Sunday, 17 November 2019

Martin’s Haven

Just a follow-up on what seems to have been a day of Hen Harriers on the Marloes peninsular.
We had one ringtail over at about 0900, and then a different bird at c.1030. The second bird looked identical to the bottom of Elfyn’s photos from the Mere. But the first bird was far darker brown, and seemingly almost uniformly so. But with a big white rump, so ruling out Marsh Harrier.

As for Richard’s feather, looks more likely to be Wigeon flank than Teal to me: Teal are usually more sharply barred, and brighter. Both make cracking flies for sewin!

Postscript: a pair of Teal dropped down onto Marloes Sands this afternoon at Low Tide, and stood just above the shore line, looking rather out of place. They flew off out to see within a few minutes.


4 Chough feeding on the short grass at the top end of the lagoon was the most I have ever seen here, and the first for a while.  A Kingfisher was feeding near the reedbed, and 3 Knot were on a gravel island in the north-east corner.  Some 40 Wigeon were on the Musselwick shore at high tide.

A Meadow Pipit in the garden at Crabhall moved our list on to 102.

Marloes Mere

A couple of great Hen Harrier pics from Elwyn Davies

Hen harriers, Dale airfield

A male and a Ringtail hunting over the rough fields and adjacent beet field Marloes village side of the airfield between 2-2:30. They put up a dozen snipe, a single Lapwing and mixed flock of 50 linnet/Goldfinch together with a couple of hundred starling.
Yesterday a 'Gann-ringed' Curlew in paddocks at St Brides Haven.
Richards feather, first impression looks like a Teal.

Cosheston Pill

My first outing having taken over Cosheston Pill for WEBS counts - a welcome antidote after Rob Lewis's and my birdless outing at Castlemartin Corse yesterday. I was trialling new methodology (with Annie's approval!), walking the length of the Pill on the south shore from the Cosheston end to the point opposite Waterloo, when the tide had just started to drop at 10.00. A great outing. Redshank, greenshank, curlew and gulls as soon as I'd left the car. Amazing just how much was roosting in the cord grass and Halimione salt marsh - over 300 teal, 43 snipe - and lots of wigeon in the little embayments. Little grebe, little egret, lapwing, shelduck, mute swans, oystercatcher, black-tailed godwit - and on the return leg, just as I was thinking it couldn't get any better, I disturbed a green sandpiper close to the shore. I couldn't catch it in flight, but it posed for me on the opposite shore even giving me a saucy view of its eye stripes. Record shots below

    I also found this lovely feather on the shore. Anyone care to identify - redshank, perhaps?


At Kilpaison this morning. 120 Dunlin, 35 Ring Plover, 11 Turnstone, 3 Sanderling, 7 Redshank, 1 Greenshank, 53 Brent geese.

Saturday, 16 November 2019

Ramsey Sound and Treginnis

15 adult winter Med gulls in Ramsey Sound amongst 246 black-headed gulls. Lower Treginnis irrigation pond held 42 teal, 41 mallard and a wigeon. Upper Treginnis pond had 17 tufted duck


In our back garden earlier at St Ishmaels, viewed through the kitchen window, very agile & difficult to get a reasonable photo!

St Davids Head am

Still a trickle of Skylarks and Chaffinches. The adult male Merlin got one of the latter also a (presumed adult) female present. At Sealyham a Green Sandpiper wintering as usual.

Martin’s Haven & Marloes Mere

Regular Hen Harriers out here last week, including a male at the Mere. Peregrines are also more regular than over the summer: a cracking female beat up a flock of starlings this morning, most likely just for the practice, and two over the Coastguard Hut soon after.

Marloes Mere really is very full at present, and the duck are getting significantly easier to see; the North wind also helps, since they shelter in full view of the Britton hide. Highlights yesterday were two Black-tailed Godwits and two Dunlin.

Friday, 15 November 2019

The Gann

Late afternoon, 30 Redshank - most I've seen here - 3 Knot, 45+ Wigeon, 7 adult Meds & a mix of about 35 RPs / Dunlin / Turnstone all on the waters edge, possibly more birds around but fading light drew proceedings to a close.


Great Northern Diver, Hen Harrier and a lot more gulls today.

Thursday, 14 November 2019


First-winter Iceland Gull, Balearic Shearwater and 230 Mediterranean Gull the highlights so far.

Wednesday, 13 November 2019

Glaucous gull, Wooltack Point

From Mark Nightingale, 1st Winter Glauc 12/11/19 around 3pm past Wooltack point and headed South.

Colour ringed Med Gull White 3FP6 ringed in Holland or Belgium was in Solva harbour 5pm - ringed on 27/05/2008 as a pullus in Flanders Belgium.
A Merlin on the coastal walk between Solva and St Davids on 11/11/19.

Tuesday, 12 November 2019

Firecrest in Haverfordwest

Firecrest calling in holm oaks in county hall car park

Peter Davis

Indeed sad news about the departure of Peter Davis. He was a quiet, modest man but when he spoke was well worth listening to, not just about his great understanding of birds but his words of wisdom were greatly appreciated during the founding of the Welsh Ornithological Society.

Single Brent and an adult Yellow-legged Gull by the flagpoles at Fishguard Harbour this afternoon.

Those who live in glass houses

Sadly the Ocean Lab is a huge expanse of glass and we found this Goldcrest nearby and presume it perished by hitting the glass! Sad  but an opportunity to examine this, the smallest of our breeding birds.

Monday, 11 November 2019

Peter Davis

It is with great sadness that we heard that Peter Davis died last week.  He was warden of the Skokholm Bird Observatory in the mid-1950s.  However  he is is probably best known for his efforts  to help conserve the red kite population in Wales which (though hard to imagine these days) was close to extinction not so long ago.  He will be sorely missed.

For those who don't know anything about him and his contribution to ornithology in Wales, here is a link to a video made for the presentation of the Welsh Ornithological Society's lifetime achievement award a few years ago.  We were privileged to be involved in its production.  (click on photo below to play it)