Monday 29 February 2016

Strumble raptor

I arrived at Strumble this morning to see a raptor flying by. It was not much more than a speck but i snapped it and pretty much forgot about it until i got back home and downloaded it! Its a bit blurry (it was at least half a mile away but its obviously an Accipiter Sp. not a falcon as I expected it to be! Apart from that, there was nothing of note other than a couple of Red Throated Divers feeding on the tide race.(although porpoises were showing well!).

Saturday 27 February 2016

Strumble bits ...

Just over an hour at Strumble  this morning several porpoises but bird wise pretty uneventful A couple of gannets fed over the porpoises along with the usual mixed gulls, Strings of Auks headed west and half a dozen Divers were on the sea, at least four RTD's the other two Sp + a GND flyby East.

Thursday 25 February 2016

Strumble Head / Fishguard Harbour 25th Feb.

Approximately an hour & a half at Strumble this afternoon only produced a few Auks & a single Kittiwake.
The Harbour slightly better insofar that I managed to catch up with the Black Guillemot that eluded me all day yesterday & a Great Northern Diver present. 




A.Rogers,R.Stonier,C.Grayell,R.H.Davies,S.Berry,G.H.Rees,C.Benson &  SeaTrust Team,R.Wilkinson,C.Hurford,R.Liford,P.K.Grennard,P.Murray,S.Murray,E.Pugh,B.Gibbs,P.Mahiques,M.Jones,J.Faithfull,M.Locke,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 85 separate day or part of day watches recorded a total of 55 species of bird into the seawatching records, 5 species of Cetacean & Ocean Sunfish.


SHELDUCK Tadorna tadorna

Two records of 2 on 23rd January & the same number on 14th May.                                                  

WIGEON Anas penelope                                                                              

Lower count than 2014 with just 14 recorded max 8 on 23rd August.

COMMON TEAL Anas crecca                                                                                 

A total of 30 passed max 25 on 23rd August.

 MALLARD Anas platyrhynchos                                                        

 A single bird on 23rd August was the only record for the year.

SHOVELER Anas clypeata                                                        

 A single bird passed on 21st September.

COMMON EIDER  Somateria mollissima

Three birds passed, 2 on 8th September & 1 on 11th December.

COMMON SCOTER Melanitta nigra                                          

Passage recorded off Strumble Head 2354 birds, max. monthly totals during summer/ autumn were: 

July        Aug        Sept       Oct         Nov       

 42        603        1251         99        161 

Maximum day count  was 312 birds ( 251 Males & 60 Fem/imm ). The age/sex ratio for the year was 1995 Adult Males & 359 Female/immatures.

VELVET SCOTER Melanitta fusca                                 

Three birds on 12th September was the only record. 

RED – THROATED DIVER Gavia stellata                         

A total of 135 birds passed during the whole year, 22 between 8th  January & 10th  March max. 12 on 10th February. A further 113 birds then passed between 4th  September & 23rd December max. 35 on 11th December.

BLACK-THROATED DIVER Gavia arctica                          

A good year with a total of 20 birds recorded max 15 on 11th December.

GREAT NORTHERN DIVER Gavia immer                                    

A total of 39 recorded max. 23 on 11th December.

FULMAR Fulmarus glacialis                                                 

Maximum day count at was 250 on 13th November.

CORY’S SHEARWATER Calonectris diomeda                    

A single bird on 19th July was the only record.

GREAT SHEARWATER Puffinus gravis                               

Single birds on 8th & 19th July were the only records for the year, the 8th July record being the earliest county record.

SOOTY SHEARWATER Puffinus griseus                                

                            Aug            Sept            

Strumble Head    5              10          

Another poor year with only 16 recorded, with a single on 19th July making up the total.


MANX SHEARWATER Puffinus puffinus                          

First record for the year on 10th January & last recorded on 20th November.


Undoubtedly the bird of the year, came past at 16.35 on 31st August. 


BALEARIC SHEARWATER Puffinus mauretanicus 

                                  Aug               Sept                 Oct

Strumble Head           28                  63                    8

A single bird also recorded on 7th November.

STORM PETREL Hydrobates pelagicus                                          

Only 5 recorded this year, 4 in August & a single in September.

