Two European White-fronted Geese were on Ploran Mawr, Ogmore, today (SS 878 767). They were reportedly flushed by site workers wearing hi-vis jackets at 14:20 and were later seen in flight over the dunes heading towards Porthcawl. This is my first site record of the species since a flock of nine on 03/12/1998.
This Little Stint was the unexpected highlight of today’s WeBS count. It was commuting between some muddy puddles just up from the confluence and Portobello.
This Grey Phalarope was at Ogmore Estuary today, feeding along the Vale side shoreline near Portobello House.
A Leach’s Petrel flew down channel this morning, otherwise just five Common Scoter and a Gannet noted in over two hours.
Sightings from this morning’s WeBS count included a Cattle Egret (first site record), 6 Little Egrets, 10 Goosanders, 2 Green Sandpipers and 3 Kingfishers.
Quite busy in Pant Norton this morning. Sightings included Redstart, Garden Warbler, Tree Pipit , Lesser Whitethroat , Common Whitethroat , Blackcap , Chiffchaff , Willow Warbler , Nuthatch, Coal Tits, Yellowhammers, Bullfinches, Stonechats and a Swift.
A Hobby and a Red Kite were soaring over Merthyr Mawr this afternoon. A pair of Bar-headed Geese was at the Watermill, no doubt exhausted following their flight from Mongolia 😉
A Spotted Flycatcher in Norton Wood, Ogmore, this evening.
This ringed Mediterranean Gull (green RJ5T) has been hanging around at Ogmore for the last few days. I’ve just heard back that this is the first sighting, with the bird ringed at Polder de Sebastapol, Barbâtre, Vendée, on 02/05/16.
Also this morning a Wigeon and a pair of Shoveler new in.
A Black Redstart and three Wheatears were at Ogmore-by-Sea, by the small dry valley at the Deeps. A 1st-w Yellow-legged Gull was at the rivermouth.
An Iceland Gull was found this afternoon on the roof of the old Tesco in Bridgend by Neil Donaghy. I arrived shortly after, by which time it had relocated to the roof of the post office, where it was only really viewable from Newcastle Hill.
A few sightings from this morning’s WeBS count:
Teal (62), Shoveler (2), Pintail, Gadwall (3), Wigeon (2), Goldeneye (13), Little Egret, Grey Heron (5), Little Grebe (8), Purple Sandpiper (2), Redshank (16), Common Sandpiper, Curlew (83), Turnstone (21), Mediterranean Gull (2), Yellow-legged Gull (3 – an adult and two 1st-winters).
Sightings today included Pale-bellied Brent Goose (two), Pintail, Wigeon, Goldeneye (three), Goosander (three), Little Egret, Water Rail, Purple Sandpiper (six), Sanderling, Common Sandpiper, Turnstone (21), Tawny Owl, Kingfisher and Dipper (singing).
Dunraven – a male Dartford Warbler in scrub by the car park toilet block.
Ogmore Estuary – there are now eight Goldeneye (including five males). This is the most so far this winter and hopefully numbers will continue to build, but I have never known so few in midwinter. A Pintail is still present.
Island Farm – 150 Redwings and 100 Linnets in a weedy field north of New Inn Road.
Watermill – Water Rail, Little Egret (flew towards Ewenny), Kingfisher, 10+ Snipe and two Woodcock noted between sunset and dusk.
I received news from MM at 11:00 this morning of a Great Northern Diver drifting down channel off Nash Point. I reckoned that it would likely reach the Ogmore area about an hour later and sure enough the bird (in breeding plumage) was in Dunraven Bay at about 12:00. It continued cruising steadily down channel and I was able to intercept it again just off the rivermouth car park at Ogmore-by-Sea, when it was close inshore. It then flew over the bay and settled just offshore at Newton. There was also a Red-throated Diver at close quarters at Ogmore-by-Sea.
This morning a Dark-bellied Brent Goose flew down channel and landed on the rocks off The Deeps, grazing on the seaweed. Offshore a Red-throated Diver was seen distantly. Stubble fields between Southerndown and St Brides Major held hundreds of birds – mostly Skylarks (200+), Jackdaws and Starlings – but only viewable from the road. Also a flock of 50 Lapwings over there.
A Black Redstart was on the broken drystone walls above the cliffs at Southerndown, where five Choughs (including the ringed pair) were also present. Earlier a Water Rail was at the pond at Dunraven, with the unusual sight of a Great Crested Grebe circling overhead several times, before heading off towards Ogmore at cliff top height. What was presumably the same grebe was pootling around Ogmore rivermouth shortly after. The numbers of Great Crested Grebes in the Ogmore area recently has been unprecedented; I’ve no idea of the explanation for this.
Two Pale-bellied Brent Geese were on the lower estuary today, relocating to the rivermouth when flushed by dog walkers.