Sunday, 4 December 2016

Masked Wagtail - Camrose

Another exciting day for the residents of Camrose, who are continuing to enjoy the company of visiting birders to see the Masked Wagtail. I guess another 100 birders have visited today and we presume that the numbers visiting will now drop.
The field that Roger Mathias kindly opened is now closed, so please park carefully in the village. See posts below for further information.

A big thank you to all who have visited. We have received nothing but positive feedback and an interest in "twitching".  So much so... I have been asked if I would give a talk in the Village Hall discussing the visit of the Wagtail, and the culture of "twitching" which has been introduced to many residents of Camrose !!

The Teifi over the weekend

Still some good numbers on the Teifi, c30000 Starlings came into the reedbed on the Reserve to roost this evening. A Common Buzzard and a Peregrine - which flew off with a captured Magpie were the only raptors. The Magpie roost is usually near the Osprey nest platform and can number 30-50 birds.
Teal included 148 at Creek Hide and c450 Wigeon are around the estuary.  8 Goosander and 6 Goldeneye  are on the river above Priory Bridge. A Great-crested Grebe in the bay was unusual, the  3 Little Grebes more typical.
Waders today included c60 Dunlin, 1 Greenshank. 2 Grey Plover, a few Ringed Plover and at least 1 Bar-tailed Godwit.

Poppit Sands early morning Wendy J
Plenty of winter thrushes around and Mistle Thrushes seen at 4 locations around the Teifi today. Goldcrests are still widespread but the only Warbler, a Cetti's singing yesterday.
Mid morning a large Gull flock was feeding off Cemaes Head just inside the bay. c500 small Gulls, a mix of Black-headed, Kittiwakes and Common Gulls were presumably feeding on Whitebait or something near the surface. Interestingly the large gulls were not interested !
(sev obs)

Hen Harriers and Starlings - Plumstone

A splendid sight at dusk of 4 Hen Harriers including 3 adult males hunting together until the light had almost gone.When i arrived a Red Kite and Kestrel were also hunting in front of the rocks. The Starling roost was magnificent with thousands of birds murmurating over the conifer plantation being harried by 5 Buzzards. Certainly worth the cycle from Haverfordwest and braving the freezing cold temperatures.

A few bits and pieces in the south of the county

A Merlin was hunting the fields either side of the road to Stack Rocks this morning, causing some anxiety to the Golden Plovers, Fieldfares and Redwings also feeding in the area.  Also, the Swallow and Black Redstart were still to be found around the buildings at Stackpole Centre this morning, where the Swallow was seen to flutter low above the roof and pick insects from the lichen - perhaps picking up some tips from the Pied Wagtail nearby...

The Gann

There's been a lone duck Wigeon around for few days now usually on the sea away from the main flock, this morning it was on the pool & with Brian's comments yesterday about an American bird there I had a closer look at it. Not knowing if the Birdguides entry was m or f  nor having seen either before, I was aware that what I was looking at could be influenced by a certain amount of anticipation,  the sun wasn't quite up so light wasn't too good but it  appeared to lack that rufous head that duck Wigeon have & did the area around its eyes look darker(?) When it flew briefly was there more white on the inner underwing(?) All in all rather inconclusive, I will get back later & have another look in better light  - if anyone is there in the meantime I would value a second  opinion!

Saturday, 3 December 2016

Masked Wagtail

It was great to get to Camrose and catch up with an old friend for an hour and also see the masked wagtail what an amazeing bird and very tame .

Bits and pieces

A strikingly dark brute of a 3rd winter 'northern' Herring Gull (L.a.argentatus) was in Lower Town Harbour in Fishguard today, along with two Dippers, one of which was singing and seemed to be feeding exclusively on small fish.  Also, there were at least two Jackdaws showing the characters of the Nordic race feeding on the grass verge opposite the entrance to County Hall in Haverfordwest.

Report online of American wigeon, The Gann

There's a report on Bird News Extra of an American wigeon seen at the Gann on Friday. There were c75 birds there today, wish I'd given them a better look now!

