Dunlin – WeBS 2020-21

Actitis hypoleucos – PIBYDD Y DORLAN – Passage migrant and winter visitor

Updates to the Wetland Bird Survey counts for this season.

Note that any counts for this season may be updated as more counts come in.

Annie Haycock (BBS & WeBS local organiser)

Dunlin – 2020 WeBS

Calidris alpina – PIBYDD Y MAWN – Winter visitor and passage migrant

Peak counts of dunlin are erratic, but generally in the range of 2,500 to 5,000 birds.  Numbers were higher on average in the 1990s, including a peak of some 8,500 birds in 1996-97 which mirrored an influx seen across the whole UK in that year only.  Numbers have been lower since 2000-01.

To be of national importance for a species, a site must hold a five-year average count above the threshold level.  With numbers fluctuating widely, the Cleddau occasionally achieves this figure

Most of the dunlin on the Cleddau are found on the large open mudflats of Pembroke River, Carew-Cresswell and Hook-Sprinkle.  Decadal averages indicate that most of the decline has occurred on the Pembroke River and the Carew-Cresswell.

Very few dunlin are counted on other Pembrokeshire WeBS sites – usually around 200 on the Nevern and Teifi combined, occasionally nearer 300.

Monthly indices show that, throughout the UK, numbers are now generally lower all through most of the winter.  This is mirrored by a rise in the Netherlands, strongly suggesting that birds migrating from the northeast, and possibly northwest, are stopping on the Wadden Sea.  This may be a consequence of the milder weather of recent winter. Previously, in October, after moulting on the Wash & Waddensee, many birds moved westwards to areas of milder winter climate.  Between February and April, many birds move east again before migrating to breeding grounds.

Annie Haycock (BBS & WeBS local organiser)

More about the Dunlin in Pembrokeshire

Dunlin – 1994

Calidris alpina – PIBYDD Y MAWN – Winter visitor and passage migrant

There is no evidence of any change in status since Mathew (1894) and Lockley et al (1949).

A considerable autumn passage commences in early July and continues into November, with peak movement in September.  Some birds pause to feed on the estuaries and to a lesser extent on mainland beaches and offshore islands.  They have also been seen passing during the day from ships offshore and from the Smalls and off Strumble Head, as well as being detected moving at night at the lighthouses of the latter two localities.  Observations at Stumble head confirm the September peak which is also reflected in counts from the Cleddau, Teifi and Nevern estuaries.

The main winter arrival occurs in November and December and is nocturnal.  The principal areas of the Cleddau Estuary used are between Hook and Llangwm, Carew/Cressell Rivers, Llandstadwell, Pembroke River and Angle Bay.

On average about 80 dunlin winter on the Teifi Estuary and 20-30 on the Nevern Estuary.  They are scarce and irregular elsewhere. 

Departure takes place in March, is rapid and thought to be nocturnal.  Ringing has shown that some winter birds arrive via Scandinavia; for example, on ringed on 31 August 1952 at Ottenby in Sweden was recovered at Milford Haven on 10 December.

Small numbers pass through Pembrokeshire from April to mid-June, pausing briefly on the offshore islands, the Gann and the Nevern and Teifi estuaries, with a rapid turnover of individual.  They can sometimes be seen departing northwards on calm evenings from places such as Angle Bay and the Gann, when they rise from the flats and circled in tight groups, calling incessantly, sudddinly falling quiet as they set off on a bearing.

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

More about the Dunlin in Pembrokeshire

Dunlin – 1980s winter

Calidris alpina – PIBYDD Y MAWN – Winter visitor and passage migrant

The BTO winter atlas showed that Dunlins were present in several coastal and estuarine 10km squares during the winters of 1981-82, 1982-82 and 1983-84.

The darker the colour, the higher the relative total count for each 10km square.  The darkest blue represents over 900 birds.

The distribution is consistent with the Birds of the Estuary Enquiry (BoEE, now WeBS) at that time, with the majority of birds in the inland parts of the Cleddau Estuary complex. The Nevern and Teifi estuaries provided the main wintering grounds in the north of the county.

Graham Rees (County bird recorder 1981 to 2007)

Data collected by volunteers for the BTO. Lack, P. 1986 Atlas of wintering birds in Britain and Ireland. T & A.D. Poyser.

More about the Dunlin in Pembrokeshire

Dunlin – 1894

Tringa alpina – A winter visitor; perhaps, also a resident.

The Dunlin is common in the autumn and winter all round the coast, wherever there are sands and oozes. Although we failed to detect it in the summer-time, on the west-ward front of the Precelly Mountains, we consider it extremely probable that a pair or two may nest on those hills, especially as it has been found breeding at no great distance in Cardiganshire, where Mr. J. H. Salter, of University College, Aberystwyth, discovered its nest “on a large heather-grown peat bog, some twelve miles from the sea.” (Zoologist, 1893, p. 269.) And, in a letter to us, Mr. Salter gives the exact locality, the Gors Teifi., and tells us ” a pair or two breed here and there all over the hills, but preferably in the neighbourhood of water.”

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

More about the Dunlin in Pembrokeshire

Dunlin

Calidris alpina – PIBYDD Y MAWN – Winter visitor and passage migrant

Dunlin – WeBS 2020-21

Actitis hypoleucos – PIBYDD Y DORLAN – Passage migrant and winter visitor Updates to the Wetland Bird Survey counts for this season. Note that any counts for this season may be updated as more counts come in.

Dunlin – 2020 WeBS

Calidris alpina – PIBYDD Y MAWN – Winter visitor and passage migrant Peak counts of dunlin are erratic, but generally in the range of 2,500 to 5,000 birds.  Numbers were higher on average in the 1990s, including a peak of some 8,500 birds in 1996-97 which mirrored an influx seen across the whole UK in […]

Dunlin – 1994

Calidris alpina – PIBYDD Y MAWN – Winter visitor and passage migrant There is no evidence of any change in status since Mathew (1894) and Lockley et al (1949). A considerable autumn passage commences in early July and continues into November, with peak movement in September.  Some birds pause to feed on the estuaries and to a […]

Dunlin – 1980s winter

Calidris alpina – PIBYDD Y MAWN – Winter visitor and passage migrant The BTO winter atlas showed that Dunlins were present in several coastal and estuarine 10km squares during the winters of 1981-82, 1982-82 and 1983-84. The darker the colour, the higher the relative total count for each 10km square.  The darkest blue represents over 900 birds. The […]

Dunlin – 1949

Calidris alpina ?sub-sp Common winter visitor.  Regular in small numbers Skokholm (well on into June).  There is no evidence that it has ever bred in the county. R.M.Lockley, G.C.S.Ingram, H.M.Salmon, 1949, The Birds of Pembrokeshire, The West Wales Field Society More about the Dunlin in Pembrokeshire

Dunlin – 1894

Tringa alpina – A winter visitor; perhaps, also a resident. The Dunlin is common in the autumn and winter all round the coast, wherever there are sands and oozes. Although we failed to detect it in the summer-time, on the west-ward front of the Precelly Mountains, we consider it extremely probable that a pair or two […]

Dunlin

Calidris alpina – PIBYDD Y MAWN – Winter visitor and passage migrant