A new blog for sightings and history in the Teifi Valley

Starting in 2022 we will be posting regular bird and other wildlife sightings from the Lower Teifi Valley, the headlands and the sea. From Cemaes Head in the west along the coast to Mwnt via Cardigan Island and around the estuary, the Teifi Marshes reserve and upriver to Abercych on the Carmarthenshire border. This is an historical patch which is centred on Cardigan Castle. From this point it is 6km to Cemaes Head, 6km to Mwnt and includes 8 km up the Teifi Valley.  Prior to this blog there have been several publications covering both recent sightings and historical records. Mick Baines publication is probably the most complete record up to the mid 80's.  Mick Baines 1985 Jon Green published annual reports for several years. The Teifi straddles county borders, which have changed over the years. County reports and Avifaunas cover all records as appropriate to each county at the time and will continue to do so. The area includes the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales reserves; Ce

Spring migration and floods

On the 25th   March , the first Swallows and House Martins , joined the feeding Sand Martins over the Teifi Marshes. Increasing numbers of Sand Martins have been seen over the reserve since then with at least 100 on the 8th April. Sand Martins - Diane Williams The pond at Mallard hide is usually the focus for feeding hirundines over the Teifi Marshes. The Mute Swans are again nesting there and also behind the car park pond. The first tiny Moorhen chicks were seen there on Mallard pond on the 9th April. Gulls were on the move at the end of March and on the 26th some less common species were seen in the Teifi Estuary.  A 1st winter Bonaparte’s Gull was near The Webley Hotel..  The adult Iceland Gull,  a 2nd calendar year Caspian Gull,  2 Yellow-legged Gull and 40 Med Gulls.  The  Snow Bunting that flew towards Poppit Sands, was a very good record of this surprisingly rare species around the estuary and headlands. Records from Marc Hughes and Arfon Williams and useful pictures and vide

Early Spring .....

An early Wheatear  on the 11th at Mwnt. Wheatear - Dyfed James On the 14th, at least 7 Sand Martins   on the Teifi Marshes were the first. From the 18th onwards c 30 - 60 Sand Martins each evening. Sand Martin - Tommy Evans 2 Cattle Egrets and 7 Little Egrets were on the roadside fields on the 12th during the Spring high tides. These very wet fields look perfect for finding a passage Little Ringed Plover... 2 Cattle Egrets and a Pochard   were on Mallard Pond and the river on the 19th, our first Pochard since the 2nd October 2023 Pochard - Jen Evans A record stay, the two Cattle Egrets have  been present since the 9th December 2023. Two drake and a female Shoveler on Mallard Pond on the 20th and 21st add to the duck passage. c 30 Teal still remain, paired up and ready to leave. C 80 Wigeon still on the sea this evening. Early  Willow Warblers  ... At least 4 singing on the 21st, continuing the trend of March arrivals. The adult Iceland Gull , was first seen by Brennig on Dec 23rd.

Spring arrives ....

A few sightings from the last 48 hours. The drake  Goldeneye , a drake  Goosander  and a surprise to see  that our female  Red-breasted   Merganser is still present. Usually feeding in the main river off St Dogmael's Quay and been with us since the 27th September. Teal and Wigeon numbers have dropped. Nice to see a smart breeding plumage  Black-tailed   Godwit  bathing amongst  140   Wigeon  in the estuary mouth. The two Black-tailed Godwits wintering with the Curlew on the reserve are moulting now. Black-tailed Godwits, Diane Williams Two  Red-throated Divers  on the sea and two flying up the coast. No Purple Sandpipers on the rocks below the Cliff Hotel since early January but Turnstone have been seen regularly with 12 on the 5th March. Turnstones - Dyfed James The presumed regular adult Iceland Gull was again in the main estuary on the 23rd and 24th February. Iceland Gull - Brennig Hughes March is also a good month for Iceland Gulls returning north, more may be seen.... On the r

