Thursday, 29 December 2016


Much the same as yesterday but at least 4 Reed Buntings feeding on phragmites seed heads by the boardwalk, total of 28 Robins counted by Jeff Curtis in a circular walk via W paddock, 10 Long-t Tits. Click on each photo for a bigger one.
Frosty boardwalk

Reed Bunting

W lake

Frozen dragonfly pond

The 'gang' L>R  Lindsay [the crow feeding man], Anne & Poppy, Jeff Curtis, Bill and Brian.

Wednesday, 28 December 2016


First visit after return from Dorset. 100+ Tufties, 8 Pochard, 12 Redwing and 2 Mistle Thrush feeding in W paddock, 1 Common and 1 Jack Snipe flushed by the snipe paddock. O/W very crowded.

Thursday, 15 December 2016


Apparently the L-t Duck from Cardiff Bay relocated to Cosmeston where it was seen this morning - just noticed the post on the Facebook South Wales Birding page. No doubt driven off by the speeding ribs I mentioned yesterday.

Tuesday, 13 December 2016


still wet this morning! 4 Gadwall on W lake with the 4 Pochard & Tufties from yesterday. 2 Little Grebe on E lake and an Ad Yellow-legged Gull were the only other things of interest apart from the usual.

Monday, 12 December 2016

Damp Cosmeston

In the heavy drizzle this morning - pretty sure I saw the Scaup on W lake that Wayne Strong apparently saw y'day - a very tatty 1st yr bird. Also 2 Gadwall and 4 Pochard plus the usual Tufties. The dark Buzzard that was harassed by a Magpie t'other day, was worming in W paddock. 2 Bullfinch in the band of trees between W lake back path and the adjacent long narrow meadow by Sully Brook.

Wednesday, 7 December 2016


There was a small party of Long-tailed Tits along the central path, this one allowing a snatched photo. The Common Gull was present, by the cafe boardwalk and two Flat Holm ringed gulls - LBBG F:303 blue and Herring Gull F:168 blue, both immature birds. Still a few Redwing around although reduced numbers compared with a week ago.

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Cosmeston Wakeboarding proposal

Further to my post the other day about this, there is now an online petition against this proposal which needs 1000 signatures. It's climbing since I highlighted it on FB and Twitter. PLEASE SIGN:
It's at the top left of the list on the above page.
Further info discovered is that both lakes have SSSI status due to the presence of Starry Stonewort {Nitellopsis obtuse}, which is endangered in the UK and very rare in Europe. THIS IS ACTUALLY HIGHLIGHTED ON THE VoG WEB SITE! It is an underwater plant that likes lake water 1-6m deep and the lakes are ideal. Having wakeboards churning up the water with wakes is clearly going to be to the detriment of this rare plant. On top of that of course the wakes will disturb the adjacent reed habitat on E lake where we have breeding Reed & Sedge Warblers and Reed Buntings, plus Mute Swan and Great Crested Grebes.
PS here is a link to the Vale of Glamorgan web site where the SSSI status is detailed:

Monday, 5 December 2016


Nothing new today except a fem Bullfinch, a sp I haven't seen for a while. 1 1st yr Herring Gull was by E lake with blue Darvic F:168 [white characters], a Flat Holm bird.

Saturday, 3 December 2016


13 Teal, 3 Wigeon and 2 Pochard on W lake, and the usual spread of Tufties. Mistlle Thrush and Green 'Pecker in W paddock and 4 Goldcrest noted up central path. The buzzard below was sitting on the W paddock hedgerow and had some aggro from a Magpie.

Friday, 2 December 2016

Alarming news re Cosmeston

The Vale council have just announced plans for a possible cable wakeboarding facility on E lake at Cosmeston. I can't think of anything less suitable for a relatively small lake that has a resident population of up to 60 Mute Swans. some of which nest, occasionally a similar number of Canada Geese, 100's of Gulls and Coot,  and other wildfowl from autumn through to spring. Not to mention birds such and Reed Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Reed Bunting which nest in the reed bed which no doubt would be disturbed by the wash that wakeboarding creates. If like me you've never heard of cable wakeboarding, it's like normal wakeboarding behind a speedboat except that the participant is pulled along by an overhead cable suspended between two tall gantries.  Thus these structures would grace the shore of E lake somewhere, plus the permanent obstacles in the water such as ramps and other jumps which the users have to negotiate. Please write to the Vale Council planning dept objecting to this proposal. Click here for a link to an article on the Wales Online web site.


