Wednesday 30 March 2016


Steve Berry beat me by a few hours but I had three off the breakwater this afternoon!

Sandwich Terns

There were two Sandwich Terns in Fishguard Harbour along with 2 Great Crested Grebes, 4 Canada Geese,a Great Northen Diver and a single Swallow.
On Dinas Mountain 40 Golden Plover.

Monday 28 March 2016

Strumble Head (28 Mar 16)

Amazing difference a day makes.  Now that Katie has moved on and the sun returned I found 5+ Chiffchaffs in Porthsychan (been quiet for last couple of days).  3 of which were singing.

Had a brief glimpse of another warbler which gave impression of Willow Warbler but I couldn't locate it again. 

Steady passage of Swallows and odd Sand Martin.

Some nice big rollers hitting Porthsychan beach this morning...

Strumble Head 28th March

Time: 14.30 - 17.00
Weather: Bright
Wind: WSW 3

Shelduck - 2
Red Throated Diver - 5 ( 1 Summer plumage )
Fulmar - 12+
Manx Shearwater - 1
Mediterranean Gull - 2 ( Ad & 2W )

Porpoises showing off & on but fairly close in.

A few Wheatears in the field behind the lookout & Swallows passing through also Sand Martins before I got there. 

Bottle-nosed Dolphins

At least seven Bottle-nosed Dolphins off of Pen Anglas,bird wise a couple of Chiffchaffs and my first  Swallow of Spring, a flock of 50+Linnet.
In the harbour 2Great Crested Grebes in summer plumage

Sunday 27 March 2016

Tresinwen & Strumble (26-27 Mar 16)

A few bits:
  • First Sand Martin for me on 25th
  • 2 Peregrine feeding on a kill in fields near the farm today
  • Yellowhammer under the bird table this evening

Saturday 26 March 2016

Friday 25 March 2016

More Strumble birdie bits

This morning was great for Porp spotting but also nice bird-wise best for me were my first hurundines of the year with little flurries of mainly Sand Martins coming in off the sea along with odd Swallows
Best looking bird of the morning was this cracking shag in breeding garb....

I heard a chough below us and just managed to fire off a couple of shots as it flitted by

the last shots were of a kite from Wednesday seemingly looking to clean up after lambing Ewes

Thursday 24 March 2016

Strumble birdy bits and a consultation

Fair play Steve Berry's Manxie was the first of the year. Perhaps i should have said ours was the first of the spring and as several others were noted during the voyage, perhaps the vanguard of the  annual round  Atlantic tour, rather than an odd bird floating about.

"The powers that be" Natural Resources Wales"  have proposed "Special Areas of Protection" for sea birds in Welsh waters. It seems to me there has been a failure to recognise the expertise and huge knowledge base of organised amateur naturalists and birdwatchers.  

Proposals to create six new marine protected areas in Wales – consultation underway

2 February 2016
Article by Rachel Prior, National Assembly for Wales Research Service

The three proposed Special Protection Areas (SPAs) are designed to protect threatened species of seabirds, particularly migratory birds. The first is an extension of an existing SPA at Anglesey to protect breeding tern colonies and their foraging area. The second is in Northern Cardigan Bay to protect the wintering population of red throated diver. The third is an extension to an existing SPA at Skomer and Skokholm for Manx shearwater and Atlantic Puffin. Skomer and Skokholm already protect large populations of Manx shearwater, less black backed gull and Atlantic Puffin. The new SPA would include the islands themselves and further large sea areas extending from the Pembrokeshire coast.

It seems odd that the area around the Smalls where over the past fifteen years we have encountered huge congregations of  rafting Manx Shearwaters, has been overlooked.
Probably the most glaring omission is the fact that a significant percentage of the population of one of the worlds rarest and endangered sea birds the Balearic Shearwater  Puffinus mauretanicus is monitored passing Strumble Head and has been for a couple of decades.

Wednesday 23 March 2016

Manx Shearwater.

Steve Berry had a Manx Shearwater on 3rd January at Strumble, so if the one seen from the Ferry was the next one that's about 80 days between them. 

Tuesday 22 March 2016

First Pembrokeshire Manxie of the year?

Our first Stena Ferry Survey of the year was quite successful with three species of cetacean recorded including Porpoise Common dolphin and Bottlenose Dolphins, Bird-wise we saw ten manxies 7 yesterday 3 today, (sorry no pic's) the first of the year including one off Strumble so perhaps the first Pemb's Manxie of the year, unless Ed knows better? 

also this morning several migrating Pipit's passing the ship! Interestingly what used to be a thriving colony of Black Guillemots in Rosslare Harbour of 20+ pairs has in the past couple of years reduced to only two or three pairs!

Friday 18 March 2016

Flagpoles 18th March.

Very little to report apart from the single Shelduck still present which is into it's third week now, very unusual as they generally don't stay for more than a few minutes going on any of my previous birds there.

Sunday 13 March 2016

Black Redstart

A smart male Black Redstart near Fishguard Fort this morning. There was a single Great Northern Diver in the harbour yesterday.
On Dinas Mountain 70+GoldenPlover many showing signs of summer plumage,also a flock of 30 Fieldfare flew over heading north.

Saturday 12 March 2016

Strumble Head & Tresinwen (12 March 16)

Spring has sprung!

A walk from Tresinwen, down the road to the Lighthouse then around the coast to Porthsychan and back to Tresinwen.

Highlight - Male Wheatear on the slope below the Lighthouse carpark.  My first of the year and in my eyes that means Spring is here!

Two or three Red Throated Diver offshore.

Lots of Meadow Pipits around and a high count of 16 Stonechats on this short stretch of coast - many of which were singing.

Goldcrests dotted all around the coast in any bit of cover they could find.  A few in the garden also.

Friday 11 March 2016

Mippets arriving!

Whilst out looking for porpoises this morning, there was a little fall of Mippets (Meadow Pipits)  off the sea, most flew over head but this nicely marked individual came down to perch handy bye, as my old mate Jack Donovan would have said!

I must have thousands of gannet pic's but somehow can't resist taking more!

Also Mr and Mrs Blythe who live up by the Wallace reported a nice male Black Redstart in their garden! presumably an early spring arrival!

Saturday 5 March 2016

Flagpoles 16.00 ish

Very few gulls, 40 Oystercatchers, approx 10 Turnstones & a couple of Redshanks. Star of the show a lone Shelduck which has been present for a few days now. At the Stena end approx. 20 Black Headed Gulls & a very tasty bowl of Cawl in the Ocean Lab !

Later on 18.30 - 18.50 watched lower down valley & from the position I was at I saw 13 Woodcock fly out of roosts to feed. Just how many are down there & going in different directions ? 

Tuesday 1 March 2016

Fishguard Harbour 1st March

At least 3 Great Crested Grebes dotted around the bay, the one on the Ferry terminal side in full summer plumage. The usual sprinkling of waders, apart from the Oystercatchers only the Turnstones into double figures. A male Reed Bunting on Goodwick Moor was my first of the year.