Tuesday 28 February 2017


As I walked down the valley this morning a flock of approx. 20 Siskins over calling, the most I have seen for a few months & a rarity on the feeders here.

Later on at the Flagpoles although a fairly low number of gulls there were still 3 Adult Mediterranean in the group. 

Saturday 18 February 2017

Not yet at Strumble maybe never but I hope they make it!

Our last full day in Lanzarote, its been hot and sunny but with a strong wind from the north east. I have to say i have not been much of a birder but this evening I had pure gold in the form of a flock of hirundines flying high, north east into the wind which had died down to a breeze. I presume they were migrating and maybe got a bit off course. I was thrilled to see this migration in action, as a boy the thought that the little birds that built their cupped nest under our eaves would fly all the way to South Africa. Now I have seen them half way and maybe just maybe I will see the same ones fly by Strumble in a couple of months! I hope they make it!

Just got this...

I am in Lanzarote where the internet here is not so good I got this today but it was sent yesterday evening. My neighbour Oliver John sent this pic of  a Crane in his field  on tuesday just below the back road from Henner Cross, Goodwick near the turnoff for Rhosycaerau. It was seen Tuesday afternoon but not since so far as I know!

Goodwick (18 Feb 17)

Quick look at the flagpoles this evening - no sign of Glauc but at least 8 Med Gulls.  All adult winter except for one cracking summer plumage bird.

Wednesday 15 February 2017

Funny enough!

I have been watching Yellow legged Gulls today,  as well as Turnstones! (in Lanzarote)

Tuesday 14 February 2017

Flagpole 16.00 Yellow Legged Gull

A trip around the locality of Fishguard caught up with the Glaucous Gull behind the Ferry, the usual stuff for the time of year at Strumble & a cracking Adult Yellow Legged Gull at the Flagpoles last knockings. Pics by Bryn Rogers.

Tuesday 7 February 2017

Saturday 4 February 2017

Strumble Head 4th Feb. 2017

Time: 10.00 - 12.00
Weather: Slightly Overcast, Dry
Wind: SW 2

Common Scoter - 12 ( 10 Males )
Long Tailed Duck - 2 ( 1st winter type females ? My last LTD at Strumble was 2nd Dec 2001! )
Red Throated Diver - 9 ( All birds on sea at same time to avoid duplication, could have been 20 ) 
Black Throated Diver - 1
Great Northern Diver - 1
Mediterranean Gull - 1 ( Ad )

Gannets, Guillemots, Razorbillls & kittiwakes all present.

Porpoises showing quite well at start.

Thursday 2 February 2017

A bit of a mouthful

Ken Barnett's image of a young Cormorant trying to swallow a scorpion fish at Strumble today!

Congratulations to Wdig Birder for his work on producing the Strumble report below, well done!




A.Rogers,R.Stonier,C.Grayell,R.H.Davies,S.Berry,G.H.Rees,C.Benson, K.Barnett,   SeaTrust Team,R.Wilkinson,C.Hurford,R.Liford,P.K.Grennard,B.Southern,P.Murray,S.Murray,P.Mahiques,M.Jones, R.Jones, J.Faithfull,M.Locke,M.Hipkin . Apologies to anyone I’ve missed or if I unfortunately don’t know your name & not forgetting the Teifi Ringing Group for their annual effort with Storm Petrel Ringing.

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

During the year 75 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.


BRENT GOOSE Branta bernicla

Pale Bellied hrota:

A single on 18th October & 2 on 4th November were the only records.

SHELDUCK Tadorna tadorna

A total of 12 birds recorded, 6 on January 2nd with 2 birds each on 28th March, 14th April & 4th of May.

WIGEON Anas penelope                                                                               

A total of 53 recorded max. 18 on 14th September.

COMMON TEAL Anas crecca                                                                                 

A total of 52 recorded max. 12 on 16th September.

 MALLARD Anas platyrhynchos                                                         

Not recorded passing the head in 2016.

PINTAIL Anus acuta

Two birds on 18th October were the only record for the year.

SHOVELER Anas clypeata                                                        

 A total of 8 recorded, max. 5 on 18th October.

COMMON EIDER  Somateria mollissima

Not recorded passing the head in 2016.

