Friday, 19 September 2014

St Davids Hd am

A hot and humid morning with a few birds about. A Wryneck showed well at the Kissing Gate out to the Head and there were Hobby, Whinchat, Rock Pipit (6) and Spotted Flycatcher (3), Also  Ringed Plovers (6) and Sanderling (6) on Whitesands beach.

Skomer Red-breasted Flycatcher

A Red-breasted Flycatcher on Skomer this afternoon. The Short-toed Lark present to midday at least at Martin's Haven and Lapland Bunting also there (M Hipkin).

Cleddau ospreys

2 this a.m. at low tide, both perched, both viewable from West Williamston nature reserve. One was on a post S of the nature reserve on the Carew River, the other on a post well upstream on the Cresswell river. On the offchance I called in on friends in West Williamston, there was this osprey in the creek at the foot of their garden.

Short-toed Lark - Martin's Haven

Dave A has just found one in the ploughed field south of the National Trust car park at SM761087.
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Thursday, 18 September 2014

Red-throated Pipit

A report of a Red-throated Pipit on Birdguides this evening. Present at the north end of Whitesands Bay, St Davids; on the track to Porth Mawr Farm.

Osprey - The Gann

Caught up with the Osprey at the Gann (4.20pm) as it drifted over while I was scanning the pools near Crabhall. Met up with Graham Walker on the ridge who soon had it in his scope perched on a telegraph pole on St Ishmaels side. I'd earlier met Graham (who'd had brief views of the LYL yesterday) in the Britton hide, no sign of the LYL today. There was a lot of farming activity on the mere, it having been cut and baled. Hopefully it might still be around or moved to somewhere else near by perhaps.

Pembrokeshire Bird Conference 2014

The Bird Conference this year will be on SUNDAY Nov. 30th. at the Picton Centre in Haverfordwest.

We have taken on-board the feedback we received after last year's Conference, and have kept the Conference in Haverfordwest, included more and longer tea/coffee and lunch breaks, and the focus of the talks is very much Pembrokeshire based with leading Pembrokeshire Birders amongst the speakers.

For full details of this exciting event, and to book your place go to the "Events" tab on the Bird Group Blog

Don't miss this, the leading County Bird Conference in Wales, and the opportunity to catch up with old birding friends.

Peter Royle

Pembrokeshire Bird Group

Wednesday, 17 September 2014


The variety of migrants was again good, with the first Firecrest of the year a highlight. Full totals at


Another whinchat today, 4 white wagtails, 5 great tits, 2 blue tits and a smattering of common migrants (willow warblers, spotted flys and goldcrests) - a clouded yellow was the 4th of the month

Marloes Mere - update

As I had to leave early this morning I popped down again for a couple of hours 4-6. But no sign of LYL, in fact really quiet. Female Kestrel and female Sparrowhawk, plus a passage of Swallows all day heading eastwards. Records in the log of the Marsh Harrier being seen earlier with multiple Marsh Harriers seen together as well this afternoon might explain the quietness. A visiting birder, who was unaware of the LYL, had seen a Little Stint and had a brief view of an unidentified grey-headed wader.

Cledddau Ospreys
From the Lawrenny side of the Cresswell River around 1:30 p.m. I watched an Osprey fishing over at West Williamston. It made one failed plunge and continued up  river towards Cresswell Quay. An hour or so later an Osprey was fishing in Garron Pill and then along Beggars Reach. Whilst watching this bird another Osprey flew past fairly high in the general direction of Landshipping. So, 2 quite likely 3, Ospreys in the Cleddau River system.

The Garron Pill bird (unringed, juvenile) made 3 failed fishing attempts and it was fourth time lucky when it caught a large fish in the mouth of the Pill. Obligingly it flew past with it's catch heading in the direction of the Cresswell River

Gupton, Castlemartin Corse, West Angle

20 chough (as well as rooks, crows, jackdaws) in coastal reversion fields behind Fresh West car park. At one point 12 chough were clustered on the face of the 2m pile of sand next to the scrape behind the bridleway. Would have made a great photo. Also 7-8 wheatear, 2 whinchat, lots of linnets in small flocks which briefly coalesced into a large flock of 350-400, plus a scattering of skylarks, mipits, stonechats, a kestrel....

