A short visit between 0900-1000. The two Slavonian Grebes are still present in south pool area. A Whooper Swan dropped to join 7 Wigeon and a variety of other duck, but was flushed by a fisherman at 1000 and flew off toward Margam Park. A Black-tailed Godwit continues to feed along the east pool shore. Apart from that several mobile Mistle Thrushes and a Chiffchaff were in south pool bushes.
Six Hawfinches were still present today mainly in the Orangery / Margam Park area, but close and viewable from the SE corner of Margam Abbey graveyard. They were mainly feeding quite low down in deciduous trees, calling intermittently and also mobile at times giving good flight views and record shot opportunities. Photos by Emma Cram.
I popped in to the graveyard between 1 and 2pm this afternoon on the off chance of Hawfinches still being there. I ran into PH who had been seeing up to 4 birds up in the pines before 1pm and also into the yew at the eastern end of the graveyard that borders Margam Park. After 1pm I could hear at least two calling birds occasionally but did manage two good flight views of at least one bird. I think a good tactic may be to also access via Margam Park as a lot of the calls I heard seemed to be coming from the park side of the wall. Also present is a nice mobile flock of 20+ Greenfinches, 2+ Siskin, 10+ Redwing and 10+ Mistle Thrush and also 2 Goldcrest and 2 Nuthatch.
Apologies for late posting here, both Emma and I heard a Yellow-browed Warbler calling several times in the bushes to the rear of Frankie and Benny’s in Landore, Swansea yesterday evening about 5pm. It was with a tit flock, but we didn’t manage to see it as the weather was foul! Plenty of habitat down there especially along the Tawe and to the south and east of the Liberty Stadium nearby.
A short seawatch between 0900-1015 saw Emma and myself strike lucky with 10 Leach’s Petrel down-channel, getting closer as the wind pushed them in towards Hutchwns Point. Also noted 1 Great Crested Grebe, 2 Guillemot, 1Common Gull and 4 Skylark. We believe NPR also managed to see 1 between Ogmore and Southerndown.
Emma, James and I popped down this evening at about 6pm to check out the Grey Phalarope and there were two waiting for us along with The Wader! Adult winter and juvenile moulting to first winter. The adult appeared to give “peep” call as the juvenile flew toward it (markedly smaller). It did make us wonder if it is parent and young? Regardless, I have a funny feeling there are more of this species to be found around the county!
Whilst carrying out a WCBS (Wider Countryside Butterfly Survey) in the square, I noticed 4 Spotted Flycatcher feeding in the woods overlooking the River Ogmore. This was at about 1350h when a very brief light rain shower sent me a present in the form of 2 Yellow Wagtail low over calling, heading towards Merthyr Mawr. The survey itself was uneventful just a few Small White, Large White and a Speckled Wood, the highlight being two cracking Beautiful Demoiselle flying low along the Ewenny near Cobbles.
Encouraged to count at least 18 Swift this morning over the River Ogmore in Bridgend Town Centre this morning. All feeding between the Church and the Council Offices. We counted 20 on arrival last month, so very good news indeed.
A short seawatch 0535-0705 this morning off Irongate point in strong WNW winds at high tide produced the following all flying down-channel: 4 Gannet, 4 Common Scoter, 1 Fulmar, 1 GBB Gull and the highlight a Storm Petrel from 0615 which was lingering close in a few hundred yards off the shelter. Several Starling, House Sparrow and Linnet were nearby and a Siskin flew over calling.
A short seawatch in strong westerlies with blustery showers produced the following all down channel: 430 Manx Shearwater, 4 Fulmar, 1 Gannet, 1 Cormorant, 6 Common Scoter and 6 Kittiwake.
41 species recorded on this mornings late visit to the square, taking the species total to 50 for both visits, slightly down on last year but was very pleased to add a singing Spotted Flycatcher which is new for the square. It was quiet at Watermill itself, just Crows and a couple of Canada Geese, but a few Whitethroat and Sedge Warblers were singing closeby. Sand Martins appear to be doing well in two different colonies. Both Green and Great Spotted Woodpeckers as well as a Kingfisher were noted at Coed Pwll-y-flew as were a surprise Red Fox and two lovely Beautiful Demoiselle dragonflies.