As January ends

Waxwings peaked at seven  birds on the 22nd and we still have seven on the 26th.. 19 days of trilling, feeding and now almost acrobatic feeding as they sally forth for flying insects... Colour ringed Waxwing = Jen Evans One of the 7 has colour rings. It was ringed by the Mid Wales Ringing Group near Treowen Leisure Centre in Newtown, Powys on 2nd January 2024. It was one of 25 ringed out of a flock of 67. Thanks to Tony Cross for the ringing details. Update from Tony about other movements of Waxwings ringed in Newtown. Onward Waxwing movements With the snowy weather more birds were coming to garden feeders. Several people locally are seeing Blackcaps in their gardens and a female was seen on the Teifi Marshes on the 26th by Colin Dalton. Blackcap - Dyfed James Our two egret " resident" species are becoming less predictable in their movements after the freeze. Both species are relatively early breeders, and though occasionally both several Little and the 2 Cattle Egrets ar

Waxwings to WeBS...

The Waxwings are continuing to delight visitors to the Teifi Marshes. First seen on the 8th Jan, 3 until the 12th when a 4th appeared.  A 5th was seen on the 13th. Still 4 present today, the 16th. Waxwing - Tommy Evans From daily observations it has been noted that Egrets fly down the Teifi  from up the gorge early morning, presumably roosting in the woods somewhere not to far away, maybe the heronry ?? The 2 Cattle Egrets  are now much more   mobile now the floods have receded. Often still in fields near Parc Teifi Ind. Estate, may sometimes fly further down river. Cattle Egrets from Curlew hide on the 14th - Jen Evans Sunday was the monthly Wetland Bird Survey for the BTO. This month the data is also being fed into the  International Waterbird Census. Fog in the Teifi Valley slowly cleared for a good count. Mallard pond A Black-tailed Godwit was roosting with 13 Curlew  on the island in Mallard pond. Snipe were feeding around the edge. The Godwit has been seen regularly all winter

Waxwings on the Teifi..

On the 8th ...3 Waxwings in Hawthorns along main track near Mallard hide - Teifi Marshes at 1130  (Josh Brown). Waxwing on the 9th - Tommy Evans On the 9th we re-found the 3  Waxwings as they flew in from Cilgerran direction 0840, presumably from roosting elsewhere. Over the course of the 9th and 10th, well photographed by many, enjoyed by many more.... Waxwing on the 10th - Tommy Evans With the reserve ponds frozen from the 8th, the best viewing of water birds was from Curlew hide. On the 10th - 97 Teal and 57 Dunlin . This fine drake Pintail on the 8th was the first we have seen since 2022, and coincided with a very large count of 71 at Kilpaison in S Pembs. Record shot of the brief visit by a Pintail - WJ I think the drake Goldeneye below arrived on the 7th, a day before the Pintail. As mentioned in the previous post, a species we are seeing less, and in much lower numbers... Goldeneye on the 7th - Diane Williams Red-breasted Mergansers are only just annual on the Teifi and don

Egrets....but no Goldeneye..

With rains and wind battering west Wales... Some birds are loving the mud, up to 40 Teal , and Gulls including Mediterranean feeding in the "Priory Bridge" Egret field opposite Parc Teifi. Cattle Egret - Dyfed James One of the two regular Cattle Egrets with up to 5 Little Egrets .  Muddy horse field on the north bank of the Teifi These birds are mobile and may have been around the Teifi since the 9th Dec when two were reported with sheep behind houses in Gwbert Road. Two days ago they were also seen from the reserve on the opposite river bank. Cattle Egrets - Diane Williams In fields along the River Teifi from Cardigan to the sawmills at Abercych, a count of 32  Little Egrets by Josh   Brown is the maximum so far.... Up to  3 Great White Egrets  have been reported here over the past few weeks. Horse field near Abercych Another view of the river flood plain.. Two Greylag Geese  here with 220 Canada Geese , we recognise this flock as regular feeders opposite St Dogmael's