had a nice surprise today when driving from Milford to Neyland along
the coast road when I came across a line of waders along the shoreline
just before Neyland Yacht Club. It turned out to be 68 Black-tailed
Godwits and possibly a couple more where the
sun was reflecting off the water. I have never seen that many before in
Pembrokeshire, so I had to count them a couple of times. Alongside were 4
Knot and 4 Dunlin.
Again at county hall most of the afternoon in the Holm Oaks of the car park seen at the closest corner to town to reception of county hall, two dippers showing well on the high water behind county hall.
Two marsh harriers present and correct, hunting together - the well-marked and less well-marked females. Today I concentrated on the upper reaches - the wet (but no longer flooded) meadows inland from the pines held 1800 lapwing and 800 golden plover feeding. No ducks, though. A further 500 lapwing were on fields on Kilpaison Burrows. A few ducks on the open water near the hide - mallard, teal and 4 pintail (2♂ 2♀). 3 chough upstream from the hide (a long way inland for them) and 3 buzzards circling over the Burrows.
A couple of hours looking at Carew River produced only fairly low numbers of ducks (less than 200 teal and just a handful of wigeon for example) but a great crested grebe at New Shipping Point was slightly unexpected here. About 600 lapwings and 100+ golden plovers were also roosting there.
The estimated number of stock doves in the area was slightly lower than last month, but even so there were in excess of 100 to 120 feeding in the stubbles.
A small part of the stock dove flock near New Shipping Point
A common sandpiper was present near Lawrenny (probably the overwintering individual previously reported higher up the Carew by Richard Ellis).
Cosheston Pill was fairly quiet but a great northern diver was feeding offshore on the falling tide between the slipway and Cosheston Point.
Pembroke Millpond was also fairly quiet, with no obvious presence of scaup or pochard.
Little Gull still around, on the lagoon today along with at least 4
Mediterranean Gulls, Black-headed and a single Common. One of the Meds
had an orange ring, but not legible. 4 Goldeneye on the water and at
least 18 Snipe out in the open in the sun in front of Crabhall. 8
Pale-bellied Brents on the beach at lunchtime and one with a bad limp
remained on one of the islands in the lagoon at low tide. Dunnocks,
Blackbirds and Wrens getting frisky in the blackthorn by the car park.
Very quiet at Marloes Mere with the only notable features being about
200 Lapwings on the fields to the west and occasionally making circuits,
a mixed corvid flock, mostly Jackdaws, on the field in front of Trehill
Farm where the roof of the western barn has been blown off by the
Hello All. Having emerged at the first sign of nice weather in a long time, I inveigled Karen to join me and off we went to Puncheston , just in case a Shortie or any other raptor made an appearance.
A female Kestrel immediately put on a show which lasted all afternoon. We also noticed a continual flow of Starling traffic and a few Fieldfares.
However, the day was interrupted by a sudden explosion of a flock ( several, in fact ) of Lapwings and Golden Plover above the farm at the top of the hill. As soon as we realised just how many we were looking at ................ full speed to the top of the hill where a rough count of 3,000 G.plover and 2,000 Lapwing was undertaken. What a mind-boggling show. Glistening in the sunshine they stretched in layers above us, first in formation then in a loose cloud; splitting apart then re-joining going higher and higher. The only sound was Golden Plover calls as we gazed upwards .
Those stubble fields look very promising!
I was on Patch late afternoon more in hope than knowledge looking for Grey Phalaropes....
Arfon rang from the Gull View Point where he had picked up a small 2nd cal yr Glaucous Gull. I couldn't see the bird from Patch. After a drive through Cardigan I was soon onto the Glauc with Arfon and Chris. A 2nd cal yr Yellow-legged Gull, two adult Med Gulls and the leucistic presumed Herring Gull also present.
This bird (see below) was first seen on the Teifi during August 2014 and may be responsible for several sightings around West Wales.
A drake Red-breasted Merganser, and c270 Lapwings in the estuary too.
At least one marsh harrier still present after the storm (well marked female) - alternately hunting over the reedbed and perching on bushes. Spectacular numbers of lapwing and golden plover at the upper end, swirling about presumably put up by a raptor - well over a thousand of each, didn't attempt to count them. Lots of skylark singing on the coastal fields, small parties of 50+ linnet roaming about, 4 chough. Pair of ravens and a buzzard around the pines.
Lots of small birds feeding vigorously in the damp woodland along Paddock Lane (near Milton Waterworks) inc. min. 3 normal chiffchaffs and one that was very distinctly buffish-grey above and whitish below, no suggestion of green - too mobile for finer points (and I couldn't separate its call) but watched it in the bins alongside a normal one. Any thoughts from phyllosc experts would be gratefully received.
A 2nd winter Iceland Gull at Llanstadwell this afternoon,follows an adult Yellow Leg Gull,at the same location a few weeks ago.A Great Northern Diver has been in the marina some days(not today) for the past month.Chiffchaff,and small parties of Siskin at Westfield Pill.The much photographed Marsh Tit can usually be easily found at the bird feeders.
We have a report of a Common Rosefinch seen with Goldfinches near Newport Boat Club yesterday (Sunday) lunchtime. The observers have no photos or experience of the species, but worth keeping an eye out if visiting the estuary. A Common Rosefinch did winter in a Newport garden many winters ago.
"The Newport bird visited a garden bird-table from 26 December 1991 to 8 January 1992, being the first winter record for Britain"....taken from the Avifauna - see above
Monkston Point - 6 Purple Sandpipers,15 Turnstones
& busily feeding on the rocks at the point (Tenby side) today at low
tide & a pair of Chough feeding on the grassy top of the outer rock, first
I've seen in this area for a while & 7 Oystercatcher's on the
Quick visit to the Gann revealed the Little Gull briefly in with about 120 Black Headed, also 4 med gulls below Crab Hall. A single Brent goose one of the islands and in the bay good numbers of Curlew and about 14 Great Crested Grebe.
It was fairly quiet in the general area today but two puffins flew south through the Sound (one in the morning and one in the afternoon). Two Med gulls (both 1st winter birds) also flew south through the Sound with some BH gulls this afternoon. A (winter resident?) red-throated diver was feeding off Whitesands. As well as local kestrel and peregrine, a merlin was hunting near St Justinian this morning and 12 choughs were feeding in the coastal fields.
For a short period this morning it was generally settled and sunny, warm enough for a couple of peacock butterflies to be on the wing along the coast path between Whitesands and Porthselau. One took advantage of a warm sun-lit gorse bush for a brief rest.
In the office at County Hall last Friday pretty certain I could hear Firecrest calling from the Holm Oak in the car park but could not locate it.
Today however was alerted to the call again and was treated to some good views in a Hawthorn tree outside the office window.
One Purple Sandpiper with 10 Turnstones roosting below the lifeboat station at 3pm. A walk this morning from Amroth to Saundersfoot was pretty disappointing, with around 300 Common Scoter, 1 Red-throated Diver, 8 Great Crested Grebes, 7 Red-breasted Mergansers and a adult Med Gull.