Shoveler – winter

Anas clypeata – HWYADEN LYDANBIG – Winter visitor and sparse breeder

The shoveler has a breeding range that extends through Eurasia and Western north America. In general, it migrates well to the south for the winter with a few areas, such as Britain, the Netherlands and the west coast of America seeing birds all year round.

Occasionally one or two pairs breed in Pembrokeshire, but really they are a winter species here. Generally they are found on freshwater sites and in sheltered estuaries.

Numbers are variable, but probably around 100 in most winters – double that in a good year. This reflects the situation in Wales as a whole, with the general increase since the early 1990s. The map shows they can be scattered well beyond the sites monitored for the Wetland Bird Survey. However, Marloes Mere and Castlemartin Corse are the most likely places to find them.

This map was produced by the West Wales Biodiversity Information Centre using data collected between November and February for the BTO Atlas 2007-11, with additional data collected in 2011-12 winter to fill gaps in coverage.


Most recent ringing recoveries of birds shot in Wales show they are coming from (or moving through) the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Latvia and Estonia. However, studies at Orielton Decoy in the 1930s showed that some of our birds came from breeding grounds such as the Volga and Pechora rivers on the western Siberian Plain.

Annie Haycock (BBS & WeBS local organiser)


BALMER D, GILLINGS S, CAFFREY B, SWANN B, DOWNIE I, FULLER R. 2014. Bird Atlas 2007-11: The Breeding and Wintering Birds of Britain and Ireland.  HarperCollins.  UK

HBW – Handbook of the Birds of the World

LACK P. 1986.  The Atlas of Wintering Birds in Britain and Ireland, T & A. D. Poyser, London

LOVEGROVE R, WILLIAMS G, WILLIAMS I. 1994.  Birds in Wales. T & A. D. Poyser, London

Pembrokeshire Bird Reports

WERNHAM. C, TOMS. M, MARCHANT. J, CLARK. J, SIRIWARDENA. G, BAILLIE. S. 2002. The Migration Atlas, Movements of the birds of Britain and Ireland, T & A. D. Poyser, London

More about the Shoveler in Pembrokeshire