Masked Wagtail & Plumstone

Called in to Camrose on my way to Plumstone mid afternoon and had excellent views of the Masked Wagtail in and around Croft Villas and the houses opposite, regularly in the road itself.  At Plumstone tens of thousands of Starlings being buzzed by up to 2 Peregrines & 6 Buzzards, 1 or 2 Merlin whizzed North and 3 Hen Harriers were seen to come into roost (a grey male & 2 ringtails).

Masked Wagtail - midday Saturday update.

The Masked Wagtail has been showing well this morning and the residents that I have contacted are still delighted with visiting birders ! We estimate that there have been less than 100 birders in Camrose during the morning.
For local directions, parking and other details see posts below.

Camrose Wagtail

The bird is again showing well today, and the village was far from inundated with birders. Thanks to all who came to see it for their courtesy and friendliness. Any local birders who know me and are visiting to get a sighting please call round at number 5 and say hello!

Hen harrier, Lapland buntings, Marloes and Yellow-legged gull, Gann

Plenty of Lapwings c200 nr Ratford bridge and 100+ Trehill fields, Marloes. Ringtail hen harrier working the fields from Marloes mere to Martins Haven, putting up 100s of Skylarks, Chaffinch and Linnet, and a dozen Snipe. Lots of birds in the stubble fields and ploughed former potato field at SM767087. Scanning the skylarks and chaffinch with the scope I managed to pick out 2 Lapland buntings. Birds moving between fields all the time so worth a look to see what else is there.

Gann: Pools still frozen in places. Yellow-legged gull, 75 Wigeon, 20 Teal, Merganser, 2 Little grebes in bay, 5 on ice-free section of pools, 2 Goldeneye, 4 Brent, 6 Bar-tailed and single Black-tailed godwit.

Castlemartin Corse

Quick circuit of the Corse this morning - well-marked female marsh harrier hunting over the reedbed. Not much else - water levels which have been fluctuating are low agan. Lapwing flock....

Plumstone, Brawdy, Newgale

Not much about at Plumstone, 2 Red Kite, on the road to Brawdy, a male Hen Harrier, sparrowhawk and Buzzard.
Brawdy saw a Peregrine, pursuing a common gull relentlessly until out of view! At Newgale, the teal (16)are now on the campsite puddle, only 1 meadow pipit present. Cuckoo Mill Farm now has 6 Red Kite present. Another winter raptor day.


Not rare I know but nice to see a lone Sanderling amongst a group of four Oystercatchers on Newgale beach, Wednesday 30th Nov, around midday.
(Merv Hopkins)

Friday, 2 December 2016


Finally saw this cracking bird this morning.  It was a bit mobile when I was there from just before 11 to around 12.30, initially feeding on one of the driveways of Sycamore Grove (opposite Croft Villas), then on the road outside Croft Villas, onto the rooftops, disappearing into back gardens out of sight and then reappearing down at Camrose Baptist Chapel (not far as the wagtail flies!).  No more than 20 birders at a time when I was there, but it would seem we could expect a fair few more tomorrow - although it is a subspecies, it is a smart looking bird, and a British first!

So with that in mind, and that there will be more residents at home & around this weekend, can all visiting birders please ONLY PARK IN THE FIELD AT FOLLY CROSS which has kindly been opened by Roger Mathias.  It is large, flat & dry (frozen mainly!).  It is also a very short, flat, walk from there to the wagtail's favourite haunts (less than 5 minutes).  Hopefully the map below makes it easy to find - there are several ways to reach Camrose but we suggest the simplest (& quickest) is to take the signs for Fishguard (A40) as you approach Haverfordwest from the east, avoiding the town, and as you pass Withybush Airport on the A40 towards Fishguard take the first signpost left to Camrose - the map takes you from there. And it goes without saying - respect the privacy of residents, smile and be nice to them, and keep the roads clear (especially if the bird goes back to the Chapel, the lane is narrow there).

Good luck & enjoy!

Thursday, 1 December 2016

That wagtail yesterday and Bosherston Lakes today

Being such a beautiful day, yesterday we decided to make the journey, like many others, over to Camrose to admire the roof-top resident. We must say well done Jon and other local residents, and to Richard et al, for sorting out the logistics to enable folk to visit the area to see it. A fantastic effort all round.

