Cory’s Shearwater – 2007

Calonectris diomedeaAderyn-Drycin CoryOccasional visitor

The Cory’s Shearwater breeds in several places around the Mediterranean, in Portugal and on the sub tropical islands of the east Atlantic. It is migratory outside the breeding season, many then occurring in the Bay of Biscay, regularly penetrating as far as Cornwall and occasionally appearing in large numbers off the south west of Ireland.

It is an erratic visitor to Pembrokeshire waters, being first recorded from the Fishguard to Rosslare ferry on the 25th September 1965 by Jack Donovan. From then until 2007 a total of 86 birds have been logged. They were not recorded annually, being seen in 66% of those years. The earliest was off the South Bishop on the 22nd February 1976, the latest off Strumble Head on the 29th November 1999. Otherwise the cumulative monthly totals were:

Most sightings involved single birds, with two in a day on five occasions, three once, five twice and the maxima of six in the Celtic Deep on the 26th September 1999 and seven off Strumble Head on the 15th August 1999. The largest incursion was in 1999 with a total of 26 bird days logged.

Considered by BWP as “equally satisfied with pelagic, offshore and inshore waters”, the fact that 78% of Pembrokeshire sightings were made from the land, probably reflects the distribution of observer effort. A total of 14 of these were seen from Skokholm, Skomer, St Ann’s Head, South Bishop, Ramsey and St Govan’s Head, and 53 from Strumble Head. The hours of observation expended from the land greatly exceeded the time spent looking in offshore waters.

Offshore sightings were of singles from the Fishguard to Rosslare ferry, from a small craft west of Grassholm and from another boat north of Porth Gain, five from the Pembroke to Rosslare ferry and 11 from shark-fishing vessels in the Celtic Deep.

Cory’s Shearwaters have been seen in Pembrokeshire waters in a variety of weather conditions, with winds from all directions and ranging from calm through moderate winds to full gale force, making their appearance unpredictable.

It is not known to what degree the races Calonectris diomedia deomedia and C.d. borealis are involved in the Pembrokeshire record.

Graham Rees. Pembrokeshire County Bird Recorder 1981-2007

CRAMP. S. (Editor), 1977 – 1994. Handbook of the Birds of Europe, the Middle East and North Africa : the birds of the Western Palearctic, Oxford University Press, 9 Vols.

More about the Cory’s Shearwater in Pembrokeshire

Cory’s Shearwater – 1994

Calonectris diomedeaAderyn-Drycin CoryOccasional visitor

The first to be recorded was seen about 20 km west of Strumble Head from the Fishguard to Rosslare ferry on 25 September 1965 (J.W. Donovan). Single birds have since been seen at the following locations: South Bishop on 22 February 1976; St Ann’s Head on 12 June 1976; Skokholm on 17 August 1979, 6 and 15 August 1989; Strumble Head on 28 August 1981, 4 and 27 August and 2 September 1984, 12 August 1985, 13 and 20 August 1988, 29 August 1989 and 16 September 1990, with two there on 26 August 1981. Such occurrences suggest that we are on the fringe of their northward penetration of the East Atlantic.

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

Following re-assessment of records by WBRC in 2020, only the following records are considered acceptable:

  • South Bishop 22 Feb 1976
  • St Anne’s Head, 12 June 1976
  • Strumble Head 7 Sept 1980
  • Strumble Head 26 Aug 1981 (2 birds)
  • Strumble Head 28 Aug 1981
  • Skokholm on 17 August 1979 – not submitted to WBRC
  • Strumble Head 2 September 1984 – not accepted

More about the Cory’s Shearwater in Pembrokeshire

Cory’s Shearwater

Calonectris diomedeaAderyn-Drycin CoryOccasional visitor

Cory’s Shearwater – 2007

Calonectris diomedea – Aderyn-Drycin Cory – Occasional visitor The Cory’s Shearwater breeds in several places around the Mediterranean, in Portugal and on the sub tropical islands of the east Atlantic. It is migratory outside the breeding season, many then occurring in the Bay of Biscay, regularly penetrating as far as Cornwall and occasionally appearing in […]

Cory’s Shearwater – 1994

Calonectris diomedea – Aderyn-Drycin Cory – Occasional visitor The first to be recorded was seen about 20 km west of Strumble Head from the Fishguard to Rosslare ferry on 25 September 1965 (J.W. Donovan). Single birds have since been seen at the following locations: South Bishop on 22 February 1976; St Ann’s Head on 12 […]