GBC Field Trip – Cwm Claisfer

Many thanks to John Wilson for leading 15 participants on yesterday’s GBC field trip to Cwm Claisfer, an upland woodland near Llangynidr in Powys.

Highlights included several striking male Redstart, excellent views of a singing Wood Warbler, a pair of Spotted Flycatcher, male and female Pied Flycatchers, Red Kites, a vocal Cuckoo, perched Peregrine, several Tree Pipit, and a Buzzard and Raven having a disagreement.

We saw or heard 37 species in total. Full list: Pheasant, Red Kite, Buzzard, Peregrine, Woodpigeon, Cuckoo, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Raven, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Coal Tit, Swallow, Long-tailed Tit, Wood Warbler, Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Blackcap, Goldcrest, Wren, Nuthatch, Blackbird, Song Thrush, Mistle Thrush, Spotted Flycatcher, Robin, Pied Flycatcher, Redstart, Stonechat, Dunnock, Grey Wagtail, Pied Wagtail, Tree Pipit, Chaffinch, Siskin and Linnet.

Have added a couple of pix – Pied Fly male and Wood Warbler – John W

IMG_4491IMG_4549

GBC Kenfig walk

Many thanks to Strinda Davies for leading today’s GBC walk at Kenfig NNR and also to the 21 participants for coming along. Highlights included a diving Shag close in at Sker Point found by Alan Rosney, Golden Plover in breeding plumage, 2 Wheatear, a House Martin, Swallows and a flock of Sanderling.

There were dozens of Willow Warbler in song on the walk to Sker, along with a supporting cast including Blackcap, Whitethroat, Chiffchaff, Dunnock and Skylark.

Forty species were seen or heard on the walk to/from Sker Point, and those who stayed on for a brief visit to Kenfig Pool added a further 15 species.

Full species list:

Sker walk: Canada Goose, Mallard, Shag, Buzzard, Ringed Plover, Golden Plover, Lapwing, Sanderling, Turnstone, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Herring Gull, Woodpigeon, Collared Dove, Magpie, Jay, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Raven, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Skylark, Swallow, House Martin, Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Blackcap, Whitethroat, Wren, Starling, Blackbird, Robin, Stonechat, Wheatear, Dunnock, House Sparrow, Meadow Pipit, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Goldfinch and Linnet.

Kenfig Pool (additional species): Mute Swan, Greylag Goose, Gadwall, Teal, Shoveler, Tufted Duck, Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, Little Egret, Cormorant, Moorhen, Coot, Sand Martin, Cetti’s Warbler and Reed Warbler.

GBC Field Trip – Craig y Cilau and the Blorenge

Highlights of yesterday’s field trip at Craig-y-Cilau were 5 raptor species plus a displaying Tree Pipit and numerous singing Willow Warblers. Stunning views from the former tramway out over the Usk valley and beyond.

Later at the Blorenge we saw at least 3 Red Grouse, including 1, watched from the summit, out in the open in the sunshine for an extended period. Wheatear there too, seen from the Foxhunter car park.

Thanks to over 20 participants who came along on the day, and to John Wilson for leading the walks. A really enjoyable day’s birding.

GBC Monthly Walk at Kenfig

Fourteen participants on this morning’s GBC monthly walk at Kenfig NNR. It was breezy along the East Pool shore, though a lot calmer in the sheltered areas near the South Pool hide. In total 43 species were heard or seen including 4 Chiffchaff (3 singing) and at least 6 Sand Martin.

Wildfowl numbers have fallen but Scaup (2m, 1f), Goldeneye, Gadwall, Shoveler, Tufted, Mallard, Great Crested Grebe, Grey Heron and Cormorant were present.

Many thanks to Strinda Davies for leading the walk.

Full species list: Mute Swan, Canada Goose, Gadwall, Mallard, Shoveler, Tufted, Scaup, Goldeneye, Pheasant, Great Crested Grebe, Grey Heron, Cormorant, Coot, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Woodpigeon, Collared Dove, Magpie, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Sand Martin, Cetti’s Warbler, Long-tailed Tit, Chiffchaff, Goldcrest, Wren, Starling, Blackbird, Song Thrush, Mistle Thrush, Robin, Stonechat, Dunnock, House Sparrow, Meadow Pipit, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Bullfinch and Reed Bunting.

Flemingston Moor

On Flemingston Moor this afternoon: 8 Lapwing, 1 Redshank, 4 Mute Swan, c. 50 Canada Geese, 8 Mallard, 2 Grey Heron and a Moorhen, along with Lesser Black-backed and Herring Gulls.

