Sunday, 1 May 2016

Marloes mere

Managed about 30 minutes before mist set-in. 25 Whimbrel and 2 Dunlin. The pair of Swans were being very agressive chasing Canada geese from the area they've been frequenting.

Curlew Sandpiper still at the Gann

At the Gann yesterday, the Curlew Sandpiper still around, roosting on the beach by the river mouth with a 14 Dunlin and 6 Ringed Plover. Plenty of Whimbrels were in the area too.

Here's a short video of the American Golden Plover from Friday. Great find Clive!

Saturday, 30 April 2016

A whimbrel day along the Angle peninsula coast

After doing an early morning BBS at Amroth, the coast between Freshwater West and Angle was walked this afternoon. Whimbrels were among the most numerous birds around, with various flocks moving or feeding along the coast.
  • 45 were briefly at Fresh West before moving on westwards/northwards.
  • These were followed by several small flocks of between 3 and 40+ heading along the Angle peninsula coast, some stopping to rest on the coastal rocks; others fed for short periods on the coastal slope including along-side a small flock of 7 non-breeding choughs at the Pickards. In two or three hours, in excess of 100-150 must have moved through.
  • A further distant flock of c. 50 was noted flying up onto Gupton farmland, possibly having been disturbed from the dune grassland - there were hundreds of people in the area.  
  • Whilst I walked and noted whimbrels along the coast, Annie noted c. 75 feeding together at Angle Bay plus other scattered groups - in all at least 100 there.
  • Later on we noted together c. 140 feeding in pasture along-side the Angle road near Broomhill.
We've absolutely no idea how many whimbrels were on the the Angle peninsula today but think that there must have been at least 400+ and 500+ in the area.

Swift my first of the year...

Walking my dog Zorro for his morning constitutional, a swift almost took my head off as I walked out of the gate. Swifts are one of my top five birds, and they seem to have been in a decline in recent years. It might be nice if Pembrokeshire Bird Blog contributors did a bit of a census and noted where they were breeding this year ...Just a thought.


Calling near our house at 0530 this morning got me out of bed, being up & dressed I wandered down to the Gann.
Last night Brian & myself spent some at the time at the Gann  where Brian had his first Sandwich Terns of the year - entertaining us with their fishing skills - just like like miniature Gannets. We also saw, 1 Common Sandpiper, 1 Sanderling, 18 Ringed Plover, 2 Bartail Godwits, 1 Blacktail Godwit, 7 Dunlin, & about 10 Whimbrel.
This morning much the same minus the Terns but a (the?) GND distant offshore.
      Brian`s Sarnies last night

Friday, 29 April 2016

A few more....sorry, couldn't resist....

Minwear & Pickle Woods this morning & Martletwy this evening

A visit to undertake BBS at Minwear Wood this morning confirmed presence of Wood Warblers in usual/expected locations. Tree Pipits were displaying in the clear-fell area near the pick-nick site and garden warblers were in full song in Pickle Wood.

There was a slightly bizarre end to the day. When setting up the garden moth-trap before sunset a whimbrel flew over our house which wasn't particularly unusual for the time of year. Soon afterwards a female cuckoo (identified as a female by its bubbling call) flew over the garden. This is a species we've hardly ever seen or heard in this area. We haven't yet heard a male cuckoo this spring in this area, so seeing/hearing a female first wasn't expected.

Long-legged Loveliness

Many thanks to Clive for a great find and for getting the news out so quick.  Took me 2 attempts but got it finally, great views on the foreshore along the shingle spit at Angle Harbour.  Thanks to Toby for re-finding it and getting in touch to prompt a 2nd attempt!

American Golden Plover at Angle - update

David Astins has just messaged to say that he was (at 19:00) watching the American Golden Plover on the shingle spit in Angle Harbour.  Here is another pic from earlier.

American Golden Plover

The American Golden Plover, which is still in winter plumage, was feeding and roosting on the spit in Angle Harbour from at least 13:00 to 13:45, and was sat about halfway along the spit on the seaward side with it's head under its wing when I left it.  It only slightly bigger than a Knot (which posed nicely alongside for a short while).  Hope that it hangs about for folks to see it.  I suggest driving out slowly along the ridge of the spit, stopping to scan occasionally.  You should be ok as long as you don't go too far, perhaps 30-40 m at least.

American Golden Plover @ Angle

Message just received from Clive Hurford...on the spit (at the harbour).

Marloes / Gann

16 Whimbrel onVarna bank at the Mere, 3 Swifts. At the Gann c30 Whimbrel, 7 Turnstones, 3 Dunlin, 1 Bartail Godwit, 1Wheatear.

Thursday, 28 April 2016

Swifts and House Martins

Like Derek at the Gann, we had Swifts and House Martins over the garden today.

The Gann

Not good from a personal level - a string of  showers caught me in blotting paper clothing - the few dry minutes produced 3 Swifts & 5 House Martins. Such a relief to be free of that chilly Northerly airflow though.

Angle Harbour

At Kilpaison this morning 7 Bar-tailed Godwits, all but 2 males, well into summer plumage and looking magnificent. Also 12 Whimbrel, 30 Dunlin and 15 Ringed Plover. A pair of Ravens strutted imperiously along the beach.

