Cwm Hafod to Penrhiwgwynt , Porth

A 5 am start in beautiful conditions starting in llwyncelyn. Usual common woodland species with the addition of 3 singing male Redstarts along Cwm Hafod (no wood warbler or pied flycatcher seen or heard). Plenty of common warblers in the scrub bordering the predominantly oak wood. Into the fields beyond and onto Penrhiwgwynt plateau produced, amongst others, a displaying Tree Pipit, 3 Wheatear,3 Stonechat families, 8 Mistle thrush feeding in a field,  a single female whinchat and an unseen Cuckoo calling.

Hirundines- Cilfynydd

House Martin numbers are now up there with the Swallows and Sand Martins, maybe a couple of hundred of each, possibly many more, it really is impossible to tell. Late afternoon after heavy rain and the air is swarming with them feeding on the small flying insects rising from the filter beds. A few Swifts have made an appearance but not many. I would imagine its a great feeding place for bats during the evenings.

Cilfynydd Hirundines

Dozens of House Martins have now joint the large swarming flock of Swallows and Sand Martins feeding in Cilfynydd. It really is great to see and hear literally hundreds of birds swooping and swirling above my head. I hope this carries on through the summer, they’ll certainly keep the gnat population down 🙂


60 – 100 + Swallows feeding over the filter beds at cilfynydd sewage treatment works. There’s a plentiful and welcome supply of small flying insects on a cold on dreary day. There’s too many Swallows to count. A few sand Martins have also joined in with the feeding frenzy. I’ve just returned home and checked out the video I took, more like 150 – 200 Swallows.

Porth this morning

Heard or seen from my garden in Porth this morning , Red kite soaring overhead, male Bullfinch in the cherry tree, blue tits back and forth the box, Hen blackbird collecting wet leaves and grass for her nest in the hedge, Wren singing its heart out from same hedge, Robin flitting about, blackcap singing over the road and house sparrows making a racket next door. All while I’m cleaning the gutters and fascias of winter grime in glorious sunshine. I love springtime :D.


Yesterday afternoon, Clydach vale C.P. a single kingfisher showing well in the winter sunshine. 2 female and a male Reed Bunting feeding amongst the chaffinches. A couple of little grebe amongst the usual assortment of waterfowl.

This afternoon, Barry sidings C.P. Trehafod, single Kingfisher flying low and fast from lake towards river. Also Male Goosander flying upstream, and a Dipper below the bridge in Porth.

Maerdy Water treatment works

I was talking to one of the site operators at Maerdy works this morning and we got onto the subject of birds, as you do, and he told me about this large bird of prey that landed here back in the summer( Here are the pics his colleague took). Neither of them thought it to be a Buzzard, it looked larger if anything. My first thought was immature Goshawk but the supercilium is a bit indistinct and the feathers on its wings look a little uniform in colour. Incidentally this is the exact location where I found a predated red legged Partridge last May. Any ideas?

Kingfisher,  Clydach Vale

Yesterday morning . Excellent views of a pair of Kingfishers at Clydach vale country park , one landed in a willow not more than 6 mtrs away from the lakeside path and very tolerant of passing people and dogs. I’ve been here 3 times in the last few weeks and seen them every time. Looking brilliant in the autumn sunshine, I’ll try and get some pics next time I’m there. Also a couple of red head Goosander and a Little Grebe amongst the mallards, Coots and Moorhens.

Sand Martin colonies

Working in Abercynon this morning it was great to see dozens of Sand Martins using as nests the weep holes in the stone retaining wall of Abercynon railway station. Some were no more than 6ft high from the pavement. I’ve seen similar use of weep holes in Pontypridd and Porth, whilst in Pontygwaith their using holes in a wall right next to a busy road.

Llwyncelyn- Penrhiwgwint, Porth

Another beautiful morning for local walk. Fem. Grey wagtail feeding young in river plus 12+ Sandmartins around colony. 10+ Swifts over town centre. Up on top the 3 Lapwings are still in the field, no chicks seen but they’d be very difficult to pick out against bare earth. Excellent views of Peregrine lazily soaring just below Penrhiwgwint farm.