I embarked on my sometimes, nearly always, annual (ish) Puffin hunt at the Outer Head this morning. The max I could manage on any single scan was 4 but there was plenty of comings and goings so I would say there was a minimum of 7 present. A feeding party of 200+ Manxies were just off the head first thing but quickly dispersed, plus Chough and Peregrine present. 2 very juv looking Wheatear were out there , presumably bred?
The brisk easterly this morning delivered a few waders – 30+ Whimbrel, 26 Bar Tailed Godwit and an impressive ( for the site) 21 Grey Plover, the majority looking very dapper in full summer plumage. Swifts were also arriving off the sea in ones and twos totalling 15 when I left.
A flock of 56 Whimbrel and 2 Bar Tailed Godwit on the Royal Porthcawl Golf Course was quickly fragmented by the first golfers. A Whinchat and Sedge Warbler were on the walls. A further 8 Whimbrel and 2 Gadwall were at Sker Pool and 20 Wheatear in the area. A Cuckoo and 5 singing Lesser Whitethroats were at Merthyr Mawr.
A YBW spent a few minutes in a small Sycamore just below the Norton Wood gate at 3pm, before flying into the top of the big Sycamores at the edge of the wood and not seen again. Calling occasionally..
A Wryneck showed well for five minutes at the small car parking area of Pant Cwmteri at 1510 this afternoon, perched in the open and being closely investigated by a Robin. Seen again at 1615 but only in flight. Mirroring the Dunraven/Witches sightings, could this be the same bird that NPR found further up the valley on the 28th August and eluded us on regular visits over the past three weeks? Who knows but always a pleasure to watch.
A juv Curlew Sandpiper was on the lower reaches of the river this morning.. Also 5 Black tailed Godwits , 2 Ringed Plover and 6 Common Sands.
An fine looking Squacco Heron was a nice surprise at the Watermill this morning. Still present at 1100.
A trip to Sker this evening to see if Neils Kentish Plover was still around resulted in the finding of 2 Ringed Plover in much the same spot but unfortunately the only bird with them was a Golden Plover – Ah well. Lots around otherwise with 40+ Wheatear in the fields, 60+ Whimbrel, 20+ Bar Tailed Godwits, 4 Grey Plover and 15 Sanderling.
The annual Puffin hunt produced several sightings this morning. To cut a long story short – max 6 and min 3 birds present. Nothing else out of the ordinary bird wise but at least 6 each of Painted Lady and Red Admiral out on the head.
A lone Swallow heading west this am.
Fem Wheatear nr the Pink Bay Lifeguard Shed, fem Merlin chasing Pied Wagtails in the ploughed field and 4 Purple Sands on the rocks.
Merry Boxing Day everyone. Jack Snipe flushed by the dog this morning.
An imm male Eider was preening on the rocks at Sker and a pale Chiffchaff giving the Bullfinch like `peep’ call looked a good candidate for a sibe at Merthyr Mawr this morning, although its true plumage tones were hard to judge in the brilliant sunshine.
2 Dartford Warblers were intially by the small parking area for Pant Norton this afternoon. One was refound in the large area of Bracken by Portobello Island and one moved through the Bracken on the hillside below Norton Wood.
A Woodlark flew over calling at 0845 heading towards Porthcawl. Also 50 Fieldfare and a few Reed Buntings over.
The (or another? ) YBW was calling from the edge of Norton Wood this afternoon and 2 Ring Ouzels were feeding on berries in Pant Norton. Chiffchaff and Blackcap at Merthyr Mawr this morning.
A Ring Ouzel was heared calling and seen in flight several times this afternoon but refused to show well and wasnt seen after half two despite further searching.
A Yellow Browed Warbler was calling and showing well on and off this afternoon. Late news from yesterday from Owen Leyshon – A Lapland Bunting flew over the Kenfig Rivermouth calling, heading towards Port Talbot.
Notables from this mornings visit were 27 Med Gulls on the rocks at high tide, probably the flock that DGC has been seeing in the fields around Nottage, also 26 Knot and 4 Sanderling. 3 D.b.Brents flew down channel and 4 Wheater were on the beach.
A Curlew Sandpiper was on Portobello Island this evening along with the long staying Greenshank. Another Greenshank flew over Newton Burrows this morning .