Little Owl – Records since 2000

Athene noctua – TYLLUAN FACH – scarce breeding resident.

2000 – 2-4 pairs bred Skomer, one on Ramsey fledged 2 young. On the mainland only reported from Hasguard Cross and Talbenny.

2001 – No proof of breeding on Ramsey. 1 pair bred Skomer, remains of pellets contained Skomer Vole, Wood Mice and a Storm Petrel but 55% of each pellet consisted of beetle remains. Reported from Talbenny fairly regularly, also one Flimston 17 Feb.

2002 – 2 pairs, possibly 3, on Skomer fledged 3 young, pellets still being analysed but so far remains of at least 8 Storm Petrels found. Ramsey: no proof of breeding. On mainland noted at Flimston, Strumble Hd, Talbenny, St Davids and Gelli.

2003 – Skomer 3 pairs, Ramsey 1 pair, probably bred at these sites. Mainland records from Flimston, Moylgrove and Gelly

2004 – Four pairs probably bred on Skomer also probably bred on Ramsey. Mainland records from Dale on 7 Oct and Strumble Hd 8, 9 and 11 Nov.

2005 – Nesting pairs 3 Skomer, 1 Ramsey, Only mainland record 1 Pentre Ifan, Brynberian turn-off, 12 Oct.

2006 – 2 pairs bred on Ramsey. 5 pair bred Skomer but no fledglings seen. The only mainland record was one Flimston 5 Feb.

2007 – On Ramsey 4 territories (2 in 2006). At least one fledged. but probably more. Only occasional records after the end of June, and not recorded after 1 Nov.  On Skomer at least three territories; with two definitely fledging. Diet included Storm Petrels and ladybirds.  The only mainland record was Of two at St Ishmæl’s 15 Oct (DG).

See also 2003-07 breeding distribution map

2008 – 3 pairs bred on both Ramsey and Skomer.  On the mainland reported from just three sites: Canaston on 7 Aug. Hoaten on 1st and 6 June, and two near Newport from August until the end of the year.

2009 – Single Castell-y-garn on 24 Feb. On Ramsey a pair reared 2 young, and at least two pairs present on Skomer.

2010 – Three pairs on Skomer of which two bred rearing three young, two pairs bred on Ramsey with four young fledged – interestingly individuals were not recorded there until April.

2011 – Single St. Ishmaels on 23rd Sept was the only mainland record. One pair reared three young on Skomer and three pairs on Ramsey

2012 – Reported only from Ramsey, where four pairs bred and at least two pairs on Skomer.

2013 – One in Rosebush Quarry Feb-Mar and at Porthgain, were the only mainland records received.  Five pairs bred on Ramsey (cf 4 last year) and one on Skomer.

2014 – On Ramsey four pairs present with chicks confirmed from two nests. One pair bred on Skomer rearing two chicks. On Skokholm a single bird 4th – 13th Mar, the first record on the island for 18 years. On the mainland one at Lochvane, Solva on 23rd Nov was the only record.

2015 – no records

2016 – Only recorded on the islands, with a single breeding pair on Skomer

2017 – On the mainland noted from Porthgain. May have bred at St Davids Head where two were present. Four pairs bred on Ramsey. Also reported from Skomer but no breeding activity was confirmed.

2018 – Mainland records from Porthgain, Milford and St Davids Head. Also reported from Ramsey and Skokholm. No evidence of breeding on Skomer this year.

2019 – Three Ramsey 29 May, two there 2 Oct. No nesting was recorded on Skomer this year. Only mainland records were of two at Porthgain 6 June and one at Marloes Mere 19 Jan.

2020 – One apparently occupied territory on Ramsey (cf. two in 2019).  Otherwise all records received were of singles at: Mullock 1 Mar, Pencarnan Camp, St. Davids 27 Mar and Martin’s Haven 29 May.

2021 – One pair bred on Ramsey. Elsewhere the only records received were of singles: heard calling at Gann 4 Mar and near Tregroes, Fishguard 9 Aug.

Records extracted from the Pembrokeshire Bird Reports which may contain more detail than shown here

More about the Little Owl in Pembrokeshire

White-billed Diver – records

Gavia adamsiiTrochydd PigwenVagrant

1999 – 27 Sept, Strumble – first for Pembrokeshire

2011 – 1 Sept, Strumble – second for Pembrokeshire

2021 – A summer plumaged adult was observed passing Strumble Head 1 Nov (CH). There have been two previous accepted records of individuals seen passing Strumble Head on 27 Sept 1999 and 1 Sept 2011.