COMMON SCOTER Melanitta nigra                                          

Passage recorded off Strumble Head 2756 birds, max. monthly totals during summer/ autumn were: 

July        Aug        Sept       Oct         Nov       

 80        650        1721         154        92 

Maximum day count  was 208 birds ( 190 Males & 18 Fem/imm ) on 15th September. The age/sex ratio for the year was 2756 Adult Males & 216 Female/immatures.

VELVET SCOTER Melanitta fusca                                 

Not recorded passing the head in 2016


A single bird on 21st August was the only record for the year.

RED – THROATED DIVER Gavia stellata                         

A total of 62 birds recorded, max. 14 on 24th January. In early part of year 46 birds recorded between 2nd January & 1st April with 16 being recorded between 13th September & 23rd December.

BLACK-THROATED DIVER Gavia arctica                           

 Following a good showing last year only 3 recorded this year all singles on 18th October, 10th November & 1st December.

GREAT NORTHERN DIVER Gavia immer                                    

A total of 11 birds recorded this year max. 2 on 2nd December. A fairly low return.

FULMAR Fulmarus glacialis                                                 

Maximum day count of 300+ birds passed on 4th August.

CORY’S SHEARWATER Calonectris diomeda                    

The rarer of the two large Shearwaters, single birds passed on 8th August  ( AR,RHD ) & 21st August ( MH, RJ ).

GREAT SHEARWATER Puffinus gravis                              

A good showing this year with the suitable conditions giving a total of 13 birds. In August, 2 on 8th, 3 on 21st & a single on 28th. In September, 4 on the 2nd,  singles on the 4th , 16th & 25th.

SOOTY SHEARWATER Puffinus griseus                                

                            Aug            Sept            

Strumble Head    25           56          

A much better showing this year with a total of 81 birds max. 26 on 4th September.

MANX SHEARWATER Puffinus puffinus                          

First bird recorded on 3rd January & last on 23rd December.


BALEARIC SHEARWATER Puffinus mauretanicus 

                                  Aug               Sept                 Oct

Strumble Head           12                  66                    1

The total of 79 birds lower than 2015 but higher than 2014, max day count was 15 on 4th September.

STORM PETREL Hydrobates pelagicus                                          

A total of 33 was the highest annual count for many years, max. 18 on 21st August. The Teifi Ringing group trapped 5 birds on 5th June.

LEACH’S PETREL Oceanodroma leucorhoa         

A single bird on 30th August was the only record for the year.

GANNET Morus bassana                                                                                  

Recorded throughout the year.

CORMORANT Phalococorax carbo                                                             

 A total of 42 birds recorded on passage, max. 24 on 1st September.

SHAG Phalocrococorax aristotelis                                                  .

Recorded throughout the year.

HERON Ardea cinerea                                                                             

Just 3 birds recorded this year, a single on 25th July & 2 on 2nd September.

GREAT CRESTED GREBE Podiceps cristatus

 Not recorded passing the head in 2016.

OYSTERCATCHER Haemotapus ostralegus

Birds recorded at the head this year suspected to be local breeders rather than any passage noted.

RINGED PLOVER Charadrius hiaticula

A single on 31st August & 2 on 15th September were the only records.

GREY PLOVER Pluvialis squatarola

A total of 3 birds recorded  all in September, 2 on 13th & a single on 25th.

KNOT Calidris canutus

A slight increase on last year with 148 recorded, max 86 on 29th August.

SANDERLING Calidris alba

A total of 17 birds recorded, max. 8 on 5th September.

CURLEW SANDPIPER Calidris ferrugina

Two birds both on 29th August were the only records.

DUNLIN Calidris alpina

A total of 159 birds recorded, lower than last year, max. 27 on 29th August.


The best count for many years with 70 birds recorded, max. 21 on 11th September.

BAR TAILED GODWIT Limosa lapponica

An increase on previous year with 107 birds recorded, max. 70 on 11th September.

WHIMBREL Numenius phaeopus

A total of just 57 recorded, max. 12 on 4th September.

CURLEW Numenius arquata

Just 5 birds recorded, the same total as 2015.

GREENSHANK Tringa nebularia

Less than annual, 2 birds recorded on 6th September, the first since 2012.

REDSHANK Tringa totanus

Single birds on 27th & 30th August were the only records.

TURNSTONE Arenaria interpres

A total of just 7 birds recorded, a low return this year.

