The Common Redstart was in E paddock again this morning, in the same area. Got a couple of nice shots against a better background, but still from quite a distance. One below as taken and the other cropped with the bird in a better pose. Nothing else particularly special although a Buzzard dropped into trees behind the dragonfly pond.


Cosmeston a.m. produced a v smart male Common Redstart in E paddock, 2 singing Willow Warblers by the Mile Road, and an obliging male Pied Wag by the car park picnic tables. Also there of interest, a Tawny Mining Bee and a Buff-tailed Bumble Bee which was carrying a load of mites [these re apparently harmless to the bee but take a ride too the nest where they clean up detritis and other unwelcome guests]. If you’re on Facebook there’s an interesting post here:

Due to a visit to Brackla to collect something we decided on a quick visit to Kenfig. There were c.1000 hirundines over the pool, mostly Swallows and Sand Martins but I did pick out a couple of House Martins. Willow Warblers singing everywhere plus Chiffies and Blackcaps but couldn’t find any Whitethroat. It did rain tho’ – continuous light rain getting more & more steady. Had a pair of Linnet in the dunes and a pair of Bullfinch feeding on buds, plus a Stonechat.


A walk round today with our 2 teenage grandchildren. In Cogan Wood Flynn & I had a nice encounter with the local Marsh Tit by the dragon tree. A GS Woodpecker was heard calling there, and a Buzzard was sitting up high in a tree. At W lake there had been an arrival of Swallows, with 30+ feeding over the lake and a single House Martin was with them. Another GS Woodpecker drummed briefly in the wood near the Medieval Village. Snapped a bumblebee sp on Hawthorn blossom in W paddock.

Cardiff Bay Barrage/R. Ely mouth

Very very bracing walk in a bitter NW wind this morning. 11 Turnstone were resting on the rocky embankment by Penarth Marina. On the Barrage, a couple of Rock Pipits, and 2 Linnet. A Swallow was with Sand Martins at the Cardiff end, my 1st Swallow of the year at last. Managed to hold the binos steady enough to find a couple of 1s cal yr Med Gulls in with the B-h Gulls in the Bay. A Raven flew over the Barrage and another was circling above Penarth. Some sleet bearing cloouds passed over then gave dark skies over N Somerset.

March 2021

Highlights: Early first arrival dates were Common Redstart (Whitchurch, 11 th ), House
Martin (Dunraven, 30 th ), Cuckoo (Radyr, 31 st ) and Reed Warbler (Parc Tredelerch,
31 st ). A Richard’s Pipit was photographed in flight at Newton, heading off towards
Ogmore (1 st ). The wintering female Ring-necked Duck, which had been frequenting
Cardiff Bay, spread its wings as far as Lisvane Reservoir. An Avocet was seen early in
the month at Ogmore Estuary, before later being seen in flight over Kenfig Pool and
then again at Ogmore Estuary (30 th ). An Avocet at Llanishen Reservoir (22 nd ) and one
reported from Aberthaw could feasibly relate to the same individual. Siberian
Chiffchaffs were logged at Kenfig, Burrows Well and Cardiff Bay. Two Garganeys
arrived at Kenfig, but didn’t appear to linger. Great White Egrets were logged over J34
of the M4 and Ogmore Estuary, where four Little Egrets were also present. An Osprey
was noted over Forest Farm (27 th ). A Hen Harrier was observed flying off from
Newbridge Fields, Bridgend, towards Merthyr Mawr. Merlins were at Kenfig, Newton
and Ogmore Estuary, where two Common Sandpipers and a Green Sandpiper were
still wintering. The only Short-eared Owls were two at Rumney Great Wharf. Cardiff
Bay hosted both Little Gull and Yellow-legged Gull. Noteable Water Pipit counts came
from the Watermill, Ogmore Estuary (five) and Rumney Great Wharf (seven). Black
Redstarts occurred at Rumney Great Wharf, Sully, Aberthaw, Southerndown, Coity
and Llangynwydd. Firecrests were found at Burrows Well, Boverton, Bute Park and
Nantgarw. At least seven Hawfinches were still at Cosmeston, with two by the trig
point at Craig Llysfaen, Rudry.
Summary by Paul Roberts

Glamorgan Canal/Forest Farm/Taff Trail – 2nd Apr

Yesterday, had a pleasant stroll along Glamorgan Canal and by Forest Farm, then along the Taff Trail. Not too bad although the Taff Trail was bit of a cycle motorway. Had a couple of fairly confiding Wrens. Called in briefly to the one hide that’s open and saw … 1 Rabbit, 1 Squirrel and 2 Crows! 😁 The new hide not yet open. Chiffchaffs were singing and Blackcaps, a pair of Grey Wags were on the Taff but couldn’t find any Dippers, either on the Taff or on the feeder stream.


In the afternoon I decided to go somewhere different, this being the first opportunity for months! I went to Goldcliff in Gwent. The two main interests were a Tundra Bean Goose and an imm European White-fronted Gooses, which were duly seen and photographed from the Snipe platform. Also present were Greylags and Canadas which emphasised the smaller build of the rarer ones. Other wildfowl were Mallard, Gadwall, a few Wigeon, Teal, lots of Shoveler, Tufted Duck, and Shelduck. The annual Avocets were present with 13 on the first lagoons and others elsewhere, plus 100+ Black-tailed Godwits, Redshank [some display], a single Spotted Redshank, 1 Curlew, 2 Dunlin, a pair of Ringed Plover and a pair of Little Ringed Plover doing some display, and Lapwing. Quite a few Skylark were singing. On the lep front I had a brief Small Tortoiseshell.


