Thursday, 29 December 2011

Lesser Scaup

...has apparently relocated to Cardiff Bay near Prospect Place [per Steve Hinton],as of early afternoon.

Whooper & Gt Scaup - Cossie

a.m. Whooper still present, and Gtr Scaup [on E lake] but couldn't find the Lsr Scaup. My guess is it's gone back to Cardiff Bay [try Hamadryad/R Taff, C Bay Wetlands or the area by the Ice Rink/Prospect Place]. Nice to see the Bridgend brigade on my patch - have a good new year boys :-)

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Cosmeston 28th Dec

PS - there were 2 v good candidates for sinensis Cormorant on the W lake posts this morning, but I didn't have a protractor with me to measure the dreaded gular patch angle!

Cosmeston - Whooper & Lesser Scaup.

Whooper Swan still present on E lake. A surprise was seeing what is presumably the returning drake Lesser Scaup, sitting next to the drake Greater Scaup as I was scannig for the latter. Again, E lake in the LH corner beyond the boardwalk. Escaped back to car just b4 downpour.
Gtr Scaup [L] and Lsr Scaup [R]
Above cropped image of the two Scaup.
And here's the friendly Whooper, which was quietly bugling to itself all the time:

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Whooper Swan at Cosmeston

Whooper Swan at Cosmeston CP.
It carries an orange darvic ring with Y59, ringed in Worcestershire Jan. 2011

Saturday, 24 December 2011


LBBG P:Z, white lettering on green darvic.
4 Gadwall E lake and 7 Pochard [3 E lake 4 W lake]. No sign of Scaup. Also Sprawk flew through across boardwalk.

Friday, 23 December 2011


On E Lake this morning, a drake [Greater] Scaup near the grassy 'beach' beyond the far end of the main boardwalk, with a small raft of Tufties. Also 3 Pochard [2 E lake, 1 W lake].

Wednesday, 21 December 2011


Still not much activity on the wildfolw front. About 120 Tufties present and 1 lone drake Pochard, although 3 Gadwall [1m 2f] on W lake were new.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011


a.m. v cold and rainy. c.100 Redwing and c.50 Fieldfare, v. approx as they were spread out. 5 Reed Bunt by the new pool that has been excavacted by the med. village boardwalk. 1 Green 'Pecker, 2 Bullfinch, 3 Snipe same place as Sat last, and a scattering of Blackbird, Song Thrush and Mistle Thrush. Ducks still much as b4 with still no showing of Pochard numbers.

Saturday, 10 December 2011


The Glamorgan Bird Club montly walk - 1 degC and very still. 4+ Reed Bunt by the boardwalk, 90 Tufties and now 4 drake Pochard. c.100 Redwing, 4 Mistle Thrush, 4+ Song Thrush, 1 Jay, 1 Sparrowhawk, 3 Snipe in one of the 'rides' in the 'snipe paddock' [on the R past the dragonfly pond], and a wintering Chiffchaff in bushes near the dragonfly pond.

Thursday, 8 December 2011


B**** windy!! Only birds of note were c.100 Redwing up near the dragonfly pond, with about 10 Mistle Thrush mixed in. Also 2 Green 'Peckers in the west paddock. On E lake 90 Tufted Duck and 1 solitary drake Pochard. There's usually a lot more than that by now. All paths off the main drag are pretty much a quagmire - best boots required.

Friday, 2 December 2011


Back from absence on leave in warmer climes! Pretty quiet this morning although a lot of Thrushes feeding on hawthorn around the place, including a few Redwing and loads of Blackbirds and Song Thrushes. On 29th Nov I noted a Coot with a white Darvic type ring on it's left leg with black lettering BCC and a metal ring on R leg. Can't immed find any info on t'net. Any ideas? Assume it must be local-ish

Friday, 11 November 2011

Lavernock Point

The farmer was flaying the hedgerows this morning so not much about. However a flock of 17 Mistle Thrushes, 11 Stock Doves, along with 3 Brambling over the point, more than made up for '0' in the hedges.