Iceland Gull at Angle Harbour

There was a beautiful white Iceland Gull (2CY) on the shingle spit in Angle Harbour this lunchtime, also four Whimbrel, a single Bar-tailed Godwit and c100 Dunlin.

Freshwater East

More Whimbrel this morning, a flock of 12 flew over when I was walking through the dunes, then there were 14 on the beach, some bathing in the stream and others feeding way up the beach, presumably looking for sand flies? Only 1 Gannet.

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

The Gann

From David Ord - A short walk around the bay at low tide gave up a few whimbrel at the water's edge beyond and a mixed flock of many Dunlin in summer plumage, a few Ringed Plover and one Curlew Sandpiper. This appeared to be a different bird to the one photographed recently - being in full summer plumage. Many more whimbrel were roosting on the grass next to the lakes .

Pair Garganey - Marloes Mere

Pair Garganey on the mere this evening. They did a fly around before I managed to track them down out from Britton Hide. A Short-eared owl was covering western end, dropped down a couple of times. My first Swift of the year and a male Cuckoo on Trehill side. 20 Ringed plover behind former YHA building. Cracking evening, makes all those hard days worth while. 16 pr Teal and 4 drakes. 2 pr Shoveler and 2 drakes. 3 pr Mallard plus 20 drakes.
Gann earlier 4pm: 104 Whimbrel and a Bar-tailed godwit with them, on roadside in front of the cottages, one had a red ring. 40 Ringed plover and 30 Dunlin by river mouth. The Curlew sandpiper was on waters edge in company of 4 Dunlin. 2 Common sandpipers and 2 Redshank on pools. 6 Wheatear and 4 White wagtails, plus 2 Pied on grassy bank. Whilst reviewing this evening pics noticed what appears to be a melanistic whimbrel in the flock!

Teifi Marsh - Whimbrels

28 Whimbrels with 1 Bar-tailed Godwit roosting on the Reserve this evening.
Maybe birds seen around the outer estuary earlier...? A female Goosander flew down river past the River View Point.
(Wendy J and Rich D)

The Gann

At least 86 - 22 on the roadside of the lagoon & the rest on the hill up above the row of cottages, all very vocal. Most I`ve ever seen here. It was also low tide (5.30 - 6pm) so nothing else that I could see in the way of today`s previous sightings.

Pied Flycatchers - Ffynone

A visit to Ffynone Wood today to check the nest boxes. One male Pied Flycatcher was singing near the waterfall and another was fly catching near the dam.

Two pairs of Grey Wagtails were busy feeding young, finding plenty of insects despite the hail.
A Tawny Owl was peeking out of the usual nest hole and 2 Dippers were by the waterfall.
(photo Dyfed J)

Teifi - waders

Common Sandpipers now up to 21 at Jewsons and 1 from the Railings - no doubt more elsewhere.
Chris saw 17 at Jewsons yesterday (Tues) afternoon.
Five Whimbrel and a Bar-tailed Godwit at Jewsons, a group of 10 Whimbrel from the Railings and another 3/4 more scattered around the estuary.
Just off the Boat Builders a small flock of 10 Dunlin


A flock of 5 Common Sandpipers, another flock of 2 Dunlin, 2 Sanderlings & a Ringed Plover, 2 Whimbrels, 4 pairs of Shelducks & the white Herring Gull.

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

The Gann

From Lionel Self - High tide at The Gann today provided a good opportunity to see 30-40 Whimbrel at close quarters in the field behind the lime kilns. More were on the shoreline where a mixed flock of Dunlin and Ringed Plovers  contained a Curlew Sandpiper in warm coloured plumage and a Purple Sandpiper. Two Common Sandpipers were at Mullock Bridge and Wheatears were very numerous at The Gann.

Monday, 25 April 2016

Fishguard Harbour Kite invasion...

It is interesting that in the latter part of the 1990's our friend the late Stewart Devonald, whose Pembrokeshire Bird List was at the time, the largest had not as yet seen a Red Kite in the county. Not quite a couple of decades later, they are almost commonplace. 

None the less, I was pretty excited to see three of them floating and flapping about over the harbour. It was not easy to get them in one shot, apologies for the quality but as record shots they do the job.

They were around for at least half an hour causing me to run out of a meeting and distracting me with the view through the Ocean Lab windows with their aerobatics when I returned to the the meeting. Two seemed to be together the third was keeping its distance and seemed to be slightly wary of the others. All very intriguing, was this some sort of movement or a young pair prospecting with an interloper. Maybe three youngsters banished from their parents territory...

Well maybe by invasion standards, a pretty small invasion but I bet it would have seemed quite a big one to Stewart!

Red Kites

One, cruising over the Bicton area of St Ishmaels c0730 this morning, another (the same?) at Mullock marsh this evening - flying up from the Gann - & away towards Tavernput Cross. Gann quiet.

Freshwater East

This morning there were 3 Gannets fishing close in to the beach who were joined by 1 Sandwich Tern and a fly through by 2 Whimbrel. Now several Whitethroats and 2 Cetti's Warblers singing around the carpark area.

Sandwich Terns

Twenty three (!) at the Gann this morning, I couldn`t quite get them all in the viewfinder. Little else & too little time to look. Stunning photo from Skok in previous post!