Pied Flycatcher – 1994

Ficedula hypoleuca – GWYBEDOG BRITH – Breeding summer visitor and passage migrant. Not recorded from November to March

Breeding confirmed16
Breeding probable11
Breeding possible4
No of tetrads occupied31 (of 478)
Percentage of tetrads6.5%

Mathew (1894) considered the Pied Flycatcher to be a rare visitor and did not personally encounter one, though he knew of occurrences at Stackpole and Pembroke. Lockley et al. (1949) stated that it was a passage migrant in small numbers.

Lloyd suspected a pair was breeding at Lancych in 1936 and Lockley et al. noted that a singing male was at Nevern in 1941 and 1942 but that no nest was found. They were found breeding at Ffynone from 1978 onwards and a pair bred in a nest box at the Rhos in 1983. The Pied Flycatcher has subsequently further colonised Pembrokeshire and by the end of the Breeding Birds Survey of 1984-1988 at least 100 pairs were breeding (see map).

This colonisation has taken place while long-established populations elsewhere, e.g. in mid-Wales, have been at a high level, and also at a time when trees that replaced those cut down during World War II reached suitable maturity. Several nest box schemes such as that at Pengelli Forest Nature Reserve have also benefited Pied Flycatchers. Similar schemes operating in the 1960s did not attract the species, so presumably there was not then any surplus in other populations which could provide colonists.

Up to four at a time pass through coastal districts in the spring between 14 April and 27 May, being most noticeable on the islands of Skomer and Skokholm.

They are recorded passing through the islands and most coastal areas in the autumn between August and 27 October, with up to ten occurring at individual sites.

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

More about the Pied Flycatcher in Pembrokeshire