Thursday, 10 November 2011


V mild this morning. Not much action except 50+ Redwing feeding in Hawthorns in region of SW corner of W lake and path that leads to dragonfly pond. 60 Wood Pigeon flew over. Ad Lesser Black-back present ringed dark blue darvic with orange letters HVP on R leg, metal ring L leg. Photo under 'Birds' [altho' you can't see the whole ring! = poss Evesham in origin].

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Lavernock Point

With a slight SE drift, thrushes were in evidence this morning, with many feeding on hawthorn berries: Fieldfare (300), Redwing (700), Blackbird (c40), Song Thrush (10) & Mistle Thrush (4). Seven Crossbills f/o and went out to sea, Stock Dove (3), Wood Pigeon (150), Chaffinch (50), Meadow Pipit (20) & Sky Lark (2). Singles of Kestrel, Sparrowhawk & Buzzard were noted.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Lavernock Point

A Lapland Bunting was present in the first big ploughed field with a small flock of Sky Larks. It flew off calling south towards the point at 10.23am. Good numbers of finches in the top fields, either side of the lane: Brambling, Chaffinch, Linnet, Goldfinch & Bullfinch (3). Increase in the numbers of Jackdaws & crows feeding in ploughed fields.

Cosmeston 2nd Nov

A flock of about 20 Fieldfare flew over this morning, my first of the year, together with a handful of Redwing. They didn't stop. Windsurfers on E lake so nothing much there. Just 2 Tufties on W lake and 3 Mistle Thrush in W paddock.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011


pretty quiet in the settled weather.
Lavernock reserve - pr Bullfinch, 1 Buzzard, small flocks of Chaffinch & Goldfinch, fem Blackcap.
Lavernock Pt & coast path - pr Bullfinch, 30 Goldfinch, 20 Chaffinch, 1 Sky Lark, Mistle Thrush, m+f Blackcap.
Poss the most exciting thing was an old twin prop US Army marked aircraft which flew over from the W [presumably Rhoose or St Athan]. Wasn't quick enough to get camera out, lens cap off and unlock zoom :-( It was a handsome craft. About 1/2 way in size betw Hurricane & Lancaster. US Army written under the L wing, stars on the wing ends. Tail comprised a wing with two small vertical tail fins at the distal ends & no central tail fin.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Lavernock Point

News for 25/10. Not much movement with the wind turning SSW and clearing.
Migrants: Chiffchaff (1), Blackcap (1) & Swallow (2). Passerine migration: Crossbill (1), Siskin (4), Linnet (40), Chaffinch (25), Goldfinch (40) & Sky Lark (10).
Leps: Red Admiral & Speckled Wood

Monday, 24 October 2011

Lavernock LNR

a.m. not much in the way of vis mig this morning apart from 13 Crossbill flying over and a few Chaffinch. Large [c.300] flock of Starling wheeling around and an ad Peregrine hunting. 2 flocks of c.10 Long-t Tit and a Green 'Pecker.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Cosmeston, late morning

Highlights - 3 Redpoll flew into trees by the cafe, 1 2ndyr Med Gull on E lake, 300 Black-headed Gulls - a good count for the site, and an amazing 9 Common Gulls - usually only 1 or maybe 2 on odd occasions in the winter.

Saturday, 22 October 2011


80 Canada Geese on E lake this morning. Also a Swallow thro' and  GS Woodpecker flew over the mian bridge. Red Admirals still about. O/w pretty quiet.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Lavernock LNR/ Lav Church

10 Bullfinch was a good count, plus male Spawk, 2 Jay, 3 Chiffchaff, 1 Green 'Pecker, 1 Raven over.
By the church, no sight or sound of the YBW, but there had been a lot of disturbance yesterday [strimming inside and outside the churchyard]. 4 Coll Dove there plus 2 Goldcrest, 30 Goldfinch, and a pair of Wrens with the male displaying.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Lavernock Point

The wind being WNW and clear there wasn't too much moving, however Crossbill (3, >N) & Redpoll (2) were bonus birds. Chiffchaff (1) & Swallow (2) were the only summer migrants. Not much else: Goldcrest (5), Coal Tit (1) & Jay (2).
Late news for 15th at Lavernock from GNS: Wood Lark & Hawfinch.
Note: I see the farmer has now mulched the big field and others inland, so ploughing will follow hopefully - which usually means birds dropping in whilst on passage to feed.