Records extracted from the Pembrokeshire Bird Reports which may contain more detail than shown here

More about the White-billed Diver in Pembrokeshire

Rookery survey progress

This map shows the progress we are making in Pembrokeshire with the all Wales Rookery Survey 2022-23.

For a list of known rookeries (from previous surveys) see here

Results to 30th April 2022

This map will be updated every few days, so please enter your records (positive or negative) as soon as possible.

Hatched square = priority tetrad, no rookeries found

Grey square = priority tetrad, rookeries found

Red dots = Rookeries counted

Black dots = Rookeries checked but nothing there now.


Please enter your records (even if it is a zero count at a previously known site). If you enter a zero count, don’t forget to click on the button that asks if it is a negative record. I see that some sites on the map are showing as a counted rookery (in red) when actually there was nothing there – but the negative record button wasn’t used.

Records can be edited later if you do a recount and find more nests there – if you counted a rookery in March or early April, it may be worth having another look now – before there are too many leaves on the trees.

Download Instructions for entering records here.


Finding tetrads in a 10km square

Casual records can be entered using a GPS reference or picking the place on the map/aerial photo. You can do a more intensive search by tetrad 2km x 2km square. Here is how to find a tetrad:

A 10km square is normally divided into 100 1km squares, Some surveys, such as this one, is based on tetrads – 2km x 2km squares. Within each 10km square, the tetrads are given a letter as shown in figure 3.

More about the Rook in Pembrokeshire

Lapwing – breeding records since 2000

Vanellus vanellus – CORNCHWIGLEN – Breeding resident and winter visitor

The lapwing has declined drastically as a breeding species in Pembrokeshire. See the 2003-07 breeding bird atlas. The article charts the decline since 2000.

2000 – 4 or 5 pairs attempted to breed in Castle Martin area; Skokholm 2 nests with incubating birds and Skomer 1 pair – no success reported.  On Ramsey 7 pairs raised 4 chicks.

2001 – Only breeding record received: Ramsey, 10 males holding territories, 8 clutches laid, 5 possibly 6 fledglings. No breeding birds on Skokholm for just the second time on record; on Skomer an adult appeared with a fully-fledged juvenile on 4 July. As a breeder seems to be in a perilous state.

2002 – Only breeding records received: Ramsey: 9 males holding territory. 8 clutches laid; 8 young fledged, including 3 from the second clutch.  2 adults + 2 chicks at Freshwater W 26 May. Possible incubating at Brownslade 1 June. 5 of 6 chicks, from 2 pairs, ringed at Kilpaison 17 May.

2003 – Lapwings maintained their tenuous hold in the county.  8 males held territory Ramsey, 6 young fledged; up to 6 pairs at Kilpaison, but no chicks fledged.

2004  – Breeding attempted at Castlemartin Corse.  On Ramsey there were 8 apparently occupied sites, 4-5 young fledged.  4 pairs bred at Kilpaison.

2005 – Ramsey – 5 pairs, 5 young fledged, 5 or 6 nests at old BP site, Kilpaison, 7 pulli ringed.

2006 – Ramsey – 6 pairs fledged 8 young. Also 2 pairs + 2 singles at old BP site, Kilpaison and 1 pair Range E, Castlemartin in April/May.

2007 – Six pairs attempted to breed on Ramsey but no young were fledged

2008 – no records of breeding

2009 – A pair at Treswny Moor from 3rd May to 4th June showed behaviour suggestive of breeding, but breeding not confirmed. 5 pairs bred on Ramsey but the young were predated, chiefly by corvids, and no young fledged. 5 pairs attempted to breed at Kilpaison, again all were unsuccessful

2010 – Two pairs bred on Ramsey

2011 – The only report of breeding came from Ramsey, where two pairs fledged just two young in total.

2012 – Three pairs bred on Ramsey but only one young fledged. Otherwise there were no reports of breeding and the only summer record was of a single bird at Marloes Mere on 8th July.

2013 – A report of presumed breeding involved two adults and three juveniles at Marloes Mere on 1st Sept, and at least one pair is also believed to have bred at Castlemartin Corse but no details were submitted. One pair bred on Ramsey.

2014 – no reports of breeding on the mainland – one pair bred on Ramsey, fledging one young.

2015 – no breeding records received (two males on Ramsey but no females).

2016 – Breeding attempted at Castlemartin Corse, but outcome unknown.

2017 – No reported evidence of breeding

2018 – No breeding records received.

2019 – No breeding evidence was reported.

