Tuesday, 13 April 2021

Cuckoo - Dinas

From Clare Ryland: Cuckoo heard twice this morning on Mynydd Dinas (presumably the same bird).

From Rosemary Royle: Also a report from Mullock Bridge this morning. 


Hooded Crow and an arrival of Willow Warblers today. 

Old Mill Grounds again today

From Toby Middlemist:

Again in Old Mill and surrounding fields today, a total of 35 Species (only 3 less than my most recent visit to the Gann)! The best birds were a pair of singing Garden Warblers who surprisingly gave me good views of themselves. A Whitethroat, 2 Sand Martins, 20+ Swallows, and numerous Willow Warbler and Blackcap were also present. 


I walked up through my Lockdown Fields towards the Ridgeway (see May 2020 Bird Diary for map) to look for wheatears. The two westernmost fields are planted with a root crop and useless for wheatears, but the other two, ploughed, tilled and farmed organically, yielded two males. I plan to keep looking, hoping for a repeat of last year's inland passage of Greenland type birds. Blackcap and willow warbler, but no garden warbler or whitethroat just yet. 

Old Mill Grounds, Haverfordwest

From Toby Middlemist:

On Sunday in Old Mill, Haverfordwest the Dipper pair were around and 1 of them had and a metal ring. 4 Siskins were around as wall a nest-building Treecreeper.
Yesterday, a blue tit pair were going in and out of a Lampost! I finally saw the Haverfordwest Peregrine, in what I presume is its usual spot, a Mistle Thrush was diving at it constantly. 2 Buzzards were upstream, I presume they breed somewhere around, as I see them quite a lot. 7 Siskin, a Red Kite, a Grey Heron, and a fishing Cormorant were around.

Monday, 12 April 2021

North Pembs coast

Two Garden Warblers were singing loudly in the hedge near our house early this morning - a typical arrival date for them in this area. We then headed up to the north coast to check out early season chough breeding activities. Several pairs were in expected places which was good to see. 

From mid-morning onwards there was a reasonable hirundine passage happening between Pwllygranant and Cemaes Head. It involved a small numbers of House Martins and in excess of 100 Swallows - mostly heading west. A female Kestrel was hunting at Cemaes, in a spot we usually see one. Ravens were busy feeding young in the nest at a usual spot. 

Great views too of snow-covered mountains in distant Snowdonia.


Castlemartin Corse - IL's travels

Wednesday and Thursday last week the tagged marsh harrier was at the Corse, on Saturday Brian saw him at Marloes Mere, today he's back at the Corse! Amazing.

No migrants about except for three handsome male wheatears at Starman's Hall. 

Sunday, 11 April 2021


 Little Ringed Plover this afternoon. 

The Gann

Spent half an hour or so with Dave at the Gann this afternoon enjoying  a total of nine Sandwich Terns that flew in for a breather before continuing their journey North.

Rath Cottage garden/Lawharden

From Francis Tusa: Female Merlin this AM attacking Mippits in the garden at Rath Cottage. Firecrest in yews in Lawharden village green c.1145 - heard, then seen, showing well for 10mins.

Just recently at Rath Cottage, a "sudden" fall of Wagtails: 4-5 Pied, 1 White.

Saturday, 10 April 2021

The Teifi

This evening a fine breeding plumage male Red-breasted Merganser off St Dogmael's Quay. (Found yesterday by Siwan Thomas)

Opposite the Quay 1 Ringed Plover and 3 Dunlin and slightly further up river 16 Redshank. Two Sandwich Terns flew around the main estuary this evening too.

Marloes Peninsula

The wing tagged Marsh harrier (IL) was hunting over the mere between 11:40-12, flushing 38 Teal, 20 Shoveler (8pr, 3-4m counted later), 5 Wigeon, 2 Gadwall, the pair of Tufties and a pair of Shelduck were still around. Hard going with little sign of new birds. Just 6 Sand martins over the mere and the occasional Swallow. Couple of pairs of Wheatear on the walk across to the Deer Park. 3 Snipe on the Deer Park, a Starling, a Chiffchaff and a Willow warbler and the resident Kestrel. A Red kite over Wooltack had the gulls up and my hopes of something better. Pair Chough, Renny Slip. Had a walk around St Ann's Head from Kete, again apart from a trickle of Swallows, a couple of Wheatear and pair Chough by Kete, it was quiet. A bit more life in the shelter of Mill Bay, with half a dozen Chiffchaff and a Willow warbler flicking around. Winds swinging next week hopefully things will start to pick up.

Pied Flycatcher and Redstart

Both a male Pied Flycatcher and a male Redstart seen in the Gwaun Valley this morning, in excess of 100 House Martins feeding above the valley yesterday morning with a number of Swallows.

Also nice to have a Hedgehog back in the garden caught on camera trap.

Friday, 9 April 2021

A typical Pembrokeshire early spring day!

