Vale of Glamorgan

A full day’s birding today around a few sites in the eastern Vale produced 74 species, including:
Gileston/Aberthaw: 9 Golden Plover, 10 Pale-bellied Brent Geese, 2 Peregrine, 1 Kestrel, 20 Ringed Plover, 13 Curlew, 2 Snipe;
Flemingston Moor: 300+ Lapwing, 4 Stock Dove;
Barry Docks: Mediterranean Gull
Cosmeston: Marsh Tit, Water Rail, Cetti’s Warbler, Siskin

Cosmeston and Barry Dock

Two redhead Goosander were on the East Lake at Cosmeston at noon today. The female Goldeneye was still on the West Lake along with at least 7 Gadwall and 25 Pochard. An over-wintering Chiffchaff was in Cogan Wood.

Later in the day an adult Mediterranean Gull was with 45 Black-headed Gull on railings at Barry Waterfront.


Yesterday afternoon at the lagoon a Snipe sat out in the open on one of the islands, 8 Little Grebe, a Kingfisher, 2 Water Rail calling and 2 Mute Swan. On the saltmarsh a Redshank, 11 Rock Pipit and 3 Mute Swan.

At the rivermouth 14 Brent Geese (2 dark-bellied, 12 pale-bellied) and 135 Wigeon on the sea (flew in from up-channel).

Barry and Sully

This afternoon at local sites (high tide 1535):
Barry Old Harbour (about 1.5 hours before high tide) – 13 Redshank, 5 Dunlin and 7 Oystercatcher
Sully Island/Beach/Bendrick – 8 Lapwing (on Sully Island), 22 Ringed Plover, 27 Turnstone, 8 Curlew, 46 Oystercatcher

Cosmeston, St Mary’s Well Bay Road and Sully beach

Ring Ouzel still in the West Paddock at Cosmeston earlier this morning, in the shallow valley between the dragonfly pond and the fenced area (snipe field) to the north. On the lakes 5 Shoveler, 2 drake Pochard and the Aythya hybrid.

Yesterday afternoon a male Brambling with Chaffinch flock in tree along St Mary’s Well Bay Road between the disused railway bridge and the caravan site. The flock was mobile over the fields and hedgerows east of the road. Fieldfare and Redwing there too.

On Sully beach yesterday afternoon a single Grey Plover close to the water’s edge between the sailing club slipway and Burnham Avenue beach car park. My first there this autumn.

Hensol Forest – Mynydd y Glew and Coed y Mariau

Mid morning/early afternoon visit on Saturday. Several small groups of Crossbill, mostly in flight and typically 2-6 birds. Excellent views of perched adult male Crossbill. Twenty four species in total including a Sparrowhawk, 3 Nuthatch, 3 Jay, 3 Siskin, 2 Mistle Thrush, 3 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 1 Goldcrest, a Pheasant and a large mixed flock of Blue, Coal, Great and Long-tailed Tits.

Vale of Glamorgan

Monday afternoon a pale-bellied Brent Goose was with 3 Teal on a small pool about 100m west of of the Thaw river mouth, where there were also 60 Wigeon, a Great Black-backed Gull and 2 Little Egret present.

At Limpert Bay 7 Ringed Plover, 15 Turnstone, 2 Curlew, 1 Common Gull and a Little Egret.

On Aberthaw Power Station buildings a flock of 150 Feral Pigeon, and on one of the coal piles a flock of 20 Linnet were enjoying the afternoon sun whilst keeping out of the cold wind.

Earlier in the day, 17 Curlew split between Swanbridge playing fields and Sully Island was my highest count there so far this autumn. There was an adult Mediterranean Gull on railings at Barry Docks waterfront, 10 Stock Dove on Flemingston Moor and at Cosmeston a Cetti’s Warbler in the East Lake reedbed, a hybrid Aythya duck and 275 Canada Geese on the East Lake, and a drake Pochard and 5 Teal on the West Lake.


Drake Pochard and 2 female Teal on Cosmeston’s West Lake this morning. Water Rail calling from the West Lake reedbed, where a Grey Heron was in a tree. Cetti’s Warbler at the East Lake reedbed, where a couple of Siskin flew over calling.

Five Great Crested Grebe and 5 Little Grebe on the lakes, 2 Jays over the south end of Cogan Wood and a Great Spotted Woodpecker calling near the bridge.

Lots of Skylark passing through.

