Scarce and rare birds in Wales – May 2017

This summary is compiled for birdsin.wales by Robin Sandham. Records featured are subject to acceptance by the British Birds Rarities Committee (pink) and the Welsh Records Panel (blue), where relevant. An index of all months can be found here.


Red-footed falcon (Dave Astins)

Red-footed falcon (Dave Astins)

Northerly and easterly airflows brought in the start of the month, replaced later in the month by the eastern element that brought some classic spring migrants, possibly the best spring run of rarities in Wales for many years.  A BROAD-BILLED SANDPIPER was on the Alaw Estuary (Anglesey) on 1st-2nd, only the second record for the island.  A CITRINE WAGTAIL was at Morfa Madryn (Caernarfonshire) over 6th-7th whilst a male RED-FOOTED FALCON was on the Alaw Estuary on 6th-7th followed by a widely twitched bird at Strumble lighthouse (Pembrokeshire) on 11th-13th.

Dark-eyed junco (Dave Astins)

Dark-eyed junco (Dave Astins)

A male DARK-EYED JUNCO was on Skomer (Pembrokeshire) on 8th followed by a bird apparently photographed in a garden in Dolgellau (Meirionnydd) on 12th. An EASTERN SUBALPINE WARBLER was also on Skomer on 8th.  A female SUBALPINE WARBLER of unspecified race was on the Great Orme (Caernarfonshire) on 14th, and a TAWNY PIPIT was at Martin’s Haven (Pembrokeshire) on 11th.  A EUROPEAN BEE-EATER was Anglesey’s ninth record, at Hen Borth on 14th, with another over Abercastle and then Strumble (Pembrokeshire) on the same day, and two were reported over Rhossili Bay (Gower) on 17th.

Caspian gull (Marc Hughes)

Caspian gull (Marc Hughes)

Wales’ fourth CASPIAN GULL was briefly at RSPB Conwy (Denbighshire) on 13th, a CRAG MARTIN was seen at Llyn Efyrnwy dam (Montgomeryshire) on 25th, while a GREAT SNIPE was a remarkable find during a county bird race at Borth Bog (Ceredigion) on 29th, and still present on 30th.

The overwintering Black-necked Grebe remained on the Inland Sea (Anglesey) until the 2nd.  Up to 6 CATTLE EGRETS were at Ynyslas (Ceredigion) throughout the month, with singles at the National Wetlands Centre (Carmarthenshire) on 8th and at Bosherton Lily Ponds (Pembrokeshire) on 25th-27thGreat White Egrets were at Llanelli (Carmarthenshire) on 4th, Llandegfedd Reservoir (Gwent) on 23rd, and South Stack marsh (Anglesey) and Millin Pill (Pembrokeshire) on 26th.

A Spoonbill remained at Newport Wetlands (Gwent) on 2nd, with others on Llanrhidian Marsh (Gower) on 7th, Kenfig NNR (East Glamorgan) on 13th, one on the Inland Sea over 18th-23rd, with two off Penrhos CP on 29th-30th, likely to be the two seen on The Skerries (Anglesey) on 30th. There were three at the National Wetlands Centre on 15th-31st.  A Bittern was on Skokholm (Pembrokeshire) on 6th and PURPLE HERONS were at Bosherton Lily Ponds on 6th and Kenfig NNR on 13th-19th.

Dotterel (Arfon Williams)

Dotterel (Arfon Williams)

Waders included up to three TEMMINCK’S STINTS at Newport Wetlands over 1st-14th.  Seven Dotterels were on Garreg Lwyd (Carmarthenshire) on 1st-2nd with two still present on 7th and six on 11th.  One was on Foel Fras (Caernarfonshire) on 2nd, followed by five on Drum (Caernarfonshire) on 1st-7th and up to 3 on Foel Grach (Caernarfonshire) on 7th. There were three on Pen-y-Boncin Trefeilw (Denbighshire/Montgomeryshire) on 8th.  Wood Sandpipers were at RSPB Conwy (Denbighshire) and RSPB Ynys-hir (Ceredigion) on 5th, Skomer on 5th-6th, Morfa Madryn on 6th, and at RSPB Cors Ddyga/Malltraeth Marsh (Anglesey) on 7th.  A Stone-curlew was reported on Valley airfield (Anglesey) on 19th and a possible Grey Phalarope was heard flew over Cemlyn (Anglesey) at dusk on 25th.

American golden plover (Dave Astins)

American golden plover (Dave Astins)

An AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVER in fine summer plumage was popular on the Gann Estuary (Pembrokeshire) on 27th-31st. Black Terns were at Llyn Coed Dinas (Montgomeryshire) on 2nd, Llandegfedd Reservoir (Gwent) and Llangorse (Brecon) on 2nd and off Ynyslas on 26th.  A first-summer RING-BILLED GULL was at Ynyslas on 3rd-31st.  A Glaucous Gull remained in Cardiff Bay on 5th-21st, one was in East Aberthaw (East Glamorgan) on 7th and the Svalbard-ringed juvenile remained in Holyhead Harbour (Anglesey) to 31st at least.  Little Gulls were at Porthmadog (Caernarfonshire) on 9th, Kenfig NNR on 19th and Cemlyn on 24th.  A Pomarine Skua was off Bardsey (Caernarfonshire) on 4th.

Pallas's warbler (Bardsey BFO)

Pallas’s warbler (Bardsey BFO)

A GOLDEN ORIOLE was on Bardsey on 3rd-5th.  Three RED-BACKED SHRIKES were seen: the first on the Gann Estuary on 7th, a male on the Alaw Estuary over 27th-28th and a female on Bardsey on 30th.  A Hoopoe was along the Afon Cletwr (Ceredigion) on 3rd.  Increasingly scarce Turtle Doves were at Goldcliffe village (Gwent) on 4th, St. Ishmael (Pembrokeshire) on 19th, the Great Orme on 25th and RSPB South Stack on 26th.  A Quail was on the Alaw Estuary on 19th-20th.

Bardsey’s second PALLAS’S WARBLER of the spring on 7th was a UK-control, ringed at Spurn Bird Observatory in October 2016.  A BLUETHROAT was trapped and ringed on Skokholm on 27th and a SIBERIAN CHIFFCHAFF was there on 29th. A Black Redstart was on the Great Orme on 10th and another was ringed on Bardsey on 27th.

 


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