Monday, 17 October 2011


I undertand from the Cosmeston rangers that they have now installed an artifical Otter holt on the W lake island, which has been used. See the info at the VoG web site. [the URL beneath this link has been abreviated]. This link will take you away from here.


No sign of the YBW at Lavernock Church this morning but conditions not conducive - v strong SW battering the trees. However 5 Dark-bellied Brent went d/c and I had 2 Crossbill flying over and light passage of Swallows including a few House Martin.
At Cosmeston 8 Pochard and a pair of Shoveler on W lake plus the usual 40 or so Tufted Duck. Jeff Curtis et al also had a Peregrine earlier.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Lavernock Pt

Great find this morning by my fellow Penarthian, Matt Meehan - a Yellow-browed Warbler around the garden of Church House, next to the car park at Lavernock Point. Seems to prefer the large Sycamore in the garden, viewable from the church yard.

Friday, 14 October 2011

Lavernock Point

Met up with Graham Smith & Matt Meehan. All had an excellent morning with a lot of visible migration, mostly overhead. Goldfinch: GNS states at least 4000+ over Swanbridge/LNR & Point. Good numbers of Chaffinch, Linnet, Greenfinch, Meadow Pipit & Sky Lark. Swallow passage c100. Raptors: Merlin (2), Peregrine, Sparrowhawk & Buzzard. Three Golden Plover f/o >E, also Redpoll (2), Crossbill (12), Redwing (c400), Whinchat (2) & GS pecker.
GNS had a ringtail Harrier spp near Swanbridge early morning. Bouyant flight with angular wingbeats. Unfortunately it flew directly away from him inland - keep an eye-out, DCP reported a juv Pallid Harrier ealier this month in the Vale!!
NOTE: Lavernock Point is good in autumn when there is S, SE, E or NE drift with cloud, less so with W or SW (unless windy, then seawatching is good). N or NW are usually less productive.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Lavernock Point & fields

met Matt Meehan just as he was leaving. He reported an Arctic Skua taking a short cut across the big field in the mist. Also lots of Mipits there. Whilst chatting we had a flock of 30 Redpoll in the sycamore by Church House with a couple of Siskin. I then saw 8 Siskin later. Also during my walk approx 100 each of Chaffinch, Goldfinch, and Linnet and many more finches moving high overhead, 8 Chiffchaff, 27 Sky Lark flew over in 4 small groups, 2 Goldcrest. Steady passge of Swallows up channel.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011


v quiet on E lake due to windsurfers and a noisy group of kayakers. nothing much elsewhere either - 4 Mistle Thrush, 10 Goldfinch, a few Swallow passing thro' and about 6 Migrant Hawker and a Common Darter by the  main boardwalk.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Lavernock Point

A very autumnal walk around the point and fields. There was a small passage of hirundines: House Martins (c80) & Swallow (c100). Good numbers of finches, Linnet (280, mostly in the top fields), Chaffinch (100), Goldfinch (60), Greenfinch (45), Redpoll (2) & Siskin (2). Meadow Pipit (25), Goldcrest (4), Chiffchaff (4) and a male Sparrowhawk. The highlight however was a Woodcock flying towards the point from the top fields (past the black silage bags). The last one there, according to the archive, was 1978.
Red Admiral & Speckled Wood of note.

Lavernock 10th Oct

past history but for info, 10 Common Scoter went down channel yesterday morning at Lavernock Pt. Also light passage of Swallows. Also unusual was a single Mute Swan offshore.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Cosmeston a.m. 9th Oct

Per Wayne Strong - 3rdW Med Gull at 09:15 a.m. - the first one here for ages - nice one Wayne. Couldn't find it at 11:30 but conditions not conducive - blowing a hoolie and horizontal rain!

