Forest Farm and Radyr Weir

Dipper 1 Grey Wagtail 8 birds of which two were juveniles Stock Dove 5 flew in front of the new hide Reed Warbler 2 Whitethroat 1 Chiffchaff 1 Long-tailed Tit 8. Also Ringlet 4 and Meadow Brown 6 and a visit to the pool produced 6 Azure Blue damselflies. It was good to see Cliff Woodhead at the reserve.

Cosmeston

Morning walk round. Near the dragonfly pond there were three juv Robins together, presumably from the same nest, a Green Woodpecker and a Great Spotted was calling but not seen. A small flock of Linnets was in W paddock and allowed me a couple of shots. A Grey Heron was resting on the dead tree by E lake near the bridge and 3 Cormorants were on the W lake posts. A drake Tufted Duck was on E lake. Also shown, a Small Skipper – these have just appeared on the wing.

Cosmeston

There were 5 or 6 very active and vocal Whitethroats in the vegetation by the dipping pond this morning, a famliy group. A Cetti’s Warbler sang several times at the back of the dipping pond but as usual didn’t show. A pair of GC Grebes were together on the far side of W lake and looked to have 2 or 3 young ‘humbugs’. By the E lake boardwalk there were a couple of Reed Warblers which I just failed to get a shot of.

Cosmeston

Yesterday there were Black-headed Gulls on the W lake posts, a sure early sign of autumn. Also I noticed then and the day before that one of the Gt Crested Grebes had a youngster [humbug] on its back. I’ve no idea where the nest was. There have been a couple of Grey Herons in residence by W lake too. A Whitethroat family was active in the long grass at the far end of W paddock and there’s also a family near the dipping pond.Dragonflies active recently on sunny days gave been Emperor, Black-tailed Skimmer, Broad-bodied Chaser, and Four-spotted Chaser, and Beautiful Demoiselles have been by Sully Brook through the kissing gate beyond the Medieval Village. A poor summer thus far for Butterflies in any number.

Grangemoor Park

Lesser Whitethroat singing. First I’ve heard here this year.

Ely Trail west of Penarth Road, Reed Warblers singing at two sites.

Sanatorium Park, two singing Whitethroats daily throughout this month.

Greenfinch singing daily at Grangemoor Park, along Ely River Trail and at Sanatorium Park being quite a change following their almost absence a few years ago.

Cosmeston

Nothing terribly exciting in a quick walk round this morning. A nice patch of the 100’s of Pyramidal Orchids in E paddock, a Meadow Brown [1 of only two Butterflies seen, the other being a Speckled Wood], a posing Moorhen chick [one of 7] showing off its long toes, an adult Little Grebe creating a nice wake pattern on W lake, one of two Grey Herons that have been around for a couple of days, wing stretching on the fallen tree by E lake that is sometimes used as a perch by a Kingfisher, and an adult Carrion Crow feeding a juv in W paddock. Interesting to see that the adult’s nictitating memrane was across the eye during the act of feeding the youngster. This was the case in the other three shots I took.

Cosmeston

Slightly damp walk round this morning. Highlights – family group of Common Whitethroat in W paddock plus 5 Linnet, 1 Stock Dove and 1 imm Pied Wag, singles of Sand Martin and House Martin over W lake. In one small area of E paddock I counted 80 Pyramidal Orchids.

Kenfig NNR

Monthly birdwalk, 19/6 /21

We had a very enjoyable morning yesterday, good to see old friends and meet a new member.

On what seemed to be a quiet day, we found 46 species, the highlights being a Red Kite, 40+ Swift with associating Martins, and a Nuthatch.

The wildflowers were stunning- at least 3 species of orchid, huge Viper’s Bugloss, etc. Among other notable things were-

Azure, Blue Tailed and Common Blue Damselfly, Four Spot Chaser and Hairy Dragonfly, a Yellow Underwing Moth, and a Common Frog.

Canada Goose 100+ Greylag Goose, Mute Swan, Mallard, Pheasant (H), Swift 40+, Feral Pigeon , Woodpigeon , Collared Dove, Herring Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Grey Heron (2), Sparrowhawk, Red Kite, Buzzard , Kestrel Magpie , Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Blue Tit, Skylark, Sand Martin, Swallow, House Martin , Cetti’s Warbler, Long-tailed Tit , Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff, Reed Warbler, Blackcap, Whitethroat , Wren (H), Nuthatch, Starling, Blackbird, Song Thrush,(H) Stonechat, House Sparrow, Dunnock , Meadow Pipit, Chaffinch (H), Bullfinch, Greenfinch, Linnet, Goldfinch, Reed Bunting.

With thanks to Dave Carrington for leading, and everyone else for your expertise and company,

Jean

Llanmaes

3 singing Yellowhammers within a mile of Llanmaes this afternoon. At 2120 at least 10 Swifts flying silently over our Boverton house evidently catching lots of insects – up to tonight it has usually only been 2 or 3.

