Saturday 31 December 2016

Fishguard Harbour 15.00 New Years Eve !

A walk along the Inner Breakwater earlier, a very large number of gulls the huge majority Black Headed with 4 Adult Meds a single Common & a few Herring. Waders include a few Curlew & Redshank & a very distant probable Greenshank over towards the fishermans quay. Will check that out tomorrow, be very handy for 2017 list !


Monday 26 December 2016

Strumble Head (26 Dec 16)

Barn Owl hunting (c.4pm) in the fields below Tai Bach.  Peregrine showing again around the mountain.

Sunday 25 December 2016

Strumble & Tresinwen (25 Dec 16)

Short watch (bins only) this morning produced a Great Northern Diver, a pair of Wigeon and a Turnstone on the rocks.  Lots of Kittiwake, Guillemot and Razorbill fishing just off the lighthouse island.  A handful of Gannets further out and a fair few Fulmar.

Headland generally quiet but nice to see a Coal Tit in the garden when I got back in.

Saturday 24 December 2016

Strumble Roll Call 2016.

Merry Christmas & a Happy & Seabird filled New Year for 2017.

Special Thanks to all who continue to contribute information from Strumble & the Local area, from the list of the main contributors on the right & many others including:

Chris Greyall
Richard Davies
Red Liford
Paul Grennard
Brian Southern
Peter Murray
Simon Murray
Paul Mahiques
Mervyn Jones
John Faithfull
Mick Locke
Mark Hipkin
Rob Jones
Graham Powell

SeaTrust Team
Teifi Ringing Group ( Storm Petrel Ringing )

Apologies to anyone I have missed & those who's names I don't know.

Friday 23 December 2016

Strumble Head 23rd Dec 2016.

Time: 08.00 - 12.00
Weather: Changeable
Wind: S/SSW 6 - 7

Common Scoter - 4 ( 2 pairs )
Red Throated Diver - 2
Great Northern Diver - 1
Fulmar - 23
Manx Shearwater - 1 ( Surely the last of the year ! )
Lapwing - 1 ( STRUMBLE MEGA )
Bonxie - 1

Many Thanks to Chris Grayell for the information.

Tuesday 20 December 2016

Fishguard harbour Outer Breakwater 20th Dec.

Myself & Walrus had a short & uncomfortable visit earlier, still no Purple sandpipers but a relatively close Great Northern Diver was a bonus.

Monday 19 December 2016


There was a Merlin on Dinas Mountain this morning and around 70 Golden Plover.
From Fishguard Fort a single Great Northern Diver and 3 Red throated Divers.

Saturday 17 December 2016

Flagpoles 15.00 17th December.

A metal ringed Adult Med. Gull was the main bird of interest with a female Stonechat on the beach side of the road & a few Rock Pipits. With Goodwick United & one of the Seagulls Rugby teams at home little point on seeing if anything was lurking about that end of the Moor. 

Thursday 15 December 2016

Cattle Egret Goodwick Moor 15th Dec 2016.


Here's the shots of the Egret. Due to poor light ISO very high so don't look too closely as heavy graining evident. I've cleared it up as best I can and they should be passable. It was the day before you posted about it that I saw an Egret coming in off the sea at Strumble being mobbed by three herring gulls. It was around mid morning time and the weather was quite overcast at the time with the wind from the SSE if I remember correctly.

Hope these are OK for you


The pics look mighty fine to me & clears up the confusion nicely I think. ( Adrian )

Wednesday 14 December 2016

Hundreds and thousands!

I guess in a way bird-wise nothing much to shout about at Strumble in the way of rarities although I thought this gull might be worth a bit of examination by someone more into gulls than me!

Anyhow we usually a few overwintering or passing divers but they have been few and far between so far this winter.

The winter gull flock is pretty impressive, feeding out beyond main the tidal race. in a long ribbon continuing over a couple of miles or more.


 They seem to stretch way past our view and into Fishguard Bay . I counted a slice of 100 and then divided what I could see into similar slices coming up with a total of over 2,000 birds  mainly Black Headed gulls but there were also lots of Auks on the water with a steady stream of birds flying in from the west to join them!

