Sunday, 29 November 2015


2 1st winter little gulls in Ramsey Sound this morning

Saturday, 28 November 2015

The Gann

In a similar vein to previous posts - given the inclement weather - everything was on the deck with beaks indicating the wind direction. 49 Wigeon, 1 Greenshank, 1 Shelduck seeking shelter on the Crab Hall side of the lagoon, with  200 or so of the larger Gulls on the river. On the quite small roost off Dale, just one adult Med Gull with a few Common Gulls  amongst a mixture of B/Heads & LBB`s, difficult to see much with the wind pushing me & my scope in different directions.


Thought I would do some sea watching started at the marsh a few 
large gulls 12 curlew on the campsite 4 wigeon, mallard, and two jack 
snipe, was a nice surprise.
Up at the car park 30 min sea watch 
produced, Skua sp (I think dark phase Arctic), difficult to nail in this
 wind with a few gulls all heading North.
(Peter Howe) 

Stackpole Lakes

Seen this wet and blustery afternoon between 8 arch bridge and grassy bridge; 9 Gooseanders, 11 Cormorants, 4 Grey Heron, and 1 Goldeneye.

Teifi - waterfowl

Waders are very thin on the ground ! One Dunlin on Patch.  A visit to the Webley and numbers improved, 17 Redshank appeared as the tide dropped, and 115 Lapwing arrived too. One Little Grebe, 150 Wigeon and 50 Teal. A dozen Pipits, mainly Rock on the marsh too.

!6:00 update;-
One adult Med Gull at the Webley pre-roost.


At Orlandon Kilns we have two fat-looking Blackcaps on our apple trees but regrettably no accompanying Orphean Warbler. The Blackcaps will not stay however - they seem to prefer places with lots of feeders in several gardens - a friend in Llanstadwell gets them regularly in winter feeding on the suet. We usually have an overwintering Chiffchaff but that hasn't arrived yet.

Friday, 27 November 2015

North Pembs

A passing look at the Teifi from the Railings produced a red-head Red-breasted Merganser, not a regular visitor to our estuary.

Far more interesting - though just outside the county boundary. Wendy caught a first winter male Blackcap amongst  Apple trees weighing a whopping 22g. On migration we catch many Blackcaps and we rarely find one this heavy or fat with 16-17g the usual weight.
Are there many gardens with Blackcaps this Winter ?
Or Chiffs....or maybe a Firecrest ?

Thursday, 26 November 2015

Cosheston Pill

Quick look at lunchtime today. 50 Black-tailed godwits, 30 Shelduck, 20 Dunlin and an adult Mediterranean gull.

Pembroke Millpond

The imm male Scaup was in its favoured haunt again at Pembroke Millpond this lunchtime, about 2/3 of the way along the middle pond.  It generally keeps near the far bank in the area where most of the Mallards, Gadwalls and Little Grebes congregate.

West Angle

A fem/imm Black Redstart was feeding among the rocks along the northern edge of West Angle beach this morning.  This bird has probably been feeding in the same area since Monday.  


The highlight of a walk around  Carew River and Radford Pill this morning was a female Goshawk flying over. On the waters edge there were totals of 36 Redshank, 3 Greenshank, 5 Curlew, 15 Lapwing, 40 Wigeon, 29 Teal, 1 Grey Heron.

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Pennar - Pembroke River

About 1000 Wigeon (most too distant to examine properly for an American Wigeon), 1 adult Med Gull, 6 Shovelers, 30 Dunlin, 1 Greenshank, 10 Black-tailed Godwits and 12 Little Egrets feeding in a cattle field had me quite excited for a minute.


From Dave Evans - This morning, 9am - 10.30am:
2 Great Crested Grebes in the harbour, a Greenshank with a few Redshank, Dunlin + Turnstone under the Flagpoles.
Cetti's Warbler heard and Grey Wagtail seen on Goodwick Moor and a Black Redstart on the edge of the Moor at the end of New Road.

Cilgerran (Again)

As I needed to be up Cardigan way this morning I popped into Cilgerran for a couple of hours hoping for the Bittern at the Kingfisher Hide. My luck was in as it appeared within 15 mins soon after 10 a.m. on the edge of the reeds over to the right. It was a brief encounter as it flew off to the right over the reeds after a few minutes and had not returned when I left at 12:15 p.m.

Otherwise it was pretty quiet with 7 Teal (asleep for all but the last 15 mins), 4 Mallard and a Little Grebe which spent 10 mins or so trying, and eventually succeeding, in swallowing what looked like an Elver. Over the trees in the distance a Sparrowhawk cruised over, a male Goosander flew past and 2 Red Kites were also seen.

Black Redstart -- Haverfordwest

Female type Black Redstart on Goshawk Road in Haverfordwest this morning.
(Peter Howe)

Tuesday, 24 November 2015


From Elwyn Davies - Bittern showed for a few minutes at the Kingfisher hide today.

Monday, 23 November 2015

Teifi - Bittern and bits....

A couple of shots of the Bittern...
 or one of maybe two Bitterns currently on the Teifi Marshes.
Photos from Tommy Evans, one of our regulars on the Teifi. Bitterns are best looked for from Kingfisher Hide, where this male Shoveler also made an appearance over the weekend.
A few Shovelers may be found with passage Wigeon and Teal in the Autumn on the main estuary, a nice find in November by Gary Reynolds on Kingfisher Pond.
(photos Dyfed James)

Tonight c1600:
About 25000 Starlings went to roost in the hedge and reedbed alongside the river at the end of the creek. Best watched from behind the Welsh Wildlife Centre itself.
Marsh Tit feeding in the car park too.
(Rich D and Wendy J)

update ..Goldeneye on the river from Priory Bridge. Our first back on the Teifi this winter..?
(Gary Reynolds)

Black Redstart - Haverfordwest

Female type Black Redstart moved from Goshawk Rd to nearby Sanderling Rd in Haverfordwest.
(Peter Howe)

Lapwings arriving ....?