At East Blockhouse (West Angle) earlier - also last Thursday - an unmistakeable garden warbler singing softly deep in the blackthorn along the "tunnel" section of coast path. Unusually late - my Hollom says garden warblers can be heard singing as late as August, blackcaps "exceptionally as late as mid-September". But this was a garden warbler. Also one spotted flycatcher, and 2 Med gulls on the beach.

Lesser Yellowlegs - still at Marloes Mere

Briefest of views on second visit to Britton Hide. The Lesser Yellowlegs flew in at 11.10 this morning, alighted and promptly disappeared behind screen of rush. There'd been a staccato tewing call before it appeared. A Little Stint also flew in 10mins later, and also disappeared. There was a Kestrel on the exposed mud just out from Bar-wire gate, I wonder if this may have spooked them. Otherwise a young male Kestrel, 5 Whinchat and 200+ flock of Linnet (could only see a single Goldfinch among them, and 10 Reed buntings) on walk over to Deer Park, about dozen Wheatear and c20 White Wagtails in the ploughed field which has now been graded by Rath Cottage. Deer Park: Grey Wagtail by cattle drink, female Kestrel and a female Sparrowhawk.

Newport Med Gulls

This morning 5 adults (including the ringed bird), 2 2nd winter & 1 1st winter. Also 6 Barwits & 2 Greenshanks (12 & 3 respectively yesterday).

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Picton Point Swallows

Jean and I visited Picton Point at about 1900hrs. There were 37 curlew, several redshank, some teal, mallard and oystercatchers. Several hundred black-headed gulls came down the river to roost on the mud and at around 1930hrs 94 Canada geese flew in. But the most spectacular sight was that of swallows on our arrival, they were both low over the water and on up to a considerable height and there were thousands of them. They were, as Jean said, as dense as midges. They were passing downstream for about ten minutes before petering out to a steady trickle of a few dozen at a time. This went on until about 2000hrs.

West Angle

A sanderling on the beach along with the handful of dunlin, ringed plover and turnstone. Still lots of people about so nothing settles for long. A single whinchat on the coast path at East Blockhouse last Thursday.

Marloes Mere, Martin's Haven & Skomer

Couldn't find the Lesser Yellowlegs late morning (it could easily be there, viewing is not easy here with vegetation in the way) but 2 juvenile Little Stints were nice, with a Dunlin, and 2 Whinchats between the Youth Hostel & Britton Hide.

Just spent 2 great days on Skomer Island with a lovely group of 8 birdwatchers.  We covered the island extensively and highlights included one of the two Wrynecks present, a Garganey, 10+ Whinchats and 20+ Spotted Flycatchers, along with the fantastic night-time spectacle of the Manx Shearwaters fledging or preparing to do so.  Amazing to see the turnover of birds between the days and even during each day, also a noticeable passage of Red Admirals.  A full report on in a day or two.

On Sunday (14th), before heading over to Skomer, Peter Howe and I had one of the Martin's Haven Yellow Wagtails mentioned in earlier posts, and also a fly over Dotterel that evaded us initially as it went westwards but we picked it up heading back eastwards a few minutes later.  It appeared to land a few fields east of car park but we could not locate it despite searching.

Monday, 15 September 2014


A Richard's Pipit over East at 1815 this evening was the first for ten years here. Wryneck here for a tenth day and a fine variety of commoner migrants (totals on blog).

Gann Osprey update

From David Britton - Osprey appeared at 4.10p.m. from direction of Mullock Bridge. Flew out over the dropping tide and caught a fish first time. On getting airborne was mobbed by two dozen jackdaws but flew off back in the direction of Mullock Bridge,all
this in front of three bait diggers who were totally unaware of events.!