Tuesday 6 December 2016

Goodwick 6th Dec 2016. ( Nitemare ! )

Walked Bella down to Goodwick & jokingly said to Carole " Not going to take the camera cos if I do the Firecrest ( Which I had a few days earlier ) won't show ".
Reached the part of the path where it comes out by The Seagulls Rugby Pitch & low & behold there's a noticeable White Bird at the other end of the pitch, Interesting I thought.
Raised the bins & looked at the bird, Egret obviously, check the beak, pale Yellow, checked again, definitely Yellow, size not Heron size ....Cattle Egret.
Spent the next minute ( I know, glasses at home ) putting out my group text, look up & yes, it's gone with seconds later a very nice man with his dog coming along the path saying " Did you see that bird it was an Egret, it flew off towards the Moor ". Fortunately seconds later it appeared above us, must have just set down close by for a minute & appeared to fly off to back end of Moor. While speaking to someone on the phone a minute later the bird appeared & flew to another area on the moor &  then flew again & appeared to fly out of view to the Southwest. ( Nitemare 2 )
Walked across to the Flagpoles & there's an Egret, put the text out again ( it's back ), look at the bird, it's a Little Egret. ( Nitemare 3 but regular at Flagpoles ). I'll leave it up to anyone who is remotely interested to form their own opinion, but his sort of situation doesn't bode well for claiming a record.

The Firecrest didn't show either !

Friday 2 December 2016

Distant Divers

Only birds of note today during our porp watch (phenomenal numbers and Risso's) two Great Northern Divers about a mile away!

Drim to Goodwick Parrog 2nd Dec.

Lots of Thrushes, a Jay, a Water Rail in a small stream about half way along. On the Rugby Pitch more Thrushes including 2 Redwing & a few Oystercatcher with 2 Redshank in tow.
On the beach at the Parrog at the Ocean Lab end a freshly washed up quite large Jellyfish. Bella very kindly poses to give some idea of size !

Thursday 1 December 2016

Flagpoles 15.00 1st Dec.

Approx 400 gulls congregated, quite a few Common Gull now & 3 Adult Meds.
In the garden, 2 Marsh Tits around but looks like only one visiting the feeders.

Some Strumble Birds from today

There were hundreds if not thousands of gulls, (mainly black headed) feeding in and outside of the tide race but the only birds of note was this fly by Diver above  (BT I thought but a bit distant) and below five scoter four males closely followed by a guillemot.

 This Extremely Pale Buzzard is a bird I have seen a couple of times over the past few months but only now managed to get a shot of . Its obviously camera shy!

Saturday 26 November 2016

Drim to Rugby Club Goodwick.

A quiet walk with just the usual Robins & Blackbirds was brightened up by first a Siskin on top of a tree near the ponds & then a Firecrest with approx. 10 Goldcrests a bit further along. As I passed the pitch the Fishguard Under 20's conceded a try so that wasn't good.

Thursday 24 November 2016


8 Woodcock tonight flew up the Valley over my position from roost, wonder how many are actually there and fly other ways to feed.

Saturday 19 November 2016

Maesgwynne 19th Nov.

Lots of birds visiting the feeders with the Marsh Tit being almost the most frequent.

Friday 18 November 2016


A walk over Dinas Mountain at dusk produced excellent views of a Polecat. Also around 60 Fieldfare and in excess of 100 Golden Plover coming into roost.

Thursday 17 November 2016

Maesgwynne Late Evening Shift.

As I parked the car up from coming home from work a pair of Tawny Owls calling from behind the farm opposite.

Tuesday 15 November 2016

Maesgwynne 15th Nov.

This evenings watch saw 5 Woodcock come out of roost & fly up the valley, also 2 Mallard over in the near dark. 

Sunday 13 November 2016

Oh dear... murder most fowl on the breakwater!

My offer of a chance to come out on the breakwater to try and see the Snow buntings was taken up by Dave and Fran. After a stormy night it seemed likely they might have moved on. Having all got into my car I drove slowly along the breakwater all of us searching hard for a sign of the buntings. Sadly my eye was soon drawn to a little scattering of pale feathers.

Sadly, closer examination of the crime scene left little doubt as to who the victim was...

Especially as a moment later we saw the female, sadly it appears that the victim was our splendid cock Snow Bunting

The jury is out as to who the killer was. I have (not so far as I can remember) seen a Sparrowhawk actually hunting the breakwater but one often shows above the harbour. I guess Kestrel would also be a likely suspect and they hunt there quite frequently. I doubt any other of the raptors that frequent the area such as Buzzard, Peregrine or even Red Kite would be so likely to have killed it but I suppose you could not definitely count them out.

