Thursday 28 May 2015

Goodwick Moor

Good to hear a Cetti's singing in one of the regular spots so hopefully still holding on, apart from that very quiet & Flagpoles just a few Herring Gulls which has been the situation for the last few days. 

Monday 25 May 2015




A.Rogers,R.Stonier,C.Grayell,R.H.Davies,S.Berry,G.H.Rees,C.Benson,R.Wilkinson,C.Hurford,R.Liford, P.K.Grennard,P.Murray,S.Murray,E.Pugh,B.Gibbs,P.Mahiques,M.Jones,J.Faithfull,D.Astins,W.James ,Chris Jones,Clive Jones, Ceri Jones,M.Hipkin. Apologies to anyone I’ve missed or if I unfortunately don’t know your name.

Rarity description species sightings are all included & are of course subject to future acceptance by the relevant committees.

During the year 104 separate day or part of day watches recorded a total of 59 species of bird into the seawatching records, 4 species of Cetacean & Ocean Sunfish.


BRENT GOOSE Branta bernicla  

Pale Breasted B b hrota:

A pair passed on 21st September & another 2 on 14th December.                                                           

Dark Breasted B b bernicla :

A group of 7 were seen on 7th November.                                                   

WIGEON Anas penelope                                                                               

A good count with 101 birds recorded between 27th August & 7th November max. 56 on 4th October.

COMMON TEAL Anas crecca                                                                                 

A total of 28 passed max. 9 on 28th August.

 MALLARD Anas platyrhynchos                                                        

 A total of  7 birds passed max. 5 on 25th August.

PINTAIL Anas acuta                                                                    

A total of 6 birds passed, 2 on 30th September & 4 on 8th October.

SHOVELER Anas clypeata                                                        

 Four birds passed on 27th August.

COMMON SCOTER Melanitta nigra                                          

Passage recorded off Strumble Head 2777 birds, max. monthly totals during summer/ autumn were: 

July        Aug        Sept       Oct         Nov       

 581        611        1173         236        108 

Maximum day count  was 214 birds ( 194 Males & 20 Fem/imm ). The age/sex ratio for the year was 2150 Adult Males & 627 Female/immatures.

VELVET SCOTER Melanitta fusca                                 

A single bird on 22nd September was the only record. 

RED – THROATED DIVER Gavia stellata                         

A total of 73 birds passed during the whole year, 45 between 2nd January & 12th May max. 15 on 8th January. A further 28 birds then passed between 26th September & 19th December max. 10 on 11th December.

BLACK-THROATED DIVER Gavia arctica                          

A total of 5 single birds were recorded on 5th February, 2nd April, 30th April & 3rd & 19th November.

GREAT NORTHERN DIVER Gavia immer                                     

A total of 22 recorded on 9 dates max. 6 on 19th December.

FULMAR Fulmarus glacialis                                                 

Maximum day count at was 350 on 11th December.

CORY’S SHEARWATER Calonectris diomeda                    

A good run of birds at the end of August with a single on 29th , 2 on 30th & another single on 31st. If accepted along with the Great Shearwater records it is the first time both large Shearwaters have been recorded on three consecutive days at Strumble.

GREAT SHEARWATER Puffinus gravis                              

A very good passage during the last two weeks in August with single birds seen on 17th & 24th then 4 on 29th, a good count of 10 on 30th & finally another 2 on 31st. As with Cory’s Shearwater if accepted then it is the first time both large Shearwaters have been recorded on three consecutive days at Strumble.

SOOTY SHEARWATER Puffinus griseus                                

                            Aug            Sept       Oct     

Strumble Head    16           3              3

Quite a poor year, 22 birds in total recorded on only 9 days maximum 6 on 30th August. The low number this year almost certainly attributed to September usually being the peak month traditionally for “Sooties” & the wind conditions this year were very poor in seawatching terms during that month.


MANX SHEARWATER Puffinus puffinus                          

The Teifi Ringing Group caught a single bird on 24th June during a Storm Petrel Ringing session. First recorded on 20th April & last on 19th December.



BALEARIC SHEARWATER Puffinus mauretanicus 

                                  Aug               Sept                 Oct

Strumble Head           15                  13                    35

As with Sooty Shearwater a poor year for this species, recorded on 21 dates between 11th August & 22nd October max. 14 on 4th October. Only two double figure day counts this autumn & no early year winter records.

STORM PETREL Hydrobates pelagicus                                          

Only 4 recorded this year, a single on 11th May & in autumn 2 on 21st October & a single on 19th December the latest ever recorded at Strumble & in the county.

The Teifi Ringing Group ringed 3 birds at Strumble Head on 24th June.

LEACH’S PETREL Oceanodroma leucorhoa          

Only 5 recorded this year, a single on 19th October & 4 on 21st of the same month.