Lesser Yellowlegs - Marloes Mere

What appears to be a Lesser Yellowlegs at Marloes Mere this evening. Out from Britton Hide. Never very clear views but managed a brief video - having looked at the video I'm fairly convinced it's a LYL, no tail bobbing, attenuated rear, fine bill. Stilt-like bright yellow legs mostly hidden by bistort but clear enough, seems likely to be the bird that was on Skomer last week. Also Ringed plover, Golden Plover and a Little Stint. And a Yellow Wagtail looped over car park.

Bosherton lakes - near Stakpole Court

First winter arrivals this afternoon at Bosherton East Lake, swimming among the encroaching reeds were;
1 f shoveler
3 eclispe Teal
1 f Garganey
6 cormorants in usual roosting tree
numerous coot and moorhen

Gann Osprey

I went back to the Gann this morning armed with camera. As soon as I arrived at the pool around 10:30 the Osprey put in an appearance but quickly flew over the trees on the far side of the trees, presumably to sit on a post.

After a short while it reappeared and flew up and down the river before flying up to a dead pine. It then made an unsuccessful plunge into the River, then made a half-hearted swoop down before passing overhead and, as it gained height, it drifted off south. Same pattern as yesterday.

The full size photo shows the blue colour ring which appears to have the letters FC2 though UK rings are normally 2 digits. I have sent the photo to Roy Dennis in the hope that he can figure it out.

Up at Dale Airfield one Ringed Plover and 4 Curlew the only waders I could find. Also 12 Wheatear and 20 or so alba wags, mainly Whites.

St Davids Hd am

A lively morning with a bit of variety. There were 5 Ringed Plovers, 2 Sanderling and a Turnstone on Whitesands Beach and a Snipe went over. A juv Tree Sparrow was interesting and pretty rare these days, a Common Redstart was nice and there were 5 Whinchats, a Blackcap and a couple of Spot Flys with a few Willow Warblers mixed in.

Newport again

At low tide between the bridge & the tennis courts - 12 Barwits, 1 Blackwit, 3 Greenshanks, 2 Curlew Sandpipers with 2 Dunlin. a Ruff (my first for several years), a Common Sand, a Kingfisher & ad Med Gull 3OTI (first seen over a week ago - most unusual for a passing ringed gull to stay around so long).
On the dunes shore a flock of c20 Ringed Plovers & 13 Dunlin also had 2 Little Stints. They flew off over the dunes.
Also small groups of Wigeon & Teal.
I thought it would be even better at high tide, but of the waders only the Barwits & the Greenshanks were still around, though there was also a Knot & a different ad Med Gull.

St.Davids Airfield

An early Golden Plover on the Airfield this morning, also 2 White Wagtails & 3 Wheatears. The number of Wheatears on the runways dropping off considerably since last week, with a top count of 18 on friday ( almost a full squadron!).

West Williamston Osprey

Fine views of one osprey from 0930, it appeared from Upton direction, flew around over the river, made a couple of half-hearted stoops before heading E upsteam towards Cresswell Quay. Lots of activity on the saltmarsh - curlews, dunlin, snipe heard, egrets...flotilla of 11 wigeon went past....

Marloes Mere

Quick visit this morning - 16 Chough flying over from Gateholm area was the best. 

Sunday, 14 September 2014


From Paul Ashley -
Teifi WWT - Creek Hide - Jack Snipe, Teal, Curlew, Blackwit
Mallard Hide - Wigeon (fem)
Curlew Hide - Goosander (5), Little Egret (4), Little Grebe
Newport - Kingfisher, Little Stint among the numerous Ringed Plover and Dunlins,  lovely Curlew Sandpiper, 3 Redshank, 6 Barwits, Med Gull adult.

Rath Cottage - Deer Park

From Francis Tusa -
A fall of Willow Warbler overnight -8+ - joined by 2 Blackcap and a single Sedge Warbler. 2 Spotted Flycatcher very active. Grey Wagtail by the pond.
1-2 Whinchat at south end of the Rath and a long the south coast path. Yellow Wagtails already reported by Richard C...


