Saturday, 28 March 2020

Skok

The fourth spring record for Skok of Coal Tit today. Also a Red Kite. Up to four Black Redstart in recent days, but only two found today.

Friday, 27 March 2020

Ring Ouzel still

We watched the Ring Ouzel this evening for over an hour, feeding on the Trehill Farm fields: a lovely bird.
Finally decided to try to take some photos with a point and shoot camera, and rewarded accordingly.
Elsewhere: still individual Wheatears around, but much quieter. No Chiffchaffs seen/heard this afternoon, as the Northerly wind picked up.

Greenfinch, revival?

My first Greenfinch for a couple of years, singing in St Thomas church cemetery, H'west this morning.

Radford Pill to Carew Mill

Dunlin in the mix today alongside greenshank, redshank, knot and black-tailed godwit (which were widely scattered today). Blue-sky thinking from this little egret (feet covered in thick black mud). But no sign of yesterday's mystery wader for which I'm still kicking myself.




Skomer

Ring Ouzel and Black Redstart in North Haven, first Blue Tit at Green Pond

Morning walk

Only a single Chiffchaff this morning and strangely no skylarks, but we did see a fox with something in its mouth - we thought it was a rabbit at first but no, it was a small foxcub (dark grey, blunt muzzle, pointy ears) and she must have been relocating it, though it was broad daylight.

Cuckoo, Thursday


From Graham Brace - A cuckoo was seen in a hedgerow near the caravan park at Black Tar, Llangwm yesterday afternoon (27th March). The sex of the bird was not determined but the observer who reported it to me is reliable and knowledgeable and assured me that, from its flight, posture, colouring and size, she was not confusing it with a collared dove, fieldfare or sparrowhawk.
 
I note from 'Bird Spot' that there have been several cuckoo sightings around the country over the last week or so.

Heathfield GP...

Heathfield GP walk quite interesting this morning.
Greylag is unusual here and there were: Goldeneye, Gadwall, Shoveler, Tufted Duck, Teal and Mallard. Lots of Sand Martins and Chiffchaffs and a Fox.
(Mike Y P)

Ring Ouzel Martin’s Haven

A stonking male Ring Ouzel on the Deer Park Wall at 0900 took our Garden Lockdown List to 25. It flew off onto the Trehill Farm fields. Yesterday we had added Goldfinch and Kestrel, with another 5 species, including Gannet and Hen Harrier, having been seen from the garden but not in it!

Still a trickle of Chiffchaffs and Wheatears coming through, but only ones and twos at present. But it was nice to see a pair of Wheatears inspecting a former rabbit hole on the cliff edge.

Yesterday a real treat on our evening walk was a small pod of Common Dolphins in St Bride’s Bay.

Camrose

It's been a couple of interesting mornings in Camrose with the splendid sun rises, on the birding side are new Blackcaps, Chiffchaffs and a single Redwing this morning (straggler). We have had some good feedback this season on Redwing ringed in Pembrokeshire from the Netherlands, Germany and Spain. As for our longevity birds we have a 6 year old Dunnock and a 5 year old Chaffinch showing their readiness for the 2020 breeding season.

Thursday, 26 March 2020

St Florence

From David Collins: a stroll, late afternoon, out of St. Florence, along Trefloyne Lane towards Kiln Park. I managed to see a couple of Red Kites, still a few Redwings, saw and heard numerous Chiffchaffs, plus a Cetti's Warbler calling several times in the reedbed opposite the golf course.

Garden/country lane birding around Landshipping

The last couple of days have been absolutely glorious here - spring has well and truly sprung. A real pleasure to be out in the garden or undertaking exercise walks along the country lanes.

Chiffchaffs are increasing in numbers daily here, blackcap numbers too - two males singing in our garden hedges this morning. We heard our first willow warbler in the valley below our place today. All the resident species are just singing their heads off. Surprisingly still no obvious hirundines noted here just yet.