Just a couple of photos - a Common Gull by E lake and the speculae of a pair of Mallards that waddled up to me on the boardwalk expecting bread! Click each one for a bigger pic.


There were 11 Teal on W lake and 3 Wigeon [2m 1f] plus a total of 73 Tufties on both lakes, 1 Common Gull on the W lake posts and later the same or different bird at the Swan feeding area on E lake.

Monday, 28 November 2016


Only highlights this morning were a pair of Wigeon on W lake and a single fem Teal. Plenty of Redwing around and 20 or so Fieldfare, 3 Jays seen carrying acorns and a Buzzard was over Cogan Wood. Large part of car park cordoned off as they're filming in Penarth yet again. and they use the Cossie car park as the 'base'.

Friday, 25 November 2016


4 Teal was the highlight on W lake this morning, and there were many Redwing flying about along most hedgerows plus a few Fieldfare.

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Cosmeston late p.m.

Probably the best night so far for starlings at Cosmeston - I would guess twice the number I saw the other evening. Therwere 2-3 Sparrowhawks in attendance! Pic is just off my phone and shows part of the flock. Show ended at around 4:25. Viewed from the bridge.


A Yellow-browed Warbler was seen briefly at Cosmeston late morning this morning. It was not vocal but a Chiffchaff was calling at the same time. It was in ivy looking from the beginning of the boardwalk that leads off the car park, looking towards E lake. There were loads of Redwing and Fieldfare all over the park. A Bittern was seen over W lake reeds yesterday eve (per Graham Smith).

Sunday, 20 November 2016


Nice murmuration of 3000+ Starling over W lake Cosmeston at 16:10 this aft, dropping into W lake reeds in the end. Also 2 Bittern seen by Jeff Curtis seen separately to land in different parts of W lake reeds. This would seem to tie in with my obs there which I posted yesterday. Also Kingfisher seen briefly at dusk. There were quite a few Redwing flying over when I arrived.

Saturday, 19 November 2016


A Bittern flew from by the Medieval Village access boardwalk at Cosmeston this morning and flew through the tree toward E lake. However later I saw a BIttern deep in the W lake reeds, looking down from the nearest end of W paddock. 2 Lapwing flew over and there was a scattering of Redwing all over. Also 4 Pochard [3f 1m] and the usual Tufties.

Tuesday, 8 November 2016


The returning drake Lesser Scaup was reported at Cossie this morning [and also at The Knap, Barry.

Monday, 7 November 2016


A Bittern was seen at Cosmeston this morning, in W lake reeds then across the 'bay' in the reeds to the L of the hide [per Graham Smith].

Sunday, 6 November 2016


Lovely day so lots of people. Single Treecreeper and Goldcrest by the central path, 84 Tufties in total, 1 fem Shoveler E lake, 3 Pochard W lake, 1 Green Pecker and only 4 Redwing seen - there have been 40-50 in the last few days. A late Common Darter was by the new dipping pond and a Red Admiral was seen.

Friday, 21 October 2016


8 Reed Buntings in reeds by the new dipping pool boardwalk, 6 juv Wood Pigeon in a tree there and 2 Jay over, 70 Canadas on W lake, 6 Pochard [5m 1f], 1 Wigeon and 30 Tufties on W lake, and 2 Herons, 1 on E lake near the bridge and 1 by W lake posts. Flock of LT Tits near the bird table.


Last week a Kingfisher was by the dragonfly pond - rubbish photo below [big crop].

Tuesday, 18 October 2016


Not much to report. A Pochard on W lake was the first of the autumn for me, with around 35 Tufted Duck, 2 Little Grebe in W lake 'bay', 50 Canada Geese. 1 Chiffchaff and a Goldrest in sycamores by Med Village path, and 2 Jays. 2 Swallow flew over w lake.
A Kingfisher was by the dragonfly pond a couple of days ago.

Monday, 10 October 2016


Back after 3 weeks birding in California and briefly Nevada & Arizona. This fem Stonechat was by the Medieval Village boardwalk this morning. Also the strange plane pictured, flew over at low level. Internet reveals this is a privately owned Piaggio P-180 Avanti II registered in Malta. Looks really odd with the rearward mounted wings and push-mode props.

Sunday, 4 September 2016


Pretty quiet this morning - the only thing of note was a juv Common Whitethroat in bushes by the far entrance to Cogan Wood, plus a few Sand Martin over W lake.

