Tuesday, 22 January 2019

Great Grey Shrike - Puncheston Common

Great Grey Shrike this afternoon about 3.45pm, Puncheston Common.

Jean Dovey

Monday, 21 January 2019

Divers at Little Haven and St Brides, Scaup at Marloes Mere

After Steve Jones's post yesterday, I thought I'd go have a look for these divers at Little Haven. I didn't quite expect to see as many, as close in as I did! Around mid-afternoon, just south of Little Haven, between Musselwick and Goultrop Roads, there were 2 Great Northern Divers, 5 Red-throated Divers and 1 Black-throated Diver. 5 unidentified divers were a bit further out. Also out in the bay were 2 Shag, 2 Guillemot and 1 2cy Iceland Gull. A Red Kite was also circling quite far out above the bay.

Next I stopped in at St Brides. No sign of the recently seen Black Redstart, but plenty of Meadow pipits and Rock pipits feeding on the beach with 12 Turnstone. Out in the bay there were 2 Great Northern Divers and 1 Red-throated Diver.

Finally, I stopped in at Marloes Mere. It was pretty windy by this point so everything was mostly tucked away. Briefly saw the drake Pintail, but had good views of 2 Scaup (drake and female) which were with 4 Tufted Ducks. Later on at dusk, 1 Ringtail Hen Harrier, 1 Merlin, 1 Peregrine and 1 Buzzard all made an appearance within a 15 minute period.


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Sunday, 20 January 2019

Teifi estuary - Black-throated Diver

Teifi WeBS count started well today with the Cattle Egret in a field with cattle opposite St Dogmael's slipway. At least 800 Lapwing were flying around. Redshank have numbered about 60 for several weeks now. Shelduck are increasing with 26 today. Teal and Wigeon numbers seemed low for January.
Jon G refound the wintering Water Pipit by Swallow Boats for the first time this year causing a mini Teifi twitch! He also found a Black-throated Diver in the bay towards Cemaes Head. Two Great-crested Grebes were near the old Poppit Lifeboat station, one winter, one summer plumaged.

Once again the regular Barn Owl was hunting over the Teifi Marsh late afternoon from 16.15 giving the gathered photographers good views.


Checked the reservoir with Paul G and Paul M. 4 adult Yellow-legged gulls, 6 Meds (4 adult, a 2cy and a 3cy). 22 Great-crested grebe was most I've seen. 12 Goldeneye (5m) and pair Goosander. Unfortunately the roost was really late to form, with the majority of the gulls only coming onto the water once the light had almost gone. They eventually formed a good sized roost stretching almost a kilometre from the trout pens to almost the hide but too dark to check thoroughly.

Black Redstart - St Brides

The Black Redstart wasn't seen today but ...yesterday.
Black Redstart at St Brides again, jumping about on the church roof.
(Chris Taylor)

Raptor day

Woken at 7 ish by the pair of Tawney’s in the wood at home, followed by a run to the trip, (to dispose of fly tipping from the woodland) a male Kestrel at light a pipe farm (not observed here before) Buzzard and Sparowhawk, finished at Plumstone with a Red Kite cruising around at about 4pm followed at about 4.45pm by two ringtail’s and a single male Hen Harrier.
And nearly ran a Woodcock over on the road heading home.

Red Throated Diver @ Broadhaven

6 RT Divers between Broad Haven and Little Haven this morning with a single Great Northern.  30+ Common Scoter with some very close in and a single Guillemot just off The Point at Little Haven.
Later a male then a ringtail Hen Harrier hunted the fields between Trefin and Square and Compass.


Quick walk around the Gann between 14:00 - 15:00.

Ring-tailed hen harrier and sparrowhawk hunting over salt marsh and the Raven pair busy carrying large sticks to their nest. 170 lapwing high overhead, a flushed flock of 45+ snipe and 65 curlew (flushed by harrier not me!) and an arrival of redwing in the hedgerows.

Of note on the beach 15 Brent geese with the hooded crow.

On the pools an additional 7 mute swans (5 ad + 2 1st-winter) have joined the resident pair, kingfisher and woodcock in the Crabhall stream.


I had a report early this morning of 32 swans flying in a line near St David's golf coarse then over
Penberry rock and out to sea species unknown.I had 5 Whooper swans flying low over St David's
Rugby club later this morning heading west,wonder if they were all Whoopers heading to Ireland.

Saturday, 19 January 2019

Dowrog dusk raptors

After a couple of blank visits to Dowrog Common we had an incredible last 3/4 of an  hour of daylight Firstly some nice views of a ringtail Hen Harrier that tried to sneak up behind us but gave close views as it crossed the road and on over the moor and thorns. It disappeared for a little while before appearing with a second ringtail  and  a lovely Barn Owl.
One of the Harriers jousted with the Owl but to no real effect and the owl carried on hunting as the harriers  flickered  around in the background.A Goshawk shot low and fast  across the moor like a low level bomber, its barred breast very obvious but a much smaller falcon almost eluded me until it started chasing a  Meadow Pipit  ascending after it, obviously a Merlin!

