Whimbrel – 1894

Numenius phaeopus

A passing migrant; seen on the coasts in May and again in September when it is passing South. Common.

Mr. Tracy writes: “I strongly suspect this bird breeds in the county, but I have been unable to find its eggs I have watched several pairs, during the summer months, so late as the latter end of June, that had every appearance of having nests in the locality, but without success. They then generally leave us about two months, as I do not see them again until the latter end of September.”

The Whimbrel breeds in the Orkney and Shetland Islands, and its nest has not yet been detected elsewhere in the British Islands. On the last day of May, 1884, we were on Skomer Island, where we nearly trod upon a Whimbrel among the fern. The bird ran slowly off with trailing wings, and all the gestures of a bird just started from its nest, until she disappeared the other side of a hillock. We were following in pursuit of a wounded bird at the time, and unfortunately did not pause to search for a nest, and when we returned subsequently to do so we found that we had lost the position, and our investigations were fruitless. It would have been very interesting to have taken eggs of the Whimbrel so far to the south.

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

More about the Whimbrel in Pembrokeshire