A few of the garden/hedgerow birds








Skokholm

Three Black Redstart and two Red Kite today.

Gann

Highlights of our hour long ramble from the house included a Gannet feeding in the bay (viewable from the garden), 21 Brent Geese, a single Great Northern Diver and 5 Ringed Plover.  4 Little Egrets flew across towards Dale to roost, and our first Grey Heron for a while was on the lagoon.

A flock of 55 Oystercatchers were roosting on the beach as the tide came up, 10 of them were ringed and we managed to read all of them.  Also read 2 of the colour-ringed Redshank, which are starting to come into their breeding finery.  Numbers of most of the winter visitors are down: just 3 Wigeon (down from 100+ peak) and a handful of teal.


Hakin, Milford Haven

I went on a walk up Jetty Road, Hakin, Milford Haven after a friend reported hearing a very early Wood Warbler singing there yesterday.

There was no sign of the Wood Warbler, but there was plenty of other birds there, among them 2 Blackcaps, several Chiffchaffs, a Nuthatch calling, a few Song Thrushes and a Greenfinch which seemed to be posing for photos. The present situation is certainly giving me an incentive to explore my local area more.


Radford Pill to Carew Mill

(Within walking distance - an hour door to door!)

A redshank and greenshank were observing social distancing in Radford Pill. Otherwise just 4 teal, a little egret and a few black-headed gulls.

After I'd turned the corner into the Carew River, a flock of 80 black-tailed godwit were feeding upstream, a few in summer plumage including two strikingly brick-red individuals - could they be  Dave's islandica birds?

Best of all, a tight group of 9 knot feeding with the godwits. Bob and Annie, or Richard C, may know differently, but I've never seen knot here before. PS - Brian S has just texted me - is that a curlew sandpiper with the knots - aaarrgh!






Wednesday, 25 March 2020

Skokholm

Firecrest and two Black Redstart today.

Osprey - The Teifi

From the description and the gulls reaction, sounds like one went through the Teifi estuary mid afternoon today.

Osprey - Monday

From Graham Brace - An osprey was sighted at Port Lion early on Monday afternoon (23rd) and again in Llangwm Pill later. Both sightings were reported to me by reliable sources. Sadly, I wasn't around to see it myself!

Even more Goldies

Some forty birds (that I could see from the kitchen Windows) over our house at St Ishmael's this afternoon, heading towards the fields around Monkhaven / Trewarren farm (?)

Martin’s Haven migrants

A chilly start to the day, but migrants are starting to flow through now.

A pair of Wheatear were on the Deer Park directly above Renny’s Slip. And warblers became increasingly visible as the sun warmed the bushes. We had perhaps a dozen Chiffchaffs in the valley at lunchtime, a male Blackcap, and a singing Willow Warbler: a real treat!

Interestingly, the Chough seem to have had a pretty good winter: there are often groups of 5-7 over the valley, presumably youngsters; the pairs that traditionally nest around the Deer Park seem to keep apart from them both in the air and on the ground.

Postscript: mid-afternoon most of the Chiffchaffs had moved on, but another pair of Wheatears in the Car Park field

More Goldies

Yesterday afternoon a flock of around 250 Golden Plover flew high over Mullock Bridge calling occasionally and almost restless in the way they kept moving south then north but disappeared south in the end.  You could just about see them with the naked eye.
Cetti's singing across the road in the scubby stuff today too plus a few Greenfinch on the feeders and singing in the scrub - nice to see them as they have been very scarce over winter.

Hen Harriers on St Davids Peninsula.

