Great Crested Grebe – 2006

Podiceps cristatus cristatus

Breeding Great Crested Grebes inhabit fresh waters throughout the non Arctic Palearctic and are variously resident, migratory and dispersive.

In Pembrokeshire the Great Crested Grebe was considered to be a not very common winter visitor by Mathew (1894), a rather scarce winter visitor by Lockley et al (1949) and a sparse winter visitor by Donovan and Rees (1994).

Throughout this period there was an increase in the UK breeding population, following the cessation of persecution post 1860. This increase has continued in the long-term, e.g. a 28% growth nationally between 1995 and 2005 as measured by the BBS.

Few fresh water sites in Pembrokeshire are suitable for Great Crested Grebes. One was seen at Bicton Reservoir in November 1980 and ones and twos occurred sporadically at Bosherston between 1984 and 1997.

One was at Heathfield Gravel Pit on 27th May 1999, with two there on 4th July 2001 and breeding was attempted in 2005 but was unsuccessful.

From one to five were seen at Llys y fran Reservoir in most years between 1985 and 1995, then in 1996 a pair bred but the nest was predated at the egg stage. Birds were present in the following years but breeding was not proven again until 2004. A pair present with three juveniles in July 2002 was suggestive but at that date could have come from elsewhere.

A single bird was seen at Rosebush Reservoir on 20th September1992, where a pair built a nest in 1995 but did not breed. A pair hatched a chick in 1997, were seen sitting on a nest in 1999 and 2002 and bred in 2004, 2005 and 2006.

A bird of the year was picked up unharmed in Haroldston Hall farmyard on 27th July 1966, it was released onto the farm’s irrigation reservoir where it spent several days before leaving.

The number visiting Pembrokeshire also increased, from 13 in 1936, through 19 in 1963 and 28 in 1985, to the subsequent annual totals recorded, as follows:

Graham Rees (County bird recorder 1981 to 2007)

More about the Great Crested Grebe in Pembrokeshire

Great Crested Grebe – 2003 winter

Podiceps cristatus cristatus

Most