A flock of approx 75 Lapwings on fields between Langford Farm and The Close, Johnston, around midday today. The flock flew back, forth and around, spilling a few members at a time until all were on the ground.
I'd seen approx 45 yesterday, 30 or so the day before, 16 the day before that, so it's lovely to see the flock numbers building.
They are happy enough on the ground with a few rugged-up ponies, starlings, rooks, jackdaws and a mix of herring and black-headed gulls, but the occasional loud bangs from the other side of the farm where the new school is being built is enough to send them all into the sky again, presumably in search of somewhere more peaceful.
(Melanie Collier)


A much quieter day weather wise and a few hundred guillemots were back on their breeding ledges for a few hours this morning, as is fairly customary on such November days. Most were in summer plumage whereas the majority of birds on seawatches at the moment are not indicating they are from further afield. Fulmars were on ledges today too.

Other parts of the UK have seen some spectacular woodpigeon movements of late so it was nice to get in on the act to some small degree with 230 logged heading west. Large flocks of starlings (650 today) and linnets (150) have been making use of our arable plot this autumn/winter.

A long staying chiffchaff is still at Myharan and the first curlew of the month was logged (up to 100 used to winter here on a regular basis 10 years ago). Redwings have increased of late and yesterday 160 fieldfares were noted heading east. A reed bunting in the garden was the first for some time.

Wader colour rings

Thanks to Ed for reporting the colour-ringed oystercatcher and curlew at the Gann. These birds were both ringed at the Gann by Pembs Ringing Group on 03/10/2015 as part of a new long-term study looking at site fidelity/survival of three species of wintering wader within the Cleddau estuary (redshank being the other species). The intention is to build up a sample of at least 100 marked individuals of each species, but we have got off to a slow start due to persistent high winds preventing netting sessions whenever tides have been favourable. The cost of rings and some of the equipment has been funded by a grant from Crown Estate.

The numbered rings always read upwards so these were '06' for the curlew and '01' for the oystercatcher. All individuals of all three species marked in Pembs have a plain orange ring as well as the numbered ring.

Any re-sightings reported are extremely welcome, including repeat sightings of the same individual. If it is reported directly onto this blog then it will be entered onto the data sheets by Pembs RG and there is no need to report it separately.

If there are any re-sightings of birds away from the Cleddau then we will post info here or on Pembs RG blog and put a link here.

Curlew '00' the first bird to be ringed as part of the new study

Last Chance

There are just 6 places left for the Pembs Bird Conference on Sunday. Don't miss out on a packed programme.

If you are planning to come and have not yet contacted me, then get in touch asap or send me the booking form which you can find on the Pembs Bird Group Blog.

Peter Royle
Sec. Pembs Bird Group

Guillemots at Castlemartin peninsula colonies on Friday; some Carew/Creswell and Daugleddau observations on Sunday

We do seem to be seeing earlier and earlier arrivals of guillemots these days, back at their breeding colonies in winter. Over the last few years large numbers have been occasionally reported back on the cliffs in mid-late November, some of these sightings have been posted on the BLOG.   

On Friday 20 November, Mike Alexander recorded some observations of such an early winter colony attendance by large numbers of guillemots at Stackpole Head and Elegug Stacks that day. 

Mike first saw large numbers of birds at 10.00 hrs at Stackpole Head, all the visible ledges were occupied and more or less full.  Interestingly, at Stackpole most birds had white (winter-plumage) heads, a few were in moult and small numbers in breeding plumage.  

Observations at Stack Rocks were from 13.00 hrs.  Most birds were on the top of the large (main) stack.  There were scattered groups on other smaller ledges, nothing on the small stack or lower north facing slopes on the large stack.  

Most birds had departed by 15.00 hrs, but a few remained until almost dark. In contrast to the birds at Stackpole, most were in breeding plumage or late stages of moult. You can see these quite clearly in the lower one of Mike's excellent photographs.   

Elsewhere, at Carew/Cresswell estuary on Sunday afternoon, there were good numbers of Teal and wigeon present (several hundred of both species). The main curlew and redshank roosts were quite well-attended: c. 130 curlews and 60+ redshanks there. A dozen or so grey plovers were also present, plus c. 100 golden plovers and in excess of 500 hundred lapwings. 

Many of the latter two species were feeding in nearby arable/stubble fields, which were stuffed with finches (chaffinches mainly) plus good numbers of meadow pipits, skylarks, several reed buntings and at least 25 stock doves. Small numbers of feeding redwings and fieldfares were present and large numbers of starlings (several thousand) too. These all headed off towards the Slebech reed-bed roost before dusk.

Shelduck have recently started to return to the area but only 4 were seen on Sunday. Along the Daugleddau, there were 2 black-tailed godwits, a more unusual species along this particular stretch.        


At Angle Harbour this morning 17 Redshank, 1 Greenshank, 70+ Dunlin, 1 Little Egret. Outside the harbour near the waters edge a Great Northern Diver and along the edge of the bay 9 Shelduck, 45 Wigeon, 12 Mallard and a few Curlew.