Luscinia svecica – Scarce visitor
First record on 9 May 1946. All records from then until 1992 are summarised in Bluethroat 1994
1993 – Female Bosterston 8 June (P&AC)
1995 – A first summer red-spotted male Skokholm 29 June (MB)
2008 – A white-spotted male on Skomer on 10-11 April (M Butler, J Milborrow)
2010 – A stunning male of the red spotted race on Skomer on the 21st May (DB).
2017 – Adult male caught on Skokholm on 27th May (RD, WJ et al), photo by R. Brown. Accepted by WRP.
A stunning male mist netted at the Well on 27th May 2017 was the first Skokholm record since 29th June 1995, only the 13th record for the Island and the 18th for Pembrokeshire (RD, WJ et al.). A lack of red feathering amongst its blue throat feathers and a relatively short wing chord of 73mm both suggested that it was not a Red-spotted L. s. svecica of northern Europe and Asia, however deducing its origins based on appearance alone becomes more problematic as White-spotted L. s. cyanecula of south and central Europe do not always have a white spot, meaning that they closely resemble Blue-throated, Spanish breeding L. s. azuricollis and the larger Turkish breeding L. s. luristanica. It is perhaps thus no surprise that there is limited genetic variation between all these forms and that this is very much a single species. Nevertheless it is hoped that a retained feather held by Professor Martin Collinson at the University of Aberdeen will provide a sufficiently distinctive genetic signature so as to allow this bird to be linked to a particular breeding area in the future.
Of the 12 previous Skokholm records, the first seven between 1955 and 1968 were all in autumn, whilst four of the latter five were in spring.
Following the first for Skokholm, a first winter male L. s.svecica on 10th October 1955, there was a first-winter L. s. svecica between the 12th and 15th September 1956, a first-winter male on 15th September 1964, a female-type bird on 24th September 1964, another first-winter male L. s. svecica on 29th September 1964 (taking the year total to an unprecedented three individuals), one logged on 11 dates between 16th September and 1st October 1967, the only Skokholm record of L. s. cyanecula on 20th October 1968, males of L. s. svecica on 21st May 1975, 15th May 1982 and 14th May 1985, an unraced male on 27th September 1992 and most recently a male L. s. svecica on 29th June 1995
Skokholm Annual Report 2017
2020 – A red-spotted male trapped on Skokholm 20 May (RDB et al)