Thursday, 21 September 2017

Osprey

From Frances Griffiths - We saw an Osprey catch a fish (probably a mullet) at Roose Ferry, opposite Cresswell River today at about four o'clock.

Castlemartin Corse

Rob Lewis reports a female marsh harrier today - first in a while.

West Williamston

Geese again! 50 greylags on the Carew River, 300 Canadas on the Lawrenny shore. Plus lots of curlew and redshank, a few dunlin, 30 wigeon, 2 little grebe, little egrets, grey heron....

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Martin's Haven & Dale

As well as the wonderful migration of Swallows reported by other observers, there was an interesting movement of birds in the valley yesterday. Not that many warblers evident (but a rather nice Whitethroat), but 15-20 Blue Tits, at least half a dozen Wrens (both high numbers for here) and up to a dozen immature Stonechats. Flyovers included a Grey Wagtail and several Skylarks: really feels like autumn now.

A nice surprise was a juvenile Water Rail which, for some inexplicable reason, jumped out of the dense undergrowth, and then flopped down into the top of a sallow bush. It struggled there for several minutes before finally escaping back to the stream bed. But not before giving excellent views of the rather brown and dull bill, and poorly-marked flanks.

Some nice close sightings on the slipway at Dale in the last few days: two Kingfishers darting around, probably picking up food on the rising tide. Possibly the same two birds I saw at the Gann on Saturday. And a Common Sandpiper that flew in, and then around the jetty for several minutes, calling, and alighting on a number of nearby boats.

Osprey - Hook area (Tuesday evening)

From David Ord: On a sunset & high tide stroll down to the Cleddau at Hook this evening I saw one of the ospreys lift off Sprinkle Pill and fly north over the Hook peninsular towards the western arm of the Cleddau. I walked around the peninsular but did not see it again. At the mouth to Sprinkle Pill a tree on the south bank was adorned with 12 egrets at roost and a sizeable gull roost was forming on the water.

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

The Gann - after Derek

A lot of disturbance tonight and over the last few days. The 5 Brent were right up the river. 2 Greenshank flying out to sea and 35 small waders flying around mostly Dunlin, 6 Ringed plover and a Sanderling.

The Gann

Quiet tonight with a big high tide, however I met a visiting couple from Essex (Gary & Michelle) staying opposite Pickleridge they told me they were watching an Otter from the window on Saturday evening around dusk for quite some time, So for those with an interest it`s probably around more than realised.

Angle / Rhoscrowther

High tide visit this morning: 29 Dunlin, 17 Ringed plover, 12 Redshank, 7 Bar-tailed godwit, 2 Grey plover, 2 Whimbrel and a Snipe. 3 Great crested grebe. 4 adult Med gulls (one with white ring left leg). GBB gull eating a Manx shearwater. Female Wigeon. One of Mike and Paddys Curlews with either EO or 03. Whitethroat, 4 Blackcap (3 'brown'), 2 Chiffchaff and a few Goldcrest. Nice views of a female Goshawk at Orielton.

Red Kites

Red Kites are generally scarcer in the South of the county than in the North. At my house in St Florence, near Tenby I see maybe one or two birds a year. The grass in the field behind the house was cut a couple of days ago and this afternoon farmer was out baling it up. As if by magic 3 Red Kites appeared and quartered the field for over an hour in company with 6 Buzzards. A couple of the Kites were seen with prey - small rodents which had lost their cover in the long grass. A nice back yard avian treat.

Monday, 18 September 2017

Skok

Nearly 13000 Swallow counted today, but no doubt many more went through either side. Juvenile Sabine's Gull and at least 120 Common Dolphin off the Light, Med Gull numbers increasing, plenty of warblers. All in all another cracking day but still waiting for a biggy.

