Pembrokeshire Bird Report 1982

Editorial

Reviewing the records for this, the second Pembrokeshire Bird Report, it has become increasingly obvious a lot of bird observations are not being submitted for inclusion. Indeed, many of those listed among the contributors only appear because their records were extracted from the B.T.O. Winter Atlas returns.

The quality of future reports relies on observers making more of an effort. There are a number of species that are not seen in such numbers, or so frequently, that all sightings could be noted, e.g. Shoveler, Green Sandpiper, Barn Owl, Siskin, to name just a few.

Additionally, on local basis of Vice-County, regular information on breeding numbers for birds like Heron, Sand Martin, etc., would form useful base for conservation uses.

Not all observers wish to be too systematic, though we can vouch for it adding a new dimension to the enjoyment of bird watching. A new recording form has been designed that we hope will make it easier to progress gently in this direction. Forms are available from the Trust Office and will be made available at Section meetings.

It would greatly aid the collation of records if these forms are used. However, records are acceptable in other formats, none arc discarded.

J.W.Donovan and G.H.Rees


PEMBROKESHIRE ORGANISING COMMITTEE FOR ORNITHOGOICAL RESEARCH (POCOR)

Three meetings were held in 1982, and support organised for the following:

RSPB:

  • Chough Census
  • Beached Birds Survey

BTO:

  • Breeding Waders in Wet Meadows
  • Estuaries Enquiry
  • Winter Atlas Project

Wildfowl Trust: Monthly Wildfowl Counts

In conjunction with the Chough Census, coastal breeding stonechats and gulls were counted on behalf of the Trust. The Stonechat results are contained in the 1982 Bird Report and form an important base line for monitoring the fortunes of this species. The gull data was in support of S.J.Sutcliffe’s long term gull studies.

Monthly co-ordinated counts of the Cleddau Estuary were organised, commencing September 1982. Some of the results are embodies in the Bird Report and provide a new appreciation of the Estuary’s importance.

Members of POCOR: 1982

Chairman – J.W.Donovan

Vice Chairman – D.A.Henshilwood

Secretary – G.H.Rees

Members:

  • J.Barrett
  • J Bird
  • K.J.S.Devonald
  • A.P.R.East
  • T.Gover
  • T.Hallett
  • A.J.Hansen
  • G.C.Lambourne
  • D.Little
  • K.Longstaff
  • Miss M.A.Patterson
  • Mrs A.Sutcliffe
  • S.J.Sutcliffe
  • W.Williams

Highlights

The Winter 1981-82 produced more Bittern records than previously; 11 or so were recorded with 4 or 5 at Bosherston, A few were found dead and were one remained until late May. Clearly in times of hard weather our Pembrokeshire reedbeds are vital to eastern and perhaps continental birds.

Red-necked Grebes and black-necked Grebes – 4 of the latter, were well represented during Winter and Autumn – have we just overlooked the latter species in recent years, or are times and events changing?

The Little Egret on the Nevern estuary and the White Stork at St Davids were very welcome vagrants which gave viewers – some well-travelled themselves, excellent viewing. This was in April.

Bosherston Pools continued to provide interesting species, for the Red-crested Pochard of September and the Ferruginous Duck of November were notable occurrences. The Ferruginous hybrid (?) of early December was, and doubtless will remain, a challenge of identification.

The late year brought two “seconds” for the county – a Ruddy Duck at Pickleridge Pools near Dale, and a female Surf Scoter off Strumble (the latter still to be ratified by B.B.R.C.).

A Marsh Harrier frequenting Dowrog and Tretio from late October to December was much more rewarding thon the usual transient visits of this species, and the communal roosting of Hen Harriers there was again noted, Does this notable habit occur elsewhere in the county in moorland thickets or willow carrs?

Fourteen recorded sightings of Barn Owl is encouraging in a species finding it hard to keep numbers up.

Sea watch notables included a total of 27 Pomerine Skuas, mostly off Strumble in the Autumn, but, also in May at St Govan’s Head, five Long-tailed Skuas and four Sabine’s Gulls is also impressive.

The House Martin of 10th February at Dale – dead I fear – was really remarkable.

An unprecedented Black Redstart event for our county was of no less than 111 recorded in early November – 54 of which were located in one day in the Castlemartin peninsula.

Seven wintering Blackcaps were encountered – a goodly number.

If you have not seen Icterine Warbler then Skokholm is the place for you to visit – Spring or Autumn – you just could be lucky for 4 occurred in 1982.

“Bird of the Year” must surely have been the Pallas’s Warbler located by a keen and vigilant observer at Wooltack near Marloes, in intense anticyclone in Western Russia must have given us this delightful small Asiatic leaf-warbler,

Clearly there is much to see and record in Pembrokeshire – please observers, continue to provide the records – well-presented and documented, and the Bird Report will go from strength to strength.

Jack Donovan

The full bird report for 1982 is available here


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