An occasional winter visitor.
This small species of Swan is a not uncommon visitor to the S.W. parts of the kingdom, and cannot be considered rare in Pembrokeshire, where, during our own limited acquaintance with the county, we knew of several instances of its occurrence, and secured a fine example for our collection.
On Nov. 10th, 1887, a fine adult was shot on Trevithan Pool, near St. David’s, by Mr. Harding Harries. The bird was seen on the water in company with a flock of tame geese, and when Mr. Harries approached, instead of taking wing, it swam among the geese and endeavoured to conceal itself in their midst, sinking its body as much as it could, and bending down its graceful neck. Mr. Harries waded into the water, and, with a single shot, laid the beautiful stranger dead upon its back.
Five other Bewick Swans, all immature birds, were shot by a farmer, near St. David’s, in the winter of 1887; all these are said to have been plucked and roasted. Another young Bewick’s Swan, in dirty white plumage, was shot near St. David’s, in December, 1890, and sent to Jeffreys, in Haverfordwest, to be stuffed. Many Swans, probably all belonging to this species, were observed in various parts of the county that severe winter, and flocks, numbering fifty birds, were seen flying over.
Mr. Jefferys, of Tenby, informs us that he received a specimen of Bewick’s Swan from the neighbourhood of St. David’s, evidently a favourite locality for the birds, as it is the nearest point to the opposite coast of Ireland, where these swans are seen by the thousand during the winter, and that he sold it to a Mr. Mason, of Burton-on-Trent. A flock of Wild Swans, numbering about fifteen, is reported as having been seen at St. David’s at the beginning of November, 1892. These were probably Bewick’s Swans.