Barry and Sully

Visits this morning/early afternoon (high tide 1100):
Cadoxton Ponds (including WeBS count): Kingfisher, Grey Heron, Sparrowhawk, 3 Cetti’s Warbler, Redwing
Barry Docks: male Stonechat, Med. Gull, Great Crested Grebe, Mute Swan
Barry Old Harbour: Little Egret, Curlew, Mute Swan
Knap Lake: Grey Wagtail on the feeder stream, 21 Tufted Duck, 21 Mute Swan, 70 Black-headed Gull
Swanbridge and Sully Island: 8 Curlew, 42 Oystercatcher, 18 Turnstone
Sully beach: 2 Wheatear, 30+ Ringed Plover, 15+ Turnstone, 2 Curlew

Barry Docks and Sully

Mediterranean Gull (adult, winter plumage) late this afternoon on railings at Barry waterfront with 25+ Black-headed Gulls. A Grey Wagtail nearby, on rooftops initially then at water’s edge. Rock Pipits here, and later also at Bendrick Rock and Sully beach.

Great views of a male Sparrowhawk which perched a couple of times in between half-heartedly upsetting the local Goldfinches in the scrubby area behind the Vale’s recycling facility on Atlantic Trading Estate.

Two Mute Swans on the sea between Hayes Point and Bendrick Rock, 63 Canada Geese in flight over Sully beach heading towards Sully Moors/Cosmeston and at sunset a Curlew and 14 Ringed Plover heading up channel along Sully beach towards Sully Island.


66 Ringed Plover by the sailing club slipway on Sully beach this morning shortly after high tide. Easily my highest count on Sully beach in the last seven years. With them 4 Dunlin.

10 Curlew and 35 Oystercatcher on Sully Island at high tide. 43 Turnstone between Sully Island and Bendrick Rock.

At the playing fields 100+ Starling, 20+ Pied Wagtail, 1 Med Gull (Ad, WP) in with 175 Black-headed Gulls, Stonechat. Trickle of Swallows through feeding over the beach and playing fields, and including a few resting briefly on wires.

Sully and Llwyn On

Six Whimbrel at Bendrick Rock early this morning at high tide. Shortly afterwards an adult Mediterranean Gull on Sully Beach along with 200+ Black-headed Gulls. An adult Great Black-backed Gull was on Sully Island.

Yesterday morning at Llwyn On reservoir, where the low water level has exposed lots of mud and a bridge, 4 House Martin repeatedly visiting the water’s edge, 1 Common Sandpiper, 2 Great Crested Grebe, 1 Great Black-backed Gull and 4 Grey Heron. In the nearby forestry plantation on the east side of the A470, 9 Crossbill, 2 Raven and 1 Tree Pipit.

GBC Field Trip to Llanwonno

Great views of several Nightjar on last night’s GBC field trip to Llanwonno on a calm, warm evening with clear skies. Many thanks to John Wilson for leading the trip and to everyone who came along.

At least 29 species were seen or heard on the evening, with the full list being: Grey Heron, Woodpigeon, Tawny Owl, Nightjar, Swift, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Carrion Crow, Raven, Skylark, House Martin, Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Blackcap, Whitethroat, Goldcrest, Wren, Blackbird, Song Thrush, Mistle Thrush, Robin, Stonechat, Dunnock, Tree Pipit, Meadow Pipit, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Linnet, Lesser Redpoll and Reed Bunting.

Cadoxton Ponds – WeBS count and other species

Just Mallard, Canada Goose, Mute Swan and Tufted Duck on this morning’s BTO WeBS count at Cadoxton Ponds. Twenty five other species recorded included 5 Cetti’s Warbler, singing Whitethroat, Blackcap, Chiffchaff and Reed Warbler, and a Sedge Warbler in song flight. The swift caller on the new swift tower seems to be working well. There were 5 Swift over Cadoxton seen from the reserve, along with 2 House Martin and 3 Swallow.

GBC Field Trip to Cefn Cadlan and Cwm Cadlan

Many thanks to John Wilson for leading Sunday’s GBC field trip to Cefn Cadlan and Cwm Cadlan, and to all 22 participants who came along on a warm, sunny day.

In total 38 bird species were seen or heard, including Cuckoo, Redstart, Tree Pipit, Red Kite, Peregrine, Kestrel and Wheatear.

Possibly the most surprising record of the trip was Yellowhammer, almost completely absent from North Glamorgan during the latest BTO breeding season Atlas survey:

Full species list: Red Kite, Buzzard, Kestrel, Peregrine, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Herring Gull, Woodpigeon, Cuckoo, Swift, Green Woodpecker, Magpie, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Raven, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Coal Tit, Skylark, Swallow, House Martin, Willow Warbler, Wren, Nuthatch, Blackbird, Song Thrush, Mistle Thrush, Robin, Redstart, Stonechat, Wheatear, Pied Wagtail, Tree Pipit, Meadow Pipit, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Siskin, Yellowhammer and Reed Bunting.

GBC Big Birding Day at Kenfig NNR

Many thanks to all the visitors and volunteers who took part in Glamorgan Bird Club’s Big Birding Day at Kenfig NNR today. Highlights among the 69 bird species seen or heard included Cuckoo, Lesser Whitethroat, Little Owl, Purple Sandpiper, Whimbrel, Swift, Swallow, Sand Martin and House Martin.

