Great Shearwater – records

Ardenna gravis – ADERYN-DRYCIN MAWR – Near annual rare autumn passage migrant

Earlier records are summarised in Great Shearwater 2007

2008 – The only accepted record was from Strumble Head, 4th September

2009 – Single birds recorded on three occasions this autumn off Strumble Head: on 17th Aug (AR), 29th Aug & on 3rd Oct (RS).

2010 – Only one record was received of a single passing Strumble Head on 29th Aug (RS).

2011 – The weather conditions in early September were suitable enough for this species to be recorded at Strumble Head this year with two seen each day on the 5th (AR) and 6th (SEB).

2014 – At Strumble Head a very good passage during the last two weeks in August with single birds seen on 17th & 24th then four on 29th, a good count of ten on 30th & finally another two on 31st (AR et al). As with Cory’s Shearwater, it is the first time both large Shearwaters have been recorded on three consecutive days at Strumble.

A single bird was seen & photographed from the Fishguard to Rosslare Ferry on 20th Aug (thought to have been in Irish waters, included here for information only).

2015 – Single birds on 8th & 19th July were the only records for the year, the 8th July record being the earliest county record. (AR, RS).

2016 – A good showing this year off Strumble Head, with the suitable conditions giving a total of 13 birds. In Aug, two on 8th, three on 21st and a single on 28th. In Sept, four on the 2nd and singles on the 4th, 16th & 25th. Additionally one at sea on 18th Aug (RC, SL Murray et al).

2017 – The only record this year was of one off Skokholm on 19th Aug (RB).

A substantial amount of seawatching effort in recent years has proven this to be a truly rare species in this part of the world, however it is perhaps surprising that one heading into moderate westerly winds off the Lighthouse on the morning of 19th August was only the third Skokholm record (or fourth Skokholm bird). The only other Island records to be accepted by the Welsh Records Panel concern two birds logged on 9th September 1993 and a single on 9th August 2000. A probable was noted on 11th September 1969 and singles in 2007 and 2011 have subsequently been deemed ‘not proven’. Skokholm Annual Report 2017

2018 – Single off Skokholm 18th Aug (DJA, ME) and five off Strumble Head on 16th Aug (TP, RDJ).

One which passed over rough seas off the Lighthouse on three occasions between 1525 and 1540hrs on 18th August was just the fifth for Skokholm (DA, ME). This came one day earlier than the fourth for Skokholm logged last year. Skokholm Annual Report 2018

2020 – One logged passing Strumble Head 26 Aug (per PB et al)

Records from the Pembrokeshire Bird Reports, except where noted from the Skokholm Annual Reports

More about the Great Shearwater in Pembrokeshire