GBC Field Trip to Forest Farm

Peregrine, Sparrowhawk, Kingfisher, Water Rail, Snipe, Dipper and Goosander were the highlights of 35 species on this week’s GBC field trip to a wet Forest Farm. Thanks to John Wilson for leading and to all who came along.

Full species list: Mallard, Goosander, Grey Heron, Cormorant, Sparrowhawk, Buzzard, Peregrine, Water Rail, Moorhen, Snipe, Black-headed Gull, Herring Gull, Kingfisher, Magpie, Jay, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Raven, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Coal Tit, Goldcrest, Nuthatch, Dipper, Blackbird, Song Thrush, Mistle Thrush, Robin, Dunnock, House Sparrow, Pied Wagtail, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Siskin and Bullfinch.

It was just me [John W] who dropped in briefly to Cardiff Bay Wetlands as I went home. The only ‘extras’ I saw were Coot, Gt Crested Grebe Lesser B-b Gull and Tufted Duck.

Taff Trail – Cefn Coed y Cymer and Penmoelallt

Circular walk yesterday starting at the lower car park at Cyfarthfa Park then more or less following the Taff Trail up the west side of the Taff, over Cefn Coed viaduct, up through Penmoelallt forestry, returning via a forestry track and Penmoelallt Farm, then down through Cefn Coed and past the lake at Cyfarthfa Park to the car park.

Kingfisher near the confluence of the Taf Fawr and Taf Fechan, Siskin, Nuthatch, Treecreeper, Redwing and Goldcrest nearby and 2 Dipper further up the Taf Fawr in Cefn Coed.

Willow Tit near the Outdoor Classroom in Penmoelallt, 20+ Fieldfare and a few Redwing further into the forestry, a hunting Sparrowhawk, a perched Crossbill pair giving great views in the sunshine, and a few Redpoll moving round the forestry.

Coed Taf Fawr and Cosmeston

A Willow Tit and several small groups of Crossbill were in the forestry on the west side of Llwyn-On reservoir south of the minor road to Penderyn. Also there Stonechat, Raven, Nuthatch, Bullfinch, Coal Tit, Siskin and Great Spotted Woodpecker. At the reservoir 3 Grey Heron and 14 Cormorant, and a Dipper in the river below the dam.

At Cosmeston late afternoon, a Bittern flew briefly over the West Lake reedbed.

Barry and Sully

This morning:

Barry Old Harbour: 1 Pale-bellied Brent Goose, 1 Little Egret, 5 Oystercatcher

Bendrick Rock: 1 Kingfisher at tidal pool, 1 Curlew, 1 Little Egret, 9 Turnstone, 8 Oystercatcher, 1 Kestrel

Sully Beach: 38 Turnstone, 35 Ringed Plover, 5 Oystercatcher, 6 Rock Pipit

Sully Island: 49 Oystercatcher, 10 Ringed Plover, 8 Curlew

GBC Field Trip to Mewslade and Rhossili

Highlights of the GBC Gower field trip on a windy day at Mewslade and Rhossili included Common Scoter, Chough, Razorbill, Guillemot and Gannet. Raptors seen were Peregrine, Sparrowhawk, Buzzard and 3 Kestrel.

Thanks to John Wilson for leading the field trip and to all who came along. In total 45 species were seen or heard.

Full species list: Common Scoter, Pheasant, Shag, Cormorant, Sparrowhawk, Common Buzzard, Kestrel, Peregrine, Oystercatcher, Kittiwake, Common Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Guillemot, Razorbill, Woodpigeon, Collared Dove, Green Woodpecker, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Chough, Magpie, Jackdaw, Rook, Carrion Crow, Raven, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Coal Tit, Long-tailed Tit, Chiffchaff, Goldcrest, Wren, Blackbird, Song Thrush, Robin, Stonechat, Dunnock, House Sparrow, Pied Wagtail, Meadow Pipit, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Linnet and Bullfinch.

Barry and Cosmeston

Drake Wigeon on the sea at Cadoxton River mouth/Bendrick Rock at high tide this afternoon. Kingfisher working tidal pool.

Earlier this afternoon, Hobby at Cosmeston near top end of East paddock, Kingfisher at West Lake

Barry Old Harbour – 2 adult Mediterranean Gulls, Little Egret, 2 Curlew this morning

Cardiff Bay

This afternoon:
Ely rivermouth off John Batchelor Way: 2 Turnstone, Common Sandpiper, Grey Wagtail, Mute Swan with 3 Cygnets.

Boardwalk at Old Ice Rink/Prospect Place: Great Crested Grebe pair with 3 well-grown juveniles, drake Pochard (also seen later at CBWR).

Cardiff Bay Wetland Reserve: Water Rail squealing close to boardwalk, 2 Stonechat in the grassy area above the boardwalk, 40+ Tufted Duck, the drake Pochard, a Teal and 3+ Cetti’s Warbler.

River Taff from the car park at Channel View Centre: Goosander, Great Crested Grebe pair with 2 juveniles.

Sully and Barry

Swanbridge at sunrise today just after high tide revealed 61 Ringed Plover on Sully Island along with 13 Turnstone, 11 Oystercatcher and 4 Curlew. A Green Woodpecker was in the trees behind Swanbridge Farm.

On Sully Beach between Burnham Avenue and the sailing club slipway, 42 Turnstone and another 10 Ringed Plover.

At Bendrick Rock singles of Common Sandpiper, Grey Wagtail, singing Chiffchaff and Curlew.

At Barry Old Harbour a Kingfisher, 2 Curlew, 2 Little Egret, 4 Mediterranean Gulls in with 150+ Black-headed Gulls, and a 1st Winter Stonechat.

