October 2020

Highlights: Twelve Yellow-browed Warblers were noted from nine sites, as follows: one at Lavernock (5th), one at Dare Valley Country Park (11th), two at Dunraven (13th), one in a Barry garden (13th), two at Llanilid (13th), one in a Bridgend garden (15th), one at Cosmeston (21st), two at Kenfig (22nd) and one at Norton Wood, Ogmore (28th). Two immature Ring-necked Ducks commuted between Cosmeston and Cardiff Bay. Cattle Egrets called in at Flemingston Moor (4th) and Kenfig (22nd), where a Long-tailed Duck was also seen (25th). Woodlarks were picked up on visible migration watches at Dunraven (two on 14th) and Lavernock (singles on the 15th and 20th). 

Brent Geese totalled eight at Aberthaw and one at Ogmore Estuary. A Scaup was at Kenfig Pool. Great White Egrets comprised one seen over Merthyr Mawr Warren and then Kenfig (5th), one at Lamby (11th), one past Lavernock (15th) and another at Kenfig (18th). At least two Bitterns were at Kenfig, where two Marsh Harriers were frequently observed. Hen Harriers were found at Nash Point and Groeswen (Caerphilly). Merlins were at Ogmore Estuary, Lavernock, Mynydd Bach (Maesteg) and Kenfig. A Curlew Sandpiper was at Newton (17th). A late Arctic Tern dropped in at Kenfig Pool (26th). Short-eared Owls graced Lavernock and Kenfig. Away from the stronghold of the Vale of Glamorgan coast, Choughs wandered as far as Rest Bay (three) and Sker (nine). The first Black Redstart of the autumn was in a Radyr garden.  Ring Ouzels were seen on two dates at Mynydd Bach, with another at Dare Valley Country Park. The only Firecrest sightings came from Nottage and Pentyrch. 

Summary by Paul Roberts

September 2020

Highlights: A Turtle Dove turned up at Lavernock (21st ). A Honey Buzzard over Pant y Cwteri, Ogmore was a good site record (10th ). A juvenile Caspian Gull was identified at Cosmeston (3rd ). Six Whooper Swans flew east over Aberdare (28th ). A very early Yellow-browed Warbler was heard at Mynwent Penyrheol, Caephilly (21st ). Four Cattle Egrets (29th ) and three Great White Egrets were noted at Kenfig, with another of the latter species found at Bute Town Pond, Rhymney (1st ). Two Red-throated Divers – an adult and its attendant juvenile – were close inshore at Newton Point (22nd). Several Marsh Harriers were seen at Kenfig, while at least two were still frequenting crop fields at Durval Farm and Dunraven, with yet another passing Lavernock. Ospreys were moving past Cardiff Heliport and Penywaun. Merlins were observed at Kenfig, Dunraven and Laleston (Bridgend), with Hobbies from Pant Norton, Ty’n-y-Caeau Farm, Kenfig and
Cosmeston. A Spotted Redshank was heard flying south over Cosmeston and
then Lavernock. Single Ruffs were recorded at Lavernock, Kenfig, Ogmore Estuary and Newton, where a Curlew Sandpiper and three Bar-tailed Godwits were also present. A Green Sandpiper was at Ogmore Estuary. A Little Gull was briefly at Newton. Short-eared Owls were at Nash Point and Lavernock. Yellow Wagtails were fairly poorly represented, excepting a gathering of 50 at Rumney Great Wharf. Both Pied Flycatcher and Grasshopper Warbler were observed at Kenfig. Firecrests occurred at Dunraven and Maesteg Cemetery.
Summary by Paul Roberts

August 2020

Highlights: Storm Francis saw the arrival of a smattering of seabirds (notably small numbers of Storm Petrels, Arctic Skuas and a Great Skua) to coastal locations, but overall failed to live up to its promise. A Great White Egret was at Kenfig. Ospreys were noted from Kenfig and the Ely Floodplain. Marsh Harriers were observed at Lavernock, Kenfig and Durval Farm, where two lingered, hunting over the arable crops. Merlins were seen at Nash Point and Southerndown. A few Hobby sightings were made at Kenfig. Several Arctic Terns visited Kenfig, with another two (plus 11 Common Terns) at Newton Point. Five Little Terns were found at Kenfig rivermouth, where seven Sandwich Terns were also present. Wader sightings included Curlew Sandpiper at Sker, Greenshanks from Cardiff Bay and Kenfig, Green Sandpipers from Lisvane Reservoir and Kenfig, plus 12 Black-tailed Godwits and a Knot at Ogmore Estuary. A Yellow-legged Gull was at Cardiff Bay. A few Whinchats started to appear towards the month end, with three at Kenfig. Migrant Pied Flycatchers were logged at Kenfig, Tir Founder Fields (Aberdare), Cardiff Bay Wetlands Reserve, Silurian Park (Cardiff) and Cosmeston. Six Spotted Flycatchers were together at Taf Bargoed Community Park. Summary by Paul Roberts

