Scarce and rare birds in Wales – September 2021 – Squacco Heron, Bonaparte’s Gull and Wilson’s Phalarope

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.

The first week of the month saw spectacular warbler passage, especially on Bardsey and the last week saw equally spectacular seabird passage there. Meanwhile ….

SQUACCO HERON was at Big Pool Wood (Flintshire) over 15-26th and is likely to have been there for a few days previously.  A BONAPARTE’S GULL was at Rhyl (Flintshire) on 28th and a WILSON’S PHALAROPE at Burton Mere Wetlands (Wirral) occasionally ventured onto Border Pool (Flintshire) between 21-23rd.

Sooty Shearwater and Balearic Shearwater were off Mwnt (Ceredigion) on 12th and 29th and a Balearics were off Strumble (Pembrokeshire) on 12th and 27th, Bardsey (Caernarfonshire) on 17th, and Mwnt on 20-21stBlack Terns were at Cemlyn (Anglesey) on 10th, Ynyshir (Ceredigion) on 10th, two were at Llangorse on 12thSabine’s Gulls were off Mwnt (Ceredigion) on 19th and 23rd, Porth Ysgaden on 23rd and Bardsey on 29th.

Spoonbill was at Penclawdd (Gower) on 9th and two were at NWC (Carmarthen) on 13th. A RING-NECKED DUCK was in Cardiff Bay on 26-27th.

Two Dotterel were on Skokholm on 9-15th, one at Tal y Bont (Meirionnydd) on 14th and up to three at Dale Airfield (Pembrokeshire) over 15-26thPECTORAL SANDPIPERS were at Goldcliffe (Gwent) from 18-27th, at Angle Bay (Pembrokeshire) 18-19th and Llyn Alaw (Anglesey) from 24-29th. It was an exceptional month for Little Stints too with many coastal records.  A Stone Curlew was reported from Conwy Morfa on 3rd.


ROSY STARLINGS were at Amlwch on 9-14 and Llandudno Junction (Caernarfonshire) 16-26th. A COMMON ROSEFINCH was at Porth Meuddwy on 10-11th, with another on Skokholm on 17-18th. A NIGHTINGALE was on Skomer on 9th. Bardsey had a great little run of warblers in the first week, with an ICTERINE WARBLER on 1st, a BARRED WARBLER on 2nd and a BLYTH’S REED WARBLER on 5th – all these preceding a huge fall of warblers on 6th, when there were over seven hundred Willow Warblers and a hundred Chiffchaffs on the island.

Up to three Wrynecks were on Bardsey 1-12th, Newport on 4th, and Marloes (Pembrokeshire) on 4-5th, Perthcelyn (Glamorgan) on 5th, Rhossilli (Gower) on 4th, St Ismael’s on 8th, Ynyshir on 9th, Ramsay on 5-9th, one at Pennard (Gower) on 14th, 2 were on Skokholm on 3-28th, Skomer 1-12th, St David’s Head on 3rd and 9-10th, Deer Park on 11th and nearby Dale (Pembrokeshire) on 12th.  A Turtle Dove was in Cemaes (Anglesey) 17-24th and a showy Hoopoe was at Sker Point (Glamorgan) 15-23rd. A Black Redstart was on the Great Orme on 17th.

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