December 2019

Highlights: Two Whooper Swans turned up at Flemingston Moor (31st). Up to 18 Brent Geese (all but one being Pale-bellied) were at Gileston. Long-tailed Ducks remained early in the month at both Lisvane Reservoir and Sker. Greater Scaup were at Cosmeston and Cardiff Bay. A Red-crested Pochard spent a day at Parc Slip. Notable counts of Goosanders came from Caerphilly Castle Moat (51) and Pwll-y-Waun, Porthcawl (20).  A Great Northern Diver stopped off briefly at Kenfig Pool, where a Bittern was also seen. The highest Little Egret count was eight by the River Thaw, near Aberthaw. Birds of prey included Marsh Harrier at Kenfig, Hen Harrier at Llanilid and Merlin at Ogmore Estuary. Eight Green Sandpipers were on the River Ely near Pendoylan, while a Common Sandpiper looked set to winter at Ogmore Estuary. A Jack Snipe was at Rhymney Estuary. The only Short-eared Owl sightings came from Llanilid, where two were noted. A remarkably late Swallow was at Merthyr Mawr Warren (18th). Three Water Pipits were at Ogmore Estuary, with another at Rumney Great Wharf. Black Redstarts were observed at Sker, Gileston and Penarth Marina. Siberian Chiffchaffs were identified at Cardiff Bay Wetland Reserve and Kenfig. A Firecrest was still at Kenfig, with one unearthed at The Wilderness, Porthcawl. Summary by Paul Roberts


There as an aythya drake on W lake this morning which could have been and ad Scaup or the Scaup type hybrid that’ been around for a while on and off. It was on far side of W lake and in the glare of the sun, difficult to be sure.

Penarth Marina & Bay Barrage

At the Marina intially had a distant view of the Black Redstart that has been around on and off, then got better view just before dusk at the square by Plas Taliesin. Seems to be a fem or 1st yr bird – see poor cropped pix. Also had a Rock Pipit and a Grey Wag on the roofs there and 3 Turnstone were along the R. Ely edge. In the Bay there were 3 drake Goosander and 5 females and c.8 Gt Crested Grebe. Click each image for a bigger one.


In pretty dense mist this morning, a 1st yr drake Scaup was on W lake, plus a pair of Teal and 2 pairs of Gadwall, with the usual Tufties. Whilst I was at the central viewpoint a Sparrowhawk shot through, down the length of the mile road [the central path] weaving in and out of the path-side trees – v impressive.

Field trip on Sun 5th Jan

The first field trip of 2020 is the annual jaunt to Whiteford Point on Gower on 5th January. I will be away so Alan Rosney has kindly agreed to lead this one. I am posting now before the Christmas break as I will be preparing for a long haul trip afterwards. Due to the high tide time, the meet time will be 9 a.m. in the Cwm Ivy car park.Here’s a link to a map of its location:
In view of recent weather, wellies or sturdy waterproof boots are the order of the day [it’s a wettish walk in any case]. If you’ve not been before be aware that it’s a longish walk out to the point [roughly 3 km each way]. Also be aware that on the walk back the last bit is a steep uphill stretch back to the car park. The main part out to Whiteford Point and back is level but uneven in places. Please contact Alan Rosney in case of any queries [] and also to let him know if you are coming. Thanks, John Wilson.


An adult winter Mediterranean Gull was on west lake at around midday, so a different bird to the second year that was seen by Wayne Strong earlier in the morning. A quick scan of the Tufties revealed no Scaup from yesterday [per Graham Smith and Annie Irving].

Kenfig Pool & surrounds

Highlights of the GBC monthly walk at Kenfig this morning in surprisingly OK weather considering the conditions driving down there along the M4, were a Marsh Harrier quartering the western dunes and lake edge, where it flushed 3 Snipe, and an Otter swimming and diving on the western side of the pool, viewed from south pool hide whilst we had our mince pies and mulled cranberry juice concoction which was delicious – thanks Jean Haslam! All in all 41 species seen including in addition to the Harrier & Snipe, just two each of Gadwall, Tufted Duck and Teal, the latter and a Wigeon in a flood in the dunes, 3 Gt Crested Grebes, Cetti’s warbler seen well from the hide, a Common Gull, 2 Chiffchaff, 2 male Bullfiunch and other common species. 16 folk attended. 

More rarity acceptance news

The following records have now been accepted by the Glamorgan Rarities Committee.