Peregrine and Osprey - Llangwm

From Graham Stephens - Yesterday evening (7.30) I witnessed an amazing sight of a peregrine hunting and taking a redshank in a mud gully on the estuary a hundred yards or so from my house at Llangwm Ferry. I caught sight of the peregrine as it flew past the house and opened the patio door to a cacophony of alarm calls from other birds. The peregrine was making repeated attacks at a bird in the gully but each time it went in for a kill, the prey dived below the water (it is possible it had already disabled the bird on its first pass). This happened about three times. The peregrine persisted, first perching on a pole sticking out of the mud, then settling on the mud bank itself adjacent to the gulley. At its final attempt, it actually dived into the water, its wings outstretched to support itself. When it eventually managed to get out, it had the redshank in its talons.  It struggled to carry it up onto the mud-bank where it was harassed by a crow which landed alongside it. After a minute to recover, it flew off with the redshank and headed for a perch above the water in Benton Wood. Amazing stuff! Unfortunately, although binoculars are always at the ready, there was no time to grab my camera.
Staying on the raptor theme, at lunchtime, last Monday, an osprey was fishing just off our house. It was soon after high water so the bird was only a short distance away. In the time it took to grab my camera, it had disappeared. Bob and Annie’s photo of two birds at Slebech is very encouraging. Potential for a nesting platform on one of the islands between Slebech House and Blackpool Mill?

Goshawk - St Davids golf course, Sunday

From Steve Jarvis - A female Goshawk was an unusual sight on the Golf Course today, flying fast and low over the Gorse, pursued by 2 Crows.

Cleddau Osprey

Late this afternoon we went down to Landshipping again to have another look at the Eastern Cleddau and Daugleddau junction at high tide. There were still only a few waders about in this area including a small flock of dunlin heading off to roost. Right on cue though, the osprey (or one of the ospreys) came more or less right over us.

It gave us some really quite close views as it passed by (presumably off fishing) heading down channel from the Eastern Cleddau and turning south into the Daugleddau area.



Quite a nice end to the day!

Brents

Five on the sea at the Gann, didn`t stay more than 10 mins before moving on.
Yesterday over St Ishmaels, a lone Lapwing.

St Davids Hen Harrier

Yesterday afternoon the other half had a brief view of a probable ringtail Hen Harrier near Treleddyn. I missed it as I was watching the three Red-legged Partridges that the harrier had probably come to have a look at. Feeding on the track towards the golf course was an impressive flock of over 100 Linnets with a few Goldfinches, but nothing obviously exotic with them.

Grassholm; Sabine's Gull

We took Jake, Holly and Howard from Skokholm out towards Grassholm to have a look for cetaceans and birds.

Given the huge numbers seen off the Skokholm Lighthouse race recently, we were remarkably unlucky with dolphins: just a couple seen briefly under some Gannets; they didnt want to play with us.

Still plenty of Gannets on Grassholm: only if you have seen the astonishing density of nesting birds in midsummer would you realise that current numbers are probably less than half that.
The other surprises on Grassholm were the leucistic Shag on East Tump, and hundreds of roosting Kittiwakes.

Each way on what was at times a rather bumpy trip we investigated sometimes rather large groups of feeding seabirds. We came up trumps with a cracking juvenile Sabine's Gull, initially sitting on the water in a group of Kittiwakes, razorbills and larger gulls. It allowed us to drift within about 20 yards before lifting off to feed, and disappear. Good views, too, of an Arctic Tern and several Commons.

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Eastern Cleddau Ospreys

We spent the morning on the Castlemartin peninsula with Paul Culyer of NRW, recording Goldilocks aster populations (a rare plant found in Pembs only on the Castlemartin Range) also noting a couple of pairs of local resident choughs and a few wheatears, small flocks of linnets but not much else.

Late this afternoon, we thought we'd have another look at the Landshipping area to see if the osprey was still around. It was, but also nice to see that there were two ospreys present. Both were a bit distant soaring around together over the Eastern Cleddau. They were probably closer to Slebech than they were to our view point at Landshipping. We managed a couple of "record shots", they were never close enough for a decent image.



Other than expected 30-40 redshanks and a couple of greenshanks near Landshipping Quay, there were still very few waterfowl on the estuary.

St Anns and The Gann



Whinchat in the field by St Anns lighthouse this evening. Dozen Pied wagtails and 6 Wheatear. The field on the corner near Kete looks very promising, only gulls, corvids and Wheatear today though. Bumped into Derek at the Gann. 100 Curlew, 22 Dunlin, 18 Ringed plover, 6 Bar-tail godwit, 3 Redshank, 2 Ruff, a Sanderling and a Greenshank. 4 adult Med gulls and a BH gull with a yellow ring. Peregrine through as the light was going.