2020 – No breeding evidence was reported

Records extracted from the Pembrokeshire Bird Reports which may contain more detail than shown here

More about the Lapwing in Pembrokeshire

A list of known rookeries in Pembrokeshire

These tables are to help you find rookeries to count for the 2022-23 survey.

For this survey, you can register to do a full survey of priority tetrads, and/or submit casual records of rookeries from anywhere.

If you visit any of the sites listed in the tables below, and do not find any rooks nesting, please still enter the data as a zero count, so that we know it has been checked. There are likely to be plenty of rookeries that we do not know about, and some rookeries that will move to a new group of trees.

These tables have been compiled from various sources including bird reports, breeding bird atlas data, detailed local studies, BirdTrack, etc. There was no standardised method of data collection for historical records, so it is impossible to eliminate all inconsistencies.

Where a count is given in the tables below, it is the highest count of nests in that decade.

A zero count means there were definitely no nests seen (although we don’t necessarily know exactly when the last occupation was). Note that in 1996 there was a national survey in which random tetrads were surveyed, some of which had zero counts but no known earlier records. A blank means there is no data – probably because the site wasn’t recorded in that decade.

Where there is a named rookery in a tetrad, that does not mean it is the only rookery there. Where the tetrad reference appears in the place name column, that is the only information available.

The same rookery may have been given different names by different observers.

Where a particular named rookery appears in more than one tetrad, it may be that:

  • it is located on the border
  • the rooks have moved across the border to a different clump of trees
  • the nests are sufficiently spread out that it really does cross the border (the rooks aren’t reading the maps first!)
  • the surveyor estimated the grid reference incorrectly (especially in the days before GPS and aerial photos)
  • different surveyors estimated the grid refs differently
  • For some sites, we have only a place name, and the grid reference from that
  • The nearest place name is not necessarily in the same tetrad as the rookery
  • A detailed local survey (eg at St Davids) may divide a single rookery into smaller pockets of activity

Do not worry about these inconsistencies. These tables are purely to help you find rookeries to count for the present survey. We may be able to iron out a few more of these inconsistencies in the future.

We can provide extra details about tetrads with named rookeries – email here – giving the tetrad name or the 10km sq, or your postcode, so we know what area you are interested in.

Please enter your records (even if it is a zero count at a previous site)

Download Instructions for entering records here

More about the Rook in Pembrokeshire

Barn Owl – movements

Tyto alba – TYLLUAN WEN – Breeding resident.

Breeding adult barn owls in Britain are largely sedentary. Young barn owls do not disperse very far, with a median dispersal distance of 12 km from the nest, while only about 4% of movements are over 100km. In mainland Europe, dispersal distances are greater, often more than 50km with over 10% going more than 100km. Most recoveries in Wales have been less than 20km from their ringing site, but there are some exceptions.

2007 – A bird ringed at a nest at Glenurquhart, Highland, in June 2007 was hit by a car 624km away at St Ishmael’s that December.

2021 – At the end of October, Richard Crossen found a dead barn owl at Castlemartin Corse.  It had been ringed as a nestling in June 2021 at a site in the Towi valley, and so had moved 70km to coastal west

2021 – On November 7th, Andy Jones found the fresh remains of another barn owl on a farm just east of Lamphey.  There wasn’t much of the bird left – only the legs – suggesting it had been predated.  This one had been ringed as a nestling by the Mid-Wales Ringing Group at a site south-east of Machynlleth, 125km away!


Reference:

PRITCHARD R, HUGHES J, SPENCE I M, HAYCOCK, B, BRENCHLEY A (Eds) 2020. The Birds of Wales.  Liverpool University Press

More about the Barn Owl in Pembrokeshire

Fieldfare – first and last dates

Turdus pilaris – SOCAN EIRA – Winter visitor and passage migrant.

YearLast spring recordFirst autumn record
19818 April4 Oct
198218 April6 Oct
198318 March25 Sept
19846 May5 Oct
198530 March13 Oct
198623 April13 Sept
198727 April13 Sept
19889 April9 Oct
19894 May21 Oct
199025 April26 Sept
199116 April10 Oct
19928 April5 Oct
199319 April23 Sept
19943 May2 Oct
199513 March12 Oct
199617 April10 Oct
199710 April7 Oct
199828 April5 Oct
199928 March4 Oct
20007 May26 Oct
200113 April20 Sept
20027 April6 Oct
200317 April5 Oct
20041 May8 Oct
20055 April14 Oct
200628 March16 Oct
200721 May28 Sept
200830 March26 Sept
20099 March9 Oct
201020 April20 Oct
20117 April14 Oct
201213 April14 Oct
201330 April4 Oct
201428 May9 Oct
20153 April7 Oct
201611 April9 Oct
20178 May14 Oct
201820 April11 Oct
201917 April5 Oct
202018 April28 Sept

Records extracted from the Pembrokeshire Bird Reports which may contain more detail than shown here

A few gaps in the records have been filled with records from the islands, or from Birdtrack

More about the Fieldfare in Pembrokeshire

Leach’s Petrel – records since 2000

Oceanodroma leucorhoaPedryn-Drycin Gynffon FforchogProbably a regular visitor in variable numbers.