  • 2cy Caspian Gull, Cardiff Bay, 16th Jan 2019
  • Yellow-Browed Warbler, KNNR, 8th October 2019 onwards
  • Siberian Chiffchaff, Oxwichm 17th November 2019
  • Citrine Wagtail, Llwyn-on Res., 27th April 2019
  • Wryneck – Ogmore-by-Sea, 25th Aug – 1st Sep 2019
  • Snow Bunting, Pink Bay – Porthcawl, 2nd – 4th November 2019
  • Siberian Chiffchaff, Cardiff Bay Barrage, 7th December 2019
  • Serin, Nash Pt, 24th November 2019 [2nd county record].


Successful shortish GBC trip out to Ogmore today with an amazing 21 participants to start with. Highlights in the Estuary by Portobello were a number of Goldeneye, about half a dozen Goosander, and in amongst the 100’s of gulls, a couple of Mediterranean Gulls [an adult and a 2nd year bird], and just a single Redshank representing the waders. Amongst around 20 Meadow Pipits on the grassy floodplain downstream of Portobello we eventually latched on to a Water Pipit, a new bird for some. We also had a juv Peregrine shoot through. Some folk left after we had done that area and the rest of us went in search of Purple Sandpiper on the rocky foreshore at Ogmore-by-Sea. After some time we were getting cold in the strengthening wind and were about to give up when sharp-eyed new member Lee Dutton spotted one on the rocks near to our parked cars which allowed good telescope views. Nice one Lee! Also there was a smart adult winter Med Gull and a couple of Turnstones. Thanks to all who attended.

2018 Bird Report

At long last the 2018 East Glam Bird Report being collected by the printer from the binders’ in Bristol tomorrow afternoon. I hope to collect later tomorrow or poss he will deliver them to me. So … shd be able to get them to my local PO Thurs or Fri. Really sorry for the lateness.

Advanced info – first two events of 2020

The first event of 2020 is the more or less regular trip at this time of year, to Whiteford Point on Gower with a dusk stop at Llanridian marsh for roosting egrets and raptors. This will take place on Sunday 5th January. John Wilson will be away for this trip so keep a watch out on here or the GBC Facebook page or Twitter, for who will be leading, and the arrangements.

The second event is an indoor meeting comprising a review of the year 2019. Due to the closure of the Kenfig Reserve Centre, this meeting will take place at the Pencoed Miner’s Welfare Hall and will make a prompt start at 7:30 p.m. so please aim to be there at 7:15. This is because there is a finish time limit on the hall. It’s very close to J.35 of the M4. Here’s the details: Pencoed Miner’s Welfare Hall, 51-53 Heol-Y-Groes. CF35 5PE
M4 Junction 35
Take A473 North to Pencoed.
First left at the next roundabout, onto Felindre Road. Go past the Rugby Club and swimming pool on the left.
Turn right at the T junction onto Coychurch Road.
Turn right at the crossroads by the monument, just past a garage on the right.
The Miner’s Welfare Hall is on the left, access to the car park is just past the building. A map is below.

Accepted rarity reports

Here are some recent accepted rarity reports for 2019, published by the Glamorgan Rarities Committee, listed here with their permission.

  • Shore Lark, Newton Point, 10th Nov 2019
  • Snow Bunting, Knap, Barry, 11th Nov 2019
  • Red-backed Shrike, Nottage, Porthcawl, 15th Nov 2019
  • Richard’s Pipit, Nash Point, 13th Nov 2019
  • Glossy Ibis, Kenfig Pool, 28th Nov 2019
  • Ortolan Bunting, Caerlan Farm, Penrhiwfer, 26th Aug 2019
  • Long-tailed Skua, Port Eynon, Gower, 15th Oct 2019

WeBS counts today

At my Rhmney Estuary count there were 800 very flighty Redshank, the flock containing just a single Dunlin. They spent several interludes swimming about in the centre of the river. Also 25 Lapwing there, 30 Pintail, 20 Shoveler, 40 Teal by Lamby Way and 32 Mallard. At the Heliport section, 30 Shelduck, another 20 Shoveler, 5 Pintail and just 2 Turnstone.

In a count at R. Ely floodplain, a Woodcock flushed by the river, and there were 8 Green Sandpiper, 32 Snipe, 23 Teal, 2 Dipper, many winter thrushes, Red Kite and Peregrine of note.