Barry and Cosmeston

37 species on yesterday’s walk to The Knap, Barry included:

  • Mute Swan on the flat calm sea off Knap beach
  • Adult Great Black-backed Gull on the shoreline below Knap Terrace
  • 41 Tufted Duck on Knap lake (my second-highest count here in the last ten years)
  • Adult Mediterranean Gull at Barry Docks
  • 17 Redshank and a Raven at Barry Old Harbour
  • Cetti’s Warbler singing at Cadoxton Ponds and a singing Goldcrest on Sully Moors Rd.

Highlights of a walk to Cosmeston on Thursday afternoon mostly in misty conditions were 22 Curlew on Sully playing fields (just as well they were there as Sully Island was invisible in the gloom), at least 29 Teal on Cosmeston’s partly frozen West lake and 31 Pochard, all but one on the East lake.

Penarth & Cosmeston

On 7th we walked along Penarth clifftop starting in sunshine and then the fog rolled in. I did get a first of the year Kestrel, and a Wren and the usual House Sparrowds were active in the clifftop bushes!
Today, 8th Jan we went back to Cosmeston. There were 2 Green Woodpeckers in W paddock [looked like a pair but couldn’t get close enough to be sure]. Heard 3 Nuthatches in Cogan Wood but not a single one showed! The lower Dovecote sloping field had a pair of Stonechat [new for year] and about 10 Fieldfare, and in the car park, Redwing were on the central grass area, and another new bird in the form of a Siskin was with Goldfinches in the car park trees. Siskin are a bit of a rarity there these days. A Song Thrush posed nicely in Ivy by the exit.

2020 Bird Records

It’s the new year, so time to get all your records/observations for 2020, however limited they may be, to me, for collation into the master spreadsheet of records so work can start on the 2020 East Glam Bird Report. I have already extracted the 2020 data from BirdTrack and have received individual records from four individuals. If you haven’t Bird Tracked your records yet then when you have you’ll have to extract them yourself and send them to me separately. Thanks in advance folks. John Wilson.

Cosmeston recently

On 4th Jan a Snipe flew out of the fenced in enclosure beyond the dragonfly pond [what I call the snipe paddock]. Then on 5th Jan there were 245 Tufted Ducks [230 on E lake and 15 on W lake], 26 Pochard [19 on E lake, 7 on W lake], the most this winter so far. Today, 6th Jan an adult Common Gull was on W lake for a short while [they have been in short supply this winter, even in Cardiff Bay], and a drake Wigeon was skulking around the reedbed fringe of W lake. Pic below of fem Blackbird in Cogan Wood and the ad Common Gull.

Cardiff Bay

Good numbers of duck in the wetland reserve area including female ring necked duck, scaup, and pochard. Goldeneye out near the sails. Also rock pipits and a common gull (by Channel View). (I assume the l t duck is still around but didn’t spot). Good to see Matt and Peter – thanks guys (great start to my cycling/walking year list)

Great Grey Shrike?

I would welcome any thoughts about what this bird is. A couple of knowledgeable friends have suggested a Great Grey Shrike. This would indeed be a unique siting if it is. I saw the bird at 15 30 on the 12th of December 2020 at the location pin drop.

Many thanks Helen


On W lake this morning, there were 10 Teal, a pair of Wigeon, 9 Pochard, 100+ Tufties, and a Common Gull. A Cetti’s Warbler sang near the bird table and there were around 10 Chaffinch there. Someone has put up a couple of feeders and there was seed on the ground. In the total of around 120 Tufted Duck on both lakes, I would estimate that around 80% at least of them, are drakes.

Jan 2021 newsletter

John Wilson here. Alan Rosney has now completed the first newsletter of 2021 so well done Alan. It’s problematic [and not necessarily safe] getting to the post office for him at the mo so those who receive theirs by email will do so. For everyone else, it is in pdf form and I have just uploaded it to our Google Drive. It can be seen [and downloaded] by clicking HERE.

Zoom presentation 5th Jan!

Just checking my laptop diary to suddenly be reminded that it was agreed I would give a Zoom prersentation on a trip we did to Thailand at the beginning of last year, the presentation being on Tuesday i.e. 5th Jan. Really sorry for the short notice but with Christmas in the interim it had slipped my mind. It will start at 7:30 p.m. with the Zoom room opening at around 7:15. Here’s a link to join:… John Wilson


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.


New year’s day dog walk. A good selection of wildfowl – 120 Tufties, 16 Pochard [7 E lake 9 W lake], 3 Shoveler (2m 1f) on E lake, a pair of Wigeon and a hiding drake Teal on W lake, plus Mallard, Mute Swan and Canadas. Other watefowl were Coot, Moorhen, 3 Little Grebe, 2 GC Grebe, 1 Cormorant, Water Rail heard in the snipe paddock. Gulls – 1 Common Gull on W lake posts, plus LBBG, HG and Black-headed Gull. A smattering of common birds including a Green Woodpecker made the total in just a 45 min walk, 32 species.


Highlights [such as they are] at Cosmeston this morning: best was an adult Common Gull initally on W lake then in the SW corner of E lake. There have been very few this winter. A couple of drake Pochard were hiding in the reed edges on W lake and about 20 Fieldfare were in trees near the small pond in the dip by the N corner of W lake, and feeding on the ground to the right thru the gate. Couple of Mistle Thrushes with them too.

From yesterday there was a remarkable record [and photo] of a Red-breasted Merganser well inland on the lower lake at Clydach Vale CP. They are scarce enough in E Glam [maybe 1 record a year, if that]. Possibly due to storm Bella.


On a calm but cold day: about 90-100 Tufted Duck on E lake with a lone drake Pochard. Great and Little Grebes present, but very quiet on land birds. The very wet ground means that worms are accessible so I logged 10+ Blackbirds feeding on the ground around our route. By Sully Brook by the Lower Dovecote field there was a single Redwing with the Blackbirds, and a small flock of Long-tailed Tits were foraging in low vegetation at ground level. There was a Nuthatch and a Coal Tit feeding by the kissing gate that leads off Mile Road by Sully Brook.