See here for a summary and analysis of records to 2012

2000 Recorded only at Strumble Hd, where singles on 5,11 & 12 Oct and 3 Nov, 4 on 8 Sept and 11 on 31 Oct.

2001 3 St David’s Hd 16 Sept, total of 260 logged passing Strumble Hd on 10 dates, 19 Aug – 16 Sept, also one there 8 Nov, maxa 35 on 8 Sept, 81 on 15 Sept and 122 on 16 Sept, the latter a new daily max for Pembs.

2002 14 Goultrop Rds 3 Feb (KJSD, GHR, AS), 6 Strumble Hd 6 Feb (CB, GHR et al ). No autumn records.

2003 Singles Strumble Hd 8 Sept, 8 & 9 Oct, 2 on 6 Oct, 10 on 7 Oct, 15 on 4 Oct and 19 on 23 Sept.

2004 Strumble Hd 13 in August, 85 in Sept, 2 in Oct and 1 in Nov. Max passage 47 on 23 Sept. Only other record was of 3 in Newport Bay 23 Sept.

2005 One Strumble Hd 23 Aug, 4 on 27 Sept, 5 on 29 Sept, 29 on Oct, 22 on 2 Oct and 6 on 4 Nov. Singles S of Grassholm 18 Sept and N of the Smalls 20 Sept.

2006 Single Caldey Sound 29 Aug, Strumble Hd 29 Aug, 21 & 22 Sept and 1 Oct, with 2 on 7 Sept & 7 Oct.
Marked “wreck” inshore during onshore gales in Dec, when 7 Newgale 3 Dec, 3 on 4 Dec and 22 on 7 Dec, 7 Druidston 7 Dec, 14 Strumble Hd 8 Dec, with 4 on 9 Dec, c. 150 Freshwater W 5 Dec (a new county day max) 37 there 7 Dec. Singles seen in car parks at Cwm yr Eglwys 7 Dec and riverside, Haverfordwest, 3 Dec, latter rescued but later died.

2007 All records were from Strumble Head with singles on 3rd, 10th, 17th, 22nd and 24th Sept, and 3 on 25th Sept

2008 One in North Haven Skomer on 3rd Oct, otherwise all records were from Strumble Head where a single passed on the 11th Aug . & 13th Sept. In October, a total of 5 were logged on the 1st , 6 on the 2nd, and 9 on the 3rd.

2009 All records were – Strumble Head Singles in Sept on 8th & 9th another on 4th Oct with 3 on 5th Nov. Elsewhere one Ramsey 23rd Nov (2nd record for the island) and one at Freshwater West on 25th Nov.

2010 All records were from Strumble Head where in September, two passed on 12th, six on 15th, 120 on 16th and two on 17th. One passed on 19th Oct.

2011 Strumble Head had 75 birds which were recorded on eight dates between 13th Sept & 19th Oct, max 33 on 18th Sept. One was seen off Ramsey on 6th Oct.

2012 At Strumble Head 47 birds passed on five dates between 11th Sept & 28th Oct, max 29 on 18th Sept. A single off Ramsey on 11th Sept. Recorded passing Ramsey, one on 11th Sept and two on 18th.

2013 At Strumble Head a total of 37 birds passed on seven dates between 16th Sept & 3rd Nov, max 22 on 18th Sept.

2014 Only five recorded off Strumble Head this year, a single on 19th Oct and four on 21st of the same month. Ramsey had single birds on 21st Oct & 7th Nov, the first records there since 2011.

2015 At Strumble Head eleven birds recorded, a single on 21st Oct, nine on 21st Nov and another single on 11th Dec. One spring/early summer record, on May 22nd one seen from a boat 30 nautical miles SW of Skomer.

2016 A single bird on 30th Aug was the only record for the year.

2017 The best year for this species for some time at Strumble Head, 103 birds recorded, maximum 50 on 9th Sept. 22 recorded passing Ramsey on 15th Sept was an island record. One off Skomer on 21st Oct was observed to be taken by a Peregrine and another was seen the following day.

