Scarce and rare birds in December 2018

Compiled for WOS by Robin Sandham. Species in BOLD ITALIC CAPITALS are BBRC rarities and species in BOLD CAPITALS are Welsh Records Panel rarities.

An AMERICAN ROYAL TERN was discovered at Traeth Dulas (Anglesey) on 10th and frequented there or nearby Traeth Lligwy for the next couple of days.  It then appeared on the Gann Estuary in Pembrokeshire on 22nd but departed south and ended up on the Scilly Isles.  The bird was ringed and is thought to be the same individual that frequented the Channel Islands from February 2017-August 2018 with a brief visit to the south coast at Pagham Harbour in June 2018.

The queen KING EIDER was still at Ynyslas throughout the month. Anglesey’s first LESSER SCAUP remained at Llyn Llygeirian over 9th -31st , having been present since 20th October. The Smew was again on the River Usk (Gwent) on 13th -17th. A FERRUGINOUS DUCK was at Llan Bwch Llyn Lake (Powys) from 4th-26th.  The Black-necked Grebe remained in Cardiff Bay throughout.

RING-BILLED GULL was at Llys-y-Fran Reservoir (Pembrokeshire) from 9th-26th and a CASPIAN GULL was at Bettws (Gwent) over 14th-18th.

CATTLE EGRETS were again numerous, and on course to come off the Welsh rarity list this year. They were reported at St. Dogmaels (Pembrokeshire) over 1st-27th and 4 were at Porthcawl on 31st.

Black Redstarts were numerous, with birds at NWR on 4th, Kinmel Bay from 3rd-31st, Kidwelly (Carmarthen) on 16th, Bury Port (Carmarthen) on 20th, NWR again on 24th, Gileston (Glamorgan) from 25th-27th, Point Lynas (Anglesey) on 28th, East and West Aberthaw on 28th and New Quay (Pembrokeshire) on 29th. A SIBERIAN CHIFFCHAFF was at Parc Slip (Glamorgan) on 29th-31st.

The ROSY STARLING was stillin Craig-y-Don, Llandudno (Caernarfon) on 13th (present since 30th October).  An unseasonal Common Quail was seen at Llanon (Ceredigion) on 27th and a Snow Bunting was near the summit of Cadair Idris (Meirionnydd) on 26th.  Great-Grey Shrikes were at Bwlch-y-Sarnau on 1st, Llyn Brenig (Denbighshire) on 18th and Cwm Cadlan (Glamorgan) on 31st.