Field trip – Aberthaw & Gileston

There’s a field trip next Weds, 19th Feb to the above. Parking is rather limited for east Aberthaw unless you use the Blue Anchor carpark which I am reluctant to do as it’s a popular pub/restaurant and we will be running past lunch time. So I suggest meeting in the gravel car park on the west side of the power station, down past Gileston village. Easiest access, to avoid a very narrow lane, is to go past the petrol station on the B4265 and turn left at the St Athan crossroads into Gileston Road [it’s the next left after the garage]. Follow this down into Gileston village where you need to turn right, sign posted Beach. Just follow this along to the end where there’s a gravel car park by the west flank of the power station. I suggest meeting there at about 10 a.m.. We can explore there a bit then walk along in front of the power station to the East Aberthaw end. It can be very muddy so bring appropriate footwear. I will not be picking up at St Margaret’s Rd as it’s in the opposite direction! Plse let me know if you are coming. Here’s a link to a map – the orange arrow is where to park:

Cosmeston 8th & 9th Feb

On 8th a Kingfisher flew along the far shore of W lake with a small fish in its bill. There were c20 Fieldfare feeding in W paddock together with just 6 Redwing and 2 Mistle Thrush.A fem Kestrel was haunting over W paddock and there were 80- Tufties on W lake. Didn’t count E lake.

On 9th during storm Ciara, 80+ Fieldfare feeding in W paddock and I counted 7 Pochard on E lake

Penarth Marina

c.4:15 p.m. the Black Redstart showed briefly on the roofs of the tall houses facing the Bay about 100m beyond the sign for Plas St. Andresse. These are the houses that on the marina side, face into the small square, where the bird has all been seen. On the river Ely embankment there, just 4 Turnstone, 2 Redshank, 1Pied Wag male and 1 Grey Wag. One of the Redshanks was colour ringed and is probably the same bird that Annie Irving tweeted about a while ago. I couldn’t see the rings clearly as it was wading with the rings under the water but one was yellow.

January 2020

Highlights: A 1st-winter Caspian Gull dropped in briefly at Cosmeston (12th). A Great Grey Shrike was reported at Garwnant. Two Whooper Swans turned up at Flemingston Moor. Two Siberian Chiffchaffs were at Cardiff Bay, where Scaup, Yellow-legged Gull and Black Redstart (this favouring Penarth Marina) were also recorded. A Great Northern Diver lingered on a small fishing lake at Mwyndy, near Llantrisant. Firecrests were at Bute Park (two) and Porthkerry. Two Short-eared Owls and a Marsh Harrier frequented Kenfig. Common Sandpipers were at Cadoxton River and Ogmore Estuary, with a Water Pipit also at the latter site. A roost of 150 Pied Wagtails was observed in Bridgend town centre. At least eight Hawfinches were at the regular Forest Ganol locality, with another seen near Michaelston-le-Pit. Summary by Paul Roberts

Llanelli WWT

13 folk went to Llanelli today where it was less grey and overcast than in Penarth at least. Highlights were a Greenland Whitefront out in the salt marsh, 4 Spoonbill, 1 ad Yellow-legged Gull, hundreds of Black-tailed Godwits a flock fo which contained about 20 Knot. Alan common wildfowl were logged and out in the estuary on the falling tide, scopes managed to pick out 1000’s of Oycs, Dunlin, Ringed Plover, Curlew and Redshank. A total of 58 species were seen. List will be added to the trip lists in due course.

Two upcoming events

Apologies for the short notice. On this coming Sunday 2nd Feb there’s a field trip to Llanelli WWT reserve. We normally try and be there by opening time which is 09:30. This fits in with high water which is 11:30 so we’ll catch the rising tide. Please note there is a charge for non-members of WWT. Adult admission is £9.70 or £8.25 for concessions. If folk can car share all well and good. I’d rather not go to St Margaret’s Road as it’s in the opposite direction for me. It takes about an hour with a clear run from me so I’ll be leaving Penarth at around 08:30. Please let me know if you are coming.

The other event is an indoor meeting on next Tuesday 4th Feb, when Paul Bowden is giving us an illustrated talk on Birding in Eastern Europe, specifically Belarus and Bulgaria. As now announced on the Events page, this will be at the new venue of the Pencoed Miners Welfare Hall, which is 5 mins off J.35 of the M4. Click here for details. Meetings there start promptly at 7:30 p.m. so arrive before then.


A quick walk before the hail storm, which we got caught in! 2 Green Woodpeckers still hanging around the E paddock area, today by the playground. A sub ad drake Scaup was with Tufties in W lake bay, as was a pair of Gadwall. GCG were displaying as was a pair of Mute Swans.


No sign of any Scaup amongst the 100 or so Tufties present this morning, but a single drake Pochard on W lake. Graham Smith apparently had a couple of Teal. 1 Green Woodpecker in E paddock and 30 Fieldfare and a few Redwing in trees adj W paddock, and small flock of Goldfinch there. Common Gull still present on E lake. Song Thrush in full song by the mile road at top end of E paddock.

Bird Records

It’s that time of year again! At the end of this month I will be tackling the dreaded BirdTrack download for East Glam for all the records from 2019. So this is a request to make sure that if you use BirdTrack, you are all up to date for 2019.

Also if you record in any other way, the the same applies. If you send records direct to me, then please do so, or if you use SEWBReC or any other method of recording, plus make sure your records are up to date.

Many thanks, John Wilson East Glam Report editor


There were c.50 each of Redwing and Fieldfare in W paddock yesterday, and a fw Redwing dotted around other parts of the park. Today during a very quick visit there were 2 Green Woodpeckers feeding on the ground in E. paddock, together with 3 Mistle Thrush. The only wildfowl of interest both yesterday and today, were Tufted Ducks, although there was a pair of Teal on Tuesday.

Field trip Weds 22nd Jan

Late notice but I’ve been away on a birding trip to Thailand.

I’m at our hotel prior to our return fight from Thailand tomorrow, so whilst I have WiFi just to say that there’s a local field trip to Cosmeston and Cardiff Bay on Weds 22nd Jan. I propose to meet people at the Cosmeston car park at 09:30 or as near as poss depending on morning traffic. We will do a walk around there and then probably go to the Penarth side of the barrage so look for the Black Redstart and anything else that might be around. I can’t promise to be fully alert after the travel, plus I’ve had a persistent cough since 24th Dec which has lasted all this holiday and has still not cleared up, but we’ll see how it goes.

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.