Panurus biarmicus – A very rare occasional visitor.
Although this very handsome species is more correctly a Reed Bunting than a Tit, we will not depart from the old custom of including it among the lively and beautiful Tits.
We have authority for but one occurrence of it in the county. We are informed by Sir Hugh Owen that he saw some Bearded Tits “in reeds above Sealyham upper quarry bridge, about 1860.”
Since then we have had news of a more recent visit of these rare little birds, if not actually to Pembrokeshire, yet to Carmarthenshire, and but a mile or so over the border. Col. Mathew tells us that when he was residing at Castellgorfod, a little to the north of St. Clear’s, he saw a pair of Bearded Tits there in November, 1891, among some alders that fringed a large wood. There was high rough grass and trash growing among the alders, and a little stream close at hand. In the following spring he saw a pair close to the house. One of them came suddenly, it was a beautiful male, and settled on a tall rush at the edge of a pond in the grounds, remaining there for some minutes and permitting itself to be closely approached. This almost countenances the supposition that the birds may have nested, and may still nest in that locality. If they do we trust that they will owe their safety to no one in the neighbourhood being aware of their rarity.