Monday, 29 August 2016

Angle Bay

Pretty much the same collection of waders at Kilpaison again this afternoon - 2 Little Stints, 5 Curlew Sandpipers with 200+ Dunlin, 50+ Ringed Plover and 10 Turnstone.

Some belated records

A cuckoo (juv. presumed) flew across the road into a small tree next to the B4319 just to the west of Merrion (Castlemartin peninsula) last Tuesday (23rd). It was observed by Mike Howe and Karen Wilkinson (Natural Resources Wales) who had been helping out with a marsh fritillary web count on the Range.

Peregrines have probably had a fairly good breeding season overall in Pembs this year. It was pleasing to receive details from Joyce Rae of a colour-ringed bird (Orange BZ) that she had managed to photograph a few weeks ago.

It had probably been seen earlier in the season at a particular site but it's ring inscription could not be determined then. So it was really nice to be able to confirm that one of the birds that bred in Pembs this year (rearing three young) had been ringed as a nestling (one of three) at a site in Gloucestershire back in 2011.
Colour-ringed peregrine - left leg Orange BZ - photographed by Joyce Rae 

Recent postings of ospreys in the area have reminded me that earlier this year a colour-ringed osprey was photographed in flight near Neyland (posted on the Blog), I'm still awaiting final details but gather it was probably ringed in Scotland a few years ago. This one wasn't a Welsh bird anyway.

It's certainly worth trying to photograph BOP etc (perched or in flight) to see if there are any others around with colour-ringed like the peregrine above. Thanks Joyce for your summary observations and your photos.

Ramsey - Wryneck

First wryneck of the year at Aber Myharan this afternoon - no further sign of the harrier sp.

Ramsey - Montys / Pallid

Lisa had frustratingly brief views of a Montys / Pallid ring-tail this morning - no camera to hand and no further sign after a thorough search. Will look again later but local birders keep an eye out - very rufous bird - got a sinking feeling of deja vu.....

West Williamston osprey

An osprey was perched on a tall post in the channel about 500m upstream of the nature reserve at around 10.45. As I walked S along the top of the shore it took off and headed N, quite high - it would have been somewhere over Lawrenny around 11.00. Some brown hairstreak hunters were looking the wrong way.

Icterine, Wryneck & Great Spot -- Skomer

An Icterine Warbler by the farm this morning, the Wryneck still present, but Jason seemed more excited with the Great-spotted Woodpecker  on Skomer this morning.....

Newport Estuary

Whimbrel 2
Greenshank 2
Ringed Plover 2
Dunlin 12
Common Sandpiper 1
Little Egret 2
Mute Swan 2
Canada Geese 100
Greylag 1
Barnacles 40
Sparrowhawk female

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Newport Bar Headed Goose

From Bob Belk - Bar- headed goose in amongst the Canada’s at newport for the last few days
This taken  today at about 1.30   The flock of Barnacle geese had just left in formation

The Gann - last evening / this evening

This evening two Green Sandpipers flew across the bay & up towards Mullocck marsh, Ringed Plover numbers up slightly now around 20 birds, same amount of Dunlin too. 2 Turnstones, 1 Whimbrel, 3 Redshank, 4 Little Egrets.
 Last night, 2 Common Sand`s, two Sanderling in with the Dunlin / RP group & Oystercatcher number 09 (?) As yet no Curlew Sand`s or that most fickle Calidris,  Little Stint...........

Dyfi Juvenile Osprey at Marloes?

I just read that this year's surviving juvenile Osprey from the Dyfi nest left there probably on Thursday. Named Tegid and with blue ring Z1, perhaps this was the bird seen at Marloes Mere yesterday?

Angle Bay

The two juvenile Little Stints (one greyer variant) and five juvenile Curlew Sandpipers were still on the Rhoscrowther shore of Angle Bay during the high tide period today.

Teifi waders

A few stunning juvenile waders dropped in as the tide fell this evening. The Greenshank, 3 this evening were roosting at the outfall near the Boat Builders and attracting other larger waders. Three juv Black-tailed Godwits and 2 juv Knot arrived this evening. Nearby 2 Redshank, 4 Sanderling and a few mid estuary mobile Ringed Plover and Dunlin. The Patch roost contained 55 Dunlin and c30 Ringed Plover. 1 Wigeon off the Railings.
(several obs)
An arrival of Chiffchaff overnight - we caught 32 this morning most from the reedbed itself. Otherwise numbers as elsewhere remain poor. See CES season over- blow in the Autumn for a few lines on  the breeding season from our Teifi RG data.

