Wednesday, 16 October 2019


Two Wheatears on Llanrhystud beach this evening.

Aberystwyth seawatch and Ynyslas

Helen and I enjoyed a seawatch in a stiff  onshore wind this morning.  Gannets still passing in good numbers; at least 50 in total.  Also 23 Kittiwakes, nine Common Gulls and 20 Common Scoters.  Single Red-throated Diver and Guillemot on the sea and a 2w Med Gull flew past us practically along the prom.
Afterwards I went to Ynyslas where there were just small numbers of the usual wildfowl on the falling tide. Hardly a wader in sight until ca400 Golden Plovers came drifting over.  15 Skylarks and a Stock Dove on Ynys Tachwedd Fields.

Willow Tits at Bronant

Calling birds at 653673 and 654670. I don't consider myself addicted though I have booked into Willow Tit detox sessions just in case. And I fully intend to attend. But just not now. Later, maybe. I should say that I do enjoy other birds too. A cracking Peregrine this morning. And I'd trade quite a few Willow Tits for that fantastic Yellow-browed Warbler at Llechrhyd.

Tuesday, 15 October 2019

Yellow-browed Warbler - Llechryd

A Yellow-browed Warbler was ringed in Llechryd near Cardigan this morning.

Until a few years ago our fields were all poor quality, wet sheep pasture but the planting of 800 trees has already increased biodiversity. Yellowhammers were new to the land last winter, increasing numbers of Goldfinches feeding on the Alder cones and now this gem from the East.

Tanybwlch and Llanrhystud

An early start to look for Chris's mystery bird near Spenser's Sheds.  No luck, then John turned up and had inconclusive views, so still a mystery.
Other birds noted were two Choughs, three Ravens, a Goosander and a male Kestrel.
John and I then headed to Llanrhystud.  The field has been partially drained but still plenty of water on it.  Lots of gulls there, but only a few Meds among them.  Apart from that just a Little Egret on the flood.  Meadow Pipits still moving through in good numbers and on the beach were 13 Ringed Plovers and 26 Turnstones.
Obviously plenty of fish around as well offshore were large numbers of gulls.  Increasing numbers of Gannets flying in to join them: we ended up with an impressive October total of 86.
Other odds and ends were four Common Scoter, two Red-throated Divers, three Grey Seals and a Harbour Porpoise.

Meanwhile, Ian's relentless campaign to track down every Willow Tit in Ceredigion continues. Good luck, Ian.

Bronant / Swyddffynon

Found people to be kind, friendly and helpful this morning, contradicting a world view that I've been carefully nurturing for half a century. Consequently, I was able to access some awkward stretches of a small stream called Camddwr (1:25000 map) which runs down from Bronant into the western side of Cors Caron. Pairs of Willow Tits were present at 661659 and 667657. Also seen this morning; Merlin, Kestrel and Stonechat.

Monday, 14 October 2019


    125 Mediterranean Gulls were on the flooded field early this morning. Along the shore by the car park were 20 Turnstones, 15 Ringed Plovers and the 'white' leucistic Oystercatcher with a few others.
   By the time I got to Llansantffraed that rather special Oystercatcher had moved to there and  was with 37 others.
  Rather quiet at Llanon except for several Skylarks and some Red Kites and Buzzards. What at first I though was a white plastic bag in a bushy tree was in fact a Buzzard with a bright white chest and belly.

Llyn Eiddwen etc.

On Saturday Chris Bird found a drake Shoveler on Llyn Eiddwen; only his second there in many years of watching.
On the same day there was a flock of 19 Mistle Thrushes in a field near Chris's house.

Sunday, 13 October 2019

Llanrhystud - Llansantffraed

Sunday 13 Oct
9.45-12.00. Llanrhystud – Llansantffraed – Llanrhystud

Was hoping for more passerines but apart from a 1W Northern Wheatear, which I tried but failed to string as an Isabelline, only a few Linnets (6), Meadow Pipits (10), Rock Pipit 3, Pied Wagtails (3). Seven Blackbirds, six Robins and four Dunnocks round the lime kilns and nearby hedges may have indicated a (very!) small influx. No tits, finches or other thrushes.

450+ gulls on the flooded field and surrounding area when I arrived had dwindled to c225 when I left a couple of hours later. All BH Gulls except for a handful of Med Gulls (15) and maybe 25 Herring Gulls. A single Oystercatcher there also.
2 Common Scoter and two Cormorants flying out to sea.

Beyond the lime kilns:

7 Grey Herons – two  on the rocks and a group of four in the fields plus a single.
The Little Egret at his/her usual place near the point.
375 very skittish Golden Plover first seen from the lime kilns and then subsequently at the point, wheeling out to sea. Difficult to ascertain if the 85 on the rocks seen subsequently were part of this large flock or not – probably since some of the flock appeared to split off and then dive down out of my line of sight.
6 Grey Plover flew north plus 4 Ringed Plover.
32 Oystercatchers including the leucistic individual.
37 Curlew on the rocks and the fields.
30 Turnstone flew N.

21 Med Gulls on the rocks by the point, plus three G Black-backed Gulls.

[Also, for the record, two Swallows flying over the river at Cardigan. 2 Oct.] 

Ian Harrison

Finches & thrushes Cwm Einion

A lot of movement over the last few days in the valley. This morning for example  on the edge of the forestry above Ty'n y garth were 14 crossbills, 8 redpolls, and 4 bullfinches, amongst numerous siskins and chaffinches. There was a continual stream of redwings and blackbirds, with a few Mistle thrushes. Where have all the song thrushes gone?
There's been several flocks of 100+ chaffinches on the very heavy beech mast this year. Raptors have been consistent, with good views of goshawk again the highlight (yesterday).