Monday, 5 October 2015

Teifi Marshes

Kingfisher 1
Little Grebe 2
Peregrine 1
Red Kite 2
Cetti's Warbler 5+
Water Rail 4 + calling
Canada Geese Lots + other plastic geese

Monarch - Porthclais

Ed Hunter had a Monarch butterfly today by the toilet block. I wonder if any American passerines arrived with it?!!

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Cosheston Pill

Tide two hours down, on the first mud bank to appear, as viewed from the Cleddau Reach car park, were about 40 Redshanks , a ruff, a Greenshank, a Black - tailed Godwit, 2 Curlews and 8 Oystercatchers.

Dave's experience at Dale airfield reminded me of a similar happening there in the 1980's, when the late Stuart Devonald, Jack Donovan and I spent a couple of futile hours trying to get to grips with a putative Lesser Golden Plover. Jack kept encouraging us to keep trying by relating how in 1975 he doggedly followed a flighty wader around until eventually getting good views but that one was an Upland Sandpiper!

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Marloes Mere

2 Blacktailed Godwits, c20 Wigeon, c150 Starlings, c40 Lapwing, 18 Goldfinches & 1 House Martin flying low & fast Eastwards.

More Tits

The Coal Tit influx seems to have dispersed, but it seems to me that it's been followed by a Great Tit invasion.

Around St Dogmaels and the Teifi Marshes in the last four days 23 new birds have been ringed, and some in unlikely habitat. I would expect to have seen maybe 5 or 6 at the most at these sites for this amount of effort.

Anyone else noticed this? At garden feeders maybe?

Saturday, 3 October 2015

The day out

A really enjoyable day around the Dale peninsula. Personal highlights were the 2 Whinchats and 3 Snipe on Dale Airfield, 2 Goldcrests in Dale Village, the Spotted Flycatcher and of course that Plover. So frustrating we couldn't nail it, but I guess that's birding. As Dave said the last one was in 1981, 34 years ago!

Frustrating Golden Plover..

A nice day out around the Dale peninsula with Paul Grennard, Toby Phelps & Gary Harper.  Try as we might we could not find a Yellow-browed Warbler despite looking in every sycamore from Dale southwards more or less!  Highlights included a Spotted Flycatcher at St. Bride's and 2 Whinchat on Dale Airfield.  We also recorded SiskinBlackcap, Chiffchaff, Coal Tit, a small passage of Swallows late morning, 3 Med Gulls (at the Gann) and 3 Wheatear (2 on Dale Airfield, 1 at St. Ann's Head).

Potential bird of the day was a Pluvialis plover at Dale Airfield.  Initially heard calling, twice, it had not been seen until we heard it calling for a third time and Gary picked it up in flight, quickly getting away from us.  It was not a Golden Plover.  It was not a Grey Plover.  It wasn't a Dotterel!  The combination of call (clew-ee or similar), slim shape and long-winged look all point to American Golden Plover but we could not get the definitive underwing, and it was never seen on the ground where it would have been much easier.  We searched for another hour after the sighting but no sign at all, or nearby at the Gann.  Frustrating.  The only Pembrokeshire record therefore remains one on Skokholm on 26th September 1981, then a first for Wales.  The wait goes on!!

Yellow-Browed Warbler

A Yellow-Browed  Warbler in sycamores at the old Whitesands Bay hotel this morning,in the Porth Melgan valley the first Jays [3] of the autumn plus a Blackcap, Water rail  and Snipe. 

Red Kite

1 of several seen sometimes between Walwyns Castle & Sandy Haven - this was at Headborough on the Dale road from H/West about an hour ago.
Beautiful. Elegant.

Yellow-browed Warbler

One this morning on the Pembs part of the Teifi Marshes Reserve, the second for the site (first was 25th November 2013).

Friday, 2 October 2015


Still a bit short on the rarity front but a nice little fall today with 57 Chiffchaff making up the bulk. Lark, pipit and finch passage all made for a busy day.

That funny herring gull

Sams leucistic herring gull may well be from Caldey where one has been breeding for at least ten years and this is the first potential sighting of a stunning bird.  a couple of years ago we ringed a chick which was clearly an offspring of this bird ( photo on the Teifi RG. Blog by Chris Jones) but the Newport bird looks like an adult.  It could well be the Caldey one.

Thursday, 1 October 2015


Two Firecrest and four Whinchat the highlights from another busy day.

Yellow-browed warbler

One this morning in woods at Llandilo, Maenclochog, the first record for the site.

A few flocks of crossbills passing over recently too, with up to 11 in a flock during the last week.

More Coal Tits

Six Coal Tits were trapped and ringed in my St Dogmaels garden in two hours this afternoon.

To put this into perspective; before today I had ringed 13 here in the last three years.

All six were juveniles, and all but one were carrying a trace of fat.

Newport Iron Bridge this afternoon

Upstream 3 Goosanders & 2 Greenshanks. The gulls included a 1st W & an ad Med, the leucistic Herring Gull (as I now believe it is, after consultation with the experts) & a Skokholm Great Black Back, which had also been here last October.

St Davids Head

A stunning Firecrest at Porthmelgan made the climb worthwhile this morning. Also as with the islands around 30 Coal Tits, a chiffchaff, 1 Goldcrest, 3 Wheatears and 6 Swallows.
Earlier a Lesser Whitethroat was in brambles on the road to Whitesands.

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Ramsey - coal tits

A wave of coal tits passed through this morning. Hard to put exact numbers on it but easily 50+ (largest flock 20). They were all around the buildings first thing then moved down towards the Axe and across Ramsey Sound through the morning. First record since October 2010. Groups of blue and great tits mixed in with them along with a min of 20 goldcrests


Goldeneye, Coal Tit and Greylag Goose all Skok Megas. Also a cracking variety of migrants including Whinchats, Yellow Wagtails and two Firecrests. Totals on blog.

Marloes Mere

At first light - 10 Herons flying over, roughly SE / NW.

Tuesday, 29 September 2015


Another Firecrest showing well at the Obs. Also late Redstart and Reed Warbler along with Garden Warbler and Yellow Wagtail. Swallows scraped in to four figures and Red Admirals in to three figures. Totals on Skok blog.

St Davids Head - Yellow-browed Warbler

Yellow-browed Warbler at Porthmelgan showing nicely in the withies, along with 2 Whinchats and 3 Blackcaps. A good passage of Swallows with around 40 birds heading south. A Whinchat at Pencarnan was the only other migrant of note after coming off St Davids Head.