if by magic 3 Red Kites appeared and quartered the field for over an hour in company with 6 Buzzards. A couple of the Kites were seen with prey - small rodents which had lost their cover in the long grass. A nice back yard avian treat.