Scarce and rare birds in Wales – October 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.


There was another surge of Great White Egrets with birds at Inland Sea (Anglesey) on 6th-8th, Trefeiddan Common (Pembrokeshire) on 9th, Newport Wetlands (Gwent) on 16th and 28th, Bardsey (Caernarfonshire) on 18th, Cors Caron on 28th, then Cardigan and RSPB Ynys-hir on 29th (all Ceredigion), on the Conwy Estuary (Denbighshire/Caernarfonshire) on 20th-29th, and one was present around the Loughor estuary (Gower/Carmarthenshire) throughout the month.  A CATTLE EGRET was at Malltraeth (Anglesey) on 18th, a GLOSSY IBIS was at Newport Wetlands on 9th and a Spoonbill remained at the National Wetlands Centre (Carmarthenshire) on 3rd.

A RED-NECKED GREBE was at Beddmanarch Bay (Anglesey) during 4th-9th, a Black-necked Grebe was at Trimsaran (Carmarthenshire) on 7th and one at Kenfig NNR (East Glamorgan) on 30th, while the queen KING EIDER remained on the Dyfi Estuary (Ceredigion) to 2nd.

Leach’s Petrels and Long-tailed Skuas were reported from a few sites on 5th and 9th, Sabine’s Gulls were off Bardsey on 5th and 29th, and an oddly-timed Glaucous Gull was on the Conwy Estuary on 25th.

American golden plover (Dave Astins)

American golden plover (Dave Astins)

An AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVER was at RSPB Morfa Dinlle (Caernarfonshire) over 1st-8th and another on the Gann Estuary (Pembrokeshire) over 6th-18th.  A Dotterel was on The Range (Anglesey) on 9th and Grey Phalaropes were off Bardsey on 4th and 17th, Strumble Head (Pembrokeshire) on 12th and Point Lynas (Anglesey) on 29th.

Rock thrush (Elliot Montieth)

Rock thrush (Elliot Montieth)

Wales’ third RUFOUS-TAILED ROCK THRUSH was at Pwll-Du (Gwent) from 13th into November. A Hoopoe remained near Wooltack Point/Deerpark (Pembrokeshire) over 1st-3rd and one was on Skokholm on 31st, surprisingly the island’s first record.  A Wryneck was at Ogmore-by-Sea (East Glamorgan) on 1st-2nd.

Isabelline shrike (Grahame Morgan)

Isabelline shrike (Grahame Morgan)

An ISABELLINE / DAURIAN SHRIKE was at Breakwater Country Park (Anglesey) on 15th, the second record for the island of this form. A MELODIOUS WARBLER remained on Skokholm from September until 7th, RADDE’S WARBLER on there on 26th, while Bardsey hosted a SIBERIAN LESSER WHITETHROAT on Bardsey on 29th and SIBERIAN CHIFFCHAFFS on 26th and 29th, with others at Middleton (Gower) on 27th and Mewslade Bay (Gower) on 28th.

Olive-backed pipit (Dave Astins)

Olive-backed pipit (Dave Astins)

COMMON NIGHTINGALE was on Bardsey on 6th and the first mainland Wales OLIVE-BACKED PIPIT was a great find at St. Brides on 22nd-25th.  Water Pipits were at East Aberthaw and Southerndown (both East Glamorgan) on 26th. A RED-BREASTED FLYCATCHER was on Skomer on 27thBlack Redstarts were at Pwll-du on 3rd, Skomer on 27th and Stackpole (Pembrokeshire) on 29th.  Two Woodlarks flew over Nantyffyllon (East Glamorgan) on 25th, and a BLUETHROAT was trapped and ringed at Uskmouth (Gwent) on 14th.

Lapland Buntings were at Llanon (Ceredigion) on 27th, and on the Great Orme on 28th-29thHawfinches were on the move with migrants flooding into the Britain, with several seen over Welsh coastal sites as well as returning to their traditional wintering spots.


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