Snow Bunting – records

Plectrophenax nivalis – BRAS YR EIRA – Passage migrant and winter visitor

Previous records are summarised in Snow Bunting 2007.

2008 – Single at Fishguard outer breakwater from 5 Nov – 29 Dec, With two on 6 Nov and three on 23 Dec. Singles on Ramsey 12 Nov. and on Skomer 24 & 31 Oct.

2009 – On the outer breakwater at Fishguard Harbour, three on 1- 28 Jan with two here on 21 Feb. singles on 1 Mar and 17 Oct until the end of the year.  Singles at Strumble Head 11 Oct, on Skomer 9 Nov and Ramsey on 11 Nov and three on Foel Drygarn on 25 Dec.

2010 – In the early part of year single birds on Fishguard Outer Breakwater 2nd Jan, at St. David’s Head 13th Apr and on Ramsey 21st Apr – 3rd May. In autumn: up to four on Dale Airfield between 4th & 31st Oct. with three at St. David’s Head on 14th Oct, up to two birds on Fishguard Outer Breakwater from 6th Oct until the end of the year. Singles at Pen Anglas 9th to 30th Oct, and on St Davids Head 7th Nov. On Skomer single birds on 1st & 9th Oct then two on 12th & 21st Oct and finally one on 1st Nov

2011 – In the early part of the year two at Traeth Llyfyn on 22nd Jan. In autumn a single on Dale Airfield 29th Sept to 1st Oct then another on 24th Nov. Fishguard Outer Breakwater had up to three birds between 10th Oct to 11th Dec. Singles on St. David’s Head on 25th Oct, 10th Nov, 12th Dec with two on 9th Dec and one at St. Govan’s Head on 17th Oct. Ramsey Island singles on 20th & 27th Apr and four on 12th Dec. Photo below by C. Hurford.

2012 – In the early part of the year birds seen at St. David’s Head on from 8th to 13th Jan with a different individual on 25th Feb. Freshwater West had two on 16th Jan & one at Castle Martin on 19th Feb. Two on Fishguard Outer Breakwater in March, one of which was ringed by members of the Teifi Ringing Group on 11th, then two different birds on Fishguard Inner Breakwater on 22nd March & a single at Strumble Head on 1st April.

At the latter part of the year a single at St. David’s Head 22nd Oct, two at Strumble Head on 29th of same month & one at Castle Martin on same date. In November: singles at Broomhill Burrows on 6th, St.David’s Head on 8th, while on Fishguard Outer Breakwater various numbers recorded, max 5 on 20th.

2013 – All records were: seven seen on Foel Cwm Cerwyn on 12th Jan, in November, 12 on the Fishguard Outer Breakwater 15th, three at Whitesands on 7th, four at Newgale on 27th and singles at Freshwater West on 22nd & Broad Haven (S) on 28th. Another single was at St.David’s Head on 24th Oct.

2014 – All records were: single birds at Newgale 10th Jan, Strumble Head 20th to 21st Oct at least, Pencarnan 27th to 31st Oct, Marloes Mere 24th Nov (photo opposite by DJ Astins) and at Foel Feddau in the Preselis on 31st Dec, with six at the same site the day before. Skokholm had single birds on 6th Oct and 19th to 21st Oct, the second being trapped & ringed (race later confirmed as P.n.nivalis – Welsh rarities report 2020). The island then had two flyover records of single birds on 24th Oct & 3rd Nov.

2015 – A single birds on the Preseli’s at Foel Feddau on 17th Jan and another at St. David’s Head on 31st Oct were the only mainland records. On the islands, one on Ramsey on 10th Mar (photo right by L. Morgan) and one on Skomer on 7th Oct, a different bird was seen the following day.

2016 – All records were: a male Fishguard Harbour on outer breakwater 25th Oct-13th Nov, when feathers were found due to it being predated, a female also present 11th -13th Nov. On Skokholm a single on 11th Nov and on Skomer singles on 20th Oct & 7th Nov.

