Scarce and rare birds in Wales – May 2020 – another lockdown month

This summary is compiled for 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.

Another month in ‘lockdown’ due to COVID-19 restrictions but there were several highlights including a flock of 13 BEE-EATERS over Tudweiliog, Lleyn (Caernarfonshire) on 9-12th where two were even ringed in a garden on 9th. (NRW and BTO guidance currently limits ringing and nest recording to gardens and some isolated observatories).

A CORNCRAKE was reported at Newgale and one in Glamorgan on 31st (site undisclosed).  A fine summer-plumage Grey Phalarope was at Sker Point (Glamorgan) on 29th. Eight Dotterel were on the Great Orme on 9-10th with 4 still on 14th. A PECTORAL SANDPIPER was on Skokholm (Pembrokeshire) on 31st

Honey Buzzard was over Amlwch on 17th. A Hoopoe was at Llanbadarn Fawr (Ceredigion) on 11th, Morfa Nefyn (Caernarfon) on 14th, Llanfair Clydogau on 16th, then Dihewyd (Ceredigion) on 17th. An ALPINE SWIFT was seen over Llandudno on 18th.

WOODCHAT SHRIKE was on Bardsey on 29th, following an excellent inland record at Hawarden Airfield on 26th.  A male RED-BACKED SHRIKE was at Cemaes (Anglesey) on 29th. A GOLDEN ORIOLE was reported over Cardiff on 10th, at Cors Ddyga on 28th and one was at Llangwyryfon on 28th.

An EASTERN SUBALPINE WARBLER was on Skokholm on 9th. An ICTERINE WARBLER was ringed on Skomer on 9th. An IBERIAN CHIFFCHAFF was recorded in a garden in Pontypool (Gwent) on 19th. A GREENISH WARBLER was ringed on Bardsey on 29th (excellent recording of the song on the Bardsey blog) followed by a BLYTH’S REED WARBLER on Ramsay on 30th and a MARSH WARBLER on Bardsey on 30th-31st – a recording of the song is on the Bardsey blog.  A RED-SPOTTED BLUETHROAT was ringed on Skokholm on 20th.

 A ROSY STARLING was on Skomer on 28th and Marloes (Pembrokeshire) and Nefyn (Caernarfonshire) on 31st.  There are strong signs of a huge influx from central Europe north-westwards so there should be more next month. Keep a look out!

SHORELARK was on Bardsey on 30th, the same date as an unusual May record last year. There were five reports of Turtle Doves: at Llangwm (Pembrokeshire) on 17th, on Skokholm on 26-27th and one on Bardsey on 29-30th, Wylfa Head (Anglesey) and Llandre (Ceredigion) on 30th.

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