Scarce sightings in February 2019

A ridiculously warm month saw Wales breaking temperature records in the last week due to tropical air flooding in from the far SW.  It fooled our resident species into breeding even earlier than normal.  Persistent southerlies brought an early RED-RUMPED SWALLOW to Cwm Ivy on the Gower on 16th-22nd along with a Swallow, with other exceptionally early Swallows at Morfa Bychan (Caernafon)  on 15th, over Bagillt (Flintshire) on 21st, at Bosherton Lily Ponds (Pembrokeshire) on 22nd and Cwm Ivy (Swansea) on 25th.  The first Sand Martin was at Morfa Nefyn (Caernarfon) on 17th, two House Martins were on Anglesey on 19th and more Sand Martins arrived at several sites on 27th-28th.

Black-throated Diver was off the Little Orme on 2nd-3rd, off the Great Orme (Caernarfon) on 25th, off Kinmel Bay (Denbighshire) on 10th and on the Inland Sea (Anglesey) on 27th.  A RED-NECKED GREBE was off Bangor Pier (Caernarfon) from 3rd-10th and one was on Llangorse Lake (Powys) from 18th-26th.  A Black-necked Grebe was on Llyn Coron (Anglesey) on 9th and another was at Kenfig NNR (Glamorgan) on 23rd.  Eight Greenland White-fronted Geese were at Ynys Hir RSPB (Ceredigion) on 8th, five European White-fronted Geese were at NWR (Gwent) from 13th-25th and 2 Lesser-white-fronted Geese with the usual ‘presumed escaped’ clause were on Llyn Traffwll (Anglesey) on 28th.  The queen KING EIDER remained at Ynyslas during the first half of the month. A female SURF SCOTER was still off Black-Rock Sands on 3rd-4th whilst last month’s. SMEW remained on the Usk (Gwent) on 4th and another one was at the NWC (Carmarthen) on 27th.

GLOSSY IBIS was still at NWR (Gwent) throughout almost the entire month. Four Cattle Egrets were at Porthcawl (Glamorgan) from 10th-28th, whilst other singles were at St Dogmael’s (Pembrokeshire) on 18th-24th and Malltraeth Marsh (Anglesey) on 20th-27th.  Three Spoonbills were at NWC (Carmarthen) on 22nd-27th.

An Iceland Gull was on the Teifi Estuary (Ceredigion) on 16th.  The RING-BILLED GULL was back at Llys y Fran Reservoir (Pembrokeshire) on 4th, a CASPIAN GULL was in Cardiff Bay on 27th and a Little Gull was there on 28th.  The ROSY STARLING remained in Craig-y-Don, Llandudno (Caernarfonshire) throughout and was transforming from a ‘fawn yawn’ into something more rosy. Black Redstarts were at South Stack RSPB (Anglesey) on 1st, Porth Dafarch (Anglesey) from 1st-3rd, Kinmel Bay (Denbighshire) for almost the whole month, Lampeter (Ceredigion) on 1st, St. Brides (Pembrokeshire) throughout, Newton (Glamorgan) on 1st-10th and at NWR (Gwent) from 17th-21st.

The wintering Great Grey Shrike remained at Cwm Cadlan (Glamorgan) from 10th-22nd with others at Cors Caron on 25th, Plumstone Mountain (Pembrokeshire) over 22nd-27th, Llwyn-On Reservoir (Glamorgan) on 23rd and Cwm Gwaun (Pembrokeshire) on 26th-27th.

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