A dipper flew north up the west bank of Llwyn On reservoir to the Taf Fawr inflow yesterday morning. Grey Heron, 2 Snipe, 2 Great Crested Grebe, and a few Mallard, Canada Geese and Lesser Black-backed Gulls were also at the reservoir’s north end. In Coed Taf Fawr a pair of Grey Wagtail was on the Garwnant Fawr, and on a GBC Willow Tit survey square a Willow Tit sang close to the main forestry track. There were Siskin, Nuthatch, Chaffinch, Mistle Thrush and a Great Spotted Woodpecker at the Garwnant Visitor Centre car park.
Circular walk on Thursday 7 March starting and finishing at Taffs Well railway station:
Gwaelod-y-garth and Garth Hill – Dipper, Siskin, Jay, Goldcrest, Green Woodpecker, drumming Great Spotted Woodpecker, singing Mistle and Song Thrush, Skylarks, Meadow Pipit and Buzzard
Craig-yr-Allt/Twyn Garwa – Bullfinch, Raven, Green and Great Spotted Woodpeckers
Mynydd Meio/Nantgarw – Ravens, Stonechat, Meadow Pipit, Red Kite and Sparrowhawk
Cosmeston early morning: 7 Pochard and 5 Gadwall on the West Lake, 3 Chiffchaff (1 singing), a few Fieldfare and Redwing in trees on west side of play area, Green and Great Spotted Woodpeckers calling, several Coot nest building, 4 Little Grebe and 8 Great Crested Grebe (some displaying), Cetti’s Warbler in the East Lake reedbed and a Water Rail calling from the West Lake reedbed.
Sully Island – 2 Great Black-backed Gull on the mud and stones below the Captain’s Wife car park as the tide dropped; overhead a Raven mobbed by Jackdaws.
Barry Docks – a Skylark singing over what’s left of the rough ground at the eastern end of the Waterfront.
Flemingston/Llanbydderi Moor – 13 Lapwing, Stock Dove, Greylag Goose and Common Gull.
Walk around Pontypridd area today starting and finishing at Treforest railway station:
River Taff at Treforest – Dipper, Grey Wagtail, 2 Cormorant including one fishing
Glyntaff cemetery and fields/lanes up to Eglwysilan Road – Green and Great Spotted Woodpecker, Raven, Bullfinch
Cefn Eglwysilan – 2 Stonechat, Meadow Pipits, Reed Bunting, and on the top near the trig point lots of singing Skylark
Woods adjacent Pontypridd Golf Club – Treecreeper, nest-building Nuthatch, Buzzard
River Taff at Pontypridd (Berw Road) – Goosander pair, Grey Wagtail, Moorhen
Craig-yr-hesg Nature Reserve – Jay, Siskin, Redpoll, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Fieldfare
Barry Sidings CP/Mynydd Gelliwion/Maesycoed – Grey Wagtail on River Rhondda, in forestry Siskin, Redpoll, Crossbill, at least 5 singing Goldcrest, Great Spotted Woodpecker, 2 Jay, 2 Bullfinch
This morning (high tide 1024):
Bendrick Rock – 23 Dunlin, 17 Ringed Plover (both high counts for this site), 9 Turnstone and 8 Oystercatcher
Sully Island – 42 Oystercatcher, 2 Curlew, 2 Shelduck
Sully/Swanbridge playing fields – 5+ Curlew (19 here on 23/2),
3 Oystercatcher, 1 Mediterranean Gull (2 here on 23/2)
Sully Beach – 6 Oystercatcher, 23 Turnstone
Barry Dock – 1 Mediterranean Gull
Barry Old Harbour – 6+ Redshank, 3 Shelduck, 1 Curlew
At least 5 Fulmar were at Nash Point this morning, along with 9 Rock Pipit, 2 Stonechat and a Curlew. A Mediterranean Gull was on the railings at Barry Waterfront.
