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.

February 2019

Highlights: A first-winter Caspian Gull was found at Cardiff Bay (27th), with two Bearded Tits still in situ at the wetlands reserve. Four Cattle Egrets remained at Porthcawl throughout the month. A Great Grey Shrike continued its winter sojourn at Garwnant. Great White Egrets were at Abercwmboi and Kenfig, where Black-necked Grebe and Slavonian Grebe were also present.
Other Sites: A Greater Scaup was at Cosmeston. Two Hen Harriers were at Llanilid. Ogmore Estuary had two Water Pipits, two Common Sandpipers and four Purple Sandpipers, with 15 of the latter noted at Sker. Cardiff Bay held an adult Little Gull. Three Short-eared Owls were regular in the dunes at Kenfig, while a Firecrest was recorded near the pool. Willow Tits were at Garwnant. A Chough was at Southerndown.

Jan 2019

Highlights: The four Cattle Egrets remained in fields off Zig-Zag Lane, Porthcawl, for the duration, while nearby a Whooper Swan was noted passing just offshore of the town and a Black Redstart frequented Trecco Bay. A first-winter Caspian Gull was identified at Cardiff Bay, where Black-necked Grebe, two Bearded Tits and a Bittern were also around. A Great Grey Shrike remained at Garwnant. The well-documented Siberian Chiffchaff continued its stay at Parc Slip. Sightings from Kenfig included Whooper Swan, Slavonian Grebe, Great White Egret, Bittern, Merlin and Brent Goose. A Great White Egret was still at Abercwmboi Lake. Water Pipits comprised three at Ogmore Estuary and one at Llwyn-on Reservoir. A male Hen Harrier occurred at Cwm Cadlan. A Black Redstart was observed at Dunraven. Wintering Common Sandpipers were at Ogmore Estuary (two) and on the River Taff at Treforest. Up to seven Green Sandpipers were on the River Ely near Pendoylan, with another seen at Ogmore Estuary.