There there must now be an accumulating file with many digital images of the bird in it.  Here are a couple more anyway, just for the record. We imagine that those lichen-rich roofs will be among the most viewed and photographed roofs in Britain by the end of the year - any new lichens to be discovered?

This morning we had a lovely walk around Bosherston Lakes. There was a thin ice cover over most of the open water, but where the water was ice-free there were reasonable numbers of waterfowl present including: not less than 29 goosanders, about a dozen gadwall, at least 8 female/immature tufted ducks, the female scaup, and 7 goldeneye. We think there were at least 3 kingfishers darting about, often perching in lake-side trees near unfrozen areas.

There is something really special about these still, frosty, sunny blue-sky winter days - possibly because they are so rare!

Masked Wagtail -- Parking at Camrose

As mentioned in a post below, Roger Mathias has kindly opened a field for parking c400m north of the site. The following has been produced by Chris Jones who twitched the Wagtail today.

Please use this site, as we wish to ensure residents of Camrose and local traffic can carry out their usual activities. We have had a fantastic response and support from residents who are enjoying the "twitchers "company and their tales of travel to the see their new resident...

It's Not Often I Go Twitching

But I happened to be down that way this afternoon - which seems to be the best time of day for the light.

Just 6 others present in an hour between about 1 and 2 o'clock, including two from Yorkshire who spent about 10 mins on site before heading back up the road!


At Dale the ponds were frozen over today, however on the river from Mullock Bridge. 37 Brent Geese, 2 female Goldeneye, 1 Shoveler, 2 Grey Plover and a Kingfisher.
(Mike Jones)

Masked Wagtail - Camrose

The Masked Wagtail has shown nicely this morning to about 24-30 birders so far today.
The field mentioned below is open for parking.
It is c400m north of the site, by the crossroads just outside the village and the entrance is marked with two cones.

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Masked Wagtail -- parking and viewing in Camrose.

                                     photo by Jon Hudson, the finder of the Masked Wagtail

I have spoken to one of local residents who is talking to neighbours re parking and access. If as seems likely that Camrose receives many visitors over the weekend, there will be a request for ALL BIRDERS to park outside the village to the north towards Camrose FC. I have just spoken with Roger Mathias a local landowner and the field where the Annual Vintage Fair is held will be made available for parking. Details tomorrow for weekend parking arrangements.
Whilst the stream of visitors remains quiet ...c60 today, then see below.

Please tell any of your members they are welcome to come and park in my drive, it holds about six cars and I have a box outside to put money into for my sisters Chemowize Cancer charity..all donations graciously accepted…I provided tea today and will do so for anyone who knocks at my door.

Great news for everyone
all the best, Daghda and James

SA62 6JF

Masked Wagtail - Access

Whilst number of visitors remain reasonably low I am happy for 2 cars outside my house (number 5 Croft Villas) when I am out....Usually 9am...ish until 3pm...ish. For the weekend please see details in earlier posts for arrangement for parking just outside the village.

Chiffchaff - Berea

Two Chiffchaff feeding in my Berea garden conifer this morning - 30th Nov.
John Shrouder 
PS Very enjoyable conference on Sunday

Common Gull Newport

Another Norwegian Common Gull today. J582 was ringed as a nestling near Oslo in July this year & this is it's 1st resighting.


Seems to be a pattern emerging with all this back garden birding. First the Squacco, then the Pallas's and now the Wagtail. As the rest of they guys have said we had a nice welcome from Jons neighbours. Theres even an article on Daily Mirrors website with a video!!
After a cold start is was nice to be out in the sunshine at lunchtime with look at Stackpole end of Bosh. Pair Tufties, dozen or so Goosander, the Scaup, Cettis in reedbed beneath Court and a Firecrest by the boathouse.

Camrose, Haverfordwest Airfield and Plumbstone

After going to see the Masked Wagtail first thing in the morning, which was a slightly surreal but interesting experience (thanks also from us to the people of Camrose, especially Daghda and James), we went to Propellers Cafe at Haverfordwest Airfield for a well earned second breakfast. The airfield had more birdlife on it than we had expected. There was a Peregrine sat on one of the runways and the grassy areas were literally covered in Snipe. There were at least 20 on a single scan of a small portion of the available habitat so there must have been many more than that.