GANNET Morus bassana                                                                                  

Recorded throughout the year.

CORMORANT Phalococorax carbo                                                             

 At Strumble Head a total of 47 birds were recorded on passage max. 15 on 30th August.

SHAG Phalocrococorax aristotelis                                                  .

Recorded throughout the year.

LITTLE EGRET Egretta garzetta                                                            

A single bird past on 22nd October.

GREAT WHITE EGRET Ardea alba                                          

A single east at 11.55 on 27th august was the second for the head.

HERON Ardea cinerea                                                                            

A total of 8 birds passed  this year 3 in August & 5 in September.

RINGED PLOVER Charadrius hiaticula

Three single birds, all in August on 17th,27th & 30th.

GOLDEN PLOVER Pluvialis apricaria

A total of 4 birds, a single on 16th September & 3 on 21st October.

GREY PLOVER Pluvialis squatarola

Singles on 26th August & 6th & 21st October.

KNOT Calidris canutus

A total of 26 birds passed, the maximum a very low count of 6 on 26th August.

SANDERLING Calidris alba

A reasonable return of 28 birds past. The maximum count was 11 on 11th August.

DUNLIN Calidris alpina

A good number of 125 were recorded, max. 45 on 18th August.

RUFF Philomachus pugnax

Two single birds, one each on 25th & 27th August.


A total of 9 birds recorded, all on 17th August.

BAR TAILED GODWIT Limosa lapponica

Quite a low count with only 11 recorded, 10 in August & a single in September.

WHIMBREL Numenius phaeopus

After the record breaking year in 2013 a drop to more usual numbers. A total of 452 were recorded, max. 247 on 11th August.

CURLEW Numenius arquata

Total slightly lower than usual, 13 recorded, max. 5 on 25th July.

COMMON SANDPIPER Actitis hypoieucos

Singles on 27th July & 16th August were the only records.

REDSHANK Tringa totanus

Just 3 birds recorded, singles on 24th & 27th August & 3rd September.


TURNSTONE Arenaria interpres

A total of 22 birds recorded, max. 13 on 11th August.

GREY PHALAROPE Phalaropus fulicarius                               

Nine birds recorded this year, singles on 11th & 29th August, 3rd & 7th November with the maximum day count being 5 on 21st October.

POMARINE SKUA Stercorarius pomarinus                                           

A single 1st w was recorded on 8th January then in autumn 53 passed on 9 dates between 24th August & 19th December max. 36 on 21st October .Breakdown of individual plumages during the autumn were, 15 Pale Phase, 3 Dark Phase & 35 Juveniles.

ARCTIC SKUA Stercorcarius parasiticus                                      

Monthly totals as follows;

         July                        Aug.                       Sept.                          Oct.                     Nov.

           0                          110                         21                            69                        1

In spring a single Dark Phase bird was recorded at Strumble Head on 11th May. In the autumn 201 birds passed on 31 dates between 11th August & 3rd November max. 50 on 21st October. Breakdown of individual plumages during the autumn were, 69 Pale Phase, 111 Dark Phase & 21 Juveniles.

LONG-TAILED SKUA Stercorcarius longicaudus                          

The highest day count of the year of 7 was on 21st October then all other records were of single birds on 11th, 17th,18th & 31st August, 4th & 22nd October then 11th  December which was the latest date ever recorded in the county for the species surpassing the previous record by 8 days of a bird seen at Strumble Head on 3rd December 1999.  The birds seen on 11th & 18th August  were adults with all the remaining birds recorded juveniles.

GREAT SKUA Stercorcarius skua                                                                  

Monthly totals as follows;

       July                  Aug.                 Sept.                      Oct.                   Nov.               Dec.

          0                    54                     12                       129                    2                     6

No late winter or spring records this year. Autumn passage first recorded on 10th August & last recorded on 19th December. During this period 203 birds passed on 34 days max. 100 on 21st October.

LITTLE GULL Larus minutus                                                                    

In the autumn 19 passed on nine dates between 26th August & 7th November max. 9 on 21st October, of these birds 4 were Adults & 15 Juveniles/ 1st w.

MEDITERRANEAN GULL Larus melanocephalus

A total of 83 birds recorded, 20 Adult, 5 2nd Summer/Winter & 58 Juveniles.

SABINE’S GULL Larus sabini                                                                    

Another very poor year for this species at Strumble Head with 2 Juveniles on 27th August an Adult on 29th of the same month & another 2 Juveniles on 21st October being the only birds recorded.

KITTIWAKE Rissa tridactyla

Recorded throughout the year.

SANDWICH TERN Sterna sandvicensis                                          

An increase on 2013 where in the Autumn 550 birds were logged on 30 dates between 25th July & 19th December max. 54 on 23rd August. The two recorded on 19th December are the latest ever record for the species in the county

COMMON TERN Sterna hirundo                                           

A total of 14 logged, all during the Autumn, a single on 30th August & 4th October then 12 on 10th October.

