Yellowhammer – 1994

Emberiza citrinella – MELYN YR EITHIN – Breeding resident

Breeding confirmed107
Breeding probable222
Breeding possible54
No of tetrads occupied383 (of 478)
Percentage of tetrads80.1%

An extremely common resident according to Mathew (1894) and Lockley et al. (1949), the Yellowhammer still breeds throughout Pembrokeshire but is absent from deep woodland, the mountain tops and most offshore islands. The exception is Caldey, where there were four pairs in 1954 (Sage 1956), and the species is still present there (see map). In the absence of comprehensive census data, three small sample areas were surveyed during 1989 and singing males recorded. On this basis a density of 35-40 pairs per tetrad was estimated, and from the Breeding Birds Survey of 1984-1988, this would suggest a probable county total of 14,000-15,000 pairs.

Yellowhammers form small flocks from about September onwards and although absent from large areas during the winter can be plentiful in some localities. One or two visit the islands in most years, with increasing frequency at Skomer, but less often than they did 20 years ago at Skokholm.

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

SAGE, B.L. 1956. Notes on the birds of Caldey and St Margaret’s islands, Pembrokeshire. Nature in Wales 2: 333-340.

More about the Yellowhammer in Pembrokeshire