Later in the day, with advise from Paul, who we had been speaking to earlier at Camrose, we went to look for harriers at Plumbstone. We arrived just at the right time and were in for a real spectacle. Hundreds of thousands of Starlings put on a show and roosted in the plantation - this is a proper wildlife spectacle if you ask me, and there were two grey male and one ringtail Hen Harrier. Thanks to Paul for the advise.

Ed, Bee and Leighton

Llys y Fran and Rosebush

A drake Pochard was slightly unexpected at Llys y Fran along with 4 Great Created Grebes and a lone Greylag with the Canada Geese flock. At Rosebush 3 Wigeon, 12 Teal, 3 Goldeneye, 6 Tufted Duck and 10 Mallard. Disappointingly no Hen Harriers or owls were seen at dusk at Puncheston Common. 2 Woodcock on the drive back from Puncheston to Haverfordwest.

Paul G and Raf L

Masked Wagtail - Camrose

Still showing nicely at Croft Villas when i left at 9:30ish. Many thanks to the people of Camrose for being so tolerant, and in particular the kind lady who invited birders into her front garden for a better view of the wagtail. Fabulous stuff!

Tuesday, 29 November 2016


Ok. Here is a better image. It does indeed look like a masked Wagtail. If  people are going to descend on the village I would ask they remember that this bird spends its time on my roof and the roofs of my neighbours. It  will be very intrusive for them to have bins trained on the houses all day. The village has no carpark, narrow roads and no facilities. Please be respectful.

Err...if this is a masked wagtail......what`s it doing here, on my roof??

Sunny but cold Stackpole/Bosherston lakes

We had a short visit to Stackpole this afternoon. We were informed that, earlier in the day, Mathew Oates of the NT had seen a late swallow flying over the buildings, as well as the black redstart on the Stackpole Centre roofs.

The swallow had probably moved on, but the fairly confiding black redstart was flitting from roof to roof in the cold glorious sunshine, in search of insects around the gutters.

We had a quick look at Bosherston Lake's eastern arm before dusk. At least 19 goosanders were close to the shore half way down the lake and a couple of kingfishers were flying around the upper arm of the lake. Numbers of coot seemed very low and there were no obvious gadwalls around.

Masked Wagtail - Camrose

We are still waiting to hear back from Jon and post some more photos. Camrose is a small residential village and will prove difficult to park. If you are visiting Camrose to see the Wagtail please park sensibly, the residents are not used to hosting visiting birders.

Richard Dobbins on behalf of PembsBirds

Masked Wagtail ...see below

Hi, I just saw this amazing picture, surely this is a Masked Wagtail Motacilla alba personata??? I have seen them in Northern India at this time of they ear and it looks pretty good to me!!

Wishing I was in Pembrokeshire
Norman McCanch (resident in Kent)


Jon, your Wagtail looks like a Masked Wagtail an Asian subspecies of White Wagtail.

Weird Wagtail??

Correct me if I am am wrong but is this little fella a bit unusual? He seems to be wintering on my roof in camrose and I cant see one like him in my bird books (have checked all the sub species etc)?? Anyone got any ideas??

Jon Hudson

Monday, 28 November 2016


A Red-throated Diver off the estuary mouth is a first of the winter - I think.
Wader counts are still proving interesting, 52 Dunlin and 2 Grey Plover yesterday.  Two Bar-tailed Godwits, 116 Curlew and 13 Ringed Plover today. Gull numbers building, including 2 Common Gulls and 1 Med. Gull this morning from the Webley. Up river on the Reserve, 3 Goosander and 2 Goldeneye.
(sev obs)

Newport Mon

3 M Goosanders upstream. With the gulls Common Gull Green JJ58. This bird was ringed as a breeding adult in June 2014 at Bergen, W Norway. It was seen in the same place in the summer of 15 & 16, though not anywhere else until Newport today.
Otherwise a smattering of Redshanks, Ringed Plovers & Dunlin, rather few Oystercatchers & Curlews, 3 Snipe on the S wall upstream, 35 Teal, c6 Little Grebes & single Little Egret, Greenshank & Moorhen.