Wryneck for a ninth day, the first two Reed Warbler of the autumn, three Whinchat and a smattering on common migrants including two Yellow Wagtail, 53 Willow Warbler and 244 Swallow. Totals on the blog as always.

Marsh Harrier - Marloes Mere

Juv Marsh Harrier at Mere this evening (6pm), spooking 6 Snipe as it cruised up and down, before disappearing westward. 8 Chough on grassy slope near barb-wire gate. 100's Swallows tailing a Kestrel. Greenshank. 3 Shoveler and 2 Wigeon. Seem to be a few Willow Warblers around, 3 or 4 out from Britton Hide, and earlier at Mullock Bridge a few in hawthorns as well, I scanned the Pines looking for the Osprey but obviously not well enough. Gann: Last light. 3 Little Egrets roosting, 6 Dunlin, 3 Turnstone, 3 Redshank, Greenshank, Bar-tailed Godwit, a Knot. Juv Sparrowhawk seems regular here.


Black redstart and whinchat the highlight of a decent day for migrants. See the Ramsey blog for full list by clicking here


 At the Gann, sitting atop one of the dead Pines - waiting for the tide to flood? Still present at 5:45pm.

St Davids Hd am

Small numbers of Spotted Flycatchers (6) clearly freshly arrived since a couple were sitting out on the rocks as was a Pied Flycatcher and a few Willow Warblers, they all moved through quite quickly. Swallows were still trickling in today and with a Grasshopper Warbler and 3 Whinchats present there was always something to look at.

Martin's Haven / Gann

The freshley ploughed field behind Rath Cottage at Martin's Haven was still holding 20 or more White Wags this morning as well as (courtesy of Francis Tusa) 3 Yellow Wags. Also a good number of Mipits, several Linnets, 4 Wheatear and a couple of Whinchats.

A superb male Sparrowhawk was hacking around the Deer Park but generally pretty quiet other than two Chough. On the beaches at the end of the park several Grey Seal pups.

Down at the Gann late morning I was treated (having left my camera in the van!) to superb views of the Osprey low over the water. Harried by 5 Crows it soon gave up fishing and soared high where a Raven took over the harrying. Eventually it went way up and headed south over the Haven.
From John Freeman - At Kilpaison yesterday (Saturday) - 50+ Oystercatcher, 25+ Curlew, 25+ Dunlin, a couple of Ringed Plover and this Curlew Sandpiper


Highlights this morning were 2 Curlew Sandpipers, 9 Barwits  & 3 ad Med Gulls on the Long Street mud. At least 1 Little Stint with 30 Dunlin & 35 Ringed Plovers in the samphire.
At the bridge were c125 Mallards (my highest ever count there).
The Canada Goose influx seems to be really kicking in - at least 600.

Willow Tit - Bosheston

Bosheston - Kingfisher, 2 Raven, 6 Grey Heron, Willow Tit, Cormorant
Angle Bay - 20 Oystercatcher, 2 Black Tailed Godwit, 30+ Curlew
(Paul Ashley)

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Kingfisher trio

I was fishing off a fairly remote rock mark at St Brides this evening, I heard a shrill call but my autopilot brain logged it as a Rock pipit, it was rapidly updated when three Kingfishers flew past and landed on the rocks across the little bay, I've never seen Kingfishers at all at St Brides, never mind three at once, very bus like.

Skomer Wrynecks

Two Wrynecks on Skomer today according to Birdguides.


Low tide 18.30 found ~ 24 Dunlin, 11 Ringed Plover, 2 Little Stint, 4 Greenshank, 6 Bar-tailed Godwit, 9 Redshank, 1 Little Egret & 2 Kingfishers.

