Thursday, 15 November 2018


Iron bridge - Water Pipit.
Boat club - 17 Ringed Plover and c10 Dublin. Also a nice group of about 50 Linnets feeding on the salt marsh.

Wednesday, 14 November 2018


Passing Newgale at 13:00hrs today we had to stop for a quick scan - c10 Curlew and c40 Oystercatchers on the flooded camp site. Oystercatcher Orange E2 was in amongst them. First ringed this year on Skomer as a Pullus on the 8th June and not resighted until today.

Trefin Greenland Whitefront update

As usual a very quick reply from Tony Fox with the history of the ringed Geese X0C, X6D and X9K at Trefin.
This is a summary of his detailed email

All three geese were caught at Wexford North Slob by Alyn Walsh of the National Park and Wildlife Service, part of a very long running programme of research there on the population, started in 1982/83.
X0C and X6D were both marked as first winter females in March 2013, with X9K an adult female caught in the same catch. 
In the winter of 2013/14, these three birds returned to Wexford
They were not seen in the winter of 2014/15 (nor 2017/18), but in winter 2015/16 X0J, X6D and X9K were seen together at Wexford, and X6D in 2016/17
The only other record we have was of X0C seen in the southern lowlands of Iceland in October 2016  although X6D was seen very briefly at Hvanneyri in west Iceland this autumn.

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Oystercatcher - Orange 65

Oystercatcher Orange 65 was ringed on 16th September 2018 at the Gann, it was resighted again on the 11th November 2018 at Sandy Haven, so given the resighting today it would appear Sandy Haven is one of the preferred feeding sites as several other ringed waders were resighted last Sunday at Sandy Haven.

Thank you for your post John
Pembs Ringing Group

Hen harrier, Marloes Mere

The Hen harrier was keeping the duck (inc the drake Pintail),  couple of thousand starling and around 60 snipe on the move this morning between 8-9. Also 150 Lapwing drifting over towards Marloes village.

Greenland White-fronted Geese at Trefin

After reading Steve Jones posts about the White-fronted Geese at Trefin  we went down to try to read the numbers on the collars.
Thanks to good light and Dyfed's camera we were able to read all three which I have sent to Tony Fox, the project coordinator.
14 Geese were in the flock again today.

We then went on to Dowrog Common and watched 2 Marsh Harriers and 2 Ring-tailed Hen Harriers come in to roost at dusk.

Oystercatcher - - 65

Have attached this shot of Oystercatcher "65", taken this morning at Sandy Haven Creek. Hope this info is of use.

Others of note, c10 Greenshank, c8 Redshank, c2 Little Egret plus c4 Oystercatcher.
(John Freeman)

Castlemartin Corse - Harriers!

To Broomhill Burrows Ponds for the last of my Webs counts - which never takes long. I then walked to the inland end of the Corse on the north side and watched from the only vantage point from which it's possible to view the entire reedbed and flooded meadows at once (not normally recommended as there are usually some feisty beef cattle in the area, today they were elsewhere).

Three female marsh harriers and one ringtail hen harrier were hunting, mostly over the flooded meadows where they kept hundreds of duck, mostly teal, wigeon and mallard, on the move. It took a while to be sure how many harriers I was looking at - then two marsh harriers flew past me to the seaward end, leaving one marsh and one hen still hunting the inland end. Eventually the hen harrier also flew west, settling for a while on a fencepost until disturbed by one of the marsh harriers. Also, one buzzard and one female sparrowhawk. 

Black Redstart - Teifi

A Black Redstart was on the roof of Poppit Lifeboat station, Teifi Estuary, this morning.

Further upstream there was a Cattle Egret on the bank opposite St Dogmael's slipway and a pair of Red-breasted Mergansers.

That skua

Thanks to Robert (below) and to the others who have considered the matter. A consensus seems to be emerging round Arctic, which was my first thought (witness my first email to Jonathan) before I dithered - probably juv. Anyway the matter is now in the hands of Jon Green (to whom thanks also).

Monday, 12 November 2018

Skua - see post below

It doesn't seem 'chunky' enough for a Bonxie to me and looks too elegant and long-winged -- though obviously that might be an effect of the camera angle. An immature Pom comes to mind.

Robert Smallwood

Castlemartin Corse Skua!

