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Rare birds blow in to Pembrey for New Year 

There have been some rare avian visitors to Pembrey’s Cefn Sidan Sands this New Year.
Twitchers have been flocking to the sands off Pembrey Country Park following sightings of an Arctic Skua and Snow Buntings.

It is likely the Arctic Skewer that has on the beach seen since the New Year is getting its bearings having been blown off course.
The predatory skua will normally only land when breeding. It is more often seen flying low and fast above the waves in pursuit of another sea bird, sometimes chasing it high into the air, twisting and turning, to make it drop its food.

The bird’s normal climes are Iceland and Scandinavia in Europe and is more common in north and South America, Africa and Asia and is seen breeding in Northern Scotland over the summer months.

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Three seed eating snow buntings have been seen about the park and beach. The large Buntings have striking snowy plumages with a sandy buff wash.

They are a scarce breeding species in the UK making them a rare Royal Society for the Protection of Birds Amber List species.
There are only 70-100 breeding pairs known in the UK October to March and they are located in Scotland.

Pembrey Country park chief ranger Gavin Hall said: “Because of the vast tidal ranges on the beach, Cefn Sidan can be seven-miles long when the tide is in but up to nine-miles when the tide is out because of its convex nature.

“Cefn Sidan, consequently is a fast dining table for many thousands of sea birds and we often have unusual birds turn up following periods of high winds.”

Page last updated on 06/1/2012