Scarce and rare birds in Wales – April 2017

This summary is compiled for birdsin.wales by Robin Sandham. Records featured are subject to acceptance by the British Birds Rarities Committee and the Welsh Records Panel, where relevant. An index of all months can be found here.


Yellow Wagtail (Derek Moore)

Yellow Wagtail (Derek Moore)

A somewhat back-to-front month with arrivals stalling due to a blocking high followed by wintry weather at the end of the month.  Early in the month, however, further migrants arrived with the first Wood Warbler at Forest Farm (East Glamorgan), Tree Pipit over Skokholm (Pembrokeshire) and Sedge Warbler at Newport Wetlands (Gwent), all on 1st; Pied Flycatcher at RSPB Ynys-hir (Ceredigion), Common Redstart at Penygarreg Reservoir (Radnor) and a Yellow Wagtail at Cemlyn NWWT (Anglesey) on 2nd.  Other than a Common Swift over Skokholm on 23rd, that was about it.

The Black-necked Grebe remained on the Inland Sea (Anglesey) throughout the month and one was on Llandegfedd Reservoir (Gwent) on 3rd. A RED-NECKED GREBE was at Llandegfedd Reservoir on 7th.

Spoonbills were at Dalton’s Point (Gower) on 2nd, at the National Wetlands Centre (Carmarthenshire) on 3rd-15th and Newport Wetlands on 30thGreat White Egrets were at Abergavenny (Gwent) on 1st, Llyn Llewennan (Anglesey) on 3rd-5th, RSPB Ynys-hir on 4th, Broughton Bay (Gower) on 7th, RSPB Conwy on 8th and 29th, Dolydd Hafryn MWT (Montgomeryshire) on 9th, Llanrhidian Marsh (Gower) on 12th, Pwll (Carmarthenshire) on 13th, and Shotton (Flintshire) on 19th.

cattle egret (Steve Culley)

cattle egret (Steve Culley)

Five Cattle Egrets remained in the Malltraeth area (Anglesey) on 1st-4th and there were singles at Newport (Pembrokeshire) and Newport Wetlands on 2nd. Two at Pen yr Orsedd (Anglesey) on 3rd later joined the Malltraeth birds, remaining in the area to 24th. Other singles were at Newgale (Pembrokeshire) on 3rd, Magor Marsh (Gwent) on 3rd and Bosherton Lily Ponds (Pembrokeshire) on 8th.  COMMON CRANES were over Newport Wetlands and Carnhedryn (Pembrokeshire) on 22nd.

The RING-NECKED DUCK reappeared in Cardiff Bay on 5th-17th, a drake SURF SCOTER was off the Great Orme (Caernarfonshire) on 29th. A BLACK KITE was reported over RSPB Conwy (Denbighshire) on 21st.

A BONAPARTE’S GULL was a great find at Llangorse Lake (Brecon) on 7th.   Glaucous Gulls remained at Cardiff Bay (East Glamorgan) on 2nd-17th, Fishguard (Pembrokeshire) on 2nd-17th, and one was off Bardsey (Caernarfonshire) on 22ndIceland Gulls were at Newgale on 4th, the Teifi Estuary (Ceredigion) on 5th, Dulas Bay (Anglesey) on 6th and Mynydd Bodafon (Anglesey) on 8th-9th, Fishguard on 10th, Aberystwyth (Ceredigion) on 13th-14th, and Bardsey on 18thLittle Gulls were at Llanrhystyd (Ceredigion) on 5th and Porthmadog (Caernarfonshire) on 21st.  A BLACK-BROWED ALBATROSS 

Dotterel (Arfon Williams)

Dotterel (Arfon Williams)

was reported off Pwllheli (Caernarfonshire) on 30th. A Black Tern was at Peterstone Wentlooge (Gwent) on 16th and another at Shotton on 22nd-23rd; there was a UK influx at the end of the month with birds reported from Llangorse, Connah’s Quay (Flintshire) and Cefni Reservoir (Anglesey) on 30th.

A LESSER YELLOWLEGS was in Laugharne (Pembrokeshire) during 6th-16th.  An Avocet was at Aberaeron (Ceredigion) on 9th, and two on Skokholm were a good site record on 19th-20th. Four Dotterels were on Foel Fras (Caernarfonshire) on 19th and two there on 30th, with two on Plynlimon (Ceredigion) on 21st, three at RSPB South Stack (Anglesey) and one on the Great Orme on 25th.

Pallas's warbler (Bardsey BFO)

Pallas’s warbler (Bardsey BFO)

A PALLAS’S WARBLER was an unusual spring record for Bardsey on 18th and a probable EASTERN SUBALPINE WARBLER was photographed on Skomer (Pembrokeshire) on 20th.  Water Pipits were at Newport Wetlands on 1st, RSPB Cors Ddyga/Malltraeth Marsh on 2nd and one was in the Elan Valley (Radnor) on 16th-17th. A Blue-headed Wagtail was on the Great Orme on 30th.

Great Grey Shrikes remained at Cross Inn Forest (Ceredigion) on until 15th and RSPB Llyn Efyrnwy on 9th and 19th. Black Redstarts were at Strumble Head (Pembrokeshire) on 1st, Abersychan (Gwent) on 5th, Skomer on 9th, Pembrey (Carmarthenshire) on 8th, and Cemlyn on 30thLapland Buntings were on the Alaw Estuary (Anglesey) on 1st and Cemlyn Bay on 17th.

Hopefully Spring will resume shortly.


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