Sunday, 20 April 2014


A cracking day of passage. Totals included ten Shelduck, a 2cy female Merlin, a visiting Peregrine additional to our resident pair, a Ringed Plover, five Dunlin, a Bar-tailed Godwit, two Whimbrel, a Curlew, two Common Sandpiper, a Woodpigeon, a Collared Dove, 23 Swallow, four House Martin, the first two Ring Ouzel of the year, 57 Wheatear (the majority of which were Northern birds), the first Tree Pipit of the year, the first Sedge Warbler of the year, 20 Blackcap, nine Whitethroat, four Chiffchaff, 72 Willow Warbler, four Goldfinch and seven Linnet. More on the blog.

Woodchat Shrike - St Davids

A Woodchat Shrike reported as present this morning on farmland near St Davids. No further information available at present. (per Jane Wadkin)

Teifi Whimbrel

Two Whimbrel by The Webley just after high tide were the first I have seen in the Teifi Estuary this year.
A bigger flock of small waders than for a while were there too with 16 Ringed Plover, 22 Dunlin  and a Common Sandpiper.
Three Wheatear were on the saltmarsh.

Marloes Sands

6 Gannets feeding actively right along the shore line this afternoon just after low tide, diving in astonishingly shallow water. They were joined by 4 Sandwich Terns. All the birds, plus accompanying gulls, moved off to the end of Gateholm, where there was a feeding frenzy of what appeared to be several hundred gulls, Gannets and auks. Very exciting to watch, just a bit far away!

Iceland Gull

A blustery walk with mothing mates from Berkshire and Herefordshire turned up very little other than an immature Iceland Gull which flew alongside the Golf Course and off north at about 1o'clock. Pale Pinion and Pebble Prominent the best moths so far.

Another Cuckoo

Calling at the Gann, around Crab Hall, first one I`ve heard for some 10 years! Also on the foreshore, 3 Common Sandpipers - flew off  in the Musselwick direction - 4 Dunlin & a distant Whimbrel calling.

Saturday, 19 April 2014


From Mary Radley - Cuckoo heard in Ty Canol woods several times late afternoon today

Castlemartin Corse

After a quiet week or two the Corse is bursting into life with whitethroats, sedge warblers (I didn't manage to pick out any reed warblers early this morning) and a grasshopper warbler (on the north side, heard from near Starman's Hall). At least 10 wheatears were moving through the site, perching on fenceposts. 4 singing Cetti's, 3 of them in patches of bramble 50-75 metres S of the reedbed. A pair of greylags flying about, water rail heard, lots of reed buntings....

St Davids Hd am

A few things of interest, a 'flava; wagtail flew over Whitesands, my first House Martin also. a winter-plumaged Great Northern Diver was in the Bay and a Merlin present. A good count of 35 Wheatears.

They are all arriving ......

A Grasshopper Warbler has been reeling from Winterton Marsh (above Mullock Bridge) for the last three days, and there was a singing Lesser Whitethroat at our BBS square near Trecwn this morning, as well as plenty of Chiffs and Willow Warblers. There have been deluges of Blackcaps around our garden - you could hear 3 singing at the same time - but they have thinned out now. Have only heard two Sedge Warblers so far - one at the Gann yesterday and one at Goodwick today and no Whitethroats yet. However, "our" Swallows have arrived - after a few territorial low level flights a few days ago, they started zooming through the unglazed window in the pumphouse yesterday - always a key moment in the year for us. And there is a Robin sitting on eggs on a nest on the shelf where I keep my garden chemicals!

Osprey Yesterday

From Glenn Ibbitson - 1.50 -2.10pm Friday 18th April. Osprey following Teifi over the bar
and beach and out to sea, with about 20 Gulls [which it dwarfed], following in its wake. It made a big mistake by flying over the colony on Cardigan island -picking up at least 10 more Herring Gulls.. Last seen heading up the coast past the island

Ring Ouzel, Martin's Haven

First seen on the Deer Park wall at about 1000, and then in the sallows and scrub; quite flighty. An interesting bird: a female (I think), but still very much showing 1W plumage details, including a finely barred throat.
Also, we have had a lovely "fall" of Greenland-type Wheatears: probably around 20, chasing around in pairs and groups.

I re-found the Ring Ouzel at around 1400. It flew back into the sallows, then out agin up to the gorse near the Coastwatch station about 20 minutes later.

We have also had a nice "fall" of warblers:  6-7 Blackcaps, 10+ Chiffchaffs, at least one Willow Warbler and a Sedge Warbler.

Lesser Whitethroat

One seen and heard this morning at Freshwater East in the same Blackthorn bushes as last year, behind the dunes
Christine Jones

Friday, 18 April 2014


From Steve Jarvis - Whitethroat arrived in numbers today in the garden of Lochvane. A walk through the NT Farm at Roch in the sun revealed lots of Chiffchaff, 2 singing Willow Warbler and 1 very vocal Lesser Whitethroat.


An evening walk around Carningli found 6 Wheatear and a Cuckoo.

St David's Head

Following a 7 day gap since hearing an early whitethroat singing at Amroth, one was singing loudly outside our house at Martletwy just after dawn today and there were a few others singing between Whitesands and St David's Head late this morning.