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Proposals for Cosmeston

I learned with some apprehension this morning that Vale Council are looking for ways to bring more money into Cosmeston CP. An idea has apparently been mooted of a mountain bike trail. I'm not sure the park is big enough for such a facility - I would hate to see swathes of tracks cut through Cogan Wood, or indeed trackways running over W paddock and the hills by the dragonfly pond, where recently and in the past I have seen Redstarts and Wheatear, Wood Lark, and Wryneck. Also mooted - hiring out kayaks/canoes/boats to the general public - in my opinion this would definitely necessitate a decent barrier by the main bridge to prevent entry into W lake. Thus far, organised group users have been good at not entering the W lake although apparently a few did a couple of days ago. We await developments.


There were 3 fem/imm Wheatears along the long hedgerow that divides W paddock this morning. Also a Green 'Pecker there and a Chiffchaff in bushes by the far entrance to Cogan Wood.

Wednesday, 31 August 2016


An amazing first record for me at the park - a Black-tailed Godwit did a few circuits of E lake and landed twice briefly by the cafe boardwalk.

Tuesday, 23 August 2016


Highlight this morning comprised 2 fem/imm Common Redstarts in the long W paddock hedgerow, by the second 'plateau' behind the dragonfly pond. Also 2 Green 'Peckers, 2 ad Little Grebes in W lake 'bay', and a 'kettle' of 3 Buzzards.

Monday, 22 August 2016


1 Common Whitethroat, 2 Blackcap, 6+ Chiffchaff, 10 Goldfinch, mostly juvs, 10 Long-t tit, 4 Greenfinch, 5 Linnet, 2 juv Green ‘Pecker, mixed flock of c.30 hirundines, GC Grebe young x 3 as big as the ads now, 1 ad Little Grebe [2 yesterday], 6 Tufted Duck.

Sunday, 14 August 2016


Pretty quiet during a quick circuit. The GC Grebe young are now 2/3 the size of the ads and diving independently. 6 Tufted Ducks. A Peregrine flew over W lake.

Tuesday, 9 August 2016


A common Darter ... but

Mainly leps of interest this morning.
Brimstone - a very pale one

Common Blue

Common Blue fem

Common Blue m


Holly Blue

Holly Blue

Meadow Brown m

Monday, 8 August 2016


The three GCG chicks are obviously feeding well - see a couple of the pix where one is trying to swallow a Rudd which it has juts been given! Also a pic of a Common Darter near the dragonfly pond. Click on the pix for bigger ones.

Sunday, 7 August 2016


The Grebe chicks are OK after all. Seen mid W lake this morning being fed by the adults. Also lots of juv Crows around, mint of some sort by the Snipe paddock & dragonfly pond.

Friday, 5 August 2016


I have concerns for the GC Grebe pair. Could only see 2 ads on E lake and 1 on W lake and no sign of young. Last time I saw them they were almost half the size of the ads so it would be a huge shame if they have been predated, esp as it was third time lucky to get beyond the egg stage. Last time they were swimming but still resorting to parent's back on occasion.
Other than that, these were the only interest:
6-Spot Burnet moths

Common Blue [at least I think it's Common]

Tuesday, 2 August 2016


There were 6 Swift over W lake in the rain this morning, and a couple of Sand Martins, and what sounded like a juv Green 'Pecker calling somewhere behind W lake.

Monday, 1 August 2016


Looks like the rain brought down a few Phylloscs this morning. Party of about 6 Willow Warblers feeding with Long-t Tits near the far entrance to Cogan Wood [beyond the dragonfly wood], a couple of Chiffies by the dragonfly pond and another by the main boardwalk. Ad GC Grebe carrying chicks was on E lake near the bridge.

Friday, 29 July 2016


The Cosmeston GC Grebes definitely have 3 chicks. Have now ventured away from the nest and were in the middle of W lake this morning riding on the adult's back. Let's hope they survive.

Wednesday, 27 July 2016


5 Tufted Ducks on E lake this morning - they're building up! Mute Swan till has 2 well grown cygnets. Lots of Gatekeepers on the wing. GC Grebe 2x chicks still OK and if you look carefully at the photo, there could poss be another or even 2 [underneath mum] spending most of their time on the nest or mum's back, but did venture into the water today. I was told the other day that there seemed to be another 2 eggs not yet hatched. The shrew I found on the central path yesterday. Click the pix for bigger ones.

6-Spot Burnet on Knapweed

Common Fleabane - of which there is a lot