Water Rail – 2003-07 breeding

Rallus aquaticus – RHEGAN Y DWR – Winter visitor and scarce breeder

Comparison with previous atlas:

Breeding confirmed21
Breeding probable65
Breeding possible1210
No of tetrads occupied20 (of 478)16 (of 490)
Percentage of tetrads4.2%3.3%

This slender, long-billed crake with its cryptic brown and grey plumage broken by dark streaks, is more often heard than seen. It inhabits mainly fresh water lowland, boggy places with dense plant growth, making it difficult to see and providing concealment for its nest.

Bearing in mind how difficult detection of this species is, the survey results must be regarded as representing a minimum presence. The most striking difference in distribution change is the absence in the St Davids area indicated by the latter survey. There has been no obvious visible change, or loss or fragmentation, in the relevant habitat during the interval between surveys, suggesting apparent absence may not have been real. In that case it could be concluded that there has been no change in the county population level of about 20 pairs. A specialist census concentrating on this species might well be revealing and could lead to a reassessment of its breeding status in Pembrokeshire.

More about the Water Rail in Pembrokeshire