ARCTIC TERN Sterna paradisaea                                         

A totalof 17 birds recorded, an early single bird on 20th July then in September 2 on 1st , 6 on 3rd &  3 on 26th. In October 4 on 6th & the last bird of the year on 21st.


A total of 1574 birds on 25 dates between 27th July & 21st October max. 570 on 28th August.

ROSEATE TERN Sterna dougallii                                           

A total of 9 birds recorded,  all in late August with 4 on 27th & 28th & a single on the 29th.

LITTLE TERN Sterna albifrons                                                       .

In Autumn a good number of 21 birds were seen, in August singles on 11th, 25th & 30th with 2 on 27th , 6 on 29th & 7 on 28th. In September singles on 17th & 30th & in October a single bird on the 9th.

BLACK TERN Chlidonias niger                                                          

A total of  27 birds passed, in August a single on 27th, 16 on 28th, 4 on 29th & 2 each on 30th & 31st. The only other record was of 2 birds passing on 9th October.



Recorded throughout the year, large numbers moving on passage during the late autumn.

RAZORBILL Alca torda

As with the previous species, recorded throughout the year with sometimes large numbers going through in the late autumn.

LITTLE AUK Alle alle

A single bird passed on 19th December.

PUFFIN Fratercula artica

A total of 103 birds recorded, max. 26 on 26th July.



COMMON PORPOISE Phocoena phocoena

Recorded on 87 of the 104 watches, numbers on some days in the autumn in excess of 50 individuals.

COMMON DOLPHIN Delphinius delphis ( Short Beaked )

A total of 201 individuals recorded between 16th August & 30th September max. 50 on 27th August.


RISSO’S DOLPHIN Grampus griseus

A total of 92 animals recorded. Only not recorded in January,June. July & December. The maximum daily count was of 14 animals on the evening of  11th May.

MINKE WHALE Balaenoptera acutorostrata

A single animal was seen at 7 a.m. on 27th July.


The total of 12 recorded in 2014 was up on previous years, 10 were recorded in August & 2 in September. In the last few years very rarely recorded outside of these two months.

Sunday 24 May 2015

Tresinwen & Strumble Head (24 May 15)

Spotted Flycatcher sunbathing in garden this evening.

Cuckoo calling all day yesterday seemed to be ranging from mountain to coast path.  Today I confirmed my suspicion and proved that there are in fact two calling birds - one by the mountain and one on the coast!

Thursday 21 May 2015

Wood Warbler

A singing Wood Warbler in the woods at Llanychaer this morning

Thursday 14 May 2015

Strumble Head 14th May.

Quiet as expected but a few Porpoise were seen & 2 Shelduck east were the highlight birds.
On the ground still a few Wheatears moving through & the Merlin still about. 

Sunday 10 May 2015

Strumble Head 10th May.

A walk round & an hour plus seawatch was fairly quiet in the strong Southwesterly wind. Out to sea a few more Manxies going through, higher numbers than yesterday & quite a few Porpoises showing well today. On land the hirundine numbers much lower than yesterday & 4 female Wheatears between Lighthouse & the stile for Richards Valley, a couple of them looking very good for Greenland.  

Tresinwen (10 May 15)

Spotted Flycatcher back in the garden this morning.  As far as I could tell it wasn't here yesterday.
Looking at weather it probably wishes it wasn't here right now!

Cuckoo calling yesterday evening and visible perched up on coast path fence - just beyond Porthsychan.

Saturday 9 May 2015

Strumble Head 9th May.

It was obvious before I pulled up at the parking area that there was a large movement of hirundines under way this morning. During the next four hours many hundreds of Swallows were moving West with smaller numbers of House & Sand Martins but theses still must have numbered over a hundred of each species. Five Swifts were my first of the year & a single Merlin put in a brief appearance much to the alarm of the hirundines. On the ground four Wheatear were at the old coastguards & Whitethroats now back in evidence & a couple of hour seawatch  brought my first Manxies of the year, but otherwise quiet at sea.


Sunday 3 May 2015

Strumble Head (03 May 15)

After a trip to Somerset yesterday decided to stay closer to home today.  Usual walk around Porthsychan and coast path to Lighthouse.

Lots of Chiffchaffs and Whitethroats singing.  Lesser Whitethroat singing continuously at the bottom of Porthsychan valley.  Three Common Sandpipers on Porthsychan beach.  Fall of about 20 Wheatear in the small field at the head just below the old coastguard lookout.
So I saw a distant dark bird speeding low over the sea about 800 yards away... At 50 times optical zoom my trusty Canon bridge camera confirmed my strong  suspicion it was a Peregrine!