Tringa totanus – PIBYDD COESGOCH – Winter visitor and passage migrant, has bred in the past
The vast majority of redshank wintering in Pembrokeshire are found on the Cleddau Estuary.
Peak counts of redshank declined from the highs of over 1000 birds in the 1980s, when the estuary was considered to be of National Importance for this species. Numbers have stabilised somewhat since the mid 1990s, fluctuating around the 600 level. This reflects the wintering population trends for Wales as a whole.
Redshank prefer to feed in the finer silts of the estuaries on the east coast of Britain where there is a higher density of prey. Mudflats on the western coasts have coarser silt, with less prey, but do have the advantage of milder winters. There is, therefore, a choice between better winter weather with less food, or more food but potentially harsher winters. As the climate changes, and winters on the east coast are less harsh, there is little incentive for birds such as redshank to move further west.
Annie Haycock – Pembrokeshire WeBS coordinator