It remains to be seen if the female will stay or even if she will become a second victim of the mystery killer, but this little episode illustrates the fact that being a flashy male has its ultimate downside!

Lapland Buntings

2 Lapland Buntings feeding on the track down towards the fog horn at Pen Anglas this morning. Many Thrushes in the bushes around 100 Redwing,60 Blackbirds,40 Song Thrush and several Fieldfare, also around 1,000 Starlings in the fields. Other birds included 4 Reed Buntings a Redpoll and a singing Dartford Warbler.
Chiffchaff in the garden this afternoon.

Friday 11 November 2016

Maesgwynne Valley 11th Nov.

My first dusk watch in the valley this autumn, 2 Woodcock flew from their roost to feed. Quite a few Redwings moving as well.

Hen and Cock Snow Buntings on Breakwater..

If anyone wants to come and try to see them, meet me at the Ocean Lab @11 am Saturday morning.

Thursday 10 November 2016

Strumble Head 10th Nov 2016.

Time: 07.15 - 12.15
Weather: Bright
Wind: WNW 4/5

Common Scoter - 23 ( 19 Males )
Red Throated Diver - 3
Black Throated Diver - 1
Fulmar - 8
Manx Shearwater - 2
Arctic Skua - 1 ( Dark )
Bonxie - 1
Little Gull - 2 ( 1 Ad & 1 1st W )
Mediterranean Gull - 12 ( 3 Ad & 9 1st W )

Large feeding flocks of Gulls & constant flow of Auks.

Many Thanks to Chris Greyall for the information.

Wednesday 9 November 2016


A male and two female/juv Blackcaps feeding on berries in the garden.
Woodcock again in woods at Llanychaer.

Fishguard Breakwater 8/11/16 (yesterday)

Looks like we have the cock Snow Bunting back or maybe another, along with two Turnstones and three Ringed Plover!

Strumble Head 9th Nov 2016

Time: 07.30 - 11.30
Wind: NW 6/8 Veering W6

Teal - 1
Common Scoter - 21 ( 17 Males )
Red Throated Diver - 1
Great Northern Diver - 1
Fulmar - 3
Manx Shearwater - 12
Turnstone - 1
Grey Phalarope - 1
Mediterranean Gull - 6 ( 4 Ad , 2 1st W )

Many Thanks to Richard Davies for the totals.

Monday 7 November 2016

Sunday 6 November 2016


A Woodcock in the woods at Llanychaer this morning, the rain also grounded a flock of 25+MeadowPipit and 7 Pied Wagtails.

Friday 4 November 2016

Mr Rees

So pleased you gave a nod to Graham, Richard! He has taught just about every birder in Pembrokeshire something and quite a few from away.I wish I had been a better pupil but whatever I know about birds I owe sixty + percent to him! Either way thanks for letting us in and although I dipped on the Pallas's The Yellow Browed was a nice little autumnal bonus. Cracking pic's as well!


Marsh Tit been here for a couple of days, just managed to get a shot today.

Strumble Head 4th Nov 2016

Time: 07.00 - 11.00
Weather: Generally Bright, extremely Cold.
Wind: NNW 4

Brent Goose - 2 ( Pale Bellied )
Wigeon - 13
Common Scoter - 48 ( 44 Males )
Red Throated Diver - 4
Fulmar - 1
Manx Shearwater - 2
Grey Phalarope - 1
Mediterranean Gull - 8 ( All Adult )

Porpoise showing well.

The highlight of the watch was the constant procession of  Auks, Kittiwakes & Black Headed Gulls coming out of the bay towards Fishguard. In the four hour watch the gulls alone numbered in excess of 10,000 & the Auks maybe pushing towards 3000.

A.Rogers, R. Davies & Andy Phillips ( Cardiff ) 

Thursday 3 November 2016

Another Yellow Browed Warbler

A Yellow Browed Warbler in the woods at Llanychaer this afternoon.Yesterday a flock of 70+ Redwing flew over at Llanychaer.
60 Golden Plover on Dinas Mountain this morning.

Whooper Swans

Five birds relatively low over Goodwick in a roughly westerly direction above Stop & Call Hill, disappeared in the direction of Trefasser / St. Nicholas. Disappeared so quickly in fact they may have dropped into a field somewhere.