Teifi Waders

High tide at the Webley this afternoon:

Oystercatcher 79, Curlew 7, Black-tailed Godwit 1, Bar-tailed Godwit 3, Knot 2, Sanderling 2, Little Stint 1, Ringed Plover 42, Dunlin 99.

Wigeon

Following Richard's post, two Wigeon on the sea at the Gann around 2pm.

Dinas Mountain

Around the parking area there were 3 Wheatears, a large group of Meadow Pipits c60 and 10 Swallows flew over.

Saturday, 16 September 2017

The Gann, Dale

More news from Ian Smith - The Gann on rising tide over 3 plus hours.
Med Gull minimum of 24, including one second year and three transitioning to first winter plumage.  Birds moving back and fourth between bay and unknown locality to NNW of lake.
Dunlin 19
Sanderling 2
Knot 1
Curlew Sandpiper 1 in flight with 7 Dunlin and a Sanderling, could not be located on the ground.
Ruff 1
Turnstone 1
Barwit 7 minimum
Little Grebe 6
Herring Gull c400 and one probable hybrid with LBbGull
GBbGull 67 (no colour rings noted)
LBbGull 9
Wheatear 1
Buzzard 5 soaring together
Wigeon 1 f landed on lake and promptly 'dissapeared'.

Dale Airfield
GBb Gull c100
Wheatear 2
A few Meadow Pipit
One puddle

Skok

Cracking day today with a decent fall of Goldcrests and Chiffchaffs. Juv Sabine's Gull off the Lighthouse, Red-breasted Merganser and Coot in South Haven and a Feral Pigeon (!) on the south coast. Also Hen Harrier and a few other bits and bobs.

Martinshaven & the Gann

A constant stream of Swallows coming in across the Deer Park all day, and flying firmly due East: it really felt like Ireland is emptying of the birds. In the bushes all along the road back to Marloes clusters of Chiffchaffs. And several large flocks of finches on the Trehill Farm fields and by the Youth Hostel.

At the Gann this afternoon we saw 2 Kingfishers, 4 Little Egrets and the same number of Dabchicks, plus a distant high tide roost of Redshank. One Wheatear on the sae wall.

Friday, 15 September 2017

Ramsey - Leach's bonanza!

A Ramsey record breaking 22 Leach's petrels were logged today between 08:00-14:00! Aside from this it was a rather quiet day for other species by recent standards

Leach's petrel - 22
Common scoter - 147
Bonxie - 2
Arctic skua - 3
Arctic tern - 1
Commic tern - 2

Newport, Gann, Strumble

From Ian Smith currently visiting Pembs and being frustrated from getting to Skokholm and Skomer for booked stays due to the weather - Newport ironbridge to Parrog Thursday late morning.
Med Gull 4 adult and 1 second winter, 1 Bar headed Goose, 4 Little Grebe, 3 Greenshank
Estimated 650-700 Canada Geese, 10 Mallard, 2 Little Grebe, 2 Mute Swan

Gann Estuary after 5pm Thursday held ringed GBbacks but all very twitchy.  The Tuesday Oystercatcher was still present (A2) plus another with same colour rings but 22 instead of A2. 

Also two colour ringed Curlew.  One was far easier to read.  Black ring and white lettering​, reading up right leg = 06.  Red ring on left leg.
  In addition 18 Ringed plover, 17 Dunlin, 1 Sanderling, 10 Bar-tailed Godwit, 1 adult Gannet flying around the pools. Thursday late evening 400 Jackdaw heading NE over Broad Haven Youth Hostel to roost in nearby woodland.

Gann Estuary Friday evening had 13 adult Med Gulls.  With birds still in active primary moult, some second winter birds  cannot be ruled out.   Another two colour ringed Oystercatchers.  One being numbered 04 and another 01.   A third bird had worn (?) ring and was illegible. Number 22 still present as was number 06 Curlew from yesterday.  Same colour combinations as stated on Tuesday blog for the Oystercatchers. Still 16 Dunlin, 1 Sanderling and at least 9 Bar tailed Godwits.

On Wednesday Ian was at Strumble with Derek Davies who saw a Grey Phalarope close into the cliffs. More recent news from Strumble at http://strumbleheadseawatching.blogspot.co.uk/