Cosmeston

In the light on-and-off spitting rain, some activity in the ‘snipe paddock’ this morning: 1 poss 2 Spotted Flycatchers, several imm Common Whitethroat, Chiffchaff, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Linnet, 1 Reed Bunting, Blue Tit & Great Tit. Pair of Bullfinch by back entrance to Cogan Wood and a single in the W paddock hedge. 1 Green Woodpecker in the Lower Dovcote meadow.

Kidwelly Quay & Burry Port

The first of some trial GBC field trips to locations where social distancing is feasible [as announced on the <Events><Field Trips> page, this one had 7 participants plus myself and Alan Rosney as leaders. We were lucky with the weather. Kidwelly provided a good selection of waders with Common and Green Sandpiper, a juv Ruff, several Greenshank, Dunlin, Ringed Plover and 2-300 Redshank. A couple of us saw a high fly-over Marsh Harrier being mobbed by a crow. At the old ‘harbour’ at Burry Port there were many Sandwich Terns with a few Common Terns amongst the huge flock of gulls on the beach, which included a good number of Mediterranean Gulls, all the ones we noticed being adults. Along the tideline there were 20 or so Sanderling, plus Ringed Plover and Dunlin. A successful first trial then, with a total of 46 species seen. A few photos below.

Cosmeston

Best find in the soaring temps this morning was this Jersey Tiger moth on Hemp Agrimony by the upper end of Mile Road near the kissing gste into W paddock. The Black-tailed Skimmer was one of many by the ‘golf course’ shore of E lake. Graham Smith had seen Lesser Emperor there earlier too.

Cosmeston

Too hot for serious birding at Cosmeston this morning. Whilst in the shade of the car park trees with our coffee I noticed this Wren which was hopping around in front of the parked cars, right in the open. At one point it spread its wings and ‘sunned’ for a short while but I wasn’t quick enough to get a shot. I did carefully get up and grab a few other shots and on looking at the pix it’s a very bedraggled individual. On the cam I thought it was a fledgling but on cropping on the laptop, in these shots you can see the almost bald head and throat, and the very poor state of the main feather tracts. It hopped around, sometimes going underneath the cars then flew up onto a tree by us and eventually entered the nest box. It stayed there for a few minutes and then suddenly exited and flew down into the bushy landscaping by the parking bays.

E. and W. Aberthaw

A tad late posting, but walked from E. Aberthaw round the front of the power station to W Aberthaw on Sat 8th. There was a nice breeze coming up the channel. At E. Aberthaw lagoon a pair of Mute Swans with 4 fully grown cygnets, several Coot, a Moorhen. On the power station buildings, about 400 Starlings, and in the grounds a flock of 250 resting Gulls, mostly Herring. A rather dusky looking male Pied Wag was on the beach [coal dust??]. On the shoreline pools, 2 Litte Egret and 2 Grey Heron, plus 30 Oystercatcher. A flock of c.20 Linnet were flitting around and by the Leys, and female Wheatear and a feeding flock of Goldfinch.

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.