Jonathan Hughes photographed this skua over the Corse yesterday when he was down for the Remembrance Day event. Jonathan is not overly familiar with skuas, and I've got into trouble with photos before - bonxie? Perhaps it was drawn inland by the extensive flooding. Thoughts welcome!

Sunday, 11 November 2018

Castlemartin Corse

Rob Lewis reports two marsh harriers today.

Newport Webs

Much as expected. Didn't clock the Common Sand or Black Redstart.
Highlights were a/the Greenshank, the first M Goosander of the Winter & Polish Med Gull Red PLJ3, which has been a regular at this time of year since 2013.
Only 6 Curlews (70 yesterday), 14 Common Gulls (double this + recently) & 3 Meds.
The token Kingfisher was at the Parrog rather than the bridge.

Common Sandpiper - Newport

A Common Sandpiper at Newport this afternoon, but as below no sign of yesterday's Black Redstart.
(Gary Reynolds)

Hooded Crow - Marloes Mere

A late afternoon visit to the Mere by Gary Reynolds  --
Surprised to see a Hooded Crow mobbing the Marsh Harrier....

Purple Sands, Blackcap, Black Redstart...

A Black Redstart in Fishguard still (Andy Phillips) but no sign of the Newport bird this morning.
Four Purple Sandpipers roosting on the outer breakwater (Fishguard) with 3 Ringed Plover and 2 Turnstone, but no sign of the Snow Bunting photo'd earlier in the week.
A female Blackcap feeding in Poppit car park on the Teifi (Gary Reynolds) and still with migrants Steve Berry had a Northern Wheatear on Dinas Mountain this morning.
Goldeneye are now arriving, a single bird on the Teifi and 5 on Rosebush Resr yesterday along with 5 Coot, 3 Tufted Duck and 2 male Goosander.

Marloes Mere again

I was doing the WEBS counts when Brians Marsh Harrier appeared and immediately doubled the number of duck I was counting. Just over 500 teal, one of the highest counts I have had there, but I think there were more as after the Harrier disturbance they went quickly back into the vegetation.  Only about 50 wigeon and 66 Mallard and 19 Shoveler present and no Little Grebe seen - it was pretty windy and everything was sheltering in the vegetation.  No sign of the Pintail - I bet its still there and is the same bird that overwintered last year.


There was a black-tailed godwit at the flagpoles this afternoon and at least one common gull and an adult Mediterranean gull.

Winter Farmland Bird Survey

Brian & myself did part one of this survey on behalf of the National Trust this morning covering some fourteen fields split between Trehill & West Hook farms that have no public access, so first of all thanks to Pete Smithies of Trehill & Rob Thomas of West Hook for allowing us to trudge across their land & get right in amongst everything. Bird wise everything one would expect though one or hoped for species were absent or low on numbers while there were big  numbers of others. Either way it was a very enjoyable four & half hours & we're looking forward to part two at the end of December, Brian was the log master so I won't tread on his toes as he's no doubt assimilating all the species & numbers as I write.

Marsh harrier and Hen harrier, Marloes Mere

Marsh harrier putting up 100s of duck at 8:30 and there again at 12:30, and a ring tail Hen harrier over West Hooks fields around noon, whilst Derek and I were doing a Winter Farmland birds survey. Raptor-wise we also had Buzzard, Peregrine, Sparrowhawk and Merlin.

Saturday, 10 November 2018

The Gann

Quick look at the Gann after a fruitless visit to a deserted Dale airfield (not even a single snipe, can only assume there must be better feeding elsewhere after all the rain). 50 Med gulls, 50 Wigeon, about a dozen Redshank, 11 Turnstone, 7 Ringed plover, single Dunlin, single Greenshank. Still a few pipits and Reed bunting feeding along the banks of seaweed on the high tide mark. A Kestrel being chased by crow. With Derek.

Castlemartin Corse

WEBS on a flooded Corse in wind and rain....water brings ducks to the Corse, and there were teal, wigeon, mallard and a couple of shoveler. Snipe numbers building up, moorhens (4), water rail, etc...

But raptors the main note with, when the rain stopped, a female marsh harrier, a buzzard, a kestrel and two peregrines which scorched across the Corse scattering snipe in all directions.

What a flooded Corse looks like:

and inland...

Let's hope it stays like this at least for a while.


Boat Club - female Black Redstart.

Friday, 9 November 2018

St Davids Head am

A few Bramblings in with several large Chaffinch flocks and a Woodcock today.