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

June 2019

Highlights: Two Black-necked Grebes were briefly at Lisvane Reservoir (5th). Storm Petrel sightings comprised one from St Mary’s Well Bay and three off Sully. A Little Egret at Ogmore Estuary was the only one reported locally. A Marsh Harrier was at Rumney Great Wharf. Hobbies were noted at Merthyr Mawr and Kenfig. Four Black-tailed Godwits and a Greenshank were in the vanguard of return wader movement at Ogmore Estuary. A Little Ringed Plover called in at Kenfig. A Yellow-legged Gull was at Cardiff Bay. A pair of Choughs raised four young on the Heritage Coast. Hawfinches bred in Bridgend for the second successive year, while flyovers were logged at Lisvane Reservoir (two) and Craig Llanishen (three). Crossbills were widely distributed, most notably a passage of 352 counted over two consecutive mornings at Lavernock. Summary by Paul Roberts

May 2020

Highlights: A breeding plumaged male Grey Phalarope stopped off to refuel for a day at Sker Pool (29th). A Hoopoe was seen over the A465 near Hirwaun (4th). A male Golden Oriole was reported over a Cardiff garden (10th). A Long-tailed Duck lingered until early in the month at Kenfig Pool. A Quail was calling at Mynydd Eglwysilan. Two Little Terns and a Storm Petrel were off Sker Point. Hobbies were noted at Ogmore Estuary, Bridgend (singles at Island Farm and near the town centre), Garth, Cyncoed, Roath and Porth. A Cuckoo was at Merthyr Mawr Warren. Four Greenshanks called in at Ogmore Estuary, where two Little Egrets appeared late in the month. A Little Owl was at Old Castle Down. Hawfinches were observed at two locations in the vicinity of Bridgend. Some Crossbill dispersal was observed, including 11 at Bridgend (28th) and five over Lisvane Reservoir (29th). Summary by Paul Roberts

April 2020

Highlights: The undoubted highlight was a male Montagu’s Harrier, which spent a day hunting over Merthyr Mawr Warren (21st), being the first confirmed in the recording area since 1974. A Purple Heron was at Kenfig, where Garganey, Red-crested Pochard, Greenshank and Green Sandpiper were also noted. Nearby at Sker, a male Blue-headed Wagtail was the pick, with a supporting cast of Little Tern and Black Redstart. Fly over Ospreys were observed at Cardiff Bay, Nantgarw, Llantrisant, Maesteg, Bridgend and Kenfig. A male Hen Harrier was near Merthyr Tydfil. Both Hobby and Merlin were seen from Bridgend gardens. Records from Ogmore Estuary included Water Pipit, two Little Ringed Plovers, Green Sandpiper, two Greenshanks, Knot, maximum 20 Whimbrels, small numbers of Bar-tailed Godwits, two Yellow Wagtails, Cetti’s Warbler and two Grasshopper Warblers (the latter from Pant Norton). Additional Cetti’s Warblers were logged at Cadoxton Pools and Ewenny Moor. Bar-tailed Godwits and Whimbrels stopped off at Sully and Barry. Cardiff Bay hosted a Little Gull, a Black Redstart and two Yellow Wagtails. Migrant Pied Flycatcher and Hawfinch were nice finds at Merthyr Mawr Warren. A passing Ring Ouzel called in at Pant St Bride’s.  Summary by Paul Roberts

March 2020

Highlights: A Black Kite was seen over Llanharry, headed east (23rd). A Great Grey Shrike remained at Cwm Cadlan/Garwnant. A lone Waxwing turned up at Schooner Way, Cardiff. Records in the vicinity of Cardiff Bay included Black-necked Grebe, Osprey, Little Gull and Black Redstart. Three Pink-footed Geese, Great White Egret, Siberian Chiffchaff, Long-tailed Duck, four Black-tailed Godwits, Short-eared Owl and Merlin were sighted within the environs of Kenfig NNR. Water Pipits comprised two at Ogmore Estuary and four at Rumney Great Wharf, with a Greenshank at the latter site, too. The Watermill Flood, Ogmore, pulled in two Little Ringed Plovers, a Black-tailed Godwit and several White Wagtails. Two Scaup and a Yellow-legged Gull were at Cosmeston. A Ring Ouzel flew over a Caerau garden. Three Hawfinches frequented the churchyard at Ewenny Priory.
Summary by Paul Roberts

