Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Newport pm

A male Goosander at the bend above the bridge fuels my suspicion of several years that they may be breeding locally. Otherwise a 2nd cy Med Gull & Common Gull looking a bit lonely with the large gulls.

St Davids pm

Two singing male Lesser Whitethroats at the Trefelli Farm turning and 4 Sandwich Terns in Whitesands Bay this afternoon.

Pied Flycatchers

At last.  A pair of Pied Flycatchers busy building a nest in Pengelli Forest today.  The male was not singing, and this was also the case last year, so song is not a reliable indicator.
  Common Sandpiper still at Iron Bridge

The Gann

After the morning rain, 3 Whimbrel, 1 Common Sandpiper, 1 Greenshank, 1 Wheatear.

Fishguard yesterday

A selection of Terns and Waders at the Flagpoles yesterday from Jane Hill, visiting from Shropshire:

Sandwich Tern x3
 Common Sandpiper x1
 Ringed Plover x1
 Turnstone x2
 Oystercatcher 20+

Tuesday, 22 April 2014


The totals came to a Sparrowhawk, a Bar-tailed Godwit, a Whimbrel, two Common Sandpiper, 44 Swallow, two male Redstart, 13 Wheatear, eight Grasshopper Warbler, three Sedge Warbler, 18 Blackcap, three Whitethroat, six Chiffchaff, a minimum of 150 Willow Warbler and 11 Linnet.

Tree Sparrows

Another County rarity for St Davids today - two Tree Sparrows in the bushes alongside Trefeiddan briefly this afternoon (with Martin and Les Finch). The three latest Welsh Rarities in the County on the Rarities section for 2014 now.


A good day migrant wise - firsts for the year of lesser whitethroat, cuckoo (male), dunlin and whimbrel (19 south through the day) - also a min of 55 willow warblers around the island. Flock of 25 chough (9 pairs this year)


From Ray Wilkinson - a single swift over Pen-y-Cwm at about 1300hrs today, Tuesday.  It appeared to come in off the sea and headed up the valley.

The Gann

12 Whimbrel,  4 or 5 Wheatears were the only birds of note.  A beautiful calm morning with some gentle rain, bodes well for the rest of the day perhaps?

Castlemartin Corse

Soon after first light, before the camper vans were awake, intermittent light rain - 6 chough feeding in the field behind Freshwater West car park. On the 2nd of 4 sandy scrapes inland from the car park, a green sandpiper was feeding. It called and flew towards the beach, but was back at the scrape when I returned. Reed warblers now present in force, and two grasshopper warblers were reeling - one near Starman's Hall, one towards the "pine tree end". Otherwise as previously - whitethroat, sedge, Cetti's, reed bunting.....

Monday, 21 April 2014

Woodchat Shrike at St Davids

Jane Wadkin has kindly sent in some photos of the adult? male Woodchat Shrike on farmland near St Davids. A great run for this species in recent years continues.


per Peter Sutcliffe:- at Upton Castle only three Heron nests with chicks, three other rudimentary nests  which are not occupied and no Egrets.  this is a substantial decline from the peak of around 18 nests  many years ago now.


A walk around Penally and Giltar Head located at least three Cetti,s Warbler in the marsh, a couple of Sedge warblers but not much else of note? Obviously lots of Kittiwakes on St Margaret's but couldn't see many Cormorants so they must be on the south side.
At Thorne Island at least 30 Cormorants nesting plus over 100 herring Gulls - will try and get a proper count in he next week or so.

The Gann, low tide.

8 Whimbrel, 1 Black Tailed Godwit, 1 B/H/ Gull, 1 Dunlin. Completely different to this morning`s  barren cold windswept site.  Reading Brian`s post, I  had a quick look at Marloes Mere this morning, it too was devoid of anything, just a few hours later however, with the wind dropping off, what a difference!

Marloes-Deer Park

Circuit of the Marloes Peninsula this evening, big fall of Wheatear 85 in total with min 34 in field n of car park at Marloes Mere. Mere: 2pr Gadwall, 6 pair Teal, 6-7pr Shoveler (8 drakes), 2 Sedge warblers. Peregrine spooking large flock of gulls. Lapwing calling. Mixed flock of c150 linnets and Meadow Pipit just east of Rath Cottage, min100 linnets. Deer Park quiet 2 Stonechat on territory, a Meadow Pipit flew up off nest with 4 eggs right beside path. A summer plumage Golden Plover by West Hook farm, with another 3 by Trehill along with 16 Ringed Plovers.

G W Egret, St Davids

From Byron Davies - A possible Great White Egret on the north moor at St Davids Airfield this morning. A couple of distant shot of the bird.

St Davids Hd

Rather quiet with 7 Whimbrel and a Common redstart the best things with a few Willow Warblers and Chiffchaffs, Grasshopper and Sedge Warbler.

Newport am

At the bridge 3 Common Sands & a Redshank. Lower down the estuary 6 Dunlin & a Ringed Plover. 1 Little Egret & 4 pairs of Shelducks.

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.