LEACH’S PETREL Oceanodroma leucorhoa         

Eleven birds recorded, a single on 21st October, 9 on 21st November & another single on 11th December.

GANNET Morus bassana                                                                                  

Recorded throughout the year.

CORMORANT Phalococorax carbo                                                             

 No large movements recorded this year.

SHAG Phalocrococorax aristotelis                                                  .

Recorded throughout the year.

HERON Ardea cinerea                                                                            

A total of 3 birds passed  this year 2 in August & 1 in September.

GREAT CRESTED GREBE Podiceps cristatus

A single bird passed on 6th August, then 2 on 11th December.

OYSTERCATCHER Haemotapus ostralegus

A movement of 25 birds on 18th August was considered to be the only migration observed & not the local birds.

RINGED PLOVER Charadrius hiaticula

A total of 7 birds, 4 on 16th November & 3 on 21st November.

GREY PLOVER Pluvialis squatarola

A total of six passed, a single on 31st August & 5 on 22nd September.

KNOT Calidris canutus

Largest passage for many years, 138 passed max 80 on 30th August.

SANDERLING Calidris alba

Passage similar to 2014 with 31 passing, max 10 on 5th September.

CURLEW SANDPIPER Calidris ferrugina

A single bird on 30th August.

DUNLIN Calidris alpina

A good increase on last year with a passage of 279 birds, max 79 on 30th August.


A better year with 62 recorded, max 31 on 3rd September.

BAR TAILED GODWIT Limosa lapponica

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

WHIMBREL Numenius phaeopus

Numbers down again in 2015 with just 96 recorded, max 30 on 23rd August.

CURLEW Numenius arquata

Only 5 birds recorded.

REDSHANK Tringa totanus

A slightly better count of 12 birds recorded in 2015, max 7 on 23rd September.

TURNSTONE Arenaria interpres

A total of 34 birds recorded, max 9 on 29th August.

GREY PHALAROPE Phalaropus fulicarius                               

A total of 10 recorded, 7 on 31st August, a single on 5th September & 2 on 21st November.


Generally a quite low year despite the improvement in September on the previous year. The biggest “Skua” day was a total count of all 4 species of 33 on 3rd September.

POMARINE SKUA Stercorarius pomarinus                                           

A total of 22 birds recorded all in Autumn between 28th July & 13th November. Max day count was the 4 on 28th July. Plumage / Age ratio was 16 Pale Phase, 1 Dark Phase & 5 Juveniles.

ARCTIC SKUA Stercorcarius parasiticus                                      

Monthly totals as follows;

         July                        Aug.                       Sept.                          Oct.                     Nov.

           2                          58                         137                            17                        8

No spring records, all recorded between 27th July & 20th November. Max daily count 22 on 3rd September. Plumage / Age ratio was 98 Pale Phase, 105 Dark Phase & 19 Juveniles.


LONG-TAILED SKUA Stercorcarius longicaudus                          

A total of 10 birds recorded in all, the first on 24th August with the last date being 21st November. Maximum day counts of 2 on 3rd September & 13th November. Apart from a 2nd calendar year bird on 13th November all were Juveniles.

GREAT SKUA Stercorcarius skua                                                                  

Monthly totals as follows;

       July                  Aug.                 Sept.                      Oct.                   Nov.               Dec.

          3                    25                     51                       2                    24                     4

A single winter record on 5th January, Maximum day count of 15 on 4th September which was the only double figure count of the year. The annual total of 110 was the lowest since 2007. Two birds flying north over Tresinwen in the afternoon  on 3rd October indicates overland passage can happen on occasion.

LITTLE GULL Larus minutus                                                                   

A total of 16 recorded, 2 Adult, a single 2nd year bird & 13 Juvenile/1st w.

MEDITERRANEAN GULL Larus melanocephalus

A total of 54 birds recorded, Maximum daily count of 6 on November 16th. The breakdown of age’s was 24 Adults, 7 2nd Summer & 23 Juvenile/1st w.

SABINE’S GULL Larus sabini                                                                    

A slight increase in 2015 but not significant, 10 birds recorded. In August 2 on 29th with singles on 22nd, 30th & 31st all Adults. In September 2 Adults & a Juvenile on 1st then another Adult on 22nd. The final record for the year being a Juvenile on 7th November.

