Scarce and rare birds in Wales – April 2021 – a very cold dry month, with a trickle of summer migrants

This summary is compiled for birdsin.wales by Robin Sandham. Records featured are subject to acceptance by the British Birds Rarities Committee (bold capitals) and the Welsh Records Panel (bold italic capitals), where relevant. Please note that records will appear in this summary before they have been accepted by the appropriate record panel.

A wintry first week saw more snow on the hills.  What were those early migrants thinking?  April 1st is a questionable day to find rarities; however a noc-mig (nocturnally migrating) STONE CURLEW was recorded calling over Penrhyn Bay. Another turned up on St.David’s airfield on 26-27th.  An ALPINE SWIFT was a classic “spring overshoot” photographed over Skokholm on 1st and at Wooltack Point and St Govan’s Head (Pembrokeshire) on 2nd and again over Nolton Haven on 18th.

Again noc-mig recording paid off and revealed more unknowns – this time a SPOTTED CRAKE over Tregaron Bog (Ceredigion) along with thousands of migrating Common Scoter on 5th. A pair of SURF SCOTER were off Old Colwyn (Denbighshire) on 2nd-15th and Pensarn on 15th.  Up to three RING-NECKED DUCKS were still at Talley Lakes (Carmarthen) on 3rd-17th and Lisvane Reservoir (Glamorgan) on 3rd-13th, Llyn Maelog, Rhosneigr (Anglesey) from 2nd-18th , Cors Caron NR (Ceredigion) on 2nd and a drake still on Llyn Pencarreg (Carmarthenshire) on 23rd. The TUNDRA BEAN GOOSE remained at Goldcliffe from 1st-16th.

COMMON CRANE was over Pembrey (Pembrokeshire) on 3rd. A WHITE STORK was reported over Ruthin (Denbighshire) on 16th and two SpoonbillS flew over Cors Ddyga (Anglesey) on 29th.

BONAPARTE’S GULL was in Cardiff Bay on 18-30thIceland Gulls remained at Rhyl’s Brickfields Pool from 1st-6th, another was on Skomer 5-6th, one at Cemlyn 17-18th, and a further bird at Tenby on 28th. Glaucous Gulls were at Tywyn (Meirionnydd) on 20th, Teifi Estuary (Pembrokeshire) on 28th and Tenby (Pembrokeshire) on the same day.

A BLACK KITE was photographed over South Stack on 26th. Two Dotterel were on the Range RSPB (Anglesey) on 17th-19th, and one was on Foel Fras (Caernarfonshire) on 26th with another on Garreg Lwyd (Carmarthen) on 29th.

A Wryneck was on Skokholm on 6th and another in a private garden on the Lleyn (Caernarfonshire) on 26thGreat Grey Shrikes were at Brechfa (Carmarthen) on 2nd, Usk Reservoir (Carmarthen) on 5th and Hirwaun (Glamorgan) on 12th-13thHoopoes were in a St Dogmael’s garden (Pembrokeshire) on 28th, in Portskewett (Glamorgan) on 6th and a further one in Llanerchymedd (Anglesey) on 24th. A Turtle Dove was in Trefin (Pembrokeshire) on 24th.

A Siberian Chiffchaff was in Aberdaron on 13th and another was ringed on Bardsey on 26th.  “Channel-type” Yellow Wagtails were at Brechfa Pool (Radnor) and Penmon Point on 23rd and Henborth, Cemlyn (Anglesey) on 24th.

NIGHTINGALE was ringed on Skokholm on 30thBlack Redstarts were on Skokholm and at Dale on 4th, Aled Isaf Reservoir (Denbighshire) on 4th, Great Orme from 12th-15th, Llanrhystud (Ceredigion) on 23rd, Barry on 28th and Brechfa Pool on 29th.

Last month’s mammalian highlight of the Walrus remained in Tenby over Easter until the 27th at least.

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