February 2020

Highlights: A Great Grey Shrike ranged around between Cwm Cadlan and Garwnant. A Glaucous Gull was briefly at Sker (13th). Four Avocets stopped off at Green Point, with another two at Rumney Great Wharf. A Great Northern Diver was still at Mwyndy at the start of the month. Sightings at Kenfig included Bittern, Marsh Harrier, Merlin, Short-eared Owl, two Siberian Chiffchaffs and Firecrest. Further Firecrests were at Bute Park (two present) and Ewenny Priory. Three Hawfinches were also at the latter site. Water Pipits comprised six at Rumney Great Wharf and two at Ogmore Estuary. Scaup were noted from Cardiff Bay and Cosmeston. A Merlin was at Mynydd Eglwysilan. Waders included two Common Sandpipers and four Purple Sandpipers at Ogmore Estuary, seven Purple Sandpipers at Sker and Green Sandpiper at Rumney Great Wharf. Yellow-legged Gulls were identified at Ogmore Estuary, Caerphilly Castle Moat and Cosmeston. Penarth Marina held a Black Redstart. Summary by Paul Roberts

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

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

November 2019

Highlights: A Serin dropped in briefly at Nash Point lighthouse compound, before flying off east (24th), constituting the first in the East Glamorgan recording area since 1972. Almost as rare locally was the Shore Lark at Newton Point (10th to 11th), not having been recorded in our area since 1976. A late Red-backed Shrike lingered around the northern periphery of Royal Porthcawl Golf Club, between Nottage and Pink Bay (15th to 29th). Richard’s Pipits were noted at Nash Point and Sker (both on the 13th). A Slavonian Grebe was at Kenfig (10th). A Long-tailed Duck at Lisvane Reservoir, first seen in October, made it until the start of the month, while another lingered on a flood at Sker (9th until the month end). Up to five Woodlarks were present at Lavernock, including a group of four in stubble (24th), with another two found at Newton Burrows (11th). Both Siberian Chiffchaff and Yellow-browed Warbler frequented Kenfig. A Lapland Bunting flew over Sker (17th). Snow Buntings were at Pink Bay/Sker (two on the 4th), Dunraven (8th) and The Knap, Barry (11th to 22nd).

Other Sites: A Great Northern Diver flew inland at Dunraven. Another Great Northern Diver was off Sker, where a maximum of 13 Red-throated Divers was counted. Up to six Pale-bellied Brent Geese were at Aberthaw. Cosmeston and Cardiff Bay hosted single Greater Scaup. A maximum of 32 Goosanders was at Caerphilly Castle Moat. A Common Scoter was an unusual occurrence at Cardiff Bay. A Great White Egret was seen at Abercwmboi Lake, perhaps a returning bird. A Marsh Harrier was observed on several occasions at Kenfig. Merlins were logged at Mynydd Eglwysilan, Kenfig, Southerndown, Merthyr Mawr and Barry. Waders included Bar-tailed Godwit at Flemingston, Ruff, Common Sandpiper and four Purple Sandpipers at Ogmore Estuary, four Purple Sandpipers at Newton Point and seven Green Sandpipers of the River Ely, near Pendoylan. Short-eared Owls were noted at Rumney Great Wharf, Llanilid and Sker. Late records on the 27th concerned a Swallow at Lavernock and a Garden Warbler at St Mary’s Well Bay. Water Pipits were at Ogmore Estuary (two) and Sker. Black Redstarts were noted from Cardiff Bay Wetland Reserve, Dunraven, Gileston, Llantwit Major, Sker and Trecco Bay, Porthcawl. Firecrests occurred at St Donat’s (two), St Mary’s Well Bay, Lavernock and Kenfig. Summary by Paul Roberts.

