Scarce and rare birds in Wales – February 2021 – local patch birding, winter long stayers and first signs of spring

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.

RING-NECKED DUCKS remained at Cardiff Bay on 5-23rd and two drakes at Talley Lakes (Carmarthen) on 6-22nd. Black-throated Divers were off Pembrey (Carmarthen) and Penmon Point (Anglesey) on 28th.

Cattle Egrets remained at Valley (Anglesey) on 2-28th and at Hundleton (Pembrokeshire) om 3-4th.  Spoonbills were at Penclawdd (Gower) on 5th and NWC (Carmarthen) on 6th.

The first winter CASPIAN GULL remained at Cardiff Bay on 4-28th and a BONAPARTE’S GULL was in the same area from 14th-21st. The RING-BILLED GULL was back at Llys-y-Fran Reservoir (Pembrokeshire) on 21st.  A KUMLIEN’S GULL was on the Ogmore Estuary (Glamorgan) between 8th and 17thIceland Gulls were at Amroth (Pembrokeshire) from 1st-15th, Sker Point (Glamorgan) on 16th, Wiseman’s Bridge (Pembrokeshire) on 23-25th and remained photogenically on Rhyl Brickworks pool (Flintshire) throughout the month with further individuals at Cosmeston CP (Glamorgan) on 3rd  and Llys-y-Fran Reservoir (Pembrokeshire) on 28thLittle Gulls were at Amroth on 19th and Wiseman’s Bridge (Pembrokeshire) on 20th, and Cardiff Bay on 26-27th.

The ROSY STARLING remained at Amlwch (Anglesey) throughout. Water Pipits remained at Penrhyn Bay and Llandudno on 15th and were at Rhymney Great Wharf (Glamorgan) on 1st and Newport (Pembrokeshire) on 18th.

A good showing of Black Redstarts were around: one remained in Beaumaris (Anglesey) on 15th-17th  with others at Amlwch (Anglesey) on 16th-17th, Porthmadog (Caernarfonshire) throughout, Gileston (Glamorgan) on 18th, Milford Haven on 17th, Haverfordwest (Pembrokeshire) on 18th, Newport (Gwent) on 18-26th and Broadhaven (Pembrokeshire) on 26th. The SIBERIAN LESSER WHITETHROAT remained at Carreflefn (Anglesey) from 1st onwards. Siberian Chiffchaffs were at Glanwydden (Caernarfonshire) 18-27th and Pwll (Carmarthen) on 22nd.

Six Snow Buntings were on Carnedd Llewelyn (Caernarfonshire) on 28th and up to four were on the Great Orme (Caernarfonshire) and at Horton’s Nose, Kinmel Bay (Denbighshire) throughout – the photo in the gallery below was one of these and an entry in the WOS photo competition. Great Grey Shrikes were at Llanbadarn Fynydd (Radnorshire) on 22nd, Llyn Berwyn (Ceredigion) on 26th.

Early spring migrants included a very early Northern Wheatear at the NWC (Carmarthen) on 17th and another was at Southerndown (Glamorgan) on 27th. The excellent photo illustrating this round-up was one of the entries for the WOS photo competition, though this individual was snapped in April 2020. Sand Martins at Cardiff Bay on 20th, Dowlais Top (Glamorgan) on 21st, Ynys Hir (Ceredigion) on 25th were welcome signs of approaching spring, as were very early Willow Warblers at Dyffryn Ardudwy (Meirionnydd) on 22nd and Llanddeusant (Anglesey) on 25th.

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