Tuesday, 18 December 2018

Newport update

Med Gull white 3NNT was ringed as a chick in Holland in June 2015. It has since been reported in Cornwall, Shropshire & N Ireland but not back in Europe.
Incidentally, the count of both Common Gulls & Water Pipits sent Birdtrack into the red.

Monday, 17 December 2018

Castlemartin Corse

Flooded again - it won't be for long so catch it while it lasts.....

The main action was once again inland from the pine trees - >100 greylags, > 300 black-tailed godwit (following Bob's post and Clive's sightings the other day). Just one marsh harrier on patrol today, 2 buzzards. Uncountable golden plover overhead,  lots of lapwing, a few curlew. Still, puzzlingly, no ducks.

Newport am

2 Water Pipits on the grassy island by the bridge. 96 common Gulls & Med White 3NNT.

Sunday, 16 December 2018

Great Northern Diver

Great Northern Diver still at Solva harbour at high water which was around lunch time today.

Buff-tailed Bumble Bee

Not a bird I know, but interestingly we have had a queen buff-tailed bumble bee in our garden regularly for some weeks now, probably Bombus terrestris. She feeds on the three winter flowering honeysuckle bushes and usually has two large pollen baskets aboard. Hopefully, once the hellebores come out in the next few weeks she will be able to transfer to those. We have had queens on hellebores at Christmas before.

Pen Anglas

It was wonderful watching a couple of Risso's dolphins at Pen Anglas this afternoon - close in and leaping all over the place. Really cheered me up in spite of the rain and passing hail storm. Also, 2-3 harbour porpoises, even closer in - within 10 m of the rocky shore at Crincoed Pt. and often visible when they were swimming just below the surface. Plus a yearling grey seal struggling to consume a cephalopod that was stuck to its face, while being harrassed by two great black-backs! And a fabulous red-throated diver. (A flock of 30 fieldfares up at Dinas Mountain yesterday evening.)

Friday, 14 December 2018

Whooper Swan - The Teifi

A Whooper Swan over Mallard Hide on the Teifi Marshes at 2pm today

Sighting and Photo Colin Dalton

Marloes Mere

Good numbers of duck despite the wind, including the very smart drake Pintail. Strangely, no Gadwall seen today, but a Water Rail flushed. Also regular Snipe all across this end of the Marloes peninsular.
At least two Hen Harriers seen around the Mere, and then later over the Trehill Farm fields: a clearly-marked immature bird and a female. These were seen flying West after 1500, presumably to roost on Skomer.
A Peregrine diving into a flock of Jackdaws was the first that I have seen out here for several months.


Great Northern Diver still at Solva earlier this morning. Still catching lots of crabs - very mobile, as they are.

Thursday, 13 December 2018

Kilpaison and Pembroke Dock

Kilpaison this morning 2 hours after high tide, 14 Brent geese, 150+ Dunlin, 8 Ringed plover, 4 Turnstone, 1 Grey plover, 20 Oystercatchers, 5 Redshank.
At Front Street, Pembroke Dock, 14 Redshank, 2 Curlew, 2 Oystercatchers, 1 Shellduck.
Fort Road, Pembroke Dock, 2 Great crested grebes.
Mike Davey.

Black-tailed Godwits at Angle Harbour yesterday - a record count?

Clive Hurford emailed to say that he'd counted 451 black-tailed godwits on the shingle spit at Angle Harbour on Wedns morning.

This must surely be a record flock-size for this species in the vice-county or, if not, very close to one!

Purely based on WeBs data, the previous highest totals in Pembs are of 226 at Pembroke River in October this year, and 200 at Angle Bay just a few days ago.

The pattern of increasing numbers during the last 20 years is pretty clear though from the WeBs data below. This graph is based only on single monthly counts from the various embayments of the Cleddau Estuary/Milford Haven system, between Sept. and March each year (since Sept. 1965).

Although WeBs counts are a valuable means of recording species population trends, around the UK etc such counts will inevitably often miss peak numbers of birds passing through particular areas. 

Part of the Black-tailed Godwit flock photographed by Clive Hurford yesterday
Were any others seen at Castlemartin Corse, or in other areas of the county, that day?  
A very good count anyway!

A windy wander around Dale and the Gann

A very blustery morning out at Dale today where I was treated to a wonderful lapwing display on arrival. Easily over 100 birds in the fields around the perimiter of the airfield.

It's safe to say that when in doubt, still head out! There were lots of skylark, reedies and some stunning starling murmurations.

Whilst the Gann was mostly quiet there was good fishing to be had for cormorants and a number of curlew were sat roadside of the estuary so got to observe them at close proximity. Absolutely bitter cold, but a good few hours birding!

Wednesday, 12 December 2018

Cattle Egret -- The Teifi

The Cattle Egret in the field opposite St Dogmael's Quay at 330pm today and a flock of  c180/190 Lapwings are current residents in or around the main estuary.

Great Northern Diver @ Solva

A GN Diver in Solva Harbour close to the car park was catching crab after crab this morning. At the sewage works a Chiffchaff and Coal Tit. 300 Lapwing at Penarthur crossroads nr St Davids. Merlin and ringtail Hen Harrier at Dowrog. 27 Wigeon at Penberi Pool.

Tawny Owl on Dredgeman Hill

A tawny owl was flying south-west along the hedge on the western side of Dredgeman Hill at 2015hrs yesterday.

Tuesday, 11 December 2018


Surprisingly high numbers of Golden Plover (1,550) & Lapwing (1,380) on my WeBS count today at Hook, given we haven't had a really cold spell, nearly all the birds at the mouth of Sprinkle Pill on the mud on the falling tide.  Some Lapwing were also using the adjacent fields which contained 260 Canada Geese & 8 Greylags.  Just the 1 Greenshank, but Shoveler now seem to be regular here with 7 birds recorded today.  In total, 4,524 individuals of the 25 recordable species (with Lisa Morgan).

Plumstone Harriers

An adult male Hen Harrier was hunting around Plumstone Mountain this afternoon and was joined by two more adult males and a female towards evening.


From David Ord - I called in Marloes Mere on Sunday and enjoyed the spectacle of it bursting to life as a hen harrier passed overhead. I’d estimate about 40 + snipe rose in alarm and, lakes with a few shoveler and mallard on them suddenly became full of teal and other ducks. I saw the drake pintail - very nice. Also a female pintail. 

From Vicky Pearson - On Sunday 9th I saw 2 turnstones and 2 grey wagtails on the beach at St Brides Haven and a kestrel hovering over the church yard, pretty quickly chased away by a raven, although the kestrel gave as good as she got and returned the chase!