The Great White Egret was on the south east side of Abercwmboi Lake this afternoon; also there 13 Little Grebe, 5 Mute Swan, 2 Greylag, 1 Cormorant, 1 Grey Heron, 32 Coot and 9 Moorhen.
A full day’s birding today around a few sites in the eastern Vale produced 74 species, including:
Gileston/Aberthaw: 9 Golden Plover, 10 Pale-bellied Brent Geese, 2 Peregrine, 1 Kestrel, 20 Ringed Plover, 13 Curlew, 2 Snipe;
Flemingston Moor: 300+ Lapwing, 4 Stock Dove;
Barry Docks: Mediterranean Gull
Cosmeston: Marsh Tit, Water Rail, Cetti’s Warbler, Siskin
Two redhead Goosander were on the East Lake at Cosmeston at noon today. The female Goldeneye was still on the West Lake along with at least 7 Gadwall and 25 Pochard. An over-wintering Chiffchaff was in Cogan Wood.
Later in the day an adult Mediterranean Gull was with 45 Black-headed Gull on railings at Barry Waterfront.
Yesterday afternoon at the lagoon a Snipe sat out in the open on one of the islands, 8 Little Grebe, a Kingfisher, 2 Water Rail calling and 2 Mute Swan. On the saltmarsh a Redshank, 11 Rock Pipit and 3 Mute Swan.
At the rivermouth 14 Brent Geese (2 dark-bellied, 12 pale-bellied) and 135 Wigeon on the sea (flew in from up-channel).
This afternoon at local sites (high tide 1535):
Barry Old Harbour (about 1.5 hours before high tide) – 13 Redshank, 5 Dunlin and 7 Oystercatcher
Sully Island/Beach/Bendrick – 8 Lapwing (on Sully Island), 22 Ringed Plover, 27 Turnstone, 8 Curlew, 46 Oystercatcher
Ring Ouzel still in the West Paddock at Cosmeston earlier this morning, in the shallow valley between the dragonfly pond and the fenced area (snipe field) to the north. On the lakes 5 Shoveler, 2 drake Pochard and the Aythya hybrid.
Yesterday afternoon a male Brambling with Chaffinch flock in tree along St Mary’s Well Bay Road between the disused railway bridge and the caravan site. The flock was mobile over the fields and hedgerows east of the road. Fieldfare and Redwing there too.
On Sully beach yesterday afternoon a single Grey Plover close to the water’s edge between the sailing club slipway and Burnham Avenue beach car park. My first there this autumn.
Mid morning/early afternoon visit on Saturday. Several small groups of Crossbill, mostly in flight and typically 2-6 birds. Excellent views of perched adult male Crossbill. Twenty four species in total including a Sparrowhawk, 3 Nuthatch, 3 Jay, 3 Siskin, 2 Mistle Thrush, 3 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 1 Goldcrest, a Pheasant and a large mixed flock of Blue, Coal, Great and Long-tailed Tits.
Monday afternoon a pale-bellied Brent Goose was with 3 Teal on a small pool about 100m west of of the Thaw river mouth, where there were also 60 Wigeon, a Great Black-backed Gull and 2 Little Egret present.
At Limpert Bay 7 Ringed Plover, 15 Turnstone, 2 Curlew, 1 Common Gull and a Little Egret.
On Aberthaw Power Station buildings a flock of 150 Feral Pigeon, and on one of the coal piles a flock of 20 Linnet were enjoying the afternoon sun whilst keeping out of the cold wind.
Earlier in the day, 17 Curlew split between Swanbridge playing fields and Sully Island was my highest count there so far this autumn. There was an adult Mediterranean Gull on railings at Barry Docks waterfront, 10 Stock Dove on Flemingston Moor and at Cosmeston a Cetti’s Warbler in the East Lake reedbed, a hybrid Aythya duck and 275 Canada Geese on the East Lake, and a drake Pochard and 5 Teal on the West Lake.
