Great-crested Grebe – 1994

Podiceps cristatus – GWYACH FAWR GOPOG – Sparse winter visitor

Mathew (1894) regarded the Great Crested Grebe as a “not very common winter visitor” and Lockley et al. (1949) as a “winter visitor, rather scarce”. It may have marginally increased since then and is now a sparse winter visitor mainly from October to March, extreme dates being 11 May and 23 June. Up to three can usually be found on the sea in sheltered areas such as Amroth– Saundersfoot and St Bride’s Bay, and up to eight most years in Fishguard Harbour. It sometimes enters the estuaries of the Teifi and Nevern, and is seen regularly in the Cleddau Estuary, where up to ten usually winter in Angle Bay and, in some years, in Hook Reach and the Eastern Cleddau.

The Great Crested Grebe has been recorded sporadically on fresh water at Bicton and Llysyfran reservoir and more frequently on Bosherston Pools, where it has lingered late into the spring on several occasions and given rise to the hope that it might eventually breed.

Winter numbers increase markedly during cold spells, when it becomes more widespread; for example 14 were counted in Fishguard Harbour in such circumstances on 15 February 1986.

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

More about the Great Crested Grebe in Pembrokeshire