Scarce and rare birds in Wales – November 2019

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.

Generally a fairly quiet month, compared with the mega-rarities recorded in other parts of the UK with the highlight being a warbler at Rhyl Brickworks from 11th to 13th, initially identified as a HUME’S LEAF WARBLER on its call, but later ‘downgraded’ to a YELLOW-BROWED WARBLER. For some the jury is still out!

Whilst there were no outstanding records of waterbirds, the Dyfi flock of Greenland White-fronted Geese finally reached 19 by 29th, accompanied by a possible TAIGA BEAN GOOSE. Three Spoonbills were reported on the River Clwyd (Flintshire) on 24th whilst RING-NECKED DUCKS were at Llyn Caer Euni (Meirionnydd) on 18th and a drake on Skokholm on 20th with another immature drake at Llyn Pendam (Ceredigion) on 27-30th.  The ringed Ferruginous Duck was on Llangorse Lake on 20-29th.  A drake GREEN-WINGED TEAL was reported at the south end of Tal y Llyn lake (Meirionnydd) on 17th, a Black-necked Grebe was at Penberry Reservoir (Pembrokeshire) from 23-30th and a GLOSSY IBIS was at Valley (Anglesey) on 7th.

Late summer migrants included a RED-BACKED SHRIKE at Porthcawl (Glamorgan) over 15-19th which reappeared on 29th, a Sandwich Tern off Newborough (Anglesey) on 18th with possibly the same bird at Foryd (Caernarfonshire) on 24th and a Woodlark over Lavernock Point (Glamorgan) on 25th

Scarce late autumn migrants included SIBERIAN CHIFFCHAFFS at Kenfig on 18th and another one was ringed at Oxwich (Gower) on 19th. In addition to the teasing Rhyl Brickworks warbler, another YELLOW-BROWED WARBLER was at Nefyn (Anglesey) on 3rd, a Richard’s Pipit was on The Range (Anglesey) on 18th, a DESERT WHEATEAR was photographed near Aberdaron on 6th and the Bardsey season concluded with a handsome RED-BREASTED FLYCATCHER on 2nd.

Amongst the scarce winter visitors  Great Grey Shrikes were at Moel Famau (Denbighshire) on 19th, Llyn Brenig (Denbighshire) on 26-30th and Bwlch y Sarnau (Powys) on 27th. At least five SHORELARKS  were reported, with two at Gronant on 2nd, and singles at Porthcawl (Glamorgan) on 11th, Aberdaron (Gwynedd) on 15th and at RSPB South Stack (Anglesey) on 25th. A trickle of Snow Buntings continued to be reported along the North Wales coast.

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