Cosmeston

Not much birding today but 5, poss 7 Tufted Duck on E lake was a sure sign of early autumn. Of most interest was a large number of Autumn Lady’s Tresses orchids [40+] in and adjacent to E paddock. A Lesser Emperor dragonfly was at the N end of W lake but I did not check for that but it was seen.

Cosmeston

6th Aug: 4 Common Whitethroat in bushes in the snipe paddock, 30 Linnet, 10 Goldfinch, and 3 Greenfinch in W paddock area, and 2 adult Little Grebes with the 1 small chick on W lake
7th Aug: 1 juv Common Whitethroat in bush by the Mile Road kissing gate into W paddock.

Cosmeston

A fem Blackcap was feeding on Elder Berries at the far end of W paddock this a.m., and 2 Common Whitethroat were there also. 2 Green Woodpeckers present [1 E paddock, 1 W paddock], and a Great Spotted Woodpecker was on a treetop near the dragonfly pond. 30 noisy Swallows flew over the lower dovecote field, heading towards the coast.

Important announcement re trips

In view of the lifting of some limitations regarding Coronavirus your committee have decided to try and run some trips and walks to suitable locations. We have drawn up a supplementary risk assessment for such activities which can be seen here. Anyone who is interested in joining any of these ad hoc events should read this risk assessment document as it contains important information about the limitations and other requirements of participants. Apart from the usual precautions regarding Corona Virus, the other significant limitations are that each trip will be limited to 10 members plus a leader and deputy leader. Each will use their own transport [unless from the same household], and booking will be on a first come first served basis. Participants will be required to book by email only to John Wilson’s personal email address [or a substitute leader if required, whose email will be given at the time of advertising the event]. In this way it will be easy for John or whoever to see what order the requests for booking arrive in their inbox. Announcements about these trips will be made on this News blog, on the Fild Trips page below the map, before the list of originally scheduled trips, and also on our Facebook page and Twitter and to those members who have opted to receive email news. Current meeting arrangements detailed on the Field Trips page are suspended for the moment but the H&S guidelines and the section in the main risk assessment regarding trips still applies.

Cosmeston

An immature Common Redstart was in bushes 50m beyond the dragonfly pond this morning. Calling incessantly and pretty shy but it did show at a distance and flew a short way. My first this year! Pic below cropped as much as poss.

Cosmeston

There was a fem Wheatear in E paddock this morning which then flushed and flew over the trees towards W paddock. The Little Grebe pair have at last got a chick on view – a single adult with a small chick was on W lake.

July 2020

Highlights: A flock of 10 Cattle Egrets (seven adults and three juveniles) was discovered roosting at Cardiff Bay Wetland Reserve (18th). Two breeding-plumaged Black-necked Grebes turned up at Lisvane Reservoir (3rd). Great White Egrets comprised two west past Cwm Nash (10th), one at Parc Taf Bargoed (13th) and two at Tirfounder Fields, Aberdare (30th). A Wood Sandpiper visited Llanilid. A Turtle Dove of unknown origin was in a Sully garden. Storm Petrels were noted off Porthcawl and St Mary’s Well Bay. Little Ringed Plovers called in at Kenfig, Llwyn-on Reservoir and Ogmore Estuary, where a Greenshank was also seen. Five Green Sandpipers were on the River Ely, near Pendoylan. A Hobby was at Lisvane Reservoir. A Common Tern and a maximum of three Yellow-legged Gulls were logged at Cardiff Bay, with another of the latter species also at Cosmeston. A noteworthy early movement of Pied Flycatchers saw birds at Cosmeston, Kenfig, Bridgend, Cyncoed, Silurian Park in Cardiff (two) and Lisvane Reservoir. Summary by Paul Roberts

Cosmeston mid – late a.m.

Already getting very crowded around the car park and E lake area by mid morning. There were 6 Goldfinch twittering near the still inaccessible dipping pond [boardwalk access still closed off], 6 Linnet in W paddock and another Goldfinch there, a pair of Bullfinch flushed a little beyond the dragonfly pond, a few Swallows around the Medieval Village, 6 Swift over the car park.

Under-recorded species update

We recently published on here a list of bird species that we hope to record more often, in order to help understand their current status in Glamorgan – see the News post of 24th April and this page. The bulk of these are included in Section 7 of the Environment Wales Act, which was drawn up in May 2016. Section 7 is a list of living organisms and types of habitat in Wales which are considered to be of key significance to sustain and improve biodiversity. There are currently 51 bird species on the S7 list. Glamorgan Bird Club have selected 27 of these for our “under-recorded species project”. The remaining 24 are highly unlikely to be found in our recording area of Eastern Glamorgan i.e. the Unitary authority areas of Bridgend, Caerphilly (west of the Rhymney), Cardiff, Merthyr Tydfil, Rhondda Cynon Taf and the Vale of Glamorgan. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be highlighting some of these Section 7 species and showing why they are so important to the natural fabric of Glamorgan (and Wales).