We spent a few hours looking out to sea. Apart from a red-throated diver heading towards Ramsey Sound there were few seabirds around other than small numbers of gannets (several typically feeding near resident porpoises off the tip of St David's Head) and a few auks offshore.

The wind was NE when we arrived and whilst we noted hirundines on the move numbers were quite low during the first hour or so with birds moving north, south and west. The wind then freshened a bit and swung to a more northerly direction. From about 13:30 onwards, for the next hour or so, numbers of swallow in particular picked up considerably. We were seeing small parties (mostly heading west towards Ireland) more or less every minute - there must have been several hundred per hour. We left at about 15:30. 

On the way back to Whitesands car-park we noted the resident chough pair was still in the late stages of nest-building (wool being taken in). Hopefully incubation will start soon.

There seems to have been quite a noticeable hatching of Emperor moths recently. Several day-flying males were noted today along the path to St David's Head and a couple of days ago there was a steady movement of fast-flying males over the dune grassland above Frainslake Sands in south Pembs - some may have come in over the sea.


12 Whimbrel  (first four,then eight two minutes later) in off the sea, then heading towards Philbeach, around 6.30pm - good to hear that lovely call again. On the foreshore, 7 Dunlin with 5 Ringed Plovers.


A reed warbler at Ogof Capel in the evening sun was new to the year list. An uncommon bird out here, not annual. 2 merlin today (both female) plus a smattering of common migrants - willows warblers. chiffchaffs and blackcaps. Several of the chough pairs have been confirmed as incubating now. We have 8 pairs this year. Flock of 25 this morning.

A Red-throated Diver was close in to Manorbier Beach this morning though, needless to say, had swum further out by the time I unpacked the camera - must get something more portable! A Wheatear was on the coast path and a Whitethroat sang from a fence. Several Swallows were passing overhead and on the cliff  at a regular nest site a small Raven chick with a very large red gape was being attended to by its parents. A couple of Gannets were circling quite close in over a Porpoise.

Elsewhere on the south coast I saw a pair of Dartford Warblers following each other through the Gorse and another male was singing close by. Mike Young-Powell is co-ordinating the collection of  all records of Darfords this year in an effort to better understand how many pairs we have in Pembrokeshire. Please contact Mike via the blog email address - - with details of any records.

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Black Redstart - Ramsey

A smart Black Redstart on Ramsey Island today, as well as a Merlin - more here

Treffgarne Rocks and Plumstone

Treffgarne - first Whitethroat of the year rasping away, a couple of Stonechats, lots of Willow Warblers and a few Blackcaps. Plumstone - great to see a couple of Yellowhammers. Earlier in the week Derek and I had a Lapwing, Snipe and Dunlin at Marloes Mere.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

St Davids

10 White Wagtails and 10+ Wheatears some of the Greenland race in a ploughed field near Treginnis. No Wheatears back on territory in my BTO chat square at Treginnis. Leps: my first Green-veined White of the year and 6 Peacocks at Trefeiddan Marsh.

Pied Flycatchers

Two singing males and a female Pied Flycatcher were back in Ffynone wood this afternoon.
This is the third year of a nest box scheme there so we are hoping for breeding success again.
(photo Dyfed J)

Late news - Subalpine Warbler

There was a Subalpine Warbler present on St Davids Head last Sunday, 13th April (I was seeing nothing much on Skokholm). A male found and photographed by Ken Thomas - I've not seen the photos as yet since Ken has no internet access, being a visitor, albeit a frequent one. The bird was present on the south-western slope of Carn Llidi at approximately SM 731281. There was a fall of Blackcaps on the St Davids peninsular yesterday morning, with birds recorded at several sites. The first Sedge Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat and Whitethroats also seen in the last couple of days. (per John and Marion Best).

Slebech Tree Pipits

Two rival male tree pipits singing and displaying beautifully from field boundary oak trees on the N side of the public footpath from Slebech to Canaston Bridge, 300 metres in from Slebech's eastern boundary.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Eastern Cleddau area today

Recent arrivals in woodland, scrub and reedbeds along the Eastern Cleddau shore included, at least 4 singing garden warblers in woodland scrub (classic breeding habitat); and a few singing reed warblers in nearby reedbeds. A resident greylag pair has probably settled in and is likely to be breeding not far from Slebech.

Jack Snipe - Teifi

1  Jack Snipe flushed early this morning. Grasshopper and Sedge Warblers singing, though we still haven't found our first Reed Warbler of the year.
(Teifi RG)

West Angle

A party of 10 chough circling high over the N side of the bay. Otherwise quiet here - just 4 wheatears the only arrivals at East Blockhouse.

Monday, 14 April 2014

Further migrants

Yesterday on Skomer we noted quite a regular movement of hirundines near the neck - mainly swallows (probably at least 100+ per hour) plus smaller numbers of both sand and house martins. Goldfinches were also on the move 30-40 noted in small flocks flying west over the neck. Nine choughs greeted us when we arrived - probably a resident pair or two and a few non-breeders from the mainland.

Today on a short visit to Castlemartin Range there were small numbers of swallows regularly moving west along the coast. Several wheatears included pairs back on territory and a single hen harrier (ring-tail) was hunting near Linney Head.


Ring tail hen harrier again today and an osprey heading up Ramsey Sound reported by one of our day visitors. Not much in the way of migrants but 10+ willow warblers were new in this morning