Little owl, Marloes Mere

Late visit to check for harriers, nothing appeared but met Paul who'd had a Ringtail earlier. The adult Pintail looking splendid, a Kestrel flew through and a Water rail was paddling around out on the mere. Walking back in the gloom a Little owl called from the direction of the old Youth hostel.

Teifi Marshes - Barn Owl

Barn Owls on the marshes have been pretty nocturnal until recently. We now have either a "new Owl" or a regular bird that now hunts in early dusk, hunting from c1630 to 1700 this evening.

Best watched from Mallard hide, providing compensation to locals for the current lack of Starlings. The above photo taken this evening by Tommy Evans.

Little Milford...

Plenty of Common Snipe and small waders...

This flock of Snipe in flight and c200 Dunlin feeding along the estuary.
(John Archer-Thomson)

Castlemartin Corse

WEBS with Rob Lewis. A good morning for raptors - 2 marsh harriers, 2 ringtail hen harriers, 2 buzzards and a male peregrine. Snipe about 120, lapwing 1200, 50 golden plover, 40 curlew, 20 black-tailed godwit. A Cetti's sang briefly. But no wildfowl, not so much as a teal.

Starman's Hall and rainbow

Thursday, 17 January 2019

Green Sandpipers

One or two Green Sandpipers winter around our garden but we beat the record today with three on the pond. A Little Egret at Ivor's Pond, St Davids was unusual this morning.

Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Common Gulls Newport again

A footnote to yesterdays post.
At lunchtime I counted 124 Common Gulls. There were 2 Norwegian birds.
White JA956 had been ringed as an ad in June 17. The only sightings were at Newport in Dec 17 & today.
Green J3M6 was ringed as a juv in Aug 15. Before today the only sightings have been at Newport in Jan & Dec 16, Dec 18 & New Years day 2 weeks ago.

Monday, 14 January 2019

Gann and St Brides

From Sandy Hill - Trip to Gann either side of noon as tide began to fall produced female/imm Goldeneye, half a dozen dabchick, good numbers of Wigeon & Teal on pools, alongside oiks, Redshank, at least 2 Greenshank. 30+ Curlew on saltmarsh. 5+ Reed Bunting in shrubs close to estuary was new for me here. No obvious signs of oil along shoreline, with 22 Ringed Plover & single Dunlin only waders roosting on near shore. Hooded Crow feeding on shoreline & R B Merganser once picked up on sea kept drifting further out towards G N Diver which was way off in the bay.
Black Redstart was immediately evident on church roof when I arrived at St Brides at 1.15, but then became more mobile. Nice group of 8 Turnstone at top of beach, with couple of pairs of Stonechat working fence lines. Red Kite joined Buzzard briefly to forage over newly ploughed field & despite working the local woodland, nothing of note added.

Cattle Egret and Teifi gulls

The Cattle Egret was on the riverside this morning (Wendy J) by 4pm the Cattle Egret was back in a field above the estuary feeding with Herring Gulls, viewed best from roadside on way to Poppit.

Gulls -- having read Sam's excellent post below on the Newport Common Gulls a few notes from the Teifi. Today we thought 500 Common Gulls was likely conservative estimate with 5 Med Gulls amongst the Black-headed. Post Christmas the Teifi regularly holds numbers high numbers, though  high counts of 2000 Common Gulls in the winter of 1999/2000 stand out.
(Arfon W and Rich D)

Black redstart, St Brides

From Steve Cook - just about to leave when I noticed a grey bird on the seaweed looking at me, it moved a little flashing its red tail. A Rock pipit lunged at it and it flew to the rocks. Did not expect a Black redstart on the seaweed, and was able to watch it for a few minutes.


Good numbers of Black Tailed Godwit (29) on the mud flats opposite and just upstream of Millin Pill at low tide today.
(David Ord)

Little Stint at Cosheston

Quick look at lunchtime - amongst the Redshanks a Little Stint on Cosheston Point, seen from the Car Park. 8 Black Tailed Godwits a few hundred Lapwing and a Greenshank were there also.

Common Gulls at Newport

The number of Wintering Common Gulls at Newport has increased markedly over the last few years. There is no suggestion from the annual reports of any overall change in numbers in Pembs, though the Atlas suggests more gains than losses in SW Wales. This amateurish graph shows the average of the Winter (Nov - Feb) Webs counts at Newport recently.

The first ringed bird I saw was in Dec 2012, & since then I have seen 13 different Norwegian birds. The Norwegian ringers allow access to their data so that you can follow later sightings of "your" birds. All have been ringed as chicks or nesting adults at a variety of sites in SW Norway. All subsequent Summer sightings are in Norway, usually at the ringing site & never more than a couple of km away. Apart from one report from Devon all UK sightings have been at Newport, with most birds being seen in several years. There are no other reports of these birds from anywhere.
The only other ringed birds were 2 ringed in Hamburg as chicks & both seen c 6mo later. I don't have access to later sightings.
Presumably there are Scottish colour ringed birds. Where do they Winter?

(Apologies for the formatting & the graph migrating from its original position between paras 1 & 2. All outwith my control)