Lastly at the Knap Lake, 29 Tufted Duck and the returning Lesser Scaup lookalike hybrid.

GBC Field Trip – Aberthaw and Gileston

Highlights of today’s GBC field trip to Aberthaw and Gileston included 15+ Yellow Wagtail in fields behind the Gileston coast path, 3 Peregrines including 2 eating a kill, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, Wheatear, Stock Dove and Yellowhammer.

On the beach birds seen included Little Egret, Grey Heron, Curlew, Dunlin, Turnstone, Ringed Plover, Common Sandpiper and Oystercatcher.

Thanks to all participants and to Alan Rosney for leading the field trip.

Full species list (53 Species): Canada Goose, Mallard, Little Grebe, Grey Heron, Little Egret, Cormorant, Sparrowhawk, Buzzard, Kestrel, Peregrine, Moorhen, Coot, Oystercatcher, Ringed Plover, Dunlin, Curlew, Common Sandpiper, Turnstone, Black-headed Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Herring Gull, Feral Pigeon, Stock Dove, Woodpigeon, Magpie, Jackdaw, Rook, Carrion Crow, Raven, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Coal Tit, Skylark, Sand Martin, Swallow, Willow Warbler, Blackcap, Wren, Starling, Blackbird, Robin, Wheatear, Dunnock, House Sparrow, Yellow Wagtail, Pied Wagtail, Rock Pipit, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Linnet, Bullfinch and Yellowhammer.

Sully, Barry and Gileston

Sully Island shortly after high tide this morning: 72 Oystercatcher, 43 Ringed Plover, 12 Turnstone and 2 Curlew. On Sully beach 1 Whimbrel, 25 Turnstone, 3 Ringed Plover and a Redshank.

Three Mediterranean Gulls in Barry Old Harbour, and another 2 on the nearby Barry Island cricket pitch. A Kestrel near the Vale Council’s Dock Offices.

At Gileston 3 Mediterranean Gulls on the beach along with 7+ Curlew, 38+ Oystercatcher, 3 Little Egret and 2 Grey Heron. In the fields and along the coast path behind the beach, 7 Stonechat, 40+ Goldfinch, lots of Linnet, 1 Kestrel, 1 Swift, 2 House Martin and lots of Swallows.

Barry Old Harbour and Bendrick Rock

This morning’s rising tide at Barry Old Harbour flushed a Redshank and Curlew from the vegetation. Also there an adult Mediterranean Gull, an immature Great Black-backed Gull and 3 Little Egret.

Colour-ringed Black-headed Gull (Yellow 2PSX) was in the high tide roost near the causeway. Paul Roper of North Thames Gull Group kindly sent me details of its ringing history:
Ringed in Essex on 12th March 2016, it was next recorded just over 3 weeks later on 4th April 2016 in North Germany near the Danish border. On 11th November 2016 it was back in the UK, recorded at the Knap Lake, Barry. Six months later, on 10th May 2017 it was seen in Finland, and today it was back in Barry. You can see a map of its travels here:

A Common Tern was briefly at Bendrick Rock this morning, before heading off up channel. At high tide 3 Common Sandpiper and a Little Egret were present.

Barry Old Harbour and Sully area

At Barry Old Harbour this morning about 2 hours after high tide: 1 Whimbrel, 1 Curlew, 2 juvenile Dunlin, 1 Little Egret, 1 adult Mediterranean Gull, 85+ Black-headed Gulls, 1 Great Black-backed Gull, 1 Cormorant, 2 House Martins and a fly over Mute Swan en route to the Knap lake.


Sully Island/Swanbridge: 20 Ringed Plover, 4 Turnstone, 6 Curlew, 2 Whimbrel, 11 Oyks (all on Sully Island), 1 Green Woodpecker in trees behind Captain’s Wife/Swanbridge Farm.

Sully beach/playing fields: 1 Yellow Wagtail, 2 Sanderling, 18 Turnstone, 13 Ringed Plover, 2 Rock Pipit and 5+ Pied Wagtail.

Barry and Sully

Wheatear on return passage at Barry Old Harbour this morning. A Little Egret and 2 adult Mediterranean Gulls also present. A Peregrine here a couple of days ago.

A Common Sandpiper at the beach at Bendrick Rock – flew out from Cadoxton River mouth.

A Whimbrel, 3 Curlew and 18 Oystercatcher on the beach at Swanbridge. Great Spotted Woodpecker in the trees at Swanbridge Farm, and a Siskin calling.

Cardiff Bay

River Ely/Bay from corner of Jeffcott Place/John Batchelor Way – Common Sandpiper, Grey Wagtail and 3 Turnstone on the wall near water’s edge. Sand Martins and Swifts overhead.

From boardwalk near old ice rink – Great Crested Grebe with 1 juvenile on its back and 2 more in tow. House and Sand Martins nearby.

Wetland Reserve – at least 20 Great Crested Grebe including 2 juveniles, Swifts and Sand Martins low over boardwalk

Barry and Sully

Early morning, low tide visits in the sunshine:

Barry Old Harbour – 1 Whimbrel, 1 Curlew, 1 Great Black-backed Gull, 2 adult Mediterranean Gulls (now rapidly losing their black hoods) in with 75+ Black-headed Gulls.

Bendrick Rock/Cadoxton river mouth – 1 Kingfisher looking superb in the bright sunshine – perched on a rock in a tidal pool. Also 3 Oystercatcher.

Sully beach – 2 Whimbrel, 5 Oystercatcher and a young fox sauntering along the beach.

Sully Island/Swanbridge – 2 Whimbrel on the causeway, 6 Oystercatcher, Herring Gull busily dismembering a crab