A stunning male Hen Harrier at Dowrog before the lock-down on Sunday was my first male there this winter. There has been a ringtail roosting that looks like its moulting into a male, with pale grey feathers amongst the brown. Yesterday, now confined at home near Trefin, i could hear (from the garden) Snipe, alarm calling as a few birds scattered in all directions - the culprit being a ringtail Hen Harrier hunting low - lots of grey feathering, so maybe the bird from Dowrog. Ive also seen probably the same bird hunting the fields south of Llanrhian a few times.
Yesterday an obvious influx of Chiffchaffs, with singing birds all over the place, with a passage Wheatear at Llanrhian (all on the one daily allowable walk).
Finally, again pre-lockdown, an almost entirely white Magpie in a roadside hedge by the Fishguard Fort car park on Sunday.

Tuesday, 24 March 2020

A home patch walk - Landshipping area this afternoon

We managed a walk along quiet country lanes in our home patch near Landshipping this afternoon. This is a regular route we walk from home for general exercise and so today's was well within the rigorous restriction guidelines. 

Chiffchaffs were among the many birds singing along the route. Song Thrushes especially were in full song on this fine, spring afternoon. We noted several small flocks of goldfinches - these have been gradually returning to the area in recent weeks. No swallows noted here just yet but they will be any day soon.

We were watching a flock of around 80-100 teal and 12 redshanks, resting and bathing at Landshipping Quay when suddenly, the whole lot exploded into the air in a state of obvious panic! This was caused by the local male goshawk passing through, heading over the Cleddau towards the Fowborough area. 

Photographed into direct sun-light and so difficult to capture plumage details


It was high tide and five little egrets flew to a roost in some nearby trees (a regular location). Earlier in the day the local pair of greylags flew over our house - undertaking one of their regular daily early morning flights across our garden to the estuary. 


Our records entered to BirdTrack etc this summer are likely to be somewhat limited and biased to our garden and our local patch. However, it will be intersting to see if we can add any new species to the garden list (firecrest being a new one this year a few weeks ago). It will be enjoyable anyway, as well as providing some good physical and mental exercise!        

Skokholm

A small fall included the first Willow Warbler of our year, 22 Chiffchaff and six Goldcrest. The auks again arrived en masse.

Home birding....

Delighted to see a flock of 250 Golden Plovers flying around the local fields this evening, presumably they were looking for a field to roost for the night. Small numbers - up to 30-50 winter on the Frenni just above Boncath, but unusual this close to home.

Pembrokeshire Lockdown Bird Challenge

A message from David Ord who has generated a Facebook Page called 'Pembrokeshire Lockdown Bird Challenge’.

'Here are three challenges for people in Pembrokeshire to join in to help alleviate the boredom of staying at home/in the garden during the coronavirus crisis: 1) How big a list of birds seen / heard from home or garden can we collectively accumulate? 2) How big a list of birds can we photograph from home/garden 3) How many drawings/paintings of birds in the Pembrokeshire Avifauna can we create? For details of how to contribute please look for 'The Rules of the Challenges’ on the Facebook Page ‘Pembrokeshire Lockdown Bird Challenge’. Hope to see you join, participate and enjoy!'

Redwing,etc Strumble\Fishguard 22/3/20.

Migrants seen over the past week included Alba\White Wagtail &Wheatear  Fishguard (outer breakwater) 3 Sand Martins 22nd   and two Swallows 23rd  along with a rather splendid Redwing photographed by my partner, Fran on Saturday 21st near Strumble.


Wryneck, Nolton Haven

A report of a Wryneck at Nolton Haven over the weekend.

Monday, 23 March 2020

Martin’s Haven & Marloes Mere

Derek got the best of the Wheatears this morning, and we saw neither them nor any Chiffchaffs today.   But the Stonechats are holding on to their territories, and plenty of other evidence of nest-building going on. Plus my first Adder of the year!

An evening walk to the Mere was notable for the number and variety of duck in the calm, if chilly, evening. We had double-digit numbers each of Mallard, Wigeon, Shoveller, Teal, plus Andy & Helen’s Pochard (a really smart bird), a pair of Shelduck, and two Gadwall. A Chiffchaff calling, and Chaffinch and Reed Bunting singing.

St David's Head, Heathfield GP...