2018 The only records came from Strumble Head: seven on 21st Sept and three on 23rd Sept.

2019 Passage off Strumble Head, all records were in September: 19 on 1st, one on 4th, three on 5th and two on 7th. Elsewhere: one in Fishguard Harbour on 5 Sept and two off Teifi Estuary mouth on 4 Sept.

2020 One off Skomer 26 Aug and two off Strumble Head on 8 Oct, with one 16 Nov.

2021 – A total of 56 logged passing Strumble Head: four 29 Sept, in October twenty on 5th & 6th, one
21st and two on 29th; in November seven on 5th and one on 21st; and finally, one on 8 Dec.
One picked up and taken into care, ringed then released at Strumble Head on 7 Oct.

Records extracted from the Pembrokeshire Bird Reports which may contain more detail than shown here

More about the Leach’s Petrel in Pembrokeshire

Siberian Chiffchaff – records

Phylloscopus collybita – SIFF-SAFF/SIFF SIAFF – Breeding summer visitor, passage migrant and winter visitor

Photo: Siberian chiffchaff caught on Skokholm © Richard Brown. This was the second spring record of Siberian Chiffchaff for the island. It was interesting to note how the appearance of the ear coverts of today’s bird could change from the classic ‘tobacco’ to rather pale.

The nominate subspecies of chiffchaff P.c. collybita is a summer visitor and according to the 2007-11 BTO atlas, was the most common breeding warbler species in Wales. Two other subspecies breed to the east and north of Britain – P.c. abietinus (Scandinavian chiffchaff)and P.c. tristis (Siberian chiffchaff) and are occasional visitors.

According to the International Ornithological Congress, the tristis subspecies breeds across Russia, as far west as the White Sea, and south to northern Mongolia, and winters across Arabia and east to Burma. Close monitoring by the Welsh Birds Rarities Committee demonstrated that the Siberian Chiffchaff occurs regularly on autumn passage, and there is evidence that southern Britain is becoming an alternative wintering area for some individuals.

Siberian Chiffchaffs are late autumn migrants, most arriving in late October and November but some remain over winter. Most are found along the north and south coasts of Wales, with just a handful recorded inland. A small number of spring migrants have also been recorded, mainly on Bardsey, which are presumed to be wintering individuals moving north.

This article explains how to distinguish between the races.


Pembrokeshire records are as follows:

1995 – Birds ascribed to tristis race noted Monk Haven 11 Mar, Ramsey 25 Sept and St Davids Hd 22 Oct and abietinus race trapped and ringed Pwllcrochan 18 Nov.

1996 – A single bird showing characteristics of the race tristis Skomer 9 Nov.

2003 –  In Jan/Feb, up to 6 recorded at Monk Haven, including 1 showing characteristics of the eastern race tristis.

2004 – There were reports of a tristis type bird at Monk Haven in the first winter period. One was showing characters of this race Porth Clais 13 and 18 Nov.

2005 – A tristis type individual was reported Monks Haven in Dec

2014 – Individuals showing characteristics of “Siberian Chiffchaff” P. c. tristis included two at Pembroke Mill Pond on 16th Feb (A. Mears, R. Kelsh) and one was trapped on Skokholm on 2nd Nov, feathers of which were DNA tested by Aberdeen University and confirmed its taxonomy (RB et al).

2015 – Individuals showing characteristics of “Siberian Chiffchaff” P. c. tristis included: at Monk Haven 2nd Jan (DJA et al), on Skokholm 23rd Oct (RDB) and one caught on the Teifi Marshes 15th Oct (CJ, KM).

2016 – Siberian race Phylloscopus collybita tristis: up to two at Milton on 16th Feb – 7th March (RE et al)

2017 – Birds of the Siberian race tristis at Skokholm 28th – 31st May (RB et al – DNA confirmed identification) and two on Skomer on 17th -18th Nov, with one until 19th (ES).

2018 – Three single Siberian Chiffchaffs Phylloscopus collybita tristis on Skokholm on 7th, 16th and 20th Oct (RB, GE). Accepted by WRP on DNA analysis.

2019 – An individual showing characteristics of Siberian Chiffchaff was recorded on Skomer on 27 – 29 Oct.

2020 – Siberian Chiffchaff tristis: one Skokholm 11 April, confirmed by DNA analysis.


Sources

Records extracted from the Pembrokeshire Bird Reports which may contain more detail than shown here

PRITCHARD R, HUGHES J, SPENCE I M, HAYCOCK B, BRENCHLEY A (Eds) 2020. Birds of Wales.  Liverpool University Press

More about the Chiffchaff in Pembrokeshire