Whitethroat in garden at Clydach,Swansea. It was only last week that I had my first garden record in thirty years here.Very difficult to track in the vegetation but it did offer nice views when it came out to feed.No doubt fattening up for migration

Clydach/Glais/Trebannws Circular

Good mix of species which included; Bullfinch(at several locations feeding on Buddleia seed) (12), Treecreeper(1),Dipper(4), Goosander(8),Mallard (14 numbers well down on previous years),Moorhen(5),Kingfisher(1),Grey Heron(1),Nuthatch(1),Goldcrest(2),Mistle Thrush(6), Blackbird(35 including 15 on the 12th Fairway of Mond Golf Club),Song Thrush (14),Mistle Thrush(6),Redwing (257 -112 on fields in Glais area and 145 on fields by the Stables in Trebannws) Meadow Pipit(6),Goldfinch(25),Black Headed-Gull (45 all in Trebannws water treatment works)

Craig y Pal/Graigola

Sunny morning out on the hill. Good numbers of Goldfinch(108 feeding on thistle and ?ragwort heads-mix flock of adults and juvenile),Meadow Pipit (42), Goldcrest(2), Chiffchaff(6), Mistle Thrush(9), Blackbird(5),Raven(1),Red Kite(1),Sparrowhawk(1), Pied Wagtail(7).In Nant y Glais Woods-Blue Tit(5),Great Tit(4),Coal Tit(5), Great Spotted Woodpecker(1) and Green Woodpecker(1). Butterflies included Peacock, Red Admiral, Small Tortoiseshell and Speckled Wood.

Dyffryn Lliw Valley

Still morning in the valley. Species included Great Spotted Woodpecker(2),Jay(3), Treecreeper(1),Nuthatch(4), Coal Tit(7),Blue Tit(15),Great Tit(6), Goldcrest(4), Blackcap(5 all feeding on blackberries), Chiffchaff(7), Red Kite(2), Buzzard(2), Sparrowhawk(1),Raven(2), Stonechat(4), Meadow Pipit(2), Blackbird(9), Song Thrush(4), Mistle Thrush(5), House Martin(circa 200 hawking in large flock over the slopes of Mynydd Garn Fach),Bullfinch(7)  Goldfinch(2),Wren(6) and a Robin in almost every bush ! .Totally blanked on Chaffinch and Long Tailed Tit which is unusual.


This morning at Coed Gwilym Park(Clydach) nice foraging flock of Great Tit(c 10),Blue Tit(c 10),Coal Tit(c 8),Long Tailed Tit(c 15) and Goldcrest(c 6).A light aircraft put up  Mistle Thrush(12) from the side of Graig Ola. This afternoon House Martin(12) and Common Swift(1) hawking above Clydach.

Dyffryn Lliw Valley

Spent an enjoyable few hours on the slope just below the ruin of Bwllfa Isaf. Chiffchaff(7),Willow Warbler(8),Whitethroat(6),Blackcap(12),Goldfinch(9),Bullfinch(4 2m,2f),Chaffinch(6),Goldcrest(1),Coal Tit(1),Great Tit(2),Grey Wagtail(2),Stock Dove(1), Cuckoo(1 seen and heard),Spotted Flycatcher(1),Common Redstart(1 pair carrying nesting material)Stonechat(2 pairs), Meadow Pipit(12), Lesser Redpoll(8)Red Kite(4),Song Thrush(6),Blackbird (8),Mistle Thrush(4), Buzzard(2),Peregrine(2),House Martin(10), Swallow(24),Siskin(2).

Butterflies: Peacock,Comma,Large White,Small White,Common Blue,Orange Tip, Red Admiral,Small Tortoiseshell and Speckled Wood.

Whilst coming down the slope at around 2p.m. I came across a Red Fox(judging by size and colour a vixen) feeding on a sheep carcass. She looked up, ripped one of the hind legs off the carcass and strolled calmly away with a massive chunk in her jaws.

Ringed Herring Gulls

Both these Herring Gulls appeared in Clydach today. They were both ringed on the same day in Gloucester in 2009. EWD has been recorded annually at Clydach by me and the late Barry Weston since 2010. It has only been recorded during the summer months.It’s a mystery where it spends the winter. ESV had not been reported since 2011 so the ringer was pleased to hear the it remains alive and well.


Pontardawe to Ystalyfera

Walked the Route 43 cycle track.Plenty of birds/flowers and butterflies. The wild garlic and bluebells are quite spectacular and the aroma a real treat.