2017 – All records: 1 st w male on Skomer on 3rd Nov, three at St. David’s Head on 8th Nov and two on the Outer breakwater Fishguard Harbour on 16th Nov

2018 – Singles unless stated: at Porthgain on 7th Jan (photo below by B. Haycock), three at St. David’s Head 7th Mar, near Fishguard Fort on 31st Oct, male on Skomer 4th Nov and Outer Breakwater Fishguard Harbour on 8th Nov

2019 – Four on Dale Airfield 26 Oct, increasing to six 1 Nov with four there the following day, photo below by E. Davies. Five at Marloes Mere 27 Oct and singles at Gann 14 Oct, Skokholm 21 & 24 Oct and 4, 7-8, 10, 17 & 29 Nov and Skomer 3 & 11 Nov

2020 – All records were of singles: Fishguard Outer breakwater 30 Oct, Skokholm 4, 6 & 9 – 11 Nov, Strumble Head 24 Nov, Pwll Deri 27 Nov and at Llanrhian 6 Dec.66 Individuals of the race nivalis accepted by WBRC include: one trapped on the outer breakwater, Fishguard 11 Mar 2012 (per RD) and a female trapped and ringed on Skokholm 19 Oct 2014 (RB).

Records extracted from the Pembrokeshire Bird Reports

More about the Snow Bunting in Pembrokeshire

Jack Snipe – first and last dates

Lymnocryptes minimus – GIACH FACH – Winter visitor and passage migrant. Not recorded from May to July

Previous records summarised in Jack Snipe 1994

YearLast sightingFirst sightingNotes
200018 March13 October 
200114 April20 September(1)
200217 April12 October 
20037 April2 October 
200410 April2 October 
200513 March7 October 
20064 March14 October 
200710 February17 September 
200817 March22 October 
200917 March18 October 
201024 April26 September 
20114 February14 October 
201231 January8 October 
20137 April6 October(2)
201424 March14 September 
20151 May5 October 
201621 March8 October 
20171 April12 October 
201813 April27 October(3)
201926 March2 October 
20208 March19 September 

Notes

(1) 2001 – 12 on Skomer 9 March – a record count

(2) 2013 – A cold weather influx was then evident in the period from 1 March to 7 April, with a single bird noted at Skokholm on 12th, 15th & 17th, at Coedcanlas on 16th March and site maxima of four birds at Castlemartin Corse on 1 March and at Teifi Marshes on 6 April.

(3) 2018 – Reported from at least 14 1km square locations

More about the Jack Snipe in Pembrokeshire

Woodcock – research

Scolopax rusticola – CYFFYLOG – Winter visitor and passage migrant.

Woodcock are probably one of the most common waders in the county during the winter, according to work done by Paddy Jenks with the Pembrokeshire and Teifi Ringing Groups.  However, they are rarely seen, let alone counted, because of their secretive and generally nocturnal habits.

Paddy and his team ringed a total of 1653 woodcock between November 2008 and March 2019. 107 of these individuals were recaptured or recovered.   The recaptures show that many individuals have a very high site fidelity.  The ringers often found birds within a hundred metres of where they had been caught either the same winter, or in previous winters.  

The recoveries outside of the UK show that many individuals wintering in Pembrokeshire originate in Russia.  In Europe, it is illegal to shoot during the breeding season, so most of the recoveries from closer to home are probably birds on autumn migration, though some could have bred in these areas.  

The ringing groups hope to continue with the project into the future with the aim of collecting as large a sample size as possible, so that any future changes can be discerned.

The full report can be seen here

Information provided by Mike & Theresa Sherman

More about Woodcock in Pembrokeshire

Yellow-legged Gull – records

Larus michahellisGwylan GoesfelenScarce winter visitor

2020 –

  • All individuals reported were: an adult in Fishguard Harbour 1 – 9 Jan, presumed same returning bird 8 Sept & 4 Dec.
  • Adults at the Gann 6 Jan, 15 Sept, 18 & 24 Oct and a 2CY 4 Dec.
  • Counts from Llys-y-fran Res gull roost: five adults and 3CY 4 Jan, two adults and 3CY on 17 Jan, five adults & 3CY on 2 Feb and four adults on 23 Feb. An adult on 15 Aug. Six adults 15 Nov, four adults & 1CY on 25 Nov, three adults & 3CY on 29 Nov, five adults & 3CY on 6 Dec.
  • An adult at Nevern Est 20 July, 1 & 23 Aug, 25 Sept & 31 Oct – quite probably the Fishguard individual. 1CY there on 1 Sept, had been ringed as a nestling in Switzerland.
  • Elsewhere an adult at Broad Haven (N) 20 Sept.

