Scarce and rare birds in Wales – March 2017

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.


Ring ouzel (Bob Garrett)

A line is drawn under winter as the first migrants arrive and this year they did so as one with the first Sand Martins at Llys-y-Fran Reservoir (Pembrokeshire) on 4th and Lisvane Reservoir (East Glamorgan) on 5th.  A Swallow was at Pembroke Mill Pond on 5th and Newport Wetlands (Gwent) on 10thNorthern Wheatears were on Ramsey (Pembrokeshire), the River Clwyd (Denbighshire) and Pembrey (Carmarthenshire) on 8th.  A migrant Chiffchaff was on Bardsey (Caernarfon) on 10th and a House Martin was in Tenby (Pembrokeshire) on 12th.  A Sandwich Tern was at Cemlyn (Anglesey) on 20th, with many  more by the end of the month. A Willow Warbler was on Skokholm (Pembrokeshire) on 23rd, and by the end of the month Ring Ouzels were back on territory in Snowdonia with numerous sightings in mid Wales too.

cattle egret (Jeff Slocombe)

Great White Egrets were at RSPB Ynys-hir (Ceredigion) on 2nd and 26th, at Machynlleth (Ceredigion) on 2nd, Llangorse (Brecon) on 3rd, the National Wetlands Centre (Carmarthenshire) on 7th, and Burry Port (Carmarthenshire) on 22nd.   The Cattle Egret remained at Newport (Pembrokeshire) to 27th at least, having been present since early December. With a huge influx into southwest England (up to 120 in Cornwall), it is no surprise that a few more were found in South Wales: at St. Athan (East Glamorgan) on 15th-26th, at Newport Wetlands from 18th to the end of the month (and nearby at Magor Marsh on 29th).  The four Cattle Egrets on Anglesey reappeared near Malltraeth on 29th.

Cranes, Skokholm (Richard Brown-Giselle Eagle)

Bitterns were at Bosherton Lily Ponds (Pembrokeshire) on 2nd, Cosmeston Lakes CP (East Glamorgan) on 9th, the Welsh Wildlife Centre (Pembrokeshire) on 10th-27th, and at RSPB Valley Lakes (Anglesey) on 10th.  A Spoonbill was at Newport Wetlands on 25th-30th and two at the National Wetlands Centre over 25th-26th.  Three CRANES flew over Skokholm (Pembrokeshire) on 25th, then Newquay (Ceredigion) and City Dulas (Anglesey) on 26th.

Ring-necked Duck (Jeff Slocombe)

A Black-throated Diver was off RSPB South Stack (Anglesey) on 6th and Llanddulas (Denbighshire) on 25thSlavonian Grebes were off Penrhos CP (Anglesey) on 2nd-27th and Wernffrwd (Gower) on 28th.  A Black-necked Grebe was on the Inland Sea (Anglesey) on 2nd-27th and in Cardiff Bay (East Glamorgan) on 20th. The AMERICAN WIGEON remained on the Gann Estuary (Pembrokeshire) until 5th and the RING-NECKED DUCK was still at Pond Rhosrhydd (Ceredigion) on 4th, with a drake at Cosmeston CP on 27th.  22 Greenland White-fronted Geese were at RSPB Ynys-hir over 28th-30th (including a satellite-tagged bird that had wintered in Ireland), with others on Anglesey during the month.

Caspian gull (Arfon Williams)

Potentially Wales’ third and Ceredigion’s first CASPIAN GULL was a German-ringed bird found at Llanrhystud on 19th and seen again on 27th.  Little Gulls were at St Athan on 18th, and in Cardiff Bay on 18th-26th. A RING-BILLED GULL was on the Gann Estuary on 5th-12th and at Newport (Pembrokeshire) on 23rdIceland Gulls were off the Great Orme (Caernarfonshire) on 5th, at Nefyn (Caernarfonshire) on 7th-18th, at RSPB Conwy (Denbighshire) on 10th, St. Brides Wentlooge (Gwent) on 21st, Cardiff Bay on 22nd and Newport (Pembrokeshire) on 26thGlaucous Gulls remained at RSPB Ynys-hir on 5th, Fishguard (Pembrokeshire) on 6th, Cardiff Bay on 7th-31st, with new birds at Swansea and Llangennith (Gower) on 3rd and 4th, Bardsey (Caernarfonshire) on 8th and 31st, St Ismael’s (Pembrokeshire) on 12th and the Svalbard-ringed individual reappeared at Holyhead Harbour (Anglesey) on 18th.  A Pomarine Skua was off Porthcawl (East Glamorgan) on 31st.

Red-rumped swallow (Phil Bristow)

A RED-RUMPED SWALLOW was a nice March record at Newport Wetlands on 30th.  A Hoopoe was at Abercych (Pembrokeshire) on 27th and Haverfordwest (Pembrokeshire) on 30th.  Great Grey Shrikes were at Cross Inn Forest (Ceredigion) on 10th-19th, Abersychan (Gwent) 11th-29th, Pontypool (Gwent) on 11th-14th, Machynlleth on 12th, Craig Bron-banog (Denbighshire) on 13th-27th, Penllyn Forest (Meirionnydd) on 25th, Plumstone Mountain (Pembrokeshire) on 26th, and at Bwlch-y-Sarnau (Radnor) on 26th.

Firecrest (Bob Garrett)

SIBERIAN CHIFFCHAFF were at Cardiff Bay (to 26th) and Monk’s Haven (Pembrokeshire) on 18th. Black Redstarts were at Neyland (Pembrokeshire) on 2nd, Swansea on 3rd, Gileston (East Glamorgan) on 4th, in Haverfordwest on 6th, Ogmore-by-Sea (East Glamorgan) on 10th-13th, Cardiff Bay on 10th, Skomer (Pembrokeshire) on 10th and 28th-30th, Little Orme (Caernarfonshire) on 16th, Llanelli (Carmarthenshire) on 19th, Southerndown (East Glamorgan) on 21st, and there were two on Bardsey on 25th-26th.  Firecrests were at RSPB Conwy on 9th, Rhyl (Flintshire) on 10th, Poppit Sands (Pembrokeshire) on 12th, Little Orme on 16th and Rudry (East Glamorgan) on 26th.

Waxwing (Paul Leafe)

Water Pipits were at Peterstone Wentlooge (Gwent) on 2nd, RSPB Conwy on 4th, Newgale (Pembrokeshire) on 6th, Rhosilli Bay (Gower) on 25th, inland at Llyn Brenig (Denbighshire) on 26th and on the Afon Cletwr (Ceredigion) on 28th.

A Woodlark flew over the Great Orme on 12th.  A SHORELARK was at RSPB South Stack on 27th, only the second ever at the site.  Snow Buntings were at Borth (Ceredigion) on 4th, Llansteffan (Carmarthen) on 4th-5th and one remained on Llandudno’s West Shore (Caernarfonshire) until 6th. Others were at Morfa Bychan (Caernarfonshire) on 12th, Gronant (Denbighshire) on 13th, and three at RSPB Point of Ayr (Flintshire) on 24th.  A Lapland Bunting was over the Great Orme on 12th and The Range (Anglesey) on 14th, Skokholm on 23rd-26th.  Up to 65 Waxwings were at Newbridge-on-Wye (Radnorshire) on 7th-10th.


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