Llanwonno/Cosmeston/Penarth

Quick visit to Llanwonno yesterday eve – just 1 Nightjar heard churring but no flights seen. Midges were vicious!
Cosmeston this morning – 1 juv male Blackcap, 1 juv Common Whitethroat, 2 Chiffchaff, 1 Mistle Thrush, 2 Green Peckers and a few Swallows passing through.
This afternoon in Penarth – House Martins visiting 3 nests on Barclays Bank building.

Update on GBC and the current Covid-19 situation

Hi everyone. Just a message to say we haven’t given up altogether on functioning and on providing a programme of events. Doing our best to carry out the work of the club we’ve produced the Spring Newsletter electronically and work is well underway on the 2019 EGBR.

We are still having committee and sub-group meetings via Zoom and are constantly reviewing the current Covid-19 situation in respect of [a] whether field trips to certain locations might be possible if distancing would be feasible, (b) how the monthly walks at Kenfig NNR might be resumed safely and [c] whether there’s any possibility of having ‘virtual’ indoor meetings via something like a webinar or Zoom or the like. We hope you understand that these issues and their risk assessments are pretty difficult as there are a lot of things to consider – for example even if we decided a field trip was OK at a certain location, no-one could car share, except members of the same household of course, so then there’s the question of what parking facilities there might be. Apart from the need for social distancing within a group, anywhere where the use of hides was of necessity would probably be out of the question too. We are looking into this and will keep you updated so keep checking here or the website ‘News’ page.

Meanwhile we have made the hard decision to not go ahead with an AGM this year after all, having been unable to hold the one we’d planned for April ’20. On the basis that we’re not able to envisage one taking place before the end of the calendar year, effectively this means that the “next” AGM will be the one scheduled for April 2021. Be reassured we will be submitting our 2019/20 accounts by the end of next January, to follow Charity Commission requirements and also producing the 2019/20 Annual Report which we’ll be able to share with you in the New Year, if not before. During this pandemic, we have a duty of care to each other as trustees, to all members and to the wider community in not exposing anyone to an increased risk of infection of Covid-19, especially those who are “shielding”. We sincerely hope no one has, or will face, serious illness or the tragic loss of loved ones.  And that bird watching, at the very least in the garden if not locally and further afield, can be a source of solace and comfort in these unprecedented times.

Cosmeston

Entertaiment this morning was from a Cormorant which had caught, and proceeded to swallow, a HUGE Eel . The closer images of the Cormorant are big crops as can be seen from the one uncropped image where the bird is about the same size as the cental focus point in the viewfinder, even at full 600mm 35 mm equiv zoom. The camera I use these days is a Sony RX10IV, whihc has a 25-600mm 35mm equivalent zoom. A juv Green Woodpecker flew across W paddock. All in all pretty quiet. Managed a nice shot of the underwing of a Gatekeeper. Rain arrived at about 1 p.m.

Cosmeston

Went to Cosmeston early [for me at least – 9 a.m.]. By now it will be rammed. 12:30 y’day the car park was full but still endless streams of cars coming in driving round & round, ignoring the one way signage. Away from E lake it was OK people wise. Saw my first Gatekeeper there today, Green Woodpecker, and a Buzzard sitting on s post near the Medieval Village whihc then did a fly-over, as did a passing Heron.

Cosmeston

W. lake – 3 ad Little Grebes, ad GC Grebe + 2 young, 4 Black-headed Gulls, 50 Sand Martin, 4 Swift; W. paddock – 5 Mistle Thrush, 2 Green Woodpecker, 3 Linnet.
Yesterday – 3 Chiffchaff in the snipe paddock, 50 Sand Martin, 10 House Martin, 3 Swift, 1 Common Whitethroat W paddock, 1 Buzzard.

Rhymney Estuary & Heliport

Did my WeBS count this morning. 80 Redshank at the rivermouth at Green Point and another 30 on the riverbank by Lamby Way, 1 Little Egret at the river mouth and 6 Shelduck. 2 Common Sandpipers by Lamby Way, one paddle boarding downstream on some floating debris! About 100 Starling by Rover Way at Green Point [all checked very carefully!].
At the heliport bay just 1 Shelduck and about 300 Black-headed Gulls [nothing unusual with them]. Also Lesser Whitethroat singing briefly there.

Cosmeston

Shortish walk in blustery conditions this morning. Great Spotted Woodpecker in trees behind the dragonfly pond bench was a new one for quite a while, as was a Stock Dove which flew over. A Green Woodpecker was in the same tree as the Great Spot. In the conservation area two ‘Wood’ birds [-pecker and -pigeon] were keeping each other company [see photo below. There were 3 fly-pver Goldfinches by teh said bench, and over W and E lakes there were c.30 Sand Martins and c.10 House Martins, some of the latter of which were immature birds, being a brownish-black colour.