Monday, 1 September 2014


Ad. C. tern still there - beating up and down the lakes from beach to below Stackpole Court site....

Red Kite

Trying to have the nerve to drop down by the A40 (Just on Carmarthen side of Arnolds Hill) to 'get its hands' on something ? dead on the grass verge - it was not happy with the road traffic

Ospreys about

Two reports of Ospreys at the Gann recently:
From Jim Kerr: We saw an Osprey at the Gann area on Thursday 21st August. We first observed it in a tree, then it took off and flew over the Pickleridge ponds and came back carrying a fish!
From John Steer: Saw an osprey this afternoon (30th Aug) around  4.15 PM at the Gann. Viewed it from the Musselwick side. It made one or two unsuccessful dives then flew off over your house! 
Posted by Rosemary Royle 

Sunday, 31 August 2014


A high flying single Osprey, circling around and heading generally South over Minwear and Canaston this afternoon.

Stackpole/Bosherston am

The two immature common terns still there, plunge diving this time below the Grassy Bridge. Also a noticeable passage of sand martins down the lake.

pm - back to 3 terns, the ad. flew in from beach, pursued by 2 noisy imms.

Yellow wagtails and garganey - Marloes

The Garganey was still in front of the Oriole Hide and 3 Yellow Wagtails with cattle at barb-wire gate. Also 7 snipe, the Greenshank and 12 Teal. Noticeable arrival of Robins with 2 at the mere with another 8 around the Deer Park/Martins Haven. Deer Park: 2 White wagtails and a Lapwing flying over. At the Gann earlier Bar-tailed godwit, a couple of Wheatear, a Redshank and a Little Egret. Also a Kingfisher in front of cottages.

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Osprey Landshipping

From Jane - Osprey seen several times over the last few days in Landshipping/Picton Point area.


3 common terns an unusual sight on the Bosherston Lakes - an adult and two noisy immatures were beating up and down the Lower Eastern Arm at 1600, dipping to the surface to feed.


Based on the forecast decided to go seawatching this morning for the first time in 3 years!  I managed to get on 6 Great Shearwaters, 2 Sooty Shearwaters & a handful of Arctic & Great Skuas.  I missed 2 Cory's that went through early (I was there, just couldn't get on them) and another 2 each of Great & Sooty.  No doubt final totals on the Strumble blog later.

Angle update

At least 44 Mediterranean Gulls at Angle Harbour this morning, also 6 Little Egrets there.

Also, it seems that the seawatching at Strumble Head has been interesting over the past two days, with Great and Cory's Shearwaters passing both yesterday and today - not to mention a host of other decent seabirds, e.g. Sabine's Gull, Sooty Shearwater, Balearic Shearwater, Grey Phalarope, Pomarine Skua etc etc. Shame that nobody thought to post the details on here.

Garganey - Marloes Mere

The Garganey was out from Oriole Hide this morning. Also a Greenshank and 5 Wheatear. Flock of c40 Goldfinch at Martins Haven. Male Kestrel on the Deer Park and a couple of Wheatear. Flock 50+ Linnet on coast path back to Marloes. 4 Chough and 2 Willow Warblers at westend of Mere. Brimstone butterfly in car park. Quick look around Kete/St Anns. 25 Pied Wags by lighthouse and 150 Starling and a single chough.

Friday, 29 August 2014

Castle Pill

From Tony Jackson - 7 med gulls roosting with the resident redshanks (48) and a cormorant on the slipway. Further up the pill watched 2 little egrets skirmishing -circling round and calling at each other. Spectacular flying far different to the usual tree roosting and feeding at different ends of the Pill. Later 2 med gulls feeding with black heads in the mud and one turning over seaweed.

Radford Pill/Carew Millpond

3 common sandpipers, 13 curlew, 2 little egrets, greenshank and redshank heard. A single Med gull has been present either just above or just below the Mill since at least 5 August, without fail, at all states of the tide.

Angle..... (where else!)

Third day on the trot at Kilpaison. This time a very strong SW wind howling in with an overcast sky pretty much precluded photograhy though I managed one shot of a Ringed Plover.

There were plenty of waders, although with 3, restless, groups, spread along the beach with the tide only just starting to drop they were difficult to count. There were certainly over 400 birds present and in one group I counted 62 Ringed Plover and in another 5 Turnstone and 6 Sanderling. The majority were Dunlin and a Curlew Sandpiper was also in amongst them - perhaps the same bird from Wednesday as it was similarly marked with a dark peach wash.

Over at Angle Harbour it was Med Gull City on the shingle spit with 33 birds  the vast majority adults in winter plumage with one 2nd Winter and one juv. Two of the Meds were ringed - RP42 on a green ring and (I think) 3123 on a pale yellow ring. Also some 80 B H Gulls and one Common Gull. 4 Little Egrets were initially roosting in a tree before dropping down to the back of the harbour.

An impressive sea at Freshwater West but no waders on the beach.

More on bat hawks

Re the post below, we have big numbers of pipistrelles in our roofs and we often see a male sparrowhawk in the garden at dusk. One year, a male sparrowhawk used to perch on the corner of the conservatory waiting for the bats to emerge - I never saw him catch one and I imagine it would be quite difficult as the bats only emerge when it is getting quite dark - but perhaps he could see quite well in the dusk with those big glaring yellow eyes!

