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

GBC Monthly Walk at Kenfig

There were 7 participants on today’s GBC monthly walk at Kenfig NNR. Meeting at 9am at the car park, we decided to head for the coast at Sker to look for waders around high tide.

En route, in light rain, birds heard or seen included Willow Warbler, Whitethroat, Starling, Linnet, Bullfinch, Dunnock plus Herring, Lesser Black-backed and Black-headed Gulls. The highlight though was a group of 9 Stonechat on the edge of the golf course including a number of juveniles.

Around Sker House there were 5 Lapwing in a field, and nearby another 4 Stonechat along with Goldfinch, Meadow Pipit, Skylark and a flyover Cormorant. As we moved on from Sker House, and with the weather deteriorating rapidly, some in the group saw a Snipe.

We pressed on to Sker rocks for a brief look in by now heavy rain. We managed to add Oystercatcher, Ringed Plover, Turnstone, Curlew and Rock Pipit, but the combination of wind and rain was too much to allow a thorough search.

Many thanks to Strinda Davies for leading today’s walk and to all those who came along.

We saw or heard 30 species. Full species list: Cormorant, Oystercatcher, Ringed Plover, Northern Lapwing, Common Snipe, Eurasian Curlew, Turnstone, Black-headed Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Herring Gull, Feral Pigeon, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Skylark, Swallow, Willow Warbler, Common Whitethroat, Wren, Starling, Blackbird, Song Thrush, European Stonechat, Dunnock, Pied Wagtail, Meadow Pipit, Rock Pipit, Goldfinch, Linnet, Bullfinch, Reed Bunting.

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


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.