Records extracted from the Pembrokeshire Bird Reports

More about the Yellow-legged Gull in Pembrokeshire

King Eider – first for Pembrokeshire

Somateria spectabilis – HWYADEN FWYTHBLU’R GOGLEDD – Vagrant.

First county record was of an immature male at Little Haven / Goultrop Roads 10 Nov onwards, moving around the coast, off Howney Stone, St. Brides until the end of the year (DO et al). Circulating BBRC. The only previous Welsh records have come from Caernarfonshire & Meirionnydd in 1989 – 1990 and Aberaeron, then Ynyslas, Ceredigion
2017 – 2019.

Goshawk – records

Accipiter gentilis – GWALCH MARTH – Status unclear

Photo of juvenile goshawk at Carew Cheriton by Richard Ellis

Records extracted from the Pembrokeshire Bird Reports since 2000

YearBreedingOther records
2000Probably 2 breeding pairs in the north of the county around the Teifi and another in the east.Elsewhere singles (females unless stated) at Llys y fran 9 Jan and in Sept at Roch on 11th , Crundale 18th (male), Slebech & Blackpool Mill 24th and Steynton 28th .
20012 pairs bred and 2 others suspected of breeding in the south of the county, 3 pairs suspected to have bred in the north.Elsewhere individuals recorded at: Solva 13 Jan, Porth Clais 21 Jan, Llanychaer 1 Feb, St. David’s 5 Apr, Strumble 5 Aug and at Ramsey a juv. 18 Sept and a female 25 Sept.
2002No records received of individuals from the north east of the county but three pairs were noted elsewhere in suitable habitat in the spring / early summer and 3 other pairs bred.Elsewhere individuals recorded at: Goodwick 18 Jan, Sealyham 19 June and at Strumble Hd 5 & 12 Sept.
2003A pair was observed displaying at Gelli and at Ffynone. Breeding season records also came from Trecwn, Dowrog & Pantmaenog and a juv. was seen at Strumble Head from 14 Aug on an off until 11 Nov.Elsewhere individuals recorded in the St. Davids area 15-16 Oct, 11 Nov & 21 Nov, Square & Compass 7 Dec, Westfield Pill 17 Dec, Llanmill 27 Nov and Saundersfoot 30 Dec.
2004Recorded breeding 16 AprRedstone 16 Jan, Sealyham 25-26 Feb, female Vachelic 9 Apr, Strumble Hd 10 Apr, Ramsey 25 May, Cwm yr Eglwys 27 July, Llanmill 30 Aug, juv Maenclochog 3 Sept, Nine Wells 5 Sept and Teifi Marshes 30 Oct.
2005A total of 5 pairs possibly bred in the county: at Gelly, Canaston Woods, Frenni Fawr. Pengawse and Ffynone_Westfield Pill 8 Mar, Ramsey 22 June & 20 Nov. Wolfescastle 10 July and Llanmill 27 Aug
2006Displaying birds were observed at three sites Gelly, Picton and Llys y fran.Blackpool Mill 20 Feb, Dowrog 8 Feb, Westfield Pill 14 Mar, Maenllwyd 25 May, near Maenclochog in May, Carew 7 Nov, Llanddewi Velfrey 2 Nov, Llanmill (carrying a Jackdaw) 23 Nov, Waundwrgi 2 Dec and 2 at Slebech 3 Dec.