Correction - 2nd W [as per Wayne's post on GBC]. My text said 3rd W - damn you predictive text??

Saturday, 8 October 2011


GBC monthly walk this morning was pretty quiet, but the Kes was being harried by Jackdaws again, and a Merlin shot through. Also 2 Sprawks and 3 Buzzard seen.

Friday, 7 October 2011

Cosmeston a.m. 7th Oct

5 jays seen, 4 Mistle Thrush, Kestrel being given a very hard time by the Jackdaws & Crows, 40 Tufted Duck, 6 GCG and 2 Little Grebe. The Buzzard was sat on a post by the large paddock until it was flushed by a walker. managed to track it and get a few shots off:
and here's a record shot of the Kes and its persecutors:

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Cosmeston a.m.

A mixed flock of Swallow, House Martin and Sand Martin over W lake when I arrived, feeding frantically and comprising around 300+  birds. Jays getting more noticeable now, collecting food - 2 this morning. Also 50 Canada Geese on E lake with 1 Greylag. A male Sprawk appeared and was intent on having a hirundine but was chased off by a Black-headed Gull.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011


v quiet in the hot sun this morning. Of interest, a Small Copper:
 a fairly confiding Dunnock:

and this weird stuff in the south meadow, which Jeff Curtis tells me is Slime Fungus

Cosmeston 22nd Sep

I am told there were 2 Black Terns over E lake last Thurs. Would be the day I decided to go to the barrage!

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Lavernock Point

Very quiet this am. Chiffchaff (3) with a small flocks of Goldfinch, Greenfinch & Chaffinch. A few Swallows & House Martins moving through. Solitary Grey Wagtail & Sky Lark over. Sparrowhawk seen hunting the hedgerows. One Red Admiral and a few Speckled Wood on note.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011


around 20+ Chiffchaff feeding in trees by the wooden bridge this morning, joined by a flock of 12 or so Long-t Tits. This one is ringed, probably by sadly departed Dave Bull.
Also 30+ Sand Martin over W lake. Double figures of Migrant HAwker along the main boardwalk and some Common Darter:

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Lavernock area

a.m. Lavernock Wt reserve - 15 Sky Lark flew over, Bullfinch 3 [m, f and imm], Blackcap 5 [4m 1f], Goldfinch 10, juv Blackbird and Song Thrush.
Also 40 Oyc seen on Sully Island from the lookout.
Lavernock Pt & coast - Blackcap 6 [4m 2f], Coll Dove 4, Song Thrush 2, Blackbird 6, Rook 10.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Lavernock reserve 17th Sep

V. quiet bird-wise except for continuous passge of Swallow and House Martin. Around 9 Red Admirals tho':
and also quiet a few Common Darter, of which this is I think, a female.

Friday, 16 September 2011

Lavernock Pt 16th Sep

mid afternoon - 1 Wheatear in the horse paddock & continuous light passage S of Swallow and Sand Martin.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Cosmeston 14th Sep

61 Canada Geese on E lake. Mixed flock of around 200 comprising all three hirundines feeding over W lake, 30 Tufted Duck.

Friday, 9 September 2011

Cosmeston 9th Sep

Around 20 Chiffchaff and a Willow Wblr feeding in sycamores by the small wooden bridge, tog with LTT and Blue & Gt Tits. Also Treecreeper near that bridge - not a sp seen very frequently at Cossie. c.30 Sand Martin feeding over W lake.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Lavernock Pt

Lavernock Pt coast path, a.m. 1f Whinchat on fence of the horse paddock [by the big house], Lesser Whitethroat 1, Common Whitethroat 6+, Chiffchaff 10+, Blackcap 1m, House Martin c.100 feeding over the N end of the coast path, Sky Lark 2 over. No sea birds, but 6 Oyc on the beach.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Lavernock Pt 7th Sep

late morning: 7 ad Gannet d/c incl 2 sitting on the water close in, and 2 Sandwich Tern d/c. Juv Whitethroat on the reserve and a male Redstart in hedgerow at back of nearby stubble field.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Cosmeston 6th Sep