The first Willow Warbler with usual recent trickle of Chiffs, Wheatears and Goldcrests at St David’s Hd this morning.

I used to bird Heathfield GP but it declined badly. It’s close so will try to cover it this Spring given the situation. 1st visit today - 1 Goldeneye, 30 Sand Martins and 2 Kingfishers.
Found Black, Fudge and Ring-neck Ducks etc there in the past.
(Mike Young-Powell)

Castlemartin Corse

Six chough a couple of days ago, eight today. Young non-breeders, Bob suspects. Also a pair of greylags grazing near Starman's Hall, later flew up the Corse. A pair has been present early in the breeding season for the last couple of years. No migrants today, unless Rob Lewis, who was arriving as I was leaving, saw something after I'd left.



Pochard - Marloes Mere

A drake Pochard was at Marloes Mere opposite the Britton Hide early this morning. Other birds included plenty of Mallards and Shovellers, plus Teal, Wigeon, Coot, Moorhen, Little Grebe, two Canada Geese, a Mute Swan, Stonechat, Chiffchaffs and four Black-tailed Godwits flying over.
Here is a distant record shot of the Pochard.



The Teifi

A freezing frosty wander on the marsh produced little other than Chiffchaffs singing.
Plenty of  Razorbills and Guillemots on the sea and flying past the headland - also a Great Northern Diver flew east. A single Grey Plover from St Dogmael's Quay was the 1st of the year.

The 4pm visit today, 16 Black-tailed Godwits were feeding riverside on the marsh and some great coloured bird. One colour-ringed bird which went behind reeds before I could see the legs well enough....!

Wheatears

Just following on from Sash's post, 6 Wheatears in the field behind the car park this morning.

Sunday, 22 March 2020

St David’s, Lochvane

From Steve Jarvis - St Davids Golf Course
Kestrel, Sparrow Hawk and a Red Kite today, with Chough calling overhead.
In Lochvane more Chough, Raven in display flight, lots of Stonechat and a steady flow of singing Chiff Chaff. Still only 9C but a feel of isolated Spring!

Willow Tit, Redwing

From Harry Grub - Willow tit singing @ Henrys moat ( near Tufton)
Redwing singing ( I’m pretty sure ) Brandy Brook ford ( upstream from Newgale )
Golden plover, some in summer plumage Mynydd Melyn ( north of Cwm Gwaun )

Martin’s Haven: two “falls”

First thing this morning both Deer Park and Trehill fields felt pretty quiet: just Stonechats and a handful of Meadow Pipits. But, at about 1000, Chiffchaffs started falling into the valley, sitting on the Deer Park wall, and hawking out and around the sallows. I lost count at a dozen at any one time, with a handful of male Blackcaps thrown in. Most were quiet: only one was in full song.

About an hour later the Wheatears arrived. The field directly next to the NT car park has been fallow for two years now, and has a stunning collection of wild flowers and plants. And the Wheatears gravitated to it: again, up to a dozen at a time, split approximately two thirds males, one third females.

Most had moved on by the evening, but not all. Really looking forward to see what/who arrives tomorrow.

Glynaeron this afternoon

A beautiful afternoon up in the Glynaeron area, looking for willow tits, produced a positive record which was pleasing. Chiffchaffs were singing in the plantation, plus quite a few siskins displaying there too. A singing blackcap in our garden was a new arrival here this morning.   

Early Arrivals

3 singing Chiffchaffs today at Llandilo (the first was last Sunday) and my 1st Blackcap singing at Honeyborough (Neyland) was last Wednesday.

St Govan’s, Carew

At St Govan’s this morning after a long search I finally found 2 Wheatears - both females and very flighty. c.350 Golden Plover were on the move over Castlemartin Range and a couple of Peregrines hacked past chasing each other.
Yesterday at Carew on the mudflats on the river by the mill there were 78 Black Tailed Godwits, 8 Redshank and a couple of Dunlin.