Osprey @ Marloes Mere

A morning out with Paul G yesterday saw the best bird appear before we even got out of the car, a juvenile Osprey drifting slowly eastwards over Trehill Farm and hovering over the mere a few times before continuing its journey.  A few migrants around, 4 Willow Warblers and 3 Whitethroat at Martin's Haven, alng with a fly over Ringed Plover and 2 Whimbrel.  3 Wheatears at both St. Ann's Head and Dale Airfield, where a juvenile Dunlin bombed low eastwards.  At the Gann 6 Ringed Plover, 4 Little Egrets and 3 Little Grebes.

Out to the Smalls

We took the opportunity of yesterday's lower winds and swell to visit Grassholm and the Smalls.

The first surprise was several small groups of terns 2-3 miles out from Skokholm, with 3+ Sandwich Terns and 6-8 Commons. Around and beyond Grassholm we came across increasingly large rafts of Guillemots: with the engine off and drifting near them we could clearly hear the piping calls of the juveniles and the more familiar responses of the accompanying adults. All the birds were in winter plumage, the adults still being clearly larger than their chicks.

On the Smalls, amongst a roost of large gulls and a smaller number of Kittiwakes were several flocks and small groups of Turnstones, perhaps 20+ in all, plus 2 Ringed Plovers.

We had seen small numbers of Manxies on the way out, but far more on the way back (around 1700-1800), some in rafts of 20-30, others gliding around. In one raft was a noticeably larger dark shearwater: a Sooty!

Also 2 porpoises and 3 Common Dolphins, but no Stormies.


Nice to see the (presumably Cardigan) Barnacle geese joining the Canadas. I've never seen that flock at Newport before. Today 65 flew in c 11am. Also the regular (several weeks) 2 Whimbrels & 1 Greenshank. 2 Med gulls, an ad & a juv, & 2 of the regular ringed Herring gulls.
I had been hoping for small waders grounded by the low cloud, but couldn't find any.

Saturday, 27 August 2016

North Pembs

Newport -- Approximately 30 Barnacle Geese amongst the Canada between 2 & 4pm when the tide came in they left.
(Clive Harrison)

Presumably the Barnacle Geese at Newport were wanderers from the Teifi... A couple of counts earlier in the week showed we still have c130 in the "Cardigan Island flock"
Around the estuary this evening, c43 Dunlin, c70 Ringed Plover, 3 Sanderling, and 2 Turnstone.

Angle Bay - Curlew Sandpipers and Little Stints

A nice assortment of waders was on the Rhoscrowther Shore of Angle Bay during the high tide this afternoon, including five Curlew Sandpipers, two Little Stints, a single Knot, 5+ Sanderlings, 6+ Turnstones, 50+ Ringed Plovers and 200+ Dunlins.  In Angle Harbour there were two adult Mediterranean Gulls and three Little Egrets.

Hobby at Llanddewi Velfrey - Thursday

From Alf Williams - A group of about 30 Swallows caught my eye flying west over our garden on the southern edge of the village this afternoon being followed by a Hobby which chased some of the stragglers. Whilst entering it into our "local" Year List diary (It is the first that I have seen from our garden since we moved in 27 years ago) I realised that coincidently on the same day last year we had over 60 Swallows gathering on the power lines at the back of the house but sadly no hungry Hobby then.

Cosheston Pill

A boat disturbed a group of 6 Curlews and about 60 Black-tailed Godwits from their high tide roost. They crossed over the water to settle in the salt marsh in the Waterloo corner.

Most settled out of sight of course.

Gann, Marloes and Deer Park

2nd early morning visit on the trot.
Gann: 4 Dunlin, 1 Ring plover. 2 Common sandpiper. 2 Snipe. Greenshank and Turnstone. A brief and distant view of a juvenile Golden plover among the Oystercatchers before they were flushed by bait digger. Scoured the shoreline but no sign!
Marloes Mere: 5 Teal, 2 Curlew. Coast path: Lots of juv Goldfinch and Linnets in hedges and weed fields. 6 Dunlin and 10 Ringed plover plus 7 Wheatear in fields above Martin's Haven.
Apart from Dave and Paul not much to be seen on Deer Park. Wind was swinging to a more easterly so things may improve.

