Scarce and rare birds in Wales – December 2019

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.

The GLOSSY IBIS was at NWR (Gwent) throughout. Up to six Spoonbills were at NWC (Carmarthen) on 4-29th.  A Cattle Egrets were at Newport (Pembrokeshire) on 4th, the Teifi Estuary (Pembrokeshire) on 6-7th and Johnston (Pembrokeshire) on 9th. An un-raced BEAN GOOSE was on the Dyfi (Ceredigion) over 2-4thRING-NECKED DUCKS were at Bala Lake (Meirionnydd) on 17th, at Marloes (Pembrokeshire) on 27-29th and Llyn Pendam on 10-23rd.

A drake SURF SCOTER was off Old Colwyn (Denbighshire) on 2-17th and off the Great Orme (Caernarfonshire) on 25th.  A drake SMEW was at Ynys Hir (Ceredigion) on 14-19th, Llandegfedd Reservoir 2-26th, one on the Usk (Gwent) 22-28th. The escaped Ferruginous Duck was on Llangorse on 7th. A Black-necked Grebe was at Penberry Reservoir (Pembrokeshire) on 3rd. A RING BILLED GULL was at Llys-y-Fran (Pembrokeshire) on 4th.

Black Redstarts were widely scattered: at East Aberthaw (Glamorgan) on 4th, Kinmel Bay (Denbighshire) on 6th, Trefeiddan Common (Pembrokeshire) on 6th, on the Little Orme (Caernarfonshire) on 16th, at Sker Point (Glamorgan) on 19th, on the Great Orme (Caernarfonshire) on 21st, at Gileston (Glamorgan) on 21st, Poppit Sands (Pembrokeshire) on 21-23rd, Ceibwr Bay (Pembrokeshire) on 29-30th, Penarth (Glamorgan) on 19-29th, Aberystwyth on 21-29th, Cwm yr Eglwys (Pembrokeshire) on 25th.

Great Grey Shrikes were at Plumstone (Pembrokeshire) on 25th, Llangorse (Powys) on 26th and at Afan Forest (Glamorgan) on 24th and the regular wintering bird was near Llyn Brenig (Denbighshire) for much of the month, though the bird was frequently elusive.

Water Pipits were at Rhymney Estuary (Glamorgan) on 16th, RSPB Conwy (Denbighshire) on 15-16th, Ynys Hir on 18th, Ogmore Estuary (Glamorgan) on 16-18th, NWC (Carmarthen) on 8-23rd, Sennybridge (Powys) on 24th, Newport (Pembrokeshire) on 16-25th.

Also of note was an obvious influx of Short-eared Owls with over 20 on Anglesey and up to 12 at Aberffraw, which remained in to January.  Firecrests were at numerous sites. Swallows were seen at WWC (Pembrokeshire) on 8th, Valley (Anglesey) on 11th, and over Brynsiencyn (Anglesey) on 17th.

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