Penarth birder Graham Smith saw a male Common Redstart this morning by Sully Brook below the upper Dovecote field. Had a look mid-late morning but couldn’t find it. The Stonechat pair were still present and I grabbed a shot of a male Reed Buting there – he was paired up with a fem but she wouldn’t stay still! Had distant view of a Brimstone in that area and a Comma landed on the path by the brook near the Medieval Village. Also on the dovecote field area, two Stock Doves flew over. The dipping pond boardwalk is now open – a Cetti’s Warbler was singing very loudly there but wouldn’t show, and neither would any Water Voles.


From Twitter: Male Common Redstart this morning by Sully Brook. This was Graham Smith. I’m guessing this is the stretch of the brook just outside Cogan Wood, below where the plantation of saplings is, at the far end of the upper Dovecote fields.

Absolutely heaving at Cosmeston today. Car park more or less full, incl the new extended section. OK in the paddocks, away from the lakes. No song from y’days Willow Warbler, but a Wren posed nicely near the Medieval Village, and there was a total of 3 Buzzards thermalling. Nice show of Primrose in E paddock.


A Willow Warbler was singing nicely by the central viewpoint by W lake this morning. It showed pretty well but was too active amongst the vegetation to allow for a decent photo. There were a couple fo Fieldfare in trees in the conservation area and plenty of Chiffchaffs singing, and a Mistlle Thrush. I found a dead Weasel near the far entrance to Cogan Wood. Couldn’t see any major injury but something must have got at it.


Paid a visit mid to late afternoon, finishing at about 5:30. There were 4 Fieldfare and 2 Redwing feeding on Ivy berries in a tree near the play park. The Redwing were occasionally singing which you don’t often hear. A Phyllosc type warbler appeared briefly and my grabbed shot just as it started to take off, shows it was ringed. I don’t think it’s the Willow Warbler that Graham Smith had found there yesterday tho’. It’s a rubbish photo as it was distant so it’s a huge crop. At around 5 p.m. 30+ Sand Martins suddenly appeared – there had been none in the morning. They flew around until I left. Down near the wooden bridge in the wood on the left a male Blackcap was calling and then burst into song. Also had a a Chiffchaff there singing – again poor pix due to lack of light and sizeable cropping.

Newsletter April 2021 – contains AGM notice

Alan Rosney has just published our newsletter for April 2021. This has been emailed out electronically as a pdf document. It is now uploaded to GBC’s storage on Google Drive so can be viewed and downloaded by clicking on this link.

This one is top notch and contains lots of info, and importantly also contains notice of the AGM which of necessity is being held virtually via Zoom, as per our recent ‘indoor’ meetings. An invite link will be sent out nearer the time.


A varied day today. At home it was nice to see a Greenfinch on the feeder [been a rarity for a number of years, previously having been the most common bird in the garden]. Also a Goldfinch collecting nest material this morning [fur from our dog]. A Greenfinch was collecting this resource yesterday.

Walked across the Barrage. A 1st cal yr Mediterranean Gull was feeding over the bay near the Penarth Marina side and there were c.1000 Black-headed Gulls were over the whole bay. No Wheatear on the barrage rocks, sadly. Sad to see a LBB Gull with what appeared to be a broken or at least badly damaged wing on the inner shore. It was gone when we came back – presumably swam off. A few Sand Martin were flying around over Roath Basin by Porth Teigr and one inspected a poss nest hole in the channel connecting to Roath Dock. There were none over the small dock just before the empty area where Dr Who Experience used to be, where there’s usually 20-30 nesting birds.


Cosmeston a.m. 6+ Chiffchaffs were singing – managed to grab a shot of one by W lake. A Skylark was singing over the upper dovecote field which was nice to hear. As it parachuted back down it was joined by another just before landing – promising? Fem Stonechat was in the plantation of saplings further along above Sully Brook and a lone Redwing was in trees there. W lake has an active Mute Swan nest and Coot. 2 prs of GC Grebes present. Pochard now seem to have departed. but there aere a few Tufties left. 2 Fieldfare flew out of the conservation area. House Sparrows were dust bathing near the Medieval Village.


Today a lone Fieldfare was in trees by the central viewpoint, noted during a hurried visit. Two pairs of Mute Swans were being amorous so will hopefully nest. The pair pictured on the water had just mated.
Just for the record below, a couple of shots of displaying/singing Dunnock from 19th Mar and a record shot of a Hawfinch.


A single Hawfinch was in the trees of the small copse on the left past the dragonfly pond at Cosmeston, as per 2 days ago, at 12:30 today. Flew off but came back again. Seems to like that little group of trees but very nervous, as indeed they always are. Nowt much else to report – car park was more or less completely full – loads of people around E and W lakes.

Rhymney Estuary & Cardiff Heliport bay.

A WeBS count delayed from Sun 14th as I had my 2nd Covid jab that day and had nasty after effects on Mon & Tues.
At Green Pt by the Rhymney Est: 600 Redshank with 6 Dunlin in the flock, 42 Pintail offshore, 22 Teal, 9 Shelduck, 16 Oyc, 6 Cormorant, 14 Canadas, and oddly 5 Collared Dove feeding by the water’s edge by Lamby Way.
At the Heliport bay, 22 Turnstone, 2 Oycs, 5 Shelduck and 47 Pintail offshore.