Rhossili & Llanrhidian GBC trip

Only 8 intrepid souls for our trip to Rhossili and the Worm. The Scoter flock was close to the beach – all Common Scoter with no Velvets found. Off the cliffs there were several Fulmars. Two Purple Sandpipers with Turnstones and 100’s of Oystercatcher. Two Eiders, A Red-throated Diver, Guillemot, Great Crested Grebe and a poss Black throated Diver were off the Worm. On the Vile were Linnets, Goldfinches and Reed Buntings as well as Peregrine and Kestrel. We managed to dodge all the showers. A pleasant, if windy trip. Afterwards we spent a little time at Llanrhidian Marsh until the rain really set in. John Duffy had a Marsh Harrier, and we added Grey Heron, numerous Little Egret, 2 Red Kites and a couple of Snipe. A total of 50 species were seen. Click here to see a trip list. Thanks to all the participants. Happy Christmas one and all.

Cosmeston

From Cosmeston this morning. The drake Scaup found by Graham Smith yesterday was on E lake with all the Tufties. A fem Goldeneye was in the middle of W lake, too distant for a decent photo. A couple of fem Reed Buntings were feeding next to the main boardwalk, and a flock of Goldfinch were feeding in Alder by the car park. One managed to get a beak full of whole Alder cone!

Rhymney Est and Heliport Bay

Rhymney Estuary WeBS count this morning. V high tide so birds rather dispersed. c.300 Redshank, 550 Dunlin, 80 Lapwing, 4 Gadwall, 22 Mallard, 112 Teal, 20 Canada Geese, 2 Mute Swan – all at Rhymney Est – Green Point.
At the Heliport bay – 24 Pintail, c.50 Shelduck, 10 Shoveler and 10 Oystercatcher. Also other un-ID’d wildfowl v distant offshore in chopppy water.
No horse rescue this time!

WWT Penclacwydd

Despite the howling gale and occasional rain, the GBC trip here today was remarkably successful. Myself and 5 other stalwarts were rewarded with 56 species including 3 Avocet, a Spoonbill, 3 Greenshank, 2 Kingfishers, around 200 each of Black-tailed Godwits and Lapwing, plenty of wildfowl, and a Peregrine. However all of these were surpassed by 20 minutes of watching 2 Otters playing around in the pools in front of the Heron’s Wing hide in the Millenium Wetlands – superb. Click here for the full species list.

Cosmeston

Club member Annie Irving had a ringtail Hen Harrier fly over W paddock at around 1:38 this afternoon, heading south-east over W lake towards Lavernock. Nice one Annie! During my comparatively dull morning visit there were 8 Teal, 3 Pochard and 3 Shoveler on W lake. No activity from the Bittern.

Garwnant, Llwyn-on Res and Rhaslas

15 people went on the Glamorgan Bird Club trip to the above locations today. Highlights were lots of excellent views of Crossbill at Garwnant, plus 3 or 4 Willow Tit, and Red Kite and many other common species. We had brief views of a very flighty Water Pipit on the spillway at Llwyn-on Reservoir, plus a Common Sandpiper on a weir below the spillway and there was a pair of Wigeon on the Res. A cold & windy Rhaslas Pond had 8 Goosander, c.10 each of Wigeon & Tufted Duck, a few Teal, and a single fem Goldeneye. A full list of the 39 species seen can be seen by clicking here.

Cosmeston a.m.

First thing I noticed is that E. lake appears to have acquired the entire Canada Goose population of E Glam – I counted 280!

There were at least 100 Redwing around the park this morning, mainly in the trees around the bird table and the W. paddock hedgerow and the edge of Cogan Wood by the dragonfly pond. Also 30+ Fieldfare mainly in the latter location, plus 10+ Blackbird and a few Song Thrushes, all feeding on hawthorn. There were 2 Reed Bunts in the W paddock hedge and a Snipe flushed from the boggy area by the sunken copse behind the dragonfly pond. Around the ‘T’ junction of the path from the boardwalk and mile road [central path] there was a feeding flock mainly consisting of Long-t Tits [c.15], plus Gt Tit, Blue Tit and Coal Tit, plus 2 Nuthatch, a Treecreeper and a few Chaffinch. No sign of the Bittern but the rangers were doing some work behind the RH end of the W lake reed bed using a rotary cultivator. Tufties number about 50, 4 GCG, 1 Little Grebe and a Green ‘Pecker in W paddock. ….. just remembered – a Water Rail ran under the main boardwalk as I returned.

Cosmeston

At the far end of east paddock, where it is very muddy, and just before the heavens opened this morning, there were at least 30 Redwing feeding in the many berry trees there [in the fenced in area], with a Song Thrush and at least 8 Blackbirds. Did quickly check for the Ring Ouzel in W paddock but it was chucking it down so I didn’t look too hard or long.

Cosmeston

From the closed Whatsapp group – the Ring Ouzel apparently showed again this afternoon¬† – was nowhere to be seen in my walk this morning although c. 20 Redwing were flying around. Also this morning there seemed to be just 1 single fem Shoveler left on W lake unless the 4 drakes of yesterday [2 full plumage, 2 eclipse] were skulking in the reeds. I didn’t have time to check the gulls for an ad Yellow-legged that David Rich saw yesterday afternoon, which had creamy rather than yellow legs.

Cosmeston

A Bittern turned up yesterday [per Graham Smith] and was seen twice today in the morning [sadly not by me]. It’s using the W lake reed bed. Watched for about 45 mins late afternoon with Graham & Wayne Strong but no show. A flock of c.80 Starlings flew around over the lakes at about 5:45 so a poss sign that we will have a murmuration this winter. Nearby there’s a Yellow-browed Warbler hanging out with a tit flock down St. Mary’s Well Bay road, mostly in Sycamores on the LH side round about where there’s a ruin down among the trees on the left [again found by Graham about 3 days ago].

Cosmeston

There were 3 drake Pochard on W lake this morning, my first of this autumn/winter. A flock of c.100 Goldfinch was in W paddock and contained 3-4 Linnet, and a couple of Mipits. In trees in the¬†snipe paddock there were 2 Chiffchaff and 2 Reed Bunting, and there was a fem Blackcap by W paddock. Finally there was a male Gt Spotted ‘Pecker in a tree near the main boardwalk.