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Nature in Wales


Vol. 15, no. 3 March 1977

Welsh bird report for 1975

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Compiled by P. E. Davis and P. Hope Jones
The pattern of mild open winters and late cold springs continued,
emphasised by widespread snow in April. Winter visitors occurred in rather
low numbers, and early summer migrants were delayed. The long dry
summer that followed, however, was a real departure from normal, and
many birds enjoyed a most successful breeding season. Autumn provided
contrasting spells of easterly and westerly weather, with rare and interesting
migrants from both quarters.
Of the breeding species, Great Crested Grebes and Rooks were the
subjects of national counts. Those summer migrants, such as Redstart and
Whitethroat, believed to have been depleted by the Sahel drought since
1969, showed some signs of further recovery. Peregrines continued to re-
establish themselves, while Red Kites reared more young than in any
previous year in this century. The Goosander continued to colonise Wales,
and Twites were proved to breed in the north. Goshawks were seen more
widely than before, and Firecrests summered in the south-east.
There were two new birds for Wales; a Cory's Shearwater appeared off
the Glamorgan coast in July and a Pallas's Warbler at Bardsey in
November. Spring rarities were mostly southern species, like the Honey
Buzzard, Purple Herons, Spoonbill, and Woodchat, but the Rustic Bunting
was far to the west of its normal range. An astonishing series of at least five
different Ring-billed Gulls at Blackpill in winter and spring continued the
saga of this very rare American vagrant. Wales shared in the exceptional
falls of American birds in early autumn, with Upland Sandpiper, Spotted
Sandpiper, Lesser Yellowlegs, Baird's Sandpiper, White-rumped
Sandpiper, Pectoral Sandpiper, Buff-breasted Sandpiper, Wilson's
Phalarope, and Red-eyed Vireo; most of them recorded previously on only a
very few occasions. There was a good scatter of rarities from the Old World
also, with White Stork (ringed in W. Germany), White-winged Black Tern,
Short-toed Lark, Aquatic Warblers, Barred and Dartford Warbler, Yellow-
browed Warblers, Richard's and Tawny Pipits, Lesser Grey Shrike, and
Rose-coloured Starling.
The records for N. Wales were abstracted from the regional reports by P.
H. J., and those for S.. Wales by P. E. D. We regret the delay in the
appearance of this report, but it is no longer possible for us to work on it in
June-July as hitherto. We have retained the old county system for the
present, since most local recording is still based upon it, as of course are the
published county avifaunas.
Bird records for the various regions should be sent direct to the local
Aug., Caern., Den., and Mer.: P. J. Dare. Tan-yr-allt, Trefriw, Gwynedd.
Flint.: R. R. Birch, 8 Thornberry Close, Saughall, Chester.
Mont.: R. R. Lovegrove, The Walk Mill, Mochdre, Newtown, Powys.
Card.: P. E. Davis, Fullbrook Mill, Tregaron, Dyfed.
Rad.: A. J. Smith, The Orchard, Moreton-on-Lugg, Hereford.
Brec.: M. E. Massey, Windyridge, Pennorth, Brecon, Powys.
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