A Little Tern flew south / up-channel at the north end of Lock’s Common at 0815. A lovely fresh morning with very light southerlies, the only other birds of note were 15 immature Gannet also u/c. No waders, so maybe a clear out overnight. A male Wheatear was present and fledged Starlings were present in places.
There was an Oriole Birding Group, DCB, DGC and myself all out at Sker this morning! Despite the easterly winds 10+Manx Shearwater, 25+Gannet and 2 Arctic Tern were moving up channel. An excellent selection of waders many acquiring or in breeding plumage were on offer for the early risers on the high tide: 4 Oystercatcher, a Ringed Plover, 6 Grey Plover, 5+Dunlin, 50+Sanderling, 15 Turnstone, 17 Purple Sandpiper, 15+Whimbrel, 3 Bar-tailed Godwit and a Curlew. A Red Admiral butterfly also moved through and a Grey Seal was poking its nose out of the water just off the point.
There was a blend of winter meets spring in the cool east / north easterly winds as 7 Purple Sandpipers sat alongside 2 Whimbrel and three summer plumage Turnstone on the rocks at Hutchwns Point . Two Swift and 2 Sand Martin flew through. There were also 3 Wheatear present but these were constantly harassed by the local breeding Rock Pipits. Offshore 2 Common Scoter flew down-channel and a Fulmar was patrolling the cliffs. I wouldn’t have seen the Fulmar were it not for me staying to watch the constant low circling overhead of an A350-1000 Airbus!
Early morning in pretty calm but cool conditions 0745-1100. Six Whimbrel flew north at Irongate Point, but little else so we moved up to the Common. A newly arrived Whitethroat welcomed us and there were at least 5 Wheatear in among the rocks just to the south of the common. There was some wader movement with an estimated 90 Bar-tailed Godwit in three groups which appeared to be pushed back south by a sudden heavy rain shower and the flew back towards the Ogmore estuary. Apart from that just 2 Swallows and the usual local breeding residents.
A lovely morning with gentle cool E/NE winds. Two Little Egret, a pair of displaying Great Crested Grebes, several pairs of Shelduck, 12 Eider, 300+ Oystercatcher, 39 Ringed Plover, 29 Dunlin, 2 Sanderling, 1 Turnstone, 30 Bar-tailed Godwit (most in sum plum – record shot), 30 Whimbrel, 3 Curlew, calling Green Woodpecker, 6 Wheatear, 20+ Swallow, 1 House Martin and 2 Sand Martin.
Cold NW and little activity early seawatching apart from 3 Turnstone at Irongate Point, so I moved to Lock’s Common 0730-0830: 9 Common Scoter, 2 Whimbrel and 3 Curlew flew down-channel also a 8 Swallow and a House Martin moving north. An immature Mediterranean Gull in summer plumage (prob 2nd summer) flew towards Rest Bay.
A short visit was productive nonetheless as I was welcomed by 3 Swallows, a House Martin and 3 Shelduck. A Great White Egret was flying east out in the Bay. In the scrub near the farm there was a Lesser Whitethroat rattling away and 2 Blackcap, 3 Willow Warbler and 3 Chiffchaff.
It was a fine clear morning with light southerlies, though a touch chilly, as I took a walk from Rest Bay out to Sker. A pair of Shelduck flew up channel and a pair of Common Scoter and 14 Black-headed Gull flew down-channel. There were 135 Golden Plover still in the Pink Bay area some many acquiring their summer plumage.
On rocks just south of Sker there were 14 Oystercatcher, 400 Sanderling, 9 Purple Sandpiper, 9 Turnstone and a Curlew. Three Swallow flew north and there was a male Wheatear just west of the farm. The Sker area was busy with a good selection of many displaying / nesting species – Skylark, Meadow Pipit, Pied Wagtail, Song Thrush, Mistle Thrush, Goldfinch and Linnet.