Bird species;Song Thrush(4),Blackbird(18),Mistle Thrush(2),Buzzard(2),Red Kite(1),Blackcap(12),Whitethroat(6),Wood Warbler(8),Blue Tit(8 including one pair feeding young in a nest at ground level at base of tree),Great Tit(6),Robin(10),Wren(7),Chaffinch(9 singing males)Cuckoo(1 calling on slopes above Pant Teg),Great-Spotted Woodpecker(1),Grey Heron(1),Dipper(1),Grey Wagtail(2),Pied Wagtail(2).Goosander(20, which included two males and 8 ducklings).Butterflies;Large White,Small White,Orange Tip,Brimstone,Red Admiral and Speckled Wood.

Bro Abertawe/Swansea Vale and Mynydd Carnllechart

At Swansea Vale, Coot(2 with a brood of 3 chicks) with another sitting on nest.Moorhen(2 with brood of 3 chicks) Dabchick(1),Mute Swan(2 with the pen sitting tight),Blackcap 4,Willow Warbler(6),Chiffchaff (6). On Mynydd Carn Llechart, Cuckoo(2, one  also seen),Red Kite (5),Buzzard(4),Stonechat(2 pairs),Reed Bunting(1 pair),Meadow Pipit(12),Skylark(8),Wheatear(6).Butterflies-Red Admiral,Comma,Orange Tip and Brimstone.

Dyffryn Lliw Valley/Mynydd Garn Fach/Brynllefrith

Nice circular walk starting from the Cafe at Lower Reservoir. On the walk up Chiffchaff(7),Blackcap(5),Willow Warbler(6),Green Woodpecker(2 Yaffling),Great Spotted Woodpecker(1 drumming),Nuthatch(2), Goosander(1). On Mynydd Garn Fach Skylark(10), Meadow Pipit(24), Kestrel(1),Red Kite(2),Buzzard(3), Swallow(5 heading North).In Brynllefrith,Stonechat(4), Great Tit (2),Blue Tit(2), Long Tailed Tit(2),Great Spotted Woodpecker(1), Lesser Redpoll(2), Crossbill(1),Willow Warbler(4),Chiffchaff(2),Reed Bunting(2).On Upper Reservoir Canada Goose(4).

Crossbill at Brynllefrith


A walk on the 28th March produced the following

Ystalyfera: House Martin(2),Dipper(2),Grey Wagtail(1), Chiffchaff(4),Blackcap(2)

Pontardawe : Sand Martin(9) Dipper(2 pairs), GreyHeron(1), Blackcap(2)

Pontardawe to Clydach: Chiffchaff(5),Dipper(2 pairs),Canada Goose(2),Buzzard(2),Blackcap(2),Goosander(2),Rook(at least 5 nests in Coed Gwilym Park),Treecreeper(1).Blue Tit,Great Tit,Coal Tit,Long Tailed Tit and Goldcrest very vocal and active with signs of nest building,Blackbird(8),Song Thrush(4),Mistle Thrush(2),Bullfinch(1 pair)

Clydach/Glais circular

The hope was for spring migrants.Chiffchaff(3) with only one obliging with a song ! Perhaps the greatest surprise was a Painted Lady. Dipper(2) they have built a substantial nest on the metalwork of the by-pass bridge.Goldcrest(2 carrying nest material),Grey Wagtail(2),Jay(1),Lesser Redpoll(5),Cormorant(3 all roosting in a tree on the Tawe),Buzard(1),Moorhen(2).

Dyffryn Lliw Valley/Brynllefrith

Generally quiet.Great Spotted Woodpecker(2),Jay(1),Nuthatch(1), Bullfinch(4), Lesser Black-Back Gull(22 all on lower reservoir), Red Kite(5), Buzzard(4), Peregrine(1). Greylag Goose(11 circled Upper reservoir but did not land).Brynllefrith quiet and still, best were Reed Bunting(16 in a feeding flock on the fringes of the reservoir), Lesser Redpoll(7) ,Woodcock(1 which I flushed near the ruins of Brynllefrith farm) and Raven (4 “honkers”).


Glas y Dorlan/Kingfisher

Anyone wishing to view a Kingfisher at close quarters should visit Clydach. This one is quite happy to sit while you snap. I had the pleasure of taking an 82 year old lady to see it. She had never seen a Kingfisher before in her life. Needless to say she was delighted as the bird fished up to about 10 feet away.img_4821