Full species list: Mute Swan, Greylag Goose, Canada Goose, Gadwall, Mallard, Tufted Duck, Pheasant, Great Crested Grebe, Grey Heron, Cormorant, Sparrowhawk, Buzzard, Kestrel, Coot, Ringed Plover, Lapwing, Sanderling, Purple Sandpiper, Dunlin, Whimbrel, Turnstone, Black-headed Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Herring Gull, Feral Pigeon, Woodpigeon, Collared Dove, Cuckoo, Little Owl, Swift, Magpie, Jay, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Coal Tit, Skylark, Sand Martin, Swallow, House Martin, Cetti’s Warbler, Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Reed Warbler, Blackcap, Lesser Whitethroat, Whitethroat, Goldcrest, Wren, Treecreeper, Starling, Blackbird, Song Thrush, Mistle Thrush, Robin, Stonechat, Wheatear, Dunnock, House Sparrow, Pied Wagtail, Meadow Pipit, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Linnet, Bullfinch and Reed Bunting.

GBC Field Trip to Craig Cerrig Gleisiad and Garwnant

Low cloud over Craig Cerrig Gleisiad this morning meant we started in the woods around the nearby youth hostel. Highlights there included several Pied Flycatcher and Redstart, Tree Pipit and two Marsh Tit.

Later, as the clouds cleared and the sun came out, we headed to Craig Cerrig Gleisiad, seeing Stonechat and Wheatear on the way up along with Meadow Pipit and singing Skylark. After a long search, some of the party headed back down, but Ian Hartrey then found two Ring Ouzel. After 20 minutes or so searching, we managed to re-find one of them as it flew across the hillside and landed in a tree, before losing sight of it as it dropped onto the scree.

Some of the party went on for a brief visit to Garwnant. Additions to the day list there included Willow Tit, Grey Wagtail and Dipper.

Thanks to John Wilson for leading today’s field trip and to all 22 participants who came along.

Full species list:
Red Kite, Sparrowhawk, Buzzard, Kestrel, Peregrine, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Woodpigeon, Crow, Raven, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Coal Tit, Willow Tit, Marsh Tit, Skylark, Swallow, Willow Warbler, Blackcap, Goldcrest, Wren, Nuthatch, Treecreeper, Dipper, Ring Ouzel, Blackbird, Song Thrush, Robin, Pied Flycatcher, Redstart, Stonechat, Wheatear, Dunnock, Grey Wagtail, Pied Wagtail, Tree Pipit, Meadow Pipit, Chaffinch, Siskin and Linnet.

GBC Field Trip to WWT Llanelli

Spoonbill, Spotted Redshank, Greenshank, Ring-necked Duck and Brambling were the highlights of 53 species seen or heard on GBC’s field trip to WWT Llanelli on Sunday. Thanks to Alan Rosney for leading and to all 18 participants who came along.

Full species list: Mute Swan, Greylag Goose, Canada Goose, Shelduck, Wigeon, Gadwall, Teal, Mallard, Shoveler, Pochard, Ring-necked Duck, Tufted Duck, Spoonbill, Grey Heron, Great White Egret, Little Egret, Cormorant, Buzzard, Peregrine, Water Rail, Moorhen, Lapwing, Knot, Dunlin, Snipe, Black-tailed Godwit, Curlew, Spotted Redshank, Greenshank, Black-headed Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Herring Gull, Woodpigeon, Collared Dove, Magpie, Jay, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Long-tailed Tit, Chiffchaff, Wren, Blackbird, Song Thrush, Robin, Dunnock, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Brambling, Greenfinch, Goldfinch and Bullfinch.

GBC Field Trip to Forest of Dean

Fine views on today’s GBC Field Trip of a Great Grey Shrike (excellent find by Tate Lloyd) seen south of the path from Three Brothers to Burnt Log. Several Hawfinch were by the cricket ground at Parkend, and there were 15+ Mandarin Duck at Cannop Ponds where a Marsh Tit gave close views.

In all 42 species seen or heard today, and many thanks to all 22 participants who came along.

Full species list:
Mute Swan, Greylag Goose, Mandarin Duck, Gadwall, Teal, Mallard, Tufted Duck, Little Grebe, Grey Heron, Cormorant, Buzzard, Moorhen, Coot, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Stock Dove, Woodpigeon, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Great Grey Shrike, Magpie, Jay, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Raven, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Coal Tit, Marsh Tit, Long-tailed Tit, Goldcrest, Nuthatch, Treecreeper, Blackbird, Mistle Thrush, Robin, Dunnock, Grey Wagtail, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Siskin, Bullfinch and Hawfinch.