Been away for a bit hence no posts. V wet & windy this a.m. but plenty of Sand Martin and Swallow over W lake trying to feed up. Also nice mixed flock near the main bridge comprising Chiffies [10+], Long-t Tit, Blue Tit & Gt Tit.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Cosmeston 25th Aug

1 juv male Redstart in hedgerow on high ground behind dragonfly pond, plus 3 Common Whitethroat, c.20 Sand Martin over W lake, juv Swallows sitting on wires by the farm opposite the park, the usual Green 'Pecker calling.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Lavernock WT reserve

V quiet bird-wise but lots of Devil's Bit Scabious in flower:

Also snapped this fem Common Blue:

Lavernock Point

Quiet mid morning with few migrants in the bushes/hedgerows: Common Whitethroat (4), Lesser Whitethroat (1), Blackcap (4 all males), Willow Wbr. (2), Buzzard (1) & Swallow (c25).
Migrant Hawker & Small Copper were the non-bird highlights.

Friday, 19 August 2011

Lavernock Point

Mid morning at the point: Common Whitethroat (23), Blackcap (6), Garden Wbr. (2), Buzzard (2), Sparrowhawk (1f), Willow Wbr. (3) & Chiffchaff (1). Small movement of swallows c75.
Also MM walking the hedgerows!

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Cosmeston 17th Aug

There are now 16 Tufted Duck [8 W lake, 8 E lake]. Two pairs of Little Grebe have fully grown young, 1 pr with 1 and another pr with 2. 1 Heron present W lake trees. Small nos. of Common Darter by boardwalk.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Lavernock Point

Aug: 15th & 16th
Green Woodpecker (1), Redstart (2, both days), Lesser Whitethroat (2), Common Whitethroat (4 & 11), Blackcap (1 & 5), Garden Wbr. (1), Willow Wbr. (6 & 3), Chiffchaff (2) + small number of swallows moving south.

Monday, 15 August 2011

Cosmeston Sat 13th

late news for Sat 13th:
the GBC monthly walk on Sat 13th was well attended and a young autistic lad, James Cummins, who we agreed to make a member after being contacted by the children's charity Follow Your Dreams, had a great time and I was pleased to be able to show him 'scope views of perched Buzzard, Gt Spotted Woodpecker, Green Woodpecker and Kingfisher [he'd never seen any of these before]. The charity will be publishing an article in the Penarth Times and the Echo. It was well worth the effort to hear the excitement in his voice. The above link will take you to the write up on the Charity's blog with some photos.
Here he is below looking at the Kingfisher thro' my 'scope.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Lavernock WT reserve open day

The open day was reasonably successful with each guided walk pretty well attended. Blustery wind did not encourage the birds out, but there were several Chiffchaff present including a fairly young juvenile, and also Common Whitethroat. Highlights on the walks I attended were Peregrine and a lone Stock Dove flying over. 12 spp of Butterfly were seen including Purple Hairstreak - unfortunately it was me who spotted this high in an Ash and in my excitement of recognising a Hairstreak sp shouted out White Letter Hairstreak, being the first sp that came in to my head! This got everyone very excited [poss first for the site!]. However after calmer examination it soon became clear that it was a Purple Hairstreak. Here's some pix [not of the Hairstreak :-( ]:

Looking back across the first meadow
Guided walk returning towards the pond

Friday, 12 August 2011


On the coast path between the old pump building and the far end of the first stretch of handrail, from about midday to 13:30, nice collection of migrants : Common Whitethroat c.20, Lesser Whitethroat 4, Blackcap 9 [5f 4m], Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler 10+ of each, Sedge Warbler 1, Common Redstart 3 [1 juv, 1f, 1m). Most of these birds were in the vicinity of an apple tree on the cliff edge just past the end of the handrail section. Made me feel a little better as I seem to have picked up a flu like virus - every muscle aches and feels sore to the touch - doh!
Oh, also a few Holly Blue and a Red Admiral, 1 Sand Martin and a few Swallow moving d/c

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Lavernock Point

Fairly quiet this am. Common Whitethroat (5), Willow Wbr. (5), Chiffchaff (1), Tree Pipit (2), Lesser Whitethroat (1), Jay (1) & small passage of swallows & sand martins.
Cosmeston: Amongst the LBB Gulls were 3 juvs with white darvic rings 9UF, OYF & 4TF.