 A northerly wind and sub ten degrees (C) temperatures had us heading south to the Gann and Marloes peninsular. First stop the Gann, Chiff Chaffs singing around the Lime Kiln with half a dozen Little Egrets in breeding plumage, scattered around the Pickeridge Pool, and  a single Redshank.

Forty odd Oykers with a single Whimbrel just a hundred metres or so to the seawards the footbridge and a couple of wheatears along the way. Whimbrel a bit distant but confirmed by call when disturbed by a passing walker.

Marloes Mere is great for picking up rare (N Pemb's)  but common birds such as Coot and Shoveler's 5-6 pairs, a pair of Tufties, along with teal and moorhens, two Mute Swans and two Canada Geese also, and lots of Swallows and Sand Martins (No House Martins). Bonus birds were a little group of Alba Wagtails that dropped in briefly  for a wash and brush up.  


Chough at the Deer Park

From Mike B:

Attached a photograph of a Chough seen on the Deer Park today. There were two others in the field on the left as you go down to Runwayskiln. They were for the most part feeding but on one occasion they displayed to each other and then one mounted the other.
Unfortunately no camera on this occasion.

Cuckoo - Mathry

 A Cuckoo calling near Mathry this morning.

(Shirley Matthews)

Grasshopper Warbler and Swallows

At 9:00 am this morning there was a Grashopper Warbler singing from Winterton Marsh behind the house, and also a disgruntled Swallow flying up to the currently blocked window in our old army pumphouse. We swiftly removed the temporary winter covering - they caught us out by returning too early, several days before the previous earliest date. I hope they were not put off - they have been doing a bit of twittering from the wires so hopefully it will all be OK. There were actually two Swallows involved - couldn't see whether it was two males or a pair - usually the females don't arrive till a few days after the males.

Thursday, 8 April 2021

Out and about

Had a wander today around St Anne’s head, first time outside Haverfordwest since last year.

Had half a dozen wheatear and about dozen Chough and a single white wag, but little else in the biting wind.

The Siskin I reported earlier in the month have now built in number, next-doors feeders being the attraction. I think the birds have set up territory in the woodland and were attracting the females with their full song, would be interested to hear from others on this?

A small gathering of swallow just now probably due to the wind dropping with a male goshawk over much to the herring gulls dissatisfaction.

Castlemartin Coast

 At Stack Rocks this morning 400+ Razorbills on the sea close in around the stacks and on the stacks themselves c.30 Razorbills in pairs with a smaller number of Guillemots.

On a walk of 2 miles or so towards St Govan’s c.250 Golden Plover  were swirling around over the range. A Merlin was seen briefly and 15 Chough - a loose group of 9, a pair and 4 soaring together overhead.

Migrants were a little thin on the ground with just 1 Sand Martin, 2 Swallows and 10 Wheatears.

Early afternoon at Broadhaven South a dozen or so Swallows drifted past over a couple of hours in singles with a lone Sand Martin. Quiet in the valley behind the beach with a couple of Blackcaps and 5 Chiffchaffs.

Newport Thurs am

 An impressive 15 Shelducks on the Long Street mud. Single Greenshank & Grey Plover.

Redshank Black 82, ringed at the Gann last Dec, has been at Newport since mid January.

Great Black Back Green B:160 was ringed as a nestling on Bardsey in 2019. By Oct that year it was on Skomer & at the Gann. In Feb 2020 it was spotted in Brittany, before returning to Pembs in October (the Gann & Newport) then Newport again today. "One of the most recorded and well travelled birds from the gull ringing project on Bardsey" to quote Steve Stansfield, the Warden.

Wednesday, 7 April 2021

Marloes Peninsula

Surprisingly mild once the wind had eased this evening with plenty of midges on the wing. Dozen Swallows and a single Sand martin by the barb wire gate, 12 pairs Teal, 6pr Shoveler plus 5m, and a pair of Wigeon. Single Chiffchaff and single Willow warbler. Female Merlin dashed through. 5 Chough in Trehills fields. 10 Wheatear on the coast path inc a pair at Renny Slip, male Kestrel same area. A Song thrush in Martins Haven and a Snipe on the Deer Park, don't usually see many of them here. 3 Blackbirds (2m) on the Deer Park and a Ring ouzel-like deep, dry tuk-tuk-tuk from the thick blackthorn behind the toilet block but not showing.


 3 Purple Sandpipers with 4 Turnstones on the rocks directly below the path just past the new Lifeboat Station. No sign of the Walrus.

Castlemartin Corse

No sign of the GWE reported on Twitter, though it could have been there somewhere - I didn't look upstream. Our wing-tagged marsh harrier was hunting, mostly along the north side of the Corse - here seen against the newly ploughed field on Kilpaison Burrows. Contrary to the Twitter report he's still male! 

I finally saw a party of swallows, from the car near Maiden Wells. 

Woodcock, keeston

 A woodcock caught on trail camera in wet woodland near Keeston, April 5th.