Stonechat – 1894

Saxicola rubicola – A common resident.

This pretty little species is so numerous, to be seen everywhere, by the roadside, perched on the furze on every common, on the coast as well as far inland, that it is well entitled to be considered one of our characteristic county birds. Mr. Dix states that it is to be found ” particularly on the hill-sides which are covered with furze : they are generally to be seen in pairs, and, like the Hedge-Sparrow, in close company.

During the severe weather last February three pairs were in constant attendance upon some men who were moving earth from an old bank: they perched upon some bushes near by, watching for anything that might turn up in the shape of food, when down they came within a foot of the tools; they kept close watch, for several times I saw three or four fly down at the same moment, and so intent were they in their search that one was caught by a hat being placed over it, the man thinking I wished to have it.”

We have found the nest frequently in our fields round Stone Hall, a commonly chosen site being a small furze-bush in which it would be placed close to the ground. However severe the weather we do not believe that these little birds go very far away from the spot where they were bred.

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

More about the Stonechat in Pembrokeshire