Scarce and rare birds in Wales – December 2016

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.


black-throated thrush (Frank Wildman)

black-throated thrush (Frank Wildman)

The MASKED WAGTAIL generated considerable interest with hundreds of birders visiting Camrose (Pembroke) for the first British record of this Pied Wagtail subspecies, which remained until 26th. A birder photographing Waxwings in St. Asaph (Flint) on 16th also photographed a BLACK-THROATED THRUSH which was only seen briefly the following morning and not again until 20th when it was seen well and photographed and showed daily until the year’s end. This is only the second record for Wales.

cattle egret (Steve Culley)

cattle egret (Steve Culley)

A Black-throated Diver was in Rhossili Bay (Gower) on 2nd-11th and there was another on the Teifi Estuary (Pembroke/Ceredigion) on 19th-20th. Great Northern Divers were on the Inland Sea (Anglesey) on 7th-8th, 15 were off Dinas Dinlle (Caernarfon) on 10th and there was one at Fishguard (Pembroke) on 20th. Great White Egrets were at Llangorse Lake (Brecon) throughout, Mynydd Margam (East Glamorgan) on 4th, Llan Bwch Llyn (Brecon) and Brynea (Carmarthen) on 15th and Ysceifiog Lake (Flint) on 29th-31st. Cattle Egrets were at Goodwick (Pembroke) on 6th-16th and Newport (Pembroke) on 12th-30th, then five were near Pont Marquis (Anglesey) on 25th-30th and another at Rumney Great Wharf (East Glamorgan) on 26th.

Slavonian grebe (Arfon Williams)

Slavonian grebe (Arfon Williams)

Bitterns were at Cosmeston Lake CP (East Glamorgan) on 1st, Bosherton Lily Ponds (Pembroke) on 15th, Forest Farm (East Glamorgan) on 17th, two at RSPB Malltraeth Marsh (Anglesey) throughout, one at the Welsh Wildlife Centre (Pembroke) on 16th-30th and one at Kenfig NNR (East Glamorgan) on 30th. A Black-necked Grebe was on the Inland Sea (Anglesey) on 4th-18th and a Red-necked Grebe was on the Western Cleddau estuary (Pembroke) on 29th. Slavonian Grebes were off Penrhos Country Park (Anglesey) on 11th-18th, Burry Port (Carmarthen) on 17th, Cardigan (Ceredigion) on 15th-17th, Whiteford NNR (Gower) on 20th, and the Welsh Wildlife Centre (Pembroke) on 18th-20th.

 

American golden plover (Paul Leafe)

American golden plover (Paul Leafe)

Four Greenland White-fronted Geese were at Llyn Llywenan (Anglesey) on 3rd and there were 14 RSPB Ynys-hiir (Ceredigion) on 15th. Up to six SURF SCOTERS remained off Llysfaen (Denbigh) throughout and an AMERICAN WIGEON remained at Ynyslas (Ceredigion) from November until 1st. An AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVER was a great inland record at Llanbadarn Fynydd (Radnor) on 4th. A Grey Phalarope was off Ynyslas on 9th, a RING-BILLED GULL was at Llys y Fran Reservoir (Pembroke) on 29th-30th and a Little Gull was at Porthmadog (Caernarfon) on 10th.

 

waxwing (Steve Culley)

waxwing (Steve Culley)

A Great Grey Shrike was at Afan Forest Park (Gower) throughout the month and one was seen at Llyn Efyrnwy (Montgonery) on 1st. Waxwings became more widespread with up to 27 in Llysfaen (Denbigh) on 4th-6th and 40+ in St. Asaph throughout the month. Christmas Week brought more, with 30 in Rhyl (Flint), 50 in Llandudno (Caernarfon), 80 in Denbigh and 70 in Wrexham (Denbigh) being the largest flocks, and smaller numbers in Welshpool and Newtown (Montgomery).

Yellow-browed Warblers were at Forest Farm on 3rd, Bute Park (East Glamorgan) on 28th and Soldier’s Point (Anglesey) on 31st. SIBERIAN CHIFFCHAFFS were at Kenfig NNR on 6th-20th, Porthmadog on 15th and Rhossilli Bay (Gower) on 29th.

black redstart (Jeff Slocombe)

black redstart (Jeff Slocombe)

Black Redstarts remained at Stackpole Quay (Pembroke) throughout the month, at Llanrhystud (Ceredigion) on 3rd, Britton Ferry (Gower) on 3rd, Nash Point (East Glamorgan) on 3rd, Sker Point (East Glamorgan) on 4th, Gileston (East Glamorgan) on 4th-18th, Penarth (East Glamorgan) throughout, at Cardiff Bay (East Glamorgan) on 14th, Aberystwyth (Ceredigion) on 7th-17th, Llandudno and Broadhaven (Pembroke) on 18th, Penrhos Country Park on 15th, Penrhyn Bay (Caernarfon) on 28th, St David’s (Pembroke) on 30th and two at Solva (Pembroke) on 31st. A late Whinchat was at Sker Point on 7th.

Richard's pipit (Paul Roberts)

Richard’s pipit (Paul Roberts)

Four Lapland Buntings were in Martin’s Haven (Pembroke) on 3rd-11th and six remained in Rhossili Bay until 2nd. Three Snow Buntings were at Llandudno’s West Shore from 3rd to the month’s end. A Richard’s Pipit was at Nash Point (East Glamorgan) on 1st-5th, while Water Pipits were at Ynyslas on 3rd, East Aberthaw (East Glamorgan) on 1st, RSPB Conwy throughout the month, two at Newgale (Pembroke) on 14th-15th, and singles at RSPB Ynys-hir on 17th, Teifi Estuary (Ceredigion) on 17th, Peterstone Wentlooge (East Glamorgan) on 16-17th, at Milton (Pembroke) on 18th, and at Cors Caron (Ceredigion) on 30th.


A Birding Wales Facebook page provides all-Wales sightings news for scarce, rare or notable records and local club or WOS announcements. If you are interested and a Facebook user please join.