This 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.
Inevitably things picked up a notch after a quiet July, as early Autumn magic filled the air with scattered drift migrants brought in on an easterly airflow mid-month as well as quality seawatching delivered on southwesterly blasts.
A Great White Egret was at Cilsan (Carmarthen) on 4th, last month’s bird made a surprise reappearance back at RSPB Conwy (Denbigh) over 5th-31st following a week-long vacation, and another was found at RSPB Malltraeth Marsh (Anglesey) on 29th, where two Purple Herons were seen during the month. Two Great Whites were reported over Aberdaron (Caernarfon) on 18th and one was at Penarth (East Glamorgan) on 21st. Single Spoonbills were at the National Wetlands Centre (Carmarthen) over 2nd-7th, Newport (Pembroke) on 6th-7th, Pontypool (Gwent) on 12th and Pembrey Country Park (Carmarthen) on 20th. Glossy Ibis were at Cors Caron (Ceredigion) on 7th-8th, at the National Wetlands Centre (and briefly at Kidwelly) on 8th-26th, and at Pembroke Mill Pond (Pembroke) on 18th-20th.
A Garganey was at RSPB Conwy over 22nd-31st, with possibly a second bird there on 26th; one was on the Ogmore estuary (East Glamorgan) on 28th and two were at Kenfig NNR (East Glamorgan) on 29th. A juvenile WHITE-TAILED EAGLE found at St.Govan’s Head (Pembroke) on 16th, but proved to be an escape from captivity. A ringtail Montagu’s (or Pallid) Harrier flew over Ramsey (Pembroke) on 29th. A Quail was at Llanllowel (Gwent) on 1st and Cors Caron on 17th.
A Black-necked Grebe was at Llandegfedd Reservoir (Gwent) on 27th. Sooty Shearwaters were off Aberporth (Ceredigion) on 2nd, Sker Point (East Glamorgan) on 3rd and off Skokholm and Strumble Head (both Pembroke) on 28th, with another at the latter watchpoint on 30th. A European Storm-Petrel was off Aberporth on 2nd, six were ringed on Bardsey (Caernarfon) on 18th, one was seen off Newport (Gwent) with two off Skokholm along with a Sooty Shearwater. Another SW blow over 20th-21st produced European Storm-Petrels and Balearic Shearwaters from several sites and the ultimate prize in the form of a FEA’S/ZINO’s PETREL off Port Eynon Point (Gower).
A CORY’S SHEARWATER flew past Port Eynon Point on 4th with others at Strumble Head on 8th, New Quay (Ceredigion) on 9th and Porth Dafarch (Anglesey) on 13th. Strumble recorded two GREAT SHEARWATERS and a CORY’S SHEARWATERS on 8th, and reverse counts of both species on 21st. A GREAT SHEARWATER off Grassholm (Pembroke) was the highlight of a boat trip from Nayland on 18th, and another was off Strumble on 28th, following the ferry towards Fishguard. A Long-tailed Skua was off Bardsey, while Pomarine Skuas were off Strumble on 4th and Cardigan (Ceredigion) on 21st. Black Terns were scattered around ahead of the winds, including three at RSPB Conwy on 19th, two at Lisvane Reservoir (East Glamorgan) on 21st, five at Ynys (Meirionnydd) on 20th and four at Point of Ayr (Flint) on 20th. A White-winged Black Tern was a great find at Llangorse Lake (Brecon) on 28th.
A SEMI-PALMATED SANDPIPER was a good record on the Gann Estuary (Pembroke) over 4th-9th, while a supporting cast of waders included Wood Sandpiper at Newport Wetlands (Gwent) on 5th and 26th-27th, Skokholm on 9th-14th, Dingestow (Gwent) on 17th, two at RSPB Ynys-hir (Ceredigion) and one at Llanfachraeth (Anglesey) on 23rd-24th; Little Stints were at numerous sites throughout the month, as were Curlew Sandpipers from 19th onwards as part of a huge autumn passage across Britain; a Little-ringed Plover on Skokholm on 15th was only the 10th site record; a Grey Phalarope was off Strumble Head on 3rd, and a Pectoral Sandpiper rounded off the month at RSPB Conwy on 31st.
Bardsey had the pick of the passerines with a WESTERN BONELLI’S WARBLER from 15th but trapped, ringed and identified on 17th; a remarkable three MELODIOUS WARBLERS (one of which stayed into September) , two ICTERINE WARBLERS and an ORTOLAN BUNTING on 24th. Another ORTOLAN BUNTING was on Skokholm on 17th. A MELODIOUS WARBLER was found on Grassholm by seabird ringers on 8th and another ICTERINE WARBLER was on Skomer (Pembroke) on 29th.
A Red-backed Shrike was ringed on Skokholm on 23rd, remained until the following day. Wrynecks were at Dinas Cross (Pembroke) on 16th, Castlemartin (Pembroke) on 20th, St. David’s Head (Pembroke) on 24th-25th, Bardsey on 25th, Ogmore-by-Sea (East Glamorgan) and Skomer on 28th (two there on 29th-30th) and at Goldcliff village (Gwent) and Ramsey (Pembroke) on 30th. A CITRINE WAGTAIL was seen briefly on Bardsey on 17th with a possible over the Great Orme (Caernarfon) on 25th. A Black Redstart was on the Great Orme on 18th-25th, with another two there on 29th-31st.
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