Scarce and rare birds in Wales – June 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.


Unsettled weather in the second half of June made it tough going for some breeding birds, but we do have some good news to report. Ten juvenile Ospreys in four nests have so far survived the wind and rain, while 158 nests contain 348 Little Tern eggs at Wales’ only colony in Gronant (Flint), putting it on track to be at least the best year since 1994. But there is a long way to go yet…

An unseasonal Great Northern Diver was on the Gann Estuary (Pembroke) on 10th. A PURPLE HERON was reported over Beaumaris (Anglesey) on 11th and likely the same bird was seen at Cors Bodeilio (Anglesey) on 12th, while another was reported near Llanddewi Brefi (Ceredigion) on 15th. A WHITE STORK was at Bridgend on 9th and a Great White Egret was at RSPB Valley Wetlands (Anglesey) on 6th-8th. A Spoonbill flew over Llyn Aled Isaf (Denbigh) on 2nd and one flew over the National Wetlands Centre (Carmarthen) on 21st. A GLOSSY IBIS was seen at Cors Erddreiniog (Anglesey) on 24th.

Two Garganeys at RSPB Malltraeth Marsh (Anglesey) on 2nd were the only ones recorded in June.

broad-billed sandpiper (Tim Wallis)

broad-billed sandpiper (Tim Wallis)

A BROAD-BILLED SANDPIPER was between Gronant and Point of Ayr (Flint) on 11th-12th, then re-located at Kinmel Bay (Denbigh) over 13th-14th (watch Alex Jones’ video here). When a second turned up at Newport Wetlands on 18th, it was tempting to believe the North Wales bird had travelled south, and was perhaps the same bird seen in Gwent in April. The Newport bird remained until 21st, and then on 22nd, there was a Broad-billed Sandpiper back at Gronant, reported again on 26th. Although the dates did not overlap, these must surely have been two individuals, perhaps bringing the total to three for the Spring. There are six previous Welsh records.

stone-curlew (Gronant Little Terns facebook page)

stone-curlew (Gronant Little Terns facebook page)

A STONE-CURLEW was also at Gronant on 12th, a Curlew Sandpiper was at Newport Wetlands (Gwent) on 5th-11th, a TEMMINCK’S STINT at Kenfig (East Glamorgan) on 5th and a possible AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVER was reported from the Great Orme (Caernarfon) on 18th.

Little Gulls were at Sandy Water Park (Carmarthen) and Newport Wetlands on 2nd, the latter staying until the following day. Two were at the National Wetlands Centre on 10th, one remaining on 12th. A GULL-BILLED TERN was at Kenfig on 5th, a WHITE-WINGED BLACK TERN at Connah’s Quay nature reserve and then Shotwick Lake (both Flint) on 17th. A Spotted Crake was heard at Shotton steelworks nature reserve (Flint) on 20th, and Quails were at Cemlyn (Anglesey) on 8th and Bardsey (Gwynedd) on 17th.

A BEE-EATER was at Martletwy (Pembroke) on 10th and a RED-RUMPED SWALLOW was reported feeding along the tideline at Rumney Great Wharf (East Glamorgan) on 19th. A GOLDEN ORIOLE was reported at Marloes (Pembroke) on 3rd and a Turtle Dove was in a Llanishen garden (East Glamorgan) on 28th.

marsh warbler (Steve Stansfield)

marsh warbler (Steve Stansfield)

A SAVI’S WARBLER remained at Newport Wetlands until at least 4th. A possible RADDE’s WARBLER was heard singing on Bardsey on 6th, but could not be seen, while a MARSH WARBLER was ringed there on 15th and was still present on 17th. Bardsey obviously had some sort of draw for GREENISH WARBLERS with the third of the spring on 5th remarkably followed by a fourth individual on 16th.

A Black Redstart was on Skokholm on 12th and a Firecrest was on Bardsey on 4th. Unseasonal Hooded Crows were at St David’s Head (Pembroke) and RSPB Conwy (Denbigh) on 12th, and at Strumble Head (Pembroke) on 15th.


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