Dartford Warblers

If anyone has seen or heard Dartford Warblers in Pembrokeshire this year, I'd be grateful for your records; ideally with an accompanying grid reference. Please send any such records into the blog and I'll pick them up here.

Thursday, 28 August 2014


From Rob Wilson - Whilst out walking early this morning In Abercych I saw a
male sparrow hawk make several attempts to catch  a pipistrel bat, it only 
gave up when they flew just over my head and it saw me.

Angle Bay.....again

After heavy morning rain the sun shone. At Kilpaison fewer waders than yesterday and less variety - 95 Dunlin (with just one in summer plumage), 6 Sanderling, 15 Ringed Plover. Over on the north side of the bay about 50 Curlew were in the roost.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Teifi - terns

A fruitful visit to the estuary tonight, from the Quay 3 Greenshank, 4 Redshank and 3 Black-tailed Godwits. From the Webley , 36 Common Terns, 5 Redshank and c20 Dunlin.
Eight Sandwich Tens flew out the estuary earlier in the day.

Late news - a second and different Yellow Wagtail at Mallard Pond on Monday night.

Marloes Mere

From Tony Jackson - Marloes Mere, lunchtime Eclipse garganey associating with 6 mallards. Just the one black-tailed godwit put up by passing buzzard. Both showing well. Chough called whilst we were in the hide.

N.B. See Skokholm blog re Garganey there on 23 August

Angle Bay
A very dull Kilpaison this morning with a strong wind - time to don winter clothing after the long hot summer.
The conditions were, however, good for birding with plenty of small waders on the beach as the tide dropped - 200+ Dunlin, 100+ Ringed Plover (the majority juveniles in both species), 5 Turnstone, 1 Sanderling, 1 juv Knot and a juv Curlew Sandpiper which had a rather dark peach wash to the chest.
Of the larger waders there were 60 or so Oystercatchers and a few Curlew.
Shame it was so dull for photography but good to see a nice selection of waders at Kilpaison early in the autumn passage.

Newport high tide

Fairly typical early Autumn. A flock of 43 Dunlin & 29 Ringed Plovers on the spit. Seperately single smart juv Knot & Barwit, 11 Sanderlings, 5 Redshanks, a Turnstone, 3 Little Egrets, 17 Oystercatchers with a further 20 on the "bay" roost. Only 8 Curlews, & a heard, but not seen, Whimbrel.
The juv Shelducks (finally 5) seem to have now left, the adults having left them a fortnight ago.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014


From Ed Hunter:

Group of 8 or so very large crane like birds, seen from moving car with no bins along new stretch of A477 around 445pm. Either landed nearr Red Roses or kept going towards Llanteg struggling in the wind.
Worth a look in that area I'd say!

Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android

2014 Pembs breeding peregrine survey - provisional results

During 2014, Pembrokeshire’s breeding peregrine population was monitored for the 34th successive year. This season’s results will also contribute to a national census of the species – the last such similar survey having been conducted in 2002.

Provisional results indicate that the number of occupied territories (38) was similar to that recorded in 2013 (39). However, overall breeding success seems to have been quite poor. A minimum of 26 young fledged from 26 nest-sites (compared with 40+ young fledging from 26 sites in 2013). Back in 2002, 46 territories were occupied, and that year 35 pairs reared a minimum of 47 young.

Compared with the last national census year, the peregrine population does seem to have declined in the County. Closer scrutiny of the records suggests that this is largely due to a sharp decline in the number of inland sites being occupied, where the population had been expanding to during the last 20 years. Coastal sites are faring better, but even here evidence of breeding was lower in 2014.

Weather conditions and food availability are significant factors that influence breeding success. It seems possible that last winter’s severe storms may have impacted the population in some way – perhaps causing the deaths of some birds, or weakening others prior to the breeding season? Abandonment of inland sites is interesting. Has food availability declined near these areas? If so could this be due to competition with other predatory species? Or maybe this is an indication of the current general health of the environment, where populations of some bird species (which peregrines might be dependent on in spring) are also declining? It will be interesting to see what the national picture reveals this year.

There are usually a number of younger peregrines in the population, birds that are probably not yet mature enough to breed successfully. This year the proportion of younger birds observed paired with older birds (based on plumage differences) occupying territories does seem to have been quite high. 

Following the winter storms, spring was relatively mild and settled and summer weather was also generally quite warm and benign. In May though it was occasionally quite unsettled with some stormy, wet periods. It is likely that some breeding pairs may have failed at this time.

Obtaining evidence of peregrine territory occupancy and proof of breeding takes quite a lot of time and effort. Considerable thanks are due to a number of volunteers who, between them all, dedicated many hours to checking more than 100 locations, making repeated visits to confirm if breeding had occurred. Thanks also to several birders who contacted me directly about their own particular observations, or added records to BirdTrack – all these records were valuable.
It is hoped that a more detailed account will be published in the Reports section of the Pembs Bird Group Blog Site in due course.

St Davids Hd am

A handful of Wheatears and a small number of Mipits appeared to be new. The highlight of the morning was a gathering of up to a thousand House Martins around Carn Llidi and resting on the eastern ledges of the rock outcrop. They were like a cloud for a short while. No other Hirundines were present, I don't recall seeing anything like it previously.

Trewent Hill Freshwater East

Green Woodpecker flew accross the road when I was driving up the hill and landed on a telegraph pole giving a good view.