Sully Island/Sully beach/Bendrick Rock after high tide this morning: 110 Oystercatcher, 9 Curlew, 53 Ringed Plover, 20 Dunlin, 12 Turnstone, 2 Great Black-backed Gull and a Little Egret. A flock of 25+ Greenfinch was a fine sight in the sunshine on shrubs in the Burnham Avenue beach car park.
Drake Pochard and 2 female Teal on Cosmeston’s West Lake this morning. Water Rail calling from the West Lake reedbed, where a Grey Heron was in a tree. Cetti’s Warbler at the East Lake reedbed, where a couple of Siskin flew over calling.
Five Great Crested Grebe and 5 Little Grebe on the lakes, 2 Jays over the south end of Cogan Wood and a Great Spotted Woodpecker calling near the bridge.
Lots of Skylark passing through.
Visits this morning/early afternoon (high tide 1100):
Cadoxton Ponds (including WeBS count): Kingfisher, Grey Heron, Sparrowhawk, 3 Cetti’s Warbler, Redwing
Barry Docks: male Stonechat, Med. Gull, Great Crested Grebe, Mute Swan
Barry Old Harbour: Little Egret, Curlew, Mute Swan
Knap Lake: Grey Wagtail on the feeder stream, 21 Tufted Duck, 21 Mute Swan, 70 Black-headed Gull
Swanbridge and Sully Island: 8 Curlew, 42 Oystercatcher, 18 Turnstone
Sully beach: 2 Wheatear, 30+ Ringed Plover, 15+ Turnstone, 2 Curlew
Mediterranean Gull (adult, winter plumage) late this afternoon on railings at Barry waterfront with 25+ Black-headed Gulls. A Grey Wagtail nearby, on rooftops initially then at water’s edge. Rock Pipits here, and later also at Bendrick Rock and Sully beach.
Great views of a male Sparrowhawk which perched a couple of times in between half-heartedly upsetting the local Goldfinches in the scrubby area behind the Vale’s recycling facility on Atlantic Trading Estate.
Two Mute Swans on the sea between Hayes Point and Bendrick Rock, 63 Canada Geese in flight over Sully beach heading towards Sully Moors/Cosmeston and at sunset a Curlew and 14 Ringed Plover heading up channel along Sully beach towards Sully Island.
66 Ringed Plover by the sailing club slipway on Sully beach this morning shortly after high tide. Easily my highest count on Sully beach in the last seven years. With them 4 Dunlin.
10 Curlew and 35 Oystercatcher on Sully Island at high tide. 43 Turnstone between Sully Island and Bendrick Rock.
At the playing fields 100+ Starling, 20+ Pied Wagtail, 1 Med Gull (Ad, WP) in with 175 Black-headed Gulls, Stonechat. Trickle of Swallows through feeding over the beach and playing fields, and including a few resting briefly on wires.
Six Whimbrel at Bendrick Rock early this morning at high tide. Shortly afterwards an adult Mediterranean Gull on Sully Beach along with 200+ Black-headed Gulls. An adult Great Black-backed Gull was on Sully Island.
Yesterday morning at Llwyn On reservoir, where the low water level has exposed lots of mud and a bridge, 4 House Martin repeatedly visiting the water’s edge, 1 Common Sandpiper, 2 Great Crested Grebe, 1 Great Black-backed Gull and 4 Grey Heron. In the nearby forestry plantation on the east side of the A470, 9 Crossbill, 2 Raven and 1 Tree Pipit.
Great views of several Nightjar on last night’s GBC field trip to Llanwonno on a calm, warm evening with clear skies. Many thanks to John Wilson for leading the trip and to everyone who came along.
At least 29 species were seen or heard on the evening, with the full list being: Grey Heron, Woodpigeon, Tawny Owl, Nightjar, Swift, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Carrion Crow, Raven, Skylark, House Martin, Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Blackcap, Whitethroat, Goldcrest, Wren, Blackbird, Song Thrush, Mistle Thrush, Robin, Stonechat, Dunnock, Tree Pipit, Meadow Pipit, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Linnet, Lesser Redpoll and Reed Bunting.