Cuckoo – 1994

Cuculus canorus – COG – Breeding summer visitor. Not recorded in January, February, October and November

1984-88
Breeding confirmed10
Breeding probable157
Breeding possible44
No of tetrads occupied211 (of 478)
Percentage of tetrads44.1%

Mathew (1894) and Lockley et al. (1949) agreed that the Cuckoo was a common visitor, although Lockley (1957) wrote that it was never an abundant species in the county. Saunders (1976) classified it as being a common summer visitor.

The Breeding Birds Survey of 1984-1988 found a varying density across the county, Cuckoos being encountered most frequently south of the Cleddau Estuary and from the Preseli Mountains northwards. Assuming an average of one pair per tetrad, the county total would be about 210 pairs. Numbers vary from year to year, presumably according to how they have fared on migration and at their wintering grounds in sub-equatorial Africa. Several observers considered that Cuckoos became scarce in 1985 and 1986 but subsequently recovered their numbers.

Cuckoos normally arrive in Pembrokeshire during the second half of April but earlier birds are occasionally seen, from 1 April; one was recorded at Poppit on 21 March 1985.

Their late summer departure, which is less dramatic than the spring arrival, commences in July and ceases by mid-September. One at Little Milford on 21 and 22 December 1954 was only the second to have been recorded in Britain at such a late date.

Donovan J.W. & Rees G.H, 1994, Birds of Pembrokeshire

LOCKLEY, R.M. 1957. Pembrokeshire. London, Robert Hale.

SAUNDERS, D.R. 1976. A brief guide to the birds of Pembrokeshire. Five Arches Press.

More about the Cuckoo in Pembrokeshire