KITTIWAKE Rissa tridactyla

Recorded throughout the year.

SANDWICH TERN Sterna sandvicensis                                          

Another  increase on the year previous as in last year with a total of 679 recorded, Maximum day count was 119 on 30th August.

COMMON TERN Sterna hirundo                                           

Only 2 recorded, singles on 12th & 15th September.

ARCTIC TERN Sterna paradisaea                                         

Another low return of just 3 recorded, 2 on 16th September & an early record on 28th July.



A total of 808 birds max. 430 on 23rd  August.

ROSEATE TERN Sterna dougallii                                           

Only 2 single birds recorded this year, 23rd & 29th August.

LITTLE TERN Sterna albifrons                                                       .

Four on 23rd August & a single on 3rd September were the only records this year.

BLACK TERN Chlidonias niger                                                          

A good year for this species with 149 recorded, Maximum count 105 on 23rd August.



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.

PUFFIN Fratercula artica

A total of 79 birds recorded, max. 39 on 28th July.


COMMON PORPOISE Phocoena phocoena

Recorded on 63 of the 85 watches, very rarely absent but conditions on the rougher sea days make it difficult to observe them.

COMMON DOLPHIN Delphinius delphis ( Short Beaked )

A total of 249 individuals recorded maximum count 71 on 15th September. Possibly a record year for the species at Strumble Head.

BOTTLENOSE DOLPHIN Tursiops truncates

A rare species at Strumble Head, 2 on 3rd August & 2 on 5th September being the first records since 2012.

RISSO’S DOLPHIN Grampus griseus

A total of 44 animals recorded, down on the previous year. Maximum day count was 20 on 19th September.

MINKE WHALE Balaenoptera acutorostrata

A single animal seen in a flat calm sea  heading in an easterly direction at thirteen minutes  past six on the evening of 23rd June.


A total of 10 animals seen between the dates of 23rd August & 22nd September, Maximum 2 on 30th August & the last date.


Wednesday 24 February 2016

Fishguard Harbour 24th Feb.

On the way down near the Drim a singing Nuthatch was the first I've ever heard, not anything else to report though.

A later trip to Harbour & Outer Breakwater with Walrus found 2 Purple Sandpipers on a very low tide so very lucky, a Common Guillemot close in to the Harbour wall feeding & 2 Red Throated Divers around the Harbour.

Thursday 18 February 2016

Edge of the Patch ( Just Outside Actually ).

After a report of 2 hunting near Castlemorris last week managed to catch up with a single Barn Owl earlier on although never came close enough to try for a pic. Also as noticed previously in the same area a roost of Magpies with 28 counted in one tree alone.

Wednesday 17 February 2016

Tuesday 16 February 2016

Around & About 16th Feb.

Quick dog walk at Strumble then a look from the car at nothing.
Flagpoles had all the gulls tonight, 1 each Adult & 2nd W Meds.
Woodcock watch from back garden produced 6 Woodcock, 2 Mallard & a small laboured flight wader that refused to call ?

Tuesday 9 February 2016

Great Northern Divers

In a wind swept Fishguard Harbour this afternoon 4 Great Northern Divers and a single Great Crested Grebe.
The Firecrest is still present at Dinas Cross.


 I think you can just make out a bird in this pic' but to be honest Storm Imogene defeated us!

Tuesday 2 February 2016

Aonang Seawatch

Time: Not sure
Weather: Hot
Wind: Cooling

Reef Egret - 1
Common Sandpiper - 2
Collared Kingfisher - 2
Eurasian Tree Sparrow - 100's

Monday 1 February 2016

Strumble Storms

Nothing really out of the ordinary, to be honest I was snapping birds just to keep alert as the porp's were extremely elusive, up, down. gone.

You have to  wonder why these sea birds choose to battle against forty mile an hour winds when they could find a bit of shelter and ride out the storms.

Kittiwakes are real sea gulls and seem to make a leisurely almost effortless progress over the maelstrom!

Most puzzling perhaps are the auks. The Razorbills and Guillemots that do not  effortlessly drift on long wings. They buzz along with whirring wings that must use up energy like a  Chevvy V8. Why not hang around in the shelter of a lee coast or Fishguard Harbour?