October 2019

Highlights by Paul Roberts: A Glossy Ibis was seen at Kenfig Pool, before moving to the flood east of Sker Pool. Further records from Kenfig included Yellow-browed Warbler, five Whooper Swans, Scaup, Hen Harrier, Marsh Harrier, Merlin, Hobby, Greenshank and Jack Snipe. Ten Woodlarks at Lavernock was a noteworthy record (14th), with a single also seen on the 19th. A Long-tailed Duck turned up at Llanishen/Lisvane Reservoir (26th). A Scaup was at Cosmeston. Great White Egrets comprised two down river at Ogmore Estuarty (19th) and one east at Rumney Great Wharf (2nd). A Marsh Harrier was near Cwm Nash. A Merlin was at Nash Point. Two Hobbies were at Cosmeston. Jack Snipe, Greenshank and Green Sandpiper were at Ogmore Estuary, with four Green Sandpipers along the River Ely near Pendoylan. A juvenile Yellow-legged Gull was at Newton Point, Porthcawl. A Short-eared Owl flew west at Lavernock. The annual late autumn Woodpigeon movements included 54,000 over Cardiff between 07:00 and 09:30 on the 28th. Ring Ouzels were seen at Pant y Ffald, Maesteg and Dare Valley Country Park. A Firecrest was at Pant Norton, Ogmore. A flock of 10 Crossbills flew over at Dunraven.

September 2019

Highlights by Paul Roberts: A Wryneck at Ogmore Estuary, initially found there in August, lingered until the start of the month. A Grey Phalarope flew past Sker (28th). A Garganey was at Llanilid (10th). A report was received of both Richard’s Pipit and Woodlark at Ogmore-by-Sea (17th), but without confirmation. A Storm Petrel was off Lavernock. A Hobby was observed hunting near Ogmore Castle. Sightings from Kenfig included Bittern, Little Ringed Plover and Greenshank. Further Greenshanks were noted at Ogmore Estuary and Rumney Great Wharf, with a Merlin at the latter site, also. Firecrests were seen at Hensol Forest (two) and St Mary’s Well Bay.

August 2019

Summary by Paul Roberts

Bridgend: An Osprey was seen over Bridgend town (24th). Storm Petrels were noted off Sker and Porthcawl, with two Artic Skuas and a Great Skua also from the latter site. Little Ringed Plover, Greenshank and up to five Green Sandpipers were logged at Kenfig. A Nightjar was seen over the M4, near Sarn (1st). A Pied Flycatcher was at Cwm Ffos, Parc Slip (3rd).

Cardiff: A Little Egret was on the River Taff at Blackweir. A Manx Shearwater (5th) and a Gannet (11th) were both displaced to Cardiff Bay. Also present there were several Yellow-legged Gulls and a Pied Flycatcher (at the Wetlands Reserve, 13th).

Rhondda Cynon Taff: An Ortolan Bunting at Caerlan Farm, near Penhiwfer, was an excellent discovery (26th), but sadly didn’t appear to linger. Two Wood Sandpipers and three Green Sandpipers were at Llanilid (1st). Sightings from Rhaslas Pond included Ringed Plover, Dunlin, Redshank, Green Sandpiper and Stock Dove.

Vale of Glamorgan: A Wryneck turned up at Ogmore Estuary (25th) and was still present at the month end. Both Storm Petrel and Arctic Skua passed Lavernock, with three Arctic Skuas and 1,000 Manx Shearwaters from St Donats on the same day (10th). A Hen Harrier drifted over Barry (23rd). A Goshawk was over Llantwit Major (10th). A noteworthy movement of 62 Tree Pipits was observed at Lavernock (25th). A flock of 20 Yellow Wagtails was in harrowed fields at Durval Farm, St Brides Major. Pied Flycatchers were observed at Pant Norton (21st) and Summerhouse Point (two, on 26th). Several Choughs were on the Heritage Coast.

July 2019

Highlights: A Great White Egret flew over Gileston (25th). An Osprey and a Wood Sandpiper were simultaneously at Kenfig Pool (30th). Two further Wood Sandpipers were observed at Llanilid (4th and 29th). A Goshawk was circling over fields between Cosmeston and Lavernock. Greenshanks visited Bendrick Rocks (Barry), Aberthaw and Kenfig. A smattering of Green Sandpipers included less than usual occurences from Cosmeston and Ogmore-by-Sea. Black-tailed Godwits were at Aberthaw and Ogmore Estuary. Both Arctic Skua and Great Skua were noted off St Donats. Two juvenile Yellow-legged Gulls turned up at Cosmeston. A good count of 16 Mediterranean Gulls was made from Nash Point, where a Sandwich Tern was also logged. Early migrant Yellow Wagtails were sighted at Ogmore Estuary and Kenfig. News was received of Ring Ouzels breeding in the north of the area. An adult male Hawfinch was a surprise at Ewenny Priory.