A Peregrine was eating prey high up on an electricity pylon. Also present were 2 Buzzard, 3 Stock Dove, 2 Raven, a flock of c. 40 Starling and a solitary Redwing.

Viewed from the narrow road running north from Flemingston village (approx grid ref ST017702)

GBC Field Trip to Forest of Dean

Many thanks to Alan Rosney for leading 12 participants on today’s enjoyable GBC field trip to the Forest of Dean. For the most part we avoided wet weather and even had sunshine at times!

Birding highlight was surely a Great Grey Shrike at Crabtree Hill which gave good views perched on various trees and shrubs and then hovered Kestrel-like for some time. Peregrines and displaying Goshawks were seen from the New Fancy viewpoint, a Hawfinch and Sparrowhawk were at Parkend near the cricket ground, and Mandarin ducks were seen on a small pond near Kensley Lodge and again at Cannop Ponds.

Full species list (41 species):
Mute Swan, Mandarin Duck, Gadwall, Mallard, Tufted Duck, Little Grebe, Goshawk, Sparrowhawk, Buzzard, Peregrine, Moorhen, Coot, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Woodpigeon, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Great Grey Shrike, Jay, Jackdaw, Rook, Carrion Crow, Raven, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Coal Tit, Goldcrest, Wren, Nuthatch, Treecreeper, Blackbird, Fieldfare, Song Thrush, Redwing, Mistle Thrush, Robin, Stonechat, Dunnock, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Siskin, Hawfinch.

Gileston

Lots of Skylark and Dunnock song along the footpath west from Gileston beach car park this morning. Also there 1 Yellowhammer (on the hedgerow on north side of the fenced horse paddock), 2 male Stonechat, 12 Curlew (in the stubble fields), 1 Little Egret, 14 Reed Bunting and 2 Shelduck.

Kenfig Pool

Sunny and just a light breeze at Kenfig Pool this morning. Lots of ducks and other water birds still around including Scaup, displaying Goldeneye, Gadwall, Teal, Wigeon, Pochard, Mallard, Tufted, Greylag and Canada Geese, Great Crested Grebes and a Great Black-backed Gull.

GBC Monthly Walk at Kenfig NNR

Thanks to Strinda Davies for leading this morning’s GBC monthly walk with 11 participants at Kenfig NNR. Highlights included Sparrowhawk, Stonechat and singing Skylark near Sker House, Curlew, Dunlin, Turnstone and Oystercatcher at Sker Point, and Scaup, Lapwing and Goldeneye at Kenfig Pool. Forty six species seen or heard in total.

Full species list: Mute Swan, Canada Goose, Greylag Goose, Mallard, Wigeon, Scaup, Tufted, Gadwall, Pochard, Shoveler, Goldeneye, Cormorant, Coot, Black-headed Gull, Common Gull, Herring Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Great Crested Grebe, Curlew, Dunlin, Turnstone, Oystercatcher, Lapwing, Sparrowhawk, Meadow Pipit, Pied Wagtail, Starling, Blackbird, Song Thrush, Robin, Wren, Dunnock, Collared Dove, Woodpigeon, Feral Pigeon, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Reed Bunting, Carrion Crow, Magpie, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Bullfinch, Chaffinch, Great Spotted Woodpecker and Skylark.

WWT Slimbridge – GBC Field Trip

Many thanks to John Wilson for leading Sunday’s GBC field trip to WWT Slimbridge. Eight participants saw or heard over 65 species despite wet weather for much of the visit. Highlights included White-fronted Geese, Marsh Harrier, Bewick’s Swans, an overwintering Little Stint, Ruff, 10 Cranes on the Tack Piece and fine views of a Bittern from the Zeiss hide. See John’s pictures of the Bittern and Cranes on the GBC facebook page.

Full species list: Mute Swan, Bewick’s Swan, White-fronted Goose, Greylag Goose, Canada Goose, Barnacle Goose, Wigeon, Gadwall, Teal, Mallard, Pintail, Shoveler, Pochard, Tufted Duck, Pheasant, Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, Bittern, Grey Heron, Little Egret, Cormorant, Marsh Harrier, Buzzard, Peregrine, Water Rail, Moorhen, Coot, Crane, Golden Plover, Lapwing, Little Stint, Dunlin, Ruff, Snipe, Black-tailed Godwit, Curlew, Redshank, Black-headed Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Feral Pigeon, Woodpigeon, Kingfisher, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Jackdaw, Rook, Carrion Crow, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Cetti’s Warbler, Long-tailed Tit, Wren, Starling, Blackbird, Fieldfare, Song Thrush, Redwing, Robin, Stonechat, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Linnet, Bullfinch and Reed Bunting.

