Pied Flycatchers at Cwm Clydach

Apologies for the non-sighting post.

On Fri 24th Mar there will be an indoor meeting at the Environment Centre, Pier St, Swansea. A talk will be given on long-term monitoring of Pied Flycatchers at Cwm Clydach’ by Heather Coats

Following this there will be a overview of the ringing year at Oxwich by Owain Gabb.

The meeting will start at 19:15. It will be £1 on the door to cover costs of room hire.

Oxwich Marsh

A few chiffchaffs, including a singing bird, a sand martin, 7 little egrets in the roost, and a goshawk tussling with two buzzards late morning.

Snipe numbers down. Jack and common snipe still present though.

Finch numbers high. Probably 100+ goldfinch in the area, along with smaller numbers of chaffinch and siskin.

For todays ringing report and photographs, click HERE

GOS Talk on Curlew

Apologies for the non-sighting related post.

Dr Rachel Taylor of the BTO will be talking to GOS at the Environment Centre, Pier Street, Swansea on ‘The Plight of the Curlew’ this Friday 24th Feb. The only cost is £1 on the door.

Rachel has been one of a team using satellite tagging to understand the ranging behaviour of curlew during the breeding season and the various factors affecting their conservation.

Curlew is now absent as a breeding species from much of South Wales, and productivity is rare in Powys. It will be interesting to hear whether she thinks a recovery is possible, and how this could be achieved.

Rhossili & Mumbles

Rhossili: chance meeting saw Chris Brewer, Alistair Flanagan and I spend an hour or two together looking across the bay. No sign of the long-tailed ducks this morning, with the best bird being a red-throated diver. Scoter flock broken up into numerous groups and mainly distant.

Mumbles Pier: 58 turnstone, 1 purple sandpiper and 9 redshank on the old pier end at high tide. Nothing on the sea.

Oxwich: no proper count but farm more ducks on the South Pond at present, including c. 60 teal this morning. Decent number of common snipe in the marsh, but no jacks seen today.

Porteynon and Oxwich

9 purple sandpiper on Sedger’s Bank at high tide, along with 10 shag, 5 curlew and small flocks of turnstone and ringed plover (18+). Common scoter flocks moving west just after dawn.

Great northern diver and red-throated diver in Oxwich Bay, along with 6 mute swans (the family group of 2 ads and 4 1st winters that flew to the sea from the marsh). Sanderling present on beach but no count possible.

Kingfisher and 4 shoveler on the South Pond.


3 great northern divers and 2 red-throated divers between Broughton and Blue Pool Corner.  Also 15+ great crested grebe and at least one other distant diver spp.

2 kestrel at Burry Holms and c. 50 common scoter close enough to the island to be grilled for velvets etc.


At high tide: a Slavonian grebe in one of the channels on The Groose, with a great northern diver a little further towards the Burry. Little in the bay – a female red-breasted merganser and 40+ eider (but count not possible due to swell).

Excellent range of waders and wildfowl as usual.

Oxwich Marsh (17/12)

At least 60 snipe on the marsh at present. The reed cutting around the South Pond should provide more opportunities for photos, and there are usually a fair few jacks among them.

Also 4 chiffchaff and a kingfisher

For latest ringing news, see: http://gowerbirdringinggroup.blogspot.co.uk/2016/12/oxwich-marsh-17-december-2016-only.html

Also, please note that the Gower Ornithological Society Facebook page is now very active. Please click to follow if that is your thing!


Bonxie. Off Knab Rock at 08:40.

Made two short flights around the bay (between Blackpill and the Pier) before settling twice on the sea.

Last seen sat on sea at 08:45 (when I left for work). Viewing from platform off the steps above pier, it was sitting on the sea off Verdi’s. Look towards Blackpill (through telescope you can see the Murco Petrol Station) and you will see an orange buoy – it was around this area. Obviously mobile, but it settled twice in much the same place and first seen flying over the same area (with current wind this is quite a sheltered part of the Bay).


Still at least one Lapland bunting today. In the final stubble field with 40+ skylarks. Lots of birds on the Vile, with skylark, song thrush and robin all very common, and mixed finch flocks in the taller cover crops.

Offshore 4+ porpoise, 9 gc grebe, eider and a very well spread flock of common scoter (count not possible), a few gannets and auks (those identified were guilliemot).