Friday, 26 August 2016

Ringed plover 4N

Steven Dodd has confirmed the Ringed plover with the orange flag was ringed on 15/8/2015 at Llanfairfechan, Gwynedd.
Any further sightings of similarly ringed birds please contact

Angle Bay

There was a juvenile Curlew Sandpiper on the Rhoscrowther shore of Angle Bay this morning, with one Knot, one Sanderling, 80+ Ringed Plovers and 100+ Dunlin.  There were also at least 12 Mediterranean Gulls and two Little Egrets on the spit in Angle Harbour.  The max count of Mediterranean Gulls in Angle Harbour to date this summer was 34, recorded by John Martin on 19th Aug.

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Green Sandpiper

My friend James said he found a Green Sandpipier at his farm in Ludchurch this morning. It was frequenting a small pool in the corner of the farm.

The Gann

15 Ringed plover (one with orange flag with 4N or AN in black on left tibia, red ring tarsus), 12 Dunlin, 8 Knot, 2 Turnstone, a Sanderling and a Greenshank. Adult Med gull. Kingfisher and  a Common sandpiper on the pools.

Osprey at Cosherston Pill

An Osprey causing much excitement among corvids and gulls at 2.30 as it flew down the length of Cosherston Pill and over Waterloo recycling centre.

Picton Ferry

An Osprey flew downstream past Picton Ferry mid afternoon across the Daugleddau into Sprinkle Pill.

St Davids Head am

The Wryneck still present, flushed from same bit of pathside north of Porthmelgan Withies to disappear in bracken again. Rubbish record shot below. Quiet else: a few Blackcaps, Spotted Flycatcher and a handful of Willow Warblers still and a Grey Wagtail over.

Wednesday, 24 August 2016


Red-backed Shrike still here. Also a nice range of migrants including Little Ringed Plover, Greenshank and five Spotted Flycatcher. Full totals on Skok blog.

Castlemartin Corse

From Rob and Christine Lewis - dark female/imm marsh harrier this evening, also ring-tail hen harrier. (Last year, first "autumn" sighting of marsh harrier was on 5 August).

I was down at the Corse this morning - no harriers, but a (presumably family) party of 4 kestrels was hunting over Gupton fields and for a while - with much calling - mobbing a buzzard which was just minding its own business. I briefly had all 4 and the buzzard in my bins at the same time. They then split up and hunted over different parts of the site, the juvs calling. Another buzzard appeared later. One of the kestrels was an adult female, with missing primaries either side.

Newport am

On the Boat Club mud; 6 Dunlin, 2 Ringed Plovers, 3 Knot, 2 Whimbrel, a juv Shelduck & a calling (not seen) Greenshank.

St Davids Hd am

A Wryneck was today's highlight though seen only briefly before disappearing into the bracken (plenty of that at the moment). Also a Spotted Flycatcher, Whimbrel and a few Wheatears and Willow Warblers, lots of Choughs of course though quieter generally than yesterday.

Wryneck substitute

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

The Gann

Good mix of waders. 90 Oystercatcher, 80 Curlew, 25 Ringed plover, 20 Dunlin, 8 Redshank, 6 Snipe, 4 Common sandpiper, 3 Turnstone, 2 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Greenshank, a Knot and a Green sandpiper. 7-8 Little egret, 3 young Herons. Juvenile Peregrine. 2 Yellow wags up on the marsh. A Wheatear. 2 Little grebe. Derek and I watched numbers of Pied wagtails going to roost near Crabhall, they were on the roof, on the wires and in the reedbed. Paddy, Paul, Theresa and Mike were just starting a ringing session as I was leaving.

Red-backed Shrike @ Skokholm

Just back from a great few days on Skokholm Island.  Highlight was this morning's Red-backed Shrike, a beauty!  I suspect many reading this blog will not have visited Skokholm before - it really should be on your bucket list:

Angle Bay pre-date..

In addition to the birds listed below by Christine for the Rhoscrowther shore of Angle Bay this morning, the earlier incoming tide pushed up a Little Stint, a Sanderling and four Knot.  Also, 26 Black-tailed Godwits were at Pembroke Lower Millpond, but no sign of the Glossy Ibis first thing.

Angle Bay (roscrowther side)

Lunchtime walk along part of the coast path with my dog around Angle Bay, main highlights;
> 50 dunlin
10 little egret
2 curlew
3 ringed plover
3 redshank
14 oystercatcher
3 buzzard