Parc Cwm Dare – Dare Valley CP 13 June 2021

Just myself, Alan Rosney, plus Adrian Webb, Mark Davies & Diane visited on what was going to be a hot day. We got there at 9:30 and birded {and butterflied etc} until about 1 p.m. then headed off home before it got too hot [and busy]. As it was, by the time we headed back down from the top view point both lakes had more human occupants than avian! Considering the time of year we did pretty well with 42 bird species logged. The lower lake had a nesting Coot, and a single Little Grebe stuck to the far margins and whinnied a couple of times. House Martins dropped in to drink, as did a couple of Swifts. Blackcaps, Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler and Chaffinch sang as we walked up by the stream. The the first viewing ‘platform’ area we lucked out and got good viewds of a Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary [Alan’s target for the day -pix below] and we also briefly saw a Dark Green Frit but it didn’t settle. Whilst snacking in the shade at the top viewpoint we had some close fly-by Siskins and in the trees below by the stream was a male Redstart. A Kestrel chased a Buzzard along the ridge, and on the walk back we got on to a singing Garden Warbler which gave reasonable views as it flitted about in the top of a tree. Click here to see the full list pdf.

Boverton/Llantwit area

Good to see Blue Tit fledglings being fed noisily near our house (having mysteriously lost a nest boxful of 9 freshly-hatched chicks a few weeks ago) Also 50 or so Swifts along with some House Martins and Swallows not far from the Aston Martin factory and yesterday morning 7 Swifts circling low over Llantwit Town Hall.

Heol y Cyw

Garden observations from last week.

Really pleased to have greenfinch back in the garden – not had any since 2016. Also seen return of pheasant in our woodland area after several years’ absence.

Was treated to a Spotted Flycatcher, doing what it says it does, early evening on the 1st June but not seen again.

Pair of swallows arrived pretty late and nest building in barn. Had a few groups of swift over and also a few house martins but not seen every day.

Daily garden list usually has a singular herring gull but have had much larger groups circling pasture land and adjacent fields over the last couple of weeks – up to 60 on one occasion. Not sure what has brought them in?

Cuckoo calling from woodland for a couple of consecutive evenings before, presumably moving on.

Good take up of nest boxes by great tit in particular plus blue tits. Young birds include mistle thrush, nuthatch, great spotted woodpecker, robin and chaffinch.

Daily pair of raven overhead, regular singular red kite, several buzzards and occasional Sparrowhawk.

Other birds seen pretty much daily include, blue, great and coal tits (no long-tailed for a while), sparrow, dunnock, robin, blackbird, song thrush, bullfinch, goldfinch, blackcap, carrion crow, jackdaw, magpie, woodpigeon, collared dove, green woodpecker, pied wagtail, occasional grey wagtail and regular tawny owl.

Llanwonno – Tues 8th June

A very successful evening trip to the Llanwonno forestry above Pontypridd, saw 11 participants delight in the performance of up to 7 Nightjars. Despite the midges we had excellent flight views of 4 birds, including a male that few right over our heads and perched up for a few seconds, and a female, then later a pair flying together. Others were seen and heard more distantly, and as we walked back to the cars, my torch and that of John Duffy caught the ‘eye glow’ of a churring bird not far off the road. Tree Pipits were singing and showing well and at least two Grasshopper Warblers were heard [not by me!], plus a Common Whitethroat and several Willow Warblers. A fly-by Cuckoo added to the show plus a few fly-over Lesser Redpolls.

Cardiff Bay Barrage

We walked across the Barrage in pretty hot sunshine but a cool breeze occasionally. At the locks end of the barrage I found 3 Grey Wagtails on the outer barrage rocks, at least one of which was a juvenile. By the maintenance yard at the other end, there were 2 Ravens resting and I took some images of them interacting – I think one [on the right in the photos] was a juv and the adult was seemingly ‘grooming’ it [known as allopreening when it involves a pair]. The usual Sand Martins were busy in the old dock where they nest in holes in the dock walls. We had a coffee in the Lookout cafe and then Anne & I made our back back. During the walk back I had a Rock Pipit on the outer barrage and there were 50 or more Swift distantly over the swimming pool. Just by the inner barrage near the waterbus stop were two large fish [Grayling?]. At Penarth Marina, there was plenty of House Martin activity but it seems that some residents are trying to deter them from nesting under the eaves by hanging glitzy strands of tinsel-like ribbons from their upper window frames, so they blow around and ‘flash’ in the breeze.

Lavernock

An adult Rosy Starling was found at Lavernock late this afternoon and showed until about 6:45 p.m. It was with a small flock [c.12] of Common Starlings in the big coastal field north of the Church and the two big houses. This large field has quite a few nesting Skylarks so do not walk across it – just walk around the periphery – it’s a big field but this must be stuck to.

Llantwit beach to St Donats Tuesday afternoon

2 Fulmars circling around the cliffs. 1 Kestrel hovering just inland from them, and a few Linnets,Stonechats and Whitethroats about and Bullfinch heard near the cafe at Llantwit.Good to see lots of Tadpoles entertaining the children and adults by the cafe also. ( also 1 Grey Seal spending the afternoon about half a mile off Atlantic College and 2 Brimstones seen along the path)

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.

Cardiff Bay

An Arctic Tern has been feeding in Cardiff Bay today. First seen at around 8:30 this morning by Peter Howlett on his regular round of the Bay, I wasn’t able to go until early afternoon. I set my scope up by Plas Taliesin by Penarth Marina and after some scanning soon picked it up flying back & forth more or less mid bay, looking towards the Taff road bridge. It continued to fly back & forth in that general area all the time and was still present when I left at 2:30. The House Martins from the nests in the Penarth Marina apartment complex were very busy feeding over the water. On my way back I came across the smart male Grey Wagtail below on the concrete wall at the opening of the entrance into the Penarth Marina locks. When it few off it was joined by another.