February 2021

Highlights: A productive spell at Cardiff Bay produced a second calendar-year Bonaparte’s Gull, the long-staying Caspian Gull, two Little Gulls, the wintering female Ring-necked Duck, a Scaup, two or three Siberian Chiffchaffs and the first UK Sand Martin of the year (19th). The Ogmore Estuary Kumlien’s Gull (first seen in early January) called in there occasionally, but also made forays to Cosmeston and Sker. Two Whooper Swans were briefly at Llwyn-onn Reservoir (1st). A maxmum of 43 Brent Geese was at Aberthaw, while a family party of five commuted between Newton, Ogmore Estuary and Sker. A Scaup was on the pools at Rhoose Point. Two Red-breasted Mergansers flew past Rhych Point, Porthcawl. Cold weather saw some Little Egret movement, with sightings from some less usual locations, such as Llynfi Valley (the first record for the valley), Monknash, over Llanishen and in Bryngarw Country Park. A Marsh Harrier was a good find at Mynydd Pwll-yr-lwrch, above Maesteg. Wintering Common Sandpipers were noted at Green Point and Ogmore Estuary (two). The best Purple Sandpiper tally was 11 from Sker. A count of 17 Jack Snipe was made at Llanharry. Water Pipits were present at Green Point and Ogmore Estuary. Black Redstarts occurred at Gileston (two), Southerndown, Sully and Cathays. The first Wheatear was an early arrival at Southerndown (27th). Firecrests were observed at Forest Farm and Burrows Well (Merthyr Mawr Warren), where a Siberian Chiffchaff was also seen.
Summary by Paul Roberts

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