Golden Plover – 1894

Charadrius pluvialis

A winter visitor; perhaps, also, a resident.

Mr. Dix says, “common on the mountains in winter, they were seen here last year by the second week in October.”

Although we have ourselves failed to detect the Golden Plover among the birds nesting on the Precelly Mountains, we think it extremely likely that a few pairs may breed there, and we are the more inclined to this opinion as we have only been able to search a limited portion of the mountains on the western side. The Golden Plover nests on the Breconshire Mountains, and commonly on the moors in North Wales, and the Precelly Mountains offer very suitable ground for their summer quarters. Mr. J. H. Salter, of University College, Aberystwyth, informs us that Golden Plovers breed sparsely on the Cardiganshire hills.

We used to see large flocks every autumn and winter around Stone Hall, and often shot them when we were after Snipe, getting them within range by imitating their whistling call.

In the very cold spring of 1886, when a black frost with snow lasted for a stretch of six or seven weeks, the lower parts of the county were visited by tens of thousands of Golden Plovers. The birds might be seen on the muddy shores of Milford Haven, and in all the meadows adjoining the coast, searching in vain for food. We actually saw some in the town of Haverfordwest. We saw others on the hard turnpike road that ran in front of our dog-cart like chickens. A few visited our kitchen garden at Stone Hall.

Starving as they were, they did not perish in such numbers as the poor Peewits, that during this cruel frost we found lying about dead and frozen in the fields by scores.

Mathew M.A. 1894, Birds of Pembrokeshire and its Islands

More about the Golden Plover in Pembrokeshire