Scarce and rare birds in Wales – February 2017

This is compiled for 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.

A month of extremes: mostly dull, with an unusually mild spell mid-month, followed by Storms Doris and Ewan in the final week that blasted first North Wales, then South.

American wigeon (Toby Phelps)

American Wigeon, Pembrokeshire (Toby Phelps)

A Black-throated Diver was off Strumble Head (Pembrokeshire) on 4th while Great Northern Divers were in Beddmanarch Bay on 19th off the Little Orme (Caernarfonshire) on 21st, Oxwich (Gower) and Broad Haven (Pembrokeshire) on 26th.  SURF SCOTERS were off Llanddulas (Denbighshire) on 8th-20th and Rhossilli Bay (Gower) over 8th-12th.  The AMERICAN WIGEON remained on the Gann Estuary (Pembrokeshire) to 28th at least and the Ceredigion female RING-NECKED DUCK was refound at Pond Rhosrhydd on 16th-18th.

cattle egret (Steve Culley)

Cattle Egret, Anglesey (Steve Culley)

Great White Egrets were at Wernffrwd (Gower) on 1st, Shell Island (Meirionnydd) on 9th, Dinefwr Pools (Carmarthenshire) on 11th, the National Wetlands Centre (Carmarthenshire) on 6th-12th, Llanrhidian Marsh (Gower) on 5th-24th, two at Llangorse (Brecon) on 5th-21st and Loughor (Carmarthenshire) on 23rd-24th.  A least one CATTLE EGRET remained at Pont Marquis (Anglesey) until the 19th, and another was at Newport (Pembrokeshire) throughout the month, and at Nolton Haven on 10th.  A Spoonbill was on the Glaslyn Estuary, Porthmadog (Caernarfonshire) on 20th.  Bitterns were at Bettws (Gwent) on 1st-23rd, Cosmeston Lakes CP (East Glamorgan) on 4th, Dolydd Hafren (Montgomeryshire) on 8th, in Cardiff Bay (East Glamorgan) on 11th, at the Welsh Wetland Centre (Pembrokeshire) on 18th-19th and at Bosherton (Pembrokeshire) on 28th.

Black-necked Grebes were on the Inland Sea (Anglesey) over 9th-26th and at Dalton’s Point (Gower) on 11th.  Slavonian Grebes were off Aber Ogwen (Caernarfonshire) on 3rd, Penrhos CP (Anglesey) on 5th, with others off Rhos Point and Foryd Bay (both Caernarfonshire) on 18th.  A Grey Phalarope was at Porth Ysgaden (Caernarfon) on 23rd.

Glaucous gull (Tom Kistruck)

Glaucous Gull, Ceredigion (Tom Kistruck)

Glaucous Gulls were at Aberystwyth (Ceredigion) on 1st-2nd, Porthcawl (East Glamorgan) on 5th, Ynyslas (Ceredigion) on 9th-24th, Newport (Pembrokeshire) on 8th-11th and Fishguard (Pembrokeshire) on 11th, at Cardiff Bay during 9th-28th, at Tre’r-Ddol (Ceredigion) on 21st-24th, Old Colwyn (Denbighshire) and New Quay (Pembrokeshire) on 25th, and at RSPB Ynys-hir on 26th. The Svalbard-ringed bird was again in Holyhead harbour (Anglesey) intermittently through the month, and into March. Iceland Gulls were at Newgale (Pembrokeshire) on 4th, Bury Holms (Gower) on 10th, Cosmeston CP and Cardiff Bay on 10th and Bridgend (East Glamorgan) on 18th-19th.  RING-BILLED GULLS were at Aberystwyth on 23rd and the long-stayer at Llys-y-fran Reservoir (Pembrokeshire) until 16th, while storms brought Little Gulls to Criccieth

red-flanked bluetail (James Packer)

Red-flanked Bluetail, East Glamorgan (James Packer)

(Caernarfonshire) on 3rd, the Gann Estuary on 4th, Porthmadog on 27th and Borth (Ceredigion) on 28th.
The wintering RED-FLANKED BLUETAIL was still at Wern Ddu, Caerphilly (East Glamorgan) until 21st (present since 26th January). Black Redstarts were at Cardiff Bay on 1st, Criccieth on 4th, Nash Point (East Glamorgan) on 5th-7th, Penarth (East Glamorgan) on 3rd-24th and at Llanelli (Carmarthenshire) on 3rd-18th.
SIBERIAN CHIFFCHAFFS remained at Brecon to 24th (present since 15th January), Cardiff Bay to 16th (since 2nd January),

Siberian chiffchaff (Yvonne Williams)

Siberian Chiffchaff, Caernarfonshire (Yvonne Williams)

and at Porthmadog until 18th (present since 8th January). New birds were found at Aberdare (East Glamorgan) on 11th, Abergele (Denbighshire) over 1st-11th, a Flint garden on 12th, and at Pwll Penarth (Montgomeryshire) on 18th.

A Firecrest was at Gresford Flash (Denbighshire) on 12th and a Yellow-browed Warbler was at Pencoed (East Glamorgan) on 24th. Water Pipits were at Newgale (Pembrokeshire) on 1st, Nash Point on 7th, East Aberthaw (East Glamorgan) on 8th, Peterstone Wentlooge (Gwent) on 12th and RSPB Conwy sporadically into March.

Snow bunting (Tom Kistruck)

Snow Bunting, Ceredigion (Tom Kistruck)

Great Grey Shrikes were at Cross Inn Forest (Ceredigion) on 10th and Tongwynlais (East Glamorgan) on 28th.  50 Waxwings were still at Ruthin (Denbighshire) on 1st, 13 were at Crickhowell (Gwent) on 3rd, four were in Prestatyn (Denbighshire) on 5th and seven in Wrexham (Denbighshire) on 21st.  A Snow Bunting was at Borth on 12th and 3 remained at Llandudno (Caernarfonshire) until 12th whilst 5 were at Gronant (Flintshire) on 5th-6th.  A single Lapland Bunting was on RSPB South Stack (Anglesey) on 27th.


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