GREY PHALAROPE Phalaropus fulicarius                               

A total of 10 birds recorded. In August a single on the 3rd, In September singles on 2nd & 16th with 3 on 17th & 2 on 29th then in November singles on 4th & 9th.



Again as in 2015 an indifferent season regarding the Skua passage, it remains to be seen what will happen in 2017 but a third annual low count of Bonxie numbers could start to raise a few questions.

POMARINE SKUA Stercorarius pomarinus                                           

Just 10 birds recorded in total. In August a single on the 4th then in September singles on 4th, 3 on 10th & 2 on 29th. October saw a single on 17th & 2 on the 18th. The breakdown of Plumage/Age was 5 Pale Adults & 5 Juveniles.

ARCTIC SKUA Stercorcarius parasiticus                                      

Monthly totals as follows;

         July                        Aug.                       Sept.                          Oct.                     Nov.

           2                          66                         139                            18                        1

The breakdown of Plumage/Age was 72 Pale Phase, 131 Dark Phase & 23 Juveniles.

LONG-TAILED SKUA Stercorcarius longicaudus                          

Exactly the same total as the previous year where 10 birds were recorded , Juveniles  on 16th & 29th September with 2 on 17th September  then  4 on 18th October & 1st & 2nd Summer birds on the same day.

GREAT SKUA Stercorcarius skua                                                                  

Monthly totals as follows;

       July                  Aug.                 Sept.                      Oct.                   Nov.               Dec.

          0                    40                     53                       2                    1                     1

Outside of the main  season there were 2 on 7th January & a single on 27th April. The second year running with a low return, the count of 100 being the equal 5th lowest count since 1980.

LITTLE GULL Larus minutus                                                                   

 A total of 22 birds recorded, 4 Adults & 18 Juveniles max. 8 on 18th October.

MEDITERRANEAN GULL Larus melanocephalus

A total of 76 birds recorded, 31 Adults, 4 2nd Summer & 41 1st Winter/Juv max. 12 on 10th November.

SABINE’S GULL Larus sabini                                                                    

A reasonable showing this year with 15 birds recorded, 12 Adults & 3 Juveniles max. 4 on 4th September.

KITTIWAKE Rissa tridactyla

Recorded throughout the year.

SANDWICH TERN Sterna sandvicensis                                          

A total of 539 recorded max. 70 on 4th September.

COMMON TERN Sterna hirundo                                           

 Only 2 recorded, singles on 3rd August & 17th October.

ARCTIC TERN Sterna paradisaea                                         

A total of 19 birds recorded max. 10 on 11th September.


A total of 321 birds recorded max. 34 on 13th September.

ROSEATE TERN Sterna dougallii                                           

The 2 birds seen on 31st August were the only record for the year.

LITTLE TERN Sterna albifrons                                                       .

A total of 8 birds recorded, singles on 4th & 29th August with 6 on the 31st of the same month.

BLACK TERN Chlidonias niger                                                          

A species in which numbers fluctuate annually 2016 being a low year with just 20 recorded max.10 on 13th September.


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 118 birds recorded, max. 58 on 11th July. Whether these are passage birds or local breeders is always a matter of speculation.


Below are the Cetacean counts made during the seabird watches, they do not necessarily include the additional counts made by SeaTrust on their Strumble counts & therefore the actual number of animals recorded from Strumble Head annually is actually larger. The counts however are passed to SeaTrust & collated to establish the bigger picture.

COMMON PORPOISE Phocoena phocoena

Recorded on 65 of the 75 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 361 individuals recorded maximum count approx. 100 on 30th August. Again probably a record year .

BOTTLENOSE DOLPHIN Tursiops truncates

A total of 15 animals recorded, the 2 on 4th August were thought to be the semi resident Fishguard Harbour mother & calf “ Apache & Ringo “, then 10 recorded on 30th August  & 3 the next day.

RISSO’S DOLPHIN Grampus griseus

A total of 52 animals recorded,  Maximum day count was 14 on 1st September.  

MINKE WHALE Balaenoptera acutorostrata

A single animal showed for over 3 minutes at five past six in the morning on 27th August & a Whale that breached distantly at twenty past four on 16th July was most likely a Minke.


 Only 3 recorded this year, singles on 4th August, 4th September & 9th  September.



A single bird flew West at 11.30 on 9th September.


A Juvenile flew West on 26th October.