Black Grouse – 1994

Tetrao tetrixGrugiar DduRare visitor

Mathew (1894) noted that Black Grouse bones were discovered in Longbury Bank cave near Tenby in 1878. He concluded that the species must have been indigenous, but in his own time knew only of a few introduced at Trecwn, which did not survive long. The only records since have been of single females at Pantmaenog Forest, from January to March in about 1949, and on nearby Foel Feddau on 6 May 1971.

Donovan J.W. & Rees G.H, 1994, Birds of Pembrokeshire

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Black Grouse – 1894

Tetrao tetrix

We cannot say how long ago the Black Grouse ceased to exist as an indigenous bird in the county. Mr. Dix states that he had heard of a few in the neighbourhood of Fishguard, but he certainly referred to those the late Mr. Barham turned down at Trecwn in his attempt to naturalize the birds upon his beautiful estate. However, the birds never nested, and soon wandered away, and were all shot down.

We have never met with a sportsman who had ever shot a Black Grouse in the county, and only a few and limited localities in it are suited to the bird. The Black Grouse has disappeared, apparently, from several districts in South Wales, where it was once common.

Its former abundance is supposed to be attested by the number of inns scattered about, bearing the sign of the “Black Cock.” This may either witness to the presence of the bird, or only to its heraldic representative, as the Black Cock is the old crest of the Mathew family, at one time owners of large estates in various parts of South Wales, just as numerous inns standing on what was once their property, still bear the sign of the “a Black Lion,” from the three rampant black lions that are on their shield.

In the summer of 1878, Mr. Edward Laws, of Tenby, and Professor Rolleston, of Oxford, discovered bones of the Black Grouse in the Longbury Bank Cave, near Tenby.

Mathew M.A. 1894, Birds of Pembrokeshire and its Islands

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Black Grouse – Pre-historical

Tetrao tetrixGrugiar DduRare visitor

Ice Age

Studies by Anne Eastham on the bird bones in the Hoyles Mouth and Little Hoyle caves near Tenby show that Black Grouse were present in the area 10,000 years ago.  The bones were found in a scree deposit left at the end of the last glaciation. This included bones that have been carbon-dated to 9,980 +/- 800 years before present.

A variety of species were present – listed in the original paper.

Eastham A. (2016) Goosey-goosey Gander with Jemima Shelduck in attendance: two Stone Age occupation caves in South Pembrokeshire. Pembrokeshire Historical Society.

More about the Black Grouse in Pembrokeshire

Black Grouse

Tetrao tetrixGrugiar DduRare visitor

Black Grouse – 1994

Tetrao tetrix – Grugiar Ddu – Rare visitor Mathew (1894) noted that Black Grouse bones were discovered in Longbury Bank cave near Tenby in 1878. He concluded that the species must have been indigenous, but in his own time knew only of a few introduced at Trecwn, which did not survive long. The only records since […]

Black Grouse – 1949

Species account from the Birds of Pembrokeshire, 1949, by Lockley, Ingram and Salmon.

Black Grouse – 1894

Tetrao tetrix We cannot say how long ago the Black Grouse ceased to exist as an indigenous bird in the county. Mr. Dix states that he had heard of a few in the neighbourhood of Fishguard, but he certainly referred to those the late Mr. Barham turned down at Trecwn in his attempt to naturalize the birds upon his […]

Black Grouse – Pre-historical

Tetrao tetrix – Grugiar Ddu – Rare visitor Ice Age Studies by Anne Eastham on the bird bones in the Hoyles Mouth and Little Hoyle caves near Tenby show that Black Grouse were present in the area 10,000 years ago.  The bones were found in a scree deposit left at the end of the last […]