Scarce and rare birds in Wales – October 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.


booted warbler (Steve Culley)

booted warbler (Steve Culley)

Almost constant easterlies were surely going to deliver, especially for the UK’s east coast, from which Wales has to hope for some filtering. Things kicked off with a BLYTH’S REED WARBLER on Bardsey (Caernarfon) on 1st and a very popular BOOTED WARBLER was on the Great Orme on 3rd-9th, only the third for Caernarfonshire and first on mainland Wales. BARRED WARBLERS were on Ramsey (Pembroke) on 1st-2nd,

red-flanked bluetail (Henry Cooke)

red-flanked bluetail (Henry Cooke)

Mewslade Valley (Gower) on 6th, and on Bardsey on 21st-22nd. A RED-FLANKED BLUETAIL was a first site record for the Great Orme on 10th. It proved to be an unprecedented month for Yellow-browed Warblers from the 3rd onwards with at least 160 reports, including several inland and nearly 10 percent were ringed.

A BLACK-BROWED ALBATROSS was seen twice off Bardsey on 16th. A Little Gull was off Aberystwyth (Ceredigion) on 8th, a Long-tailed Skua off Strumble Head (Pembroke) on 18th and Sabine’s Gulls were off Strumble on 17th and Bardsey on 19th.

Great White Egrets seem to be making a considerable advancement with two birds at Penrhos Country Park and the Inland Sea (Anglesey) on 1st-20th, one on the Conwy Estuary from July to the end of the month but with up six there for most of the month; others were at Dinefwr Pools (Carmarthen) on 2nd-10th, Llanrhidian Marsh (Gower) on 2nd, Llann Bwch-llyn (Brecon) on 4th-5th and 27th, Newport Wetlands (Gwent) on 7th, Llangloffan (Pembroke), Cilsan (Carmarthen) and RSPB Ynys-hir (Ceredigion) on 25th, up to two were at Llangorse Lake (Brecon) throughout and one was at Newport (Gwent) on 31st.

squacco heron (Mike Young-Powell)

squacco heron (Mike Young-Powell)

A CATTLE EGRET was at Llansaintfraid (Ceredigion) on 9th. A SQUACCO HERON was in a garden at Llangwm (Pembroke) on 25th-27th and a Bittern was at Llyn Llywenan (Anglesey) on 9th. A SPOTTED CRAKE was at Newport Wetlands on 16th.

Baird's sandpiper (Richard G Smith)

Baird’s sandpiper (Richard G Smith)

As for waders; a BAIRD’S SANDPIPER was at Kenfig NNR

(East Glamorgan) on 13th-14th and a PECTORAL SANDPIPER was at Kidwelly (Carmarthen) over the same dates. An AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVER flew over the Great Orme on 21st. Little Stints were at Newport Wetlands on 6th, a Wood Sandpiper was at RSPB Malltraeth Marsh (Anglesey) on 5th and a Dotterel was at Cwm Nash (Gower) on 11th.

white-fronted goose (Arfon Williams)

white-fronted goose (Arfon Williams)

16 Eurasian White-fronted Geese were at Llanon (Ceredigion) on 13th. Four Greenland White-fronted Geese flew over the Great Orme on 29th, two carrying neck-collars and one a satellite transmitter. They were tracked as being in Iceland on the 28th then arriving in Co.Wexford, Ireland on 30th covering 1700+km in 48hrs. Up to 4 drake SURF SCOTERS were off Llandulas (Denbigh) from 18th onwards. Two Long-tailed Ducks were off Criccieth (Caernarfon) on 25th and 30th. Up to two Garganey were at RSPB Conwy (Denbigh) from September to 23rd October. An AMERICAN WIGEON was at the National Wetlands Centre (Carmarthen) on 30th.

Firecrests were surprisingly scarce with only five singles reported: at RSPB Conwy on 2nd, Great Orme on 7th, on the Mumbles (Gower) on 10th, Lavernock Point (East Glamorgan) on 12th and Llanrhos (Caernarfon) on 27th.

hume's warbler (Jeff Slocombe)

hume’s warbler (Jeff Slocombe)

A PALLAS’S WARBLER was at the Breakwater Country Park (Anglesey) on 16th, with others on Skomer (Pembroke) on 27th, Rhossili Bay (Gower), Tresinwen (Pembroke) and on Bardsey (which was ringed) on 30th. A RADDE’S WARBLER was on Bardsey on 13th-14th and a HUME’S WARBLER identification was eventually nailed down at Middleton (Gower) on 29th, the bird staying into November. Siberian Chiffchaffs were on Skokholm (Pembroke) on 9th, Bardsey on 24th (with 5 there on 30th), Uwchmynydd (Caernarfon) on 26th and at Middleton (Gower) on 30th. A RED-BREASTED FLYCATCHER was on Skokholm on 28th.

Black Redstarts were at Morfa Nefyn (Caernarfon) on 2nd, there were 5 on the Great Orme on 1st-25th, and singles on Ramsey on 10th, Lavernock Point on 15th, Skokholm on 23-25th, Rhossili Bay and Cardiff Bay (East Glamorgan) on 27th, St. Ann’s Head (Pembroke) on 30th, Aberystwyth on 29th-30th, Bardsey and Cemlyn (Anglesey) on 30th and East Aberthaw (Glamorgan) on 31st.

little bunting (Steve Stansfield)

little bunting (Steve Stansfield)

LITTLE BUNTINGS were ringed on Bardsey on 19th and at Oxwich (Gower) on 20th. Snow Buntings were at Barry (East Glamorgan) on 23rd and Strumble Head on 25th. Lapland Buntings were at Dinas Cross, 19 were on The Range RSPB (Anglesey), with others at Llanon (Ceredigion) on 6th-15th, Cemlyn on 15th, Llanfairfechan (Caernarfon) on 16th, Llanrhidian Marsh (Gower) on 16th, Great Orme on 25th-29th and Skomer on 31st.

hoopoe (Paul Brewster)

hoopoe (Paul Brewster)

Hoopoes were on Skokholm on 14th-17th, Llanstadwell (Pembroke) on 20th, and at RSPB Conwy on 25th-26th, which sadly lost in an altercation with a Peregrine on its second day. Wrynecks were on Skomer on 1st and 6th, Marloes (Pembroke), Gileston (East Glamorgan), and Ramsey on 2nd and at St. Justinian (Pembroke) on 15th.

Two Richard’s Pipits were at Fort Belan (Caernarfon) on 8th-11th, with singles at Cemlyn on 16th, Llanengan (Caernarfon) and Skokholm on 21st, Whiteford NNR (Gower) and Bardsey on 30th, and Great Orme on 31st. SHORELARKS were on The Range on 30th and the Great Orme on 31st. Woodlarks were at Mewslade Bay on 23rd on the Great Orme on 30th. A late Whinchat was at Plumstone Hill (Pembroke) on 28-29th.

Rose-coloured starling (Jeff Slocombe)

Rose-coloured starling (Jeff Slocombe)

ROSE-COLOURED STARLINGS were at Ynyslas (Ceredigion) and Aberavon (East Glamorgan) on 1st and Port Talbot (East Glamorgan) on 6th. Great Grey Shrikes arrived for the winter late in the month: at Ponterwydd (Ceredigion), Llwyn-On Reservoir (East Glamorgan) on 22nd Carmarthen on 23rd, Llyn Syfydryn (Ceredigion) on 19th-20th, Cross Inn Forest (Ceredigion) on 25th-27th, Mynydd Garnclochdy (Gwent) on 27th, Fenn’s Moss (Flint) on 28th, and Bethania (Ceredigion) on 30th.


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