2007Pairs bred or were seen displaying at Gelly, Canaston, Minwear, Puncheston and West Williamston. Martletwy on 13 Jan , Ffynone on 18 Feb., Sandy Haven on 24 Feb., Cwm Cneifa on 23 Mar., Hundleton on 12 Apr, Felindre on 14 May, Crymych on 2 Aug. & 21 Dec.. Abercych on 9 Aug, , Stackpole on 1 Nov., Llangloffan Fen on 12 Nov.. Dale on 18 Nov.. Dowrog 23 Nov. — 9 Dec. and at Carew River on 16 Dec
2008Pairs bred or thought to have bred at ten sites across the countyindividuals reported at Castlemartin, Cilgerran. Croes Goch. Crymych, Dowrog, Goodwick. Heathfield. Llangloffan. Llandewi Velfrey, Llanmill. Midland, Mullock Bridge, Narberth. Picton Castle. Rickets Head. Stackpole, Waundwrgi, West Williamston and Westfield Pill.
2009 Reported from nine sites
2010During the breeding season records came from The Rhos, Plumstone and Ffynone and at Ty Rhyg.Up to two males and a female were seen on many dates at Plumstone Mountain January – February. Elsewhere at Minwear on 3 Jan, at Ffynone on 20 Feb, One on Skomer on 27 Apr was the first for the island. At Cresswell Quay 30 Nov and at Tegryn on 7 Dec.
2011Reported from eight sites during the breeding seasonSingles at Clyderwen 3 Jan, Whalecombe 13 Feb, Dudwell Mountain 17 Feb, Wolf’s Castle 19 Feb, Llawhaden 27 Feb and Port Clais 11 Sept & 28 Oct. One was found dead at Eglwyswrw on 22 Aug.
2012Reported from three sitesReported from 15 sites during the year
2013At least one breeding pair, which fledged two young and a pair at another site in the north.Singles reported at: Woodhouse 3 Feb, Rudbaxton 23 Feb, Houghton on 24 Feb, Llandilo on 16 May, Carew Cheriton 17 July, Picton Home Farm on 28 Aug, Merrion on 27 Oct, Eastern Cleddau on 24 Nov.
2014Present during the breeding season at five sitesSlebech on 13 Feb, Tedion Mountain on 21 Mar, Angle 10 Mar, Skomer on 8 Aug, at Pen Anglas 11 Sept and Llanychaer 25 Sept & 16 Nov.
2015Reported from three sites during the breeding seasonReported from eight sites across the county
2016Reported from four sites during the breeding seasonReported from eight sites across the county
2017Reported from three sites during the breeding seasonReported from a total of eleven locations across the county
2018Breeding reported at two sites, with records from seven other sites during the breeding season.Outside the breeding season reported from a further 13 sites, including one on Skomer 15 Aug – 8 Oct.
2019Reported from 13 locations during the breeding season.Reported from 22 locations in the county.  Including one on Skomer 28 Oct.
2020Reported from 10 locations during the breeding seasons. Pairs displaying were observed at two sites and juveniles were seen at two other sites in July.

