Wednesday, 3 June 2020

WeBS Opportunities in Carmarthenshire

'BTO Wetlands Bird Survey for Carmarthenshire needs additional counters.  There are some vacant sites available near Laugharne, Ferryside, Kidwelly and along the Tywi Valley. These sites may suit Pembrokeshire birders living towards the east of the county.  If anyone would like to take on one of these sites then please get in touch with me (email- or through the WeBS vacant sites website. Surveys involve counting birds at high tide once a month on a designated day each month. Surveys are due to start in September all being well. Counts are then uploaded on to the WeBS website and contribute to the annual reports on the status of wetlands birds in the UK.   A link to the vacant sites is shown below;
Alan Seago  Local WeBS organiser Carmarthenshire'

Friday, 17 April 2020

Archived on-line copies of Pembrokeshire Bird Reports

If anyone wants to have a browse down memory lane, or is considering doing some research on Pembrokeshire bird species, you can now access (on-line) all of the annual Pembrokeshire Bird Reports (first published back in 1981) which are now all available as scanned PDF copies. 

The reports provide summaries of species records submitted to the County Recorders each year. They can be accessed via the Pembs Bird Group blog,  Pembs Bird Group Avifauna or the sightings blog by clicking on Reports in the menu bars. 

As well as the annual species records, many of the reports also include some short papers and notes on bird-related topics, for example: 

·         An analysis of results from an annual Common Birds Census of the Pembroke Upper Millpond 1981-86 by David Little and Richard Shaw in the 1986 Report. How might the species composition recorded then compare with that of today?
·         An article by Steve Sutcliffe on the Diet of Little Owls on Skomer in the 1989 Report – does this species still breed on Skomer these days?
·         Strumble Connection by Graham Rees, also in the 1989 edition - a fascinating review of this important sea-watching location and of some of the interesting species that pass by Strumble. 
·         David Astins carried out a review of Mediterranean Gulls in the county in the 1993 Report (a species-review surely overdue an update!). 

·         The Reports link also provides access to other general bird survey reports and to an annotated checklist of all species known to have been recorded in Pembrokeshire up to and including 2018. 
Happy reading during this “Lockdown” period. 

Many thanks to Bob and Annie for all their hard work in digitising thse reports.

Thursday, 27 February 2020

Marsh Harrier Special;Saturday March 7th

Chris Taylor has arraged an additional Field Event, details below.

Sunday, 16 February 2020

Report on Wader Event Sunday Feb. 2nd

A group of 20 enthusiasts turned out on a grey Sunday morning in early February for the waders event at Angle Bay.  The morning got off to a gentle start at the Rhoscrowther shore of Angle Bay, where the highlight was a small flock of c.30 pale-bellied Brent Geese, accompanied by small numbers of Wigeon, Curlew, Oystercatcher and Redshank.  After a short and fruitless look for small waders, we moved on to Freshwater West and Gupton Farm, where we enjoyed good views of c.1000 Golden Plovers and 300 or so Lapwings.   The presence of a few Common Gulls stimulated a discussion on gull identification, which soon broadened to take in the nearby Black-headed Gulls, Herring Gulls and Great Black-backed Gulls. The tide covering the rocks opposite the car park dashed any hopes of seeing some Grey Plovers for comparison.   Another year maybe.....
From there we moved to Angle Village and took the short walk to the shingle spit near the track on the way to Point House, putting a few Snipe up along the way.  Ignoring the call of the pub, our reward was a nice selection of waders on the shingle, including a flock of 23 Knot, conveniently roosting alongside a mixed flock of some 100 Dunlins and 50 Ringed Plovers for comparison.  The highlight, however, was a flock of some 50+ Black-tailed Godwits that eventually did the decent thing and took to the air revealing their striking wing-bars and tail pattern.   Other waders on the spit included more Curlews, Oystercatchers and Redshanks.  Among the non-waders were several Shelducks, a Cormorant, a single Great Crested Grebe and an adult Mediterranean Gull, roosting alongside Common Gulls, which stimulating yet more gull-related debate.  A confiding Little Egret feeding in the creek enhanced the walk back to the village.
Finally, on returning to the Rhoscrowther end of the bay to collect the cars, those who lingered enjoyed a close flypast by pair of Pintails and views of another mixed flock of c. 200 Dunlins and Ringed Plovers on the shore.  And it didn’t even rain....

Clive Hurford

Picture by Ali Rees

Monday, 13 January 2020

Event at Teifi Marshes Feb 8th.

The sun shone on Cardigan for a Pembrokeshire Bird Group walk around the Teifi Marshes. We, 19 cheery folk, gathered in the car park and were met by Nathan Walton, Reserve Manager, from the WTSWW. Nathan guided us around some of his best spots of the reserve, covering woodland, riverside and reedbeds/estuary. The benefit of having a walk at this time of year is that bird song is increasing, but the leaves have not yet come out so, when you hear a bird you can sometimes actually see it. There was a nice mixture of birdwatching levels so people were more than willing to share knowledge. After a few hours tea and cake was consumed in the ever popular Glasshouse Café in the Visitor Centre.

Bird highlights included:

Blue Tits, Dunnock, Goldcrest, Great Tit, Firecrest, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Long-tailed Tits, Robin, Sparrowhawk, Wren, possible Goshawk.

Common Sandpiper, Golden Eye, Gadwall, Heron, Mallard, Teal, Wigeon.


Black-headed Gull, Black-tailed Godwit, Curlew, Common Gull, Cormorant, Greater Black-backed Gull, Herring Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Little Grebe, Redshank.

All the records have been submitted to Birdtrack

Chris Taylor