June 2019

Highlights: A Blue-headed Wagtail was briefly along the east pool shore at Kenfig (10th ). Also there, an unseasonal Great Northern Diver off Sker and 22 Black-tailed Godwits at the pool. A Black Tern called in at Ogmore Estuary, early in the month. An Arctic Skua was off Lavernock. A very unusual local record concerned a pair of Hawfinches breeding successfully at Norton Church, Bridgend. The male of the pair was ringed as an adult near Parkend, Forest of Dean, on 11/04/2017.

May 2019

Highlights: A second calendar-year Bonaparte’s Gull was found at Cardiff Water Treatment Works (3rd), presumably the same individual as seen at Cardiff Bay in late April. A Hoopoe was photographed in a Cwmbach garden (15th). A probable Golden Oriole was reported at Parc Slip (16th). Single Pomarine Skuas were noted off Lavernock (8th and 19th). A passage of Black Terns occurred, with coastal sightings from Lavernock (maximum seven), Glieston (five) and Kenfig (maximum 10 at the pool and nine off Sker), plus an inland record of five at Rhaslas Pond. The same weather saw a movement of 500 Common Terns and three Arctic Skuas off Sker. A Greenshank was at Kenfig Pool. Hobbies were noted at Merthyr Mawr and Kenfig. A Wood Warbler was at Castell Coch.

April 2019

Highlights: A stunning male Citrine Wagtail was a great find at Llwyn-on Reservoir (27th). A Red-rumped Swallow spent a few hours at Kenfig Saltmarsh, but apparently moved on when a Merlin showed up (5th). Two Bonaparte’s Gulls graced Cardiff Bay – a brief adult (22nd) and a lingering second calendar-year (from 25th). Also at Cardiff Bay, a Golden Oriole was reportedly rescued and taken into care (29th), sadly succumbing. At Kenfig Pool both Whooper Swan (3rd), and Cattle Egret (19th) were fleeting visitors, with up to four Garganey recorded. A Great White Egret was at East Aberthaw (16th). Two Avocets were noted at Ogmore Estuary (6th). Other Sites: Ospreys were observed at Llwyn-on Reservoir, Cwm Cadlan, Southerndown, Bridgend and Kenfig. A male Hen Harrier transited over Cosmeston. A Merlin was at Nash Point. A Hobby was seen over Broadlands, Bridgend. Several Little Ringed Plovers, a Spotted Redshank and a Greenshank were at Ogmore Estuary. Rumney Great Wharf held Greenshank and Green Sandpiper. A maximum of four Little Gulls was at Cardiff Bay. Wintering Water Pipits were still present early in the month at Ogmore Estuary and Rumney Great Wharf. Ring Ouzels turned up at Mynydd Bach (two) and Rudry Common. Migrant Pied Flycatcher and Wood Warbler were both noted at Kenfig.

March 2019

Highlights: Kenfig held the lion’s share of this month’s scarcities, with five Garganeys, Cattle Egret, Great White Egret, two Black-necked Grebes, Slavonian Grebe and two Avocets recorded. Four Cattle Egrets remained at Porthcawl all month. A White Stork was reported over Ewenny (26th) and a Turtle Dove of unknown origin was frequenting a Rhoose garden
Other Sites: Scaup were noted at Cosmeston and Kenfig. A Bittern was reported at Lamby Lake, with others at Cosmeston and Kenfig. Hen Harriers were logged at Gileston, Parc Slip, Mynydd Eglwysilan and Llanilid (a male, which commuted between here and Hirwaun Common). Both Marsh Harrier and Merlin were seen at Kenfig, with another Merlin at Flemingston. A Little Ringed Plover was at Ogmore Estuary, where two wintering Common Sandpipers and a Green Sandpiper were still around. Cardiff Bay held two Little Gulls and two Yellow-legged Gulls, with another of the latter species at Caerphilly Castle Moat. Three Short-eared Owls were in the dunes at Kenfig. At least four Water Pipits were at Ogmore Estuary, with others at Rumney Great Wharf and Green Point, Rhymney Estuary. A minimum of four Choughs was roaming the Heritage Coast. A Firecrest was at Kenfig Pool. Hawfinches were a popular draw at the Forest Ganol feeding station.