More about the Goshawk in Pembrokeshire

Eider – records

Somateria mollissima – HWYADEN FWYTHBLU – Winter visitor and possible breeder

Earlier records are summarised in Eider 2005

2006Singles Angle Bay 21 Jan, Ramsey 11 Oct, Strumble Hd 26 Oct and Gann 8 Dec
2007Only two records received this year, both from Strumble Head, a single male on 26 Sep (GHR) and two on 10 Dec (CBu)
2008A single female bird which was seen at Angle Bay between 22 Nov and 20 Dec, and four off Skomer on 19 May, were the only records
2009All records were: singles off Broad Haven (N) and Newgale on 8th Jan, three adult males past Strumble Head on 11th Oct & five past there on 2nd Nov. Finally there was a female/juv type at Neyland on 25th Nov.
2010A very poor year for this species with the only records being two females off Nolton on 6th Nov and a single male & 3 females at Druidston on 9th Dec.
2011A group of seven passed Strumble Head on 1st Jan, two at Amroth on 22nd & 23rd Nov reducing to a single bird on 18th & 28th Dec.
2012All records were: at the Gann two immature males from 17th to 20th March, another two then recorded at Saundersfoot on 16th Aug, then two females at Wisemans Bridge on 13th Oct & lastly a single male at Amroth on 10th Nov. The most bizarre report from 2012 is of an adult male flying low over the bracken on Brynberian Moor on 23rd May (PJ).
2013Three off Skomer on 29th Apr (photo opposite by DB) and two drakes that passed Strumble Head on 10th Oct were the only records for the year.
2014 No records
2015All records were: two drakes at St.Bride’s 21st Jan, three (2M,1F) at Broad Haven (N) 14th Mar and three at Haroldston Chins on 13th Apr, a drake at St.David’s Head 16th Mar and finally four ( 1M, 3F) flew through Ramsey Sound on 18th Dec. At Strumble Head two on 8th Sept and a single on 11th Dec, all females.
2016All records were, two Druidston 2nd Jan, six Broad Haven (N) 15th Feb with one there on 28th of same month, a single bird at Amroth on 6th March with 19 there on the 4th May & a single bird at Nolton Haven on 26th Nov. A flock of 19 that flew West at Amroth on 4th May comprised of 10 males, three 1st summer males & six females & was the largest flock recorded in the county since 40 off Porthgain on 29th Dec 2003.
2017A single bird Fishguard Harbour 7th to 10th Apr & three off Wiseman’s Bridge 16th Dec were the only records.
2018Singles at the Gann 30th Apr – 5 th May, Newgale 24th & 26th Nov and at Fishguard Harbour on 9th Dec. The only multiple bird records were from Monksone Point, of six on 22nd Dec, increasing to nine on 26th, three Wiseman’s Bridge 15th Jan and of four flying past Skomer on 29th Oct.
2019All records were: two at the mouth of the Teifi Est 27 Mar, five in Angle Bay 10 Apr, 40 off Amroth 17 Apr, a male off Pen Anglas 22 Oct and one Wiseman’s Bridge 23 Dec.
2020Only records received were: two Wiseman’s Bridge 26 Jan, four Angle Bay 4 Sept and two St. Brides 30 Dec.

More about the Eider in Pembrokeshire

Little Tern – records

Sternula albifronsMôr-wennol FechanScarce passage migrant. Not recorded from December to March or July

Earlier records are summarised in Little Tern 2006

2006All records from Strumble Hd where 1 on 3 Aug, 3 on 25 & 27 Sept, singles 28 Sept & 2 Oct.
2007All records were of singles off Strumble Head in September, on the 1st, 3rd and 5th (GHR, RS)
2008All records were: two at Freshwater West 30 April, and one there 20 May.  Two in Angle Bay on 5 Aug, and one on Carew River on 3 Sep.
2009Passage noted off Strumble Head in Autumn: in August two on the 20th and one on the 21st, in September one on 4th and 5th, and two on 8th, and finally one on 10th October.
2010All records came from Strumble Head where there was an above average year with a total of 29 birds between 25th July & 16th Sept. In July two on 25th, in August single birds on 16th & 18th with four on 21st and in September single birds on 1st, 4th & 5th with a good count of 16 on 7th (highest ever day count) and finally two on 16th.
2011Only recorded from Strumble Head where 14 birds passed, one on 29th Aug and in September a single on the 10th, two on 11th, 12th & 13th with four on the 18th.
2012Only recorded from Strumble Head where 15 birds passed on five dates: nine on 18th Aug with singles on 25th & 30th, in Sept. three on 1st & a single on the 24th.
2013Only recorded at Strumble Head when four seen on 28th July (RS).
2014Two spring records of a singles: at the Teifi Est on 4th May then another at Fishguard Harbour on 7th & 8th May. It was a good year for this species passing Strumble Head with a total of 21 birds logged. In August singles on 11th, 25th & 30th with two on 27th, six on 29th & seven on 28th. In September singles on 17th & 30th and in October a single bird on the 9th.
2015Only recorded at Strumble Head, with four on 23rd Aug and a single on 3rd Sept.
2016At Strumble Head a total of eight birds recorded, singles on 4th & 29th Aug with six on the 31st of the same month.
2017A total of nine birds recorded at Strumble Head, five in August, three in September and a single in October
2018A total of 17 logged passing Strumble Head: four on 24th & 27th Aug, five 21st Sept and two 19th & 23rd Sept
2019Single off Strumble Head 29 Sept was the only record.
2020One off the mouth of the Teifi Estuary, 19 Aug

More about the Little Tern in Pembrokeshire