Marloes Mere & Gann

No sign of Brian's Pectoral Sandpiper at MM but a fine juvenile Ruff was a nice surprise.  The Garganey was sleeping out from the Britton Hide, and 2 Pintail were a good site record.  I missed the Osprey at the Gann, but Paul G had seen it in the morning do a similar show to this evening, trying twice to catch fish on the lagoon (without success).  Paul had 4 Whinchat south-east of Martin's Haven today, and an unusual record of a Pied Flycatcher on Dale Airfield (around the cabbages in the N/W section) and a handful of White Wagtails.

Gann/ Osprey

Watched it with Francis (Sash`s brother) fly down from the dead Pines to the sea & catch a fish on it`s first attempt (!) It then flew back towards the Mullock farm area clutching it`s supper, it`s blue ring quite visible though as yet, not legible. Having looked at it thro` Francis` scope while it was sitting on top of a dead tree, the edges of its wing feathers were pale tipped, suggesting it is a juvenile (according to Killian Mullarney Bird Guides) which may explain it`s low success rate at fishing - however now getting it`s "eye in."
17 Wigeon flew in for a look around, split into 2 groups - one of which also flew off in the Mullock direction.
This morning early, 1 Kingfisher, 1 adult Med Gull.

West Williamston Ospreys (plural)

Popped down for an evening (1700) look at West Williamston, and soon picked up one osprey perched on a dead tree on the shore directly opposite (Upton Castle side). I watched it for about 40 minutes, but apart from a bit of preening it just sat there. I was about to give up when a second one appeared from the Lawrenny direction, dwarfing its escort of 4 crows, and made about 8 dives before finally catching a fish. The low tide was screened by the salt marsh so I couldn't see whether it entered the water every time or pulled out (didn't see it shake itself). It flew up the Carew River with its fish, past the perched bird, climbed above the tree line, and I finally lost against the trees in the Paskeston direction.

Curlew Sandpiper - Teifi

One juvenile Curlew Sandpiper with 1 Ringed Plover and 3 Dunlin on Patch at high tide (10:30)
                                                                                                                 (photo Dyfed James)
Shortly afterwards Wendy was watching the waders as they were spooked off by a Peregrine.
Later c15:00 the Dunlin count up to 14 and Ringed Plover to 18.
At least one Sandwich Tern was around the estuary this morning. A flock of 9 Little Egrets is interesting - perhaps new birds arriving ? Seven Mute Swans circling the marsh twice early this morning may have been new arrivals too. The Barnacle Geese flock is down to 72 birds, c20 Barnacle Geese are wandering...

Two new Sedge Warblers this morning along with 13 Blackcaps, and 11 Chiffchaffs, a little slower than yesterday.

St Davids Hd am

Great morning to be out and a few birds in, though much the same as recent days. There were 5 Whinchats, a couple of Spotted Flycatchers and a flava Wagtail flew over. Fewer Stonechats today which suggests many of the hordes present recently were migrants but it's hard to tell because there are generally loads about here and it was another very good breeding season. Hirundines were steadily coming in off the sea all morning, probably 1000+ over the morning I would imagine, mostly Swallows. Mipits too were moving, 100+ in total. A couple of Kestrels posed nicely and there was a peculiar Wheatear which made me jump.

Pectoral Sandpiper - west of Marloes Mere

Pectoral Sandpiper - flew over just west of Marloes Mere (SM 76967 08000) at 10.30am. Looked as if it came up off Mere gaining height. Giving trill Trrrp, Trrrp, Trrrp. Followed in binoculars as it moved westward in general direction of Skomer. Clean white underparts and underwings, clear change to darker breast. Suspect it came off Mere - there was a fox in the area earlier which put up 75ish Canada geese, all the ducks and was annoying the local crows. Garganey out from Oriole Hide first thing with about 20 each of Mallard and Teal, but nothing there on return. 2Whinchat on coast path towards Deer Park, dozen or so Wagtails in ploughed field by Rath Cottage most appeared to be Whites. White Wag on Deer Park, female Kestrel. Large mixed flock Linnet and Goldfinch c150.