Monday 31 October 2016

Tresinwen (30 Oct 16) - Pallas's Warbler

Tresinwen (30 Oct 16) - Yellow Browed Warbler

Tresinwen (30 Oct 16)

Graham Rees taught me a valuable lesson on 9 Oct 1994 (see post from 29 Oct 16).  On that day I self found my first ever Yellow Browed Warbler at the top of Porthsychan valley.  I ran back to the lookout to inform Graham whom I had left sea-watching and also knocked on Tresinwen to tell Steve.  Both, and others, got onto the Yellow Browed.  I left happy with my find and retired back to the family caravan in Saundersfoot.

The next day when I met Graham again at the sea-watching lookout he informed me that he had wandered off later that previous day and had found a Pallas's Warbler in the Good Hope valley.  That would also have been a lifer for me at the time and was a bird that obviously had a higher ranking in rarity status.  Lesson learnt - if you find a "goody" in the field then keep looking as there may be something even better lurking in the next bush!

Well roll on the clock and on 29 Oct 16, late evening, I find a Yellow Browed in my garden at Tresinwen.  Chuffed to bits to finally get one on the garden list.  Remembering the lesson learnt from previously I vowed to get up the next morning and to stake out the Yellow Browed, get some shots of it for the record and to keep an eye out for anything else - maybe I would find that elusive Firecrest that I still want for the garden list.

Well on 30 Oct the Yellow Browed took all of 30 seconds to relocate!  I set up my camera on the patio and proceeded to try to get pics.  It was noticeable that the Yellow Browed was not calling.  In fact it only gave up a few quiet squeaks every now and then which I have not heard them do before.  I started to think that I needed to make sure it wasn't a Hume's.  However, that thought was eventually squashed when the Yellow Browed found its voice.

The Yellow Browed was very loyal to its favorite Willow and I watched it chase off Robins and a male Blackcap.  Numerous Goldcrests came through the garden.  At one point in the morning during a short sortie the Yellow Browed chased another small warbler out of the Ash tree and back into the favorite Willow.  I managed to get my bins on the Yellow Browed but the bird being chased shot out and disappeared.  I was left wandering what it was - could I have two Yellow Browed in the garden?  Could this second bird be the one that had not called all morning?  I was certain it wasn't a Chiffchaff or Crest.  However, it never re-appeared over the following hour.

At about 1045 I was watching the Yellow Browed as it moved towards the pond and it showed well on the overhanging branches above the pond.  It then dived into one of the bushes behind the pond that is still full of green leaves and was lost to sight.  After a few seconds a small warbler appeared out of the left of the bush and started to fly-catch on the leaves of a neighboring Sycamore.  I got my camera onto it and started to fire off shots..... Wait a minute that bird has a bright yellow central crown stripe and a yellow rump... Mind into gear... b****y hell that is a Pallas's!!!

Lightening strikes twice at Strumble - find a Yellow Browed and there is a Pallas's lurking in the next bush waiting to be found!  Thanks Graham!

Well eventually most people got onto it, a lifer for some which was all the more pleasing.  I managed to get some shots of both birds - see below.  Excuse warning - Yellow Browed and Pallas's are some of the hardest birds to photograph well!  My best attempts at both birds are on the next two posts.

Sunday 30 October 2016

Yellow browed Warbler

I am sure there will be better photos than this to follow but this is the Yellow browed Warbler from today.

Tresinwen (30 Oct 16)

Pallas's Warbler now joined the Yellow Browed in garden !!!!!!!

Tresinwen (30 Oct 16)

Yellow Browed still in garden this morning behind pond.

Saturday 29 October 2016

Tresinwen (29 Oct 16)

Yellow Browed Warbler - 1

In the garden by the pond this evening.  Been looking for migrants around the garden and Porthsychan all day and only found this at 1730 this evening!

On 9 Oct 1994 I found my first ever Yellow Browed at the top of Porthsychan.  That bird eventually made it into Tresinwen garden.  I have had to wait until now to find one in the garden since buying Tresinwen.  Well worth the wait.

Male Blackcap in the garden as well and Redwings and Fieldfare over this morning.

Jay in Porthsychan, lots of Goldcrest, Chaffinch, Goldfinch around.

Massive flock of Starlings around which are very mobile.  Not yet found anything rare with them but there is a Common Starling with a completely white tail in the flock which gets the pulse racing!

Snow Bunting

Myself and Adrian had a walk along the outer breakwater this afternoon.The Snow Bunting still present and showing well,also the Wheatear was still there.