Scarce and rare birds in Wales – October 2020 – renewed lockdowns take us back to patch birding

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.

More local birding as county lockdowns restarted meant more local patch birding for many. The weather was fairly settled until the last week which brought the remnants of storms Epsilon and Zeta from the west.

Cattle Egrets were at Flemingston (Gwent) on 4th, NWC (Carmarthen) on 9th and Capel Seion (Ceredigion) on 21st. A GLOSSY IBIS was reported over the Leri/Dyfi confluence (Ceredigion) on 21st.  Spoonbills were at the NWC (Carmarthen) on 6-26th and Dalton’s Point (Gower) on 23rd.  A female RING-NECKED DUCK was in Cardiff bay (Glamorgan) on 14th then nearby at Cosmeston on 17-31st with a 1w drake there 26-27th. A returning bird was reported back at Llyn Caer Euni (Meirionnydd) on 28th.

 An adult BONAPARTE’S GULL was on the Gann Estuary (Pembrokeshire) on 31st. A Sabine’s Gull was off Bardsey (Caernarfonshire) on 1st, Sooty Shearwater off there on 20th and a Balearic Shearwater on 26th.  Leach’s Petrels were off Strumble (Pembrokeshire) on 8th, Bull Bay (Anglesey) on 11th, Porth Ysgaden (Caernarfon) on 10th, Lynas (Anglesey) on 22nd and Bardsey on 23rd.

A European White-fronted Goose was at Llanrhystud (Ceredigion) on 17-21st and 12 Greenland White-fronted Geese flew over Pwll (Carmarthen) on 15th.

An UPLAND SANDPIPER (see featured image – unfortunately not the Welsh bird) was on Skokholm on 31st. A Wood Sandpiper was in Dulas Bay (Anglesey) on 18th. An AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVER was at Abercastle (Pembrokeshire) on 11th and Grey Phalaropes were off Aberystwyth (Ceredigion) on 7th, Bardsey on 10th and Bury Port  (Glamorgan) on 29th. A Little Stint was at Llanrhystud (Ceredigion) on 18th.

The ROSY STARLING was still in Bull Bay (Anglesey) on 1st and Morfa Nefyn on 5thGreat Grey Shrikes were at Mynydd Llanllwni (Carmarthen) on 19th, Bwlch y Sarnau (Radnorshire) 19th, Pennal (Meirionnydd) on 23rd, Brechfa (Carmarthen) on 25-30th, Llanbedr (Meirionnydd)  on 30th. A Turtle Dove was in Bala (Meirionnydd) on 25th.

BARRED WARBLER was at Tonfanau (Meirionnydd) on 15-16th which was a county first. A PALLAS’S WARBLER (see photo) was At Angle (Pembrokeshire) on 14th, one on the Great Orme on 25th and another reported at Mariandyrys (Anglesey) on 30th. A SIBERIAN LESSER WHITETHROAT was on Bardsey on 3rd and a MARSH WARBLER was trapped and ringed there on 15th (see photo).

DUSKY WARBLER (see photo) was at Wylfa Head (Anglesey) on 26-27th. A RED-BREASTED FLYCATCHER was on Skomer on 21-23rd, Trefeiddan Common (Pembrokeshire) on 22nd and one reported on the Great Orme (Caernarfonshire) on 22nd.

Bardsey scored another excellent visitor from 3rd – 6th with an EASTERN YELLOW WAGTAIL. Richard’s Pipits were at Aberystwyth (Ceredigion) on 21st, Redwick (Gwent) on 20th, Bardsey on 22nd, Tonfanau (Meirrionnydd) on 15th and a Water Pipit was at Kidwelly (Carmarthen) on 18th. There was a scattering of Firecrests (see photo of two caught together on Bardsey), Yellow-browed Warblers, Ring Ouzels, Lapland Buntings at several sites throughout the country. Black Redstarts were in Johnston, St Brides and Skokholm (Pembrokeshire) on 21-25th, Bangor on 22nd, Strumble on 25th, Dale on 26th and St David’s on 30th.

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