Aberthaw, East & West

We had a successful but tiring trip to W and E Aberthaw today with just 7 participants. Highlight at the western end as we walked along the coast path by The Leys, was a Merlin which shot through westwards along the edge of the fields. On the return we had a large female Sparrowhawk and a Kestrel hunting and there were 2 Buzzards by a distsant field. There were large flocks of Goldfinch and Linnet. During the day we got into double figures of Stonechat [c.12 I reckon] and at the E end of the power station an amazing 13 Jays flew up off the ground. A small group of Wigeon were offshore. Waders comprised Curlew, Oystercatcher, Ringed Plover, Turnstone and 2 fly-by Dunlin. A single Teal flushed from the lagoon. Pathside scrub held a juv Whitethroat. At both E and W locations, flocks of [,mostly] Herring Gulls also had accompanying Med Gulls, all ad winter birds. Thanks to Alan Rosney for being ‘keeper of the list’. Full list can be seen here.


Couple of pix of a Jay at Cosmeston yesterday. There have been 3 or 4 flying back & forth collecting acorns. Today in the morning drizzle, 2 Redstarts and a Common Whitethroat were in the snipe enclosure [beyond the dragonfly pond on the right], and in the trees around the bird table there were 2 Treecreepers, a Nuthatch and 6 Chaffinch. Several Chiffchaffs were along the edge of W paddock.

Sker farm

I wonder if any of those checking out the Hoopoe this afternoon noticed the Peregrine a few hundred yards off in the field towards the golf course. It was just sitting there on the turf with a posse of Rooks in attendance. I hope it doesn’t make a meal of the local celebrity!

KNNR/Sker – GBC monthly walk

Successful monthly walk at KNNR this morning with 16 participants and Dave Carrington leading. We walked straight out to Sker Farm and watched ‘Strinda’s’ Hoopoe for a while, then walked to Sker Pt, watched a bit from there and then walked back through the dunes via the ‘yellow’ path. A total of 40 species were logged. Highlights – the Hoopoe obviously, several Wheatear, a Marsh Harrier that flew E past Sker Farm, a fly over male Yellow Wagtail, 2 AdW Med Gulls and what was probably a Common Tern in a group of gulls offshore at Sker Pt, Stonechats, Skylarks, a light passage of Swallows….. John Wilson. Full list here:https://drive.google.com/…/1a4w4786y7L4tpZwBWbV…/view…

Sker Farm

Managed to find a ‘window’ to drive down to KNNR and walk out to Sker Farm to see the Hoopoe found by GBC trustee Strinda Davies. It performed pretty well in the field it is currently calling home, finding plenty of what looked like black caterpillars to feed on. At one point it was irritated by the sudden arrival of a Wheatear and raised its crest and spread its wings.


In our garden this afteroon, a feeding flock of tits containing many Long-tailed Tits, the trees at the bottom of the garden were alive with birds, and a couple of Willow Warblers were with them. One settled by our garden wall long enough for me to grab a couple of photos, plus a couple of an accompanying Long-tailed Tit. The odd one out is a House Martin in a still active nest at Penarth Marina.

Cosmeston 26th Aug

During a 1 hr walk round highlights were 2 Spotted Flycatchers in the fenced off area at the far end of E paddock, and a Garden Warbler there plus a couple of Willow Warblers and a few Chiffchaff and 1 Green Woodpecker. In the ‘snipe area’ of W paddock there were 4 Common Whitethroats, another Willow Warbler and more Chiffies, and a Sparrowhawk flew over Cogan Wood. The prev day there had been a Whinchat by Sully Brook just outside Cogan Wood per Graham Smith but I didn’t check for it today.