Cosmeston 27th Jul

A quick walk round and on entering E paddock I immediately heard some very agitated and loud yaffling from 1 poss 2 Green Woodpeckers. I scanned around and found two on a tree trunk in the wooded area behind the play park. I crept across the paddock and eventually got close enough [they’re normally very nervous], to get some nice cropped stills and I took a couple of video clips using the Sony RX10 IV at max zoom. The birds were an adult male [on the right – red in its ‘moustache’] and a stripey and flecked immature. There’s a link below to a vid clip on Youtube.

Here’s the Youtube link – just click to go to the vid and then play it. Best to choose full screen option.

Rhymney Est./Cardiff Heliport bay

WeBS count this a.m. delayed from yesterday. Just 450 Redshank off Green Pt and 2 Whimbrel, and a pair of Shelduck with 3 small ducklings was nice to see, so they bred nearby. An imm Kestrel was sitting on one of the pylons. As I walked back to the Tesco car park, there were a good number of butterflies by the overgrown banking including a Painted Lady. At the Heliport bay just 2 Oycs. At both locations there were c.1000 Black-headed Gulls. The Welsh Coast path leading round to Lamby Way just past the boatyard entrance was completely overgrown and impassable.

Sully and Barry

This morning after high tide:

Sully Bay – Redshank, 9 Turnstone (first sighting here since late spring), adult Mediterreanean Gull

Sully Island – Whimbrel, Ringed Plover, Grey Heron, 15 Oystercatcher, Great Black-backed Gull

Cadoxton rivermouth – 2 Whimbrel, Turnstone, 2 Oystercatcher, Little Egret, 2 Rock Pipit, a calling Raven and a flyover Cormorant heading into Barry Docks

Barry Old Harbour – Whimbrel and Sand Martin

Nesting Hobbies

Found under licence: nest containing at least two chicks, nine metres up in a former Carrion Crow nest in an oak in lightly-timbered grassland on very secluded private land at 242 metres asl.  (In the second of my two photos the nest is in the centre and the white downy chicks just visible within.)

The site is within a few kilometres of the location where I found and reported a displaying pair in May of last year, and might be part of the same nesting area. Chronically under-recorded across most of its breeding range, I would expect there to be many pairs of this species nesting across Glamorgan and the wider area.  The legal status of course precludes a close approach to a nest, but breeding Hobbies can be detected for recording and conservation purposes by various methods. These include: watching and listening for their reactions to intruding Buzzards and Red Kites (which are mobbed if they pass close to the nest); following or tracing back the flight paths of birds on hunting forays; and observing the activity of family parties during the post-fledging period in August-September.

Birders often regard mid- to late summer as a dull period due to the general absence of vagrants and scarce migrants, but there are useful finds to be made if the quieter areas of the landscape are sought out and the scarcer breeding species responsibly targeted.


Pretty quiet bird-wise at the moment due mainly to the heat. A group of 9-10 Tufted Ducks have been around for a few days – a sign of autumn – returning non-breeders probably. The half grown Gt Crested Grebes on W lake are pretty vocal but never very close. Had an obliging juv Blackbird in Cogan Wood 2 days ago and a Song Thrush outside. The bird in the tree is a young Blackcap which was v difficult to get a picture of.

Cosmeston 17th July

Apologies, this was posted in error by me {John Wilson} logged in as GBC – it shd have been posted on my own Blog! Decided to leave as general interest! 🙂
Fairly brief walk around Cosmeston this morning as other things to do, and it was too hot! Not much of birdy interest apart from 10 Tufted Ducks on E lake [a sign of autumn] allthough as we left two trailers of small sailing dingies arrived so hopefully the Tufties moved onto W lake. Also 3 young Gt Crested Grebes are doing well – too distant to photograph. A Heron in the small tree opposite the main bridge posed nicely. Other than that, photos are of Large Skipper female. Pyramidal Orchid [still a large number in flower], a Dwarf Thistle, and the first Ringlet I’ve seen there this summer.

Heol y Cyw

Catch up post from a few of days ago.

Used to having resident Mistle Thrush in the garden here but hadn’t been noticeable for a little while so Mistle Thrush calls overhead caught my attention around 4:30. Was surprised to see a huge group – I would say between 80 and 100 heading north south from the higher ground, just before the really hot weather set in.

Cardiff Bay W.R.

Whilst walking to my car,parked next to St.Davids hotel,i noticed a number of Starlings on the hotel roof.Then something spooked them and to my amazement there were at least 1000 birds.They flew towards the reserve but i couldn’t relocate them.I’ve never seen a murmuration in the summer before!! 21h30-21h40

Evening Cycle Llanmaes Area

1 singing Greenfinch, 4 singing Yellowhammers, 1 Song Thrush, pair of Wrens heading in same direction carrying food, 2 Whitethroat, Chiffchaffs still singing away, a brief burst of Blackcap song (although our resident Blackcaps stopped singing last week) and some Linnets, Goldfinches, Chaffinches and Swallows.

Goldcliff, Gwent – 15th Jul

We had a pleasant GBC trip to Goldcliff yesterday with 8 participants. No other birders there – reflected in that there weren’t many birds! 😁 Waders were pretty disappointing although we did have 6 Ringed Plover, 2 distant and v brief imm Little Ringed Plover, just 2 Blackwits, 1 Common Sanpiper, 4 Dunlin a few Redshank and about 50 Lapwing. We timed it for high tide at 11:27 but that didn’t bring in anything extra. No Short-eared Owl although one was seen recently. The v pale bellied/headed Buzzard was sitting on a post. By 1 p.m. it was getting too hot and we called it a day. Thanks to the folk who attended. Pix below of obliging Pied Wag and Linnet in front of one of the hides, and a peekaboo Greylag. Click here to see the full list.

Wood Street bridge, Cardiff

Two slightly surprising observations as we walked across Wood Street bridge yesterday afternoon after the rugby*.

Three Goosander were on the Taff, a sight I expect more in winter.

Then I noticed some small greenish birds flying across the Taff which looked like Siskins. I was doubting my tentative conclusion, as the habitat and ultra-urban location seemed wrong, but then realised that there were more birds in the trees alongside the pavement. These were calling and even singing, and I was able to confirm the identification.

* Not a great game, but nice to be at one at all after all this time.