Monday, 8 August 2011

Cosmeston 8th Aug

c.20 Phyllosc wblrs feeding up this morning. Mostly Chiffies but at least 2 Willow Warbler, in trees by path past Dovecote Field. Also a few Sand Martin over the W lake and 18 Tufted Duck there.

Lavernock 6th Aug

During a quick walk at the WT reserve, disturbed this moth which I think is a Common Carpet, although I did think poss Wood Carpet. Photo prob not good enough to be sure.
Also snapped this Red-tailed Bumble Bee on Knapweed.

and a Small Skipper:

Sunday, 31 July 2011

Sun 31st Jul

A year tick! Finally caught up with Garden Warbler in bushes on rhs 50m beyond the dragonfly pond, together with pr of Blackcap and a Lesser Whitethroat and a juv Wren. Not heard GW singing at Cossie so guess cd be passing thro'. Further Lesser Whitethroat in bushes by the Dovecote field. Green Peckers very vocal but not seen.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Ringed LBB Gulls seen recently

15th Jun: 2 birds:
Red Darvic left tarsus, white characters 5NF, metal right tarsus - apparently ringed in Mold, Flintshire
Dark Blue Darvic left tarsus - white characters 3UF, metal right tarsus - prob from Ireland.
1st Jul: 1 bird:
Yellow Darvic L tarsus - black characters 5PF, metal R tarsus - Severn Estuary Gull Group
12th Jul: 3 birds:
Dark Blue w white 3UF as above
Dark Blue Darvic with white 2UF - again, Ireland
Yellow Darvic black 5PF as above

Mon 26th Jul

Beautiful day. This Holly Blue settled long enough for a quick grab shot with my compact Olympus u-Tough.

Holly Blue - note the silvery, relatively unmarked underwing

Other butterflies seen - Gatekeeper, Comma, Brimstone, Meadow Brown, Speckled Wood, Ringlet, Small and Large White. Also Common Darters now flying and a couple of Emperors at the dragonfly pond. Bird-wise a couple of Swifts flew over, 2 imm and 1 ad Buzzard circling over Cogan Wood and doing a lot of mewing, and 40 big Carp surface basking by the main bridge. The imm GCG's are still very vocal [3 pairs with young]. Also what is prob a second Mallard brood of tiny downy chicks.

Monday, 25 July 2011

Late news for Sat 23rd Jul

Joek Roex and Steve Howcroft had 7 Crossbill fly over, calling, by the dragonfly pond, and a Common Sand was calling by West Lake.

Mon 25th

Been away for a few days. Pleasant but quiet this morning - in a 40 min walk around I did not hear one single solitary vocalisation apart from occasional LBBG calls - it was deathly quiet bird-wise. 10 Tufted Duck W lake and 2 on E lake. About 30 Sand Martin fed over W lake briefly then moved on, plus a few imm Swallow. Quite a lot of Gatekeepers on the wing still - are these 2nd generation?

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Weds 20th

Only 8 Tufties today on W lake. A few Swift and House Martin, Green 'Pecker near the dragonfly pond, small flock of Linnet including a stunning male, imm male Blackcap, and a pair of Bullfinch. A few Gatekeepers on the wing. Other than that pretty boggy after the downpour this morning.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

18th July

12 Tufted Ducks were on West Lake, a sign of approaching autumn. 3 broods of Gt Crested Grebe have survived to more or less adult stage, and also a brood of 2 Little Grebe chicks. Black-headed Gulls are beginning to reappear after their summer absence.