Kenfig NNR – GBC Monthly Walk

In sunny but cold conditions there were 15 participants on today’s GBC monthly walk at Kenfig NNR. In total, forty nine species were seen or heard. The highlights included a male Marsh Harrier which appeared late morning and which gave excellent views from the South Pool hide, Scaup, Goldeneye, Lapwing, Sparrowhawk and Greylag Geese. Many thanks to Strinda Davies for leading the walk.

Full species list: Mute Swan, Canada Goose, Greylag Goose, Goldeneye, Scaup, Tufted Duck, Mallard, Shoveler, Pochard, Gadwall, Wigeon, Teal, Great Crested Grebe, Grey Heron, Cormorant, Marsh Harrier, Buzzard, Sparrowhawk, Moorhen, Coot, Lapwing, Snipe, Black-headed Gull, Common Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Woodpigeon, Collared Dove, Magpie, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Skylark, Long-tailed Tit, Goldcrest, Wren, Starling, Blackbird, Song Thrush, Redwing, Mistle Thrush, Robin, Dunnock, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Linnet, Reed Bunting.

Cosmeston and Kenfig

A Bittern flew across the west lake reeds at Cosmeston at 1635 today, landing in the reedbed edge behind the posts. A drake Pintail was present on the west lake.

Earlier in the afternoon at Kenfig there were plenty of birds on the pool including drake Scaup, drake Goldeneye, Wigeon, Teal, Shoveler, Pochard, Tufted Duck, Gadwall, Mallard, Coot, Cormorant and Great Crested Grebe.

Sully beach and Swanbridge

For once today disturbance by walkers and dogs proved beneficial on Sully beach when a flushed flock of 7 Grey Plovers and a Turnstone landed right next to a bouncing Jack Snipe. Other waders present nearby included 24 Ringed Plover, a solitary Dunlin, more Turnstone and a handful of Oystercatchers.

Further east along the coast at Swanbridge/Sully Island there were 27 Curlew present at high tide, the joint highest count for me here over the last 5 years.

Cosmeston and Barry

2 gadwall, 5 shoveler, 7 teal, 4 wigeon and 1 pintail on Cosmeston west lake this morning, along with a very brief flight view of a bittern over the lake.

Common sandpiper in Barry Docks, 14 redshank in Barry Old Harbour and the lesser scaup lookalike hybrid on the Knap lake.

Cosmeston, Newton and Ogmore

2 calling redshank flew over Cosmeston east lake Friday afternoon, quickly decided it wasn’t for them and flew off over the car park towards the coast. 8 gadwall were on the east lake along with 4 pochard, and 4 teal were on the west lake.

On Newton beach/Black Rocks earlier, 22 turnstone, 2 redshank, 10 oystercatcher, 4 curlew and a grey heron. In the area behind the beach a kestrel, 5 stonechat, 2 male bullfinch and 30+ linnet.

On the Ogmore river just upstream from the river mouth 2 drake goldeneye.

Sully Moors flooding

There’s extensive flooding on Sully Moors currently. It’s attracted some wildfowl with 2 gadwall pairs, 4 drake teal, 1 drake wigeon, 10+ mallard, 50+ canada geese and 2 mute swans present this morning. Yesterday morning a little egret and grey heron were present. Also heard there today were 2 cetti’s warbler and a water rail, and a great spotted woodpecker was in roadside trees. There were a few hundred gulls present today, mostly BHG, and Sully beach is almost devoid of gulls as a result.

Best viewing is from Ashby Road, which is a narrow, no through road. Best bet is to park near Sully church, walk a short distance up Cog Rd past Sully Inn and turn left into Ashby Road. Good views of the flooded fields from numerous points along Ashby Rd.

Sully and Barry

21 Curlew on Sully Island on this morning’s high tide. Second highest count for me there in last 5 years. Dunlin, Ringed Plover, Turnstone and Oystercatcher on Sully beach. Kingfisher at Cadoxton River mouth.

At Cadoxton Ponds, great views of a hunting Sparrowhawk in the early morning sunshine. Also present 5 Cetti’s Warbler and 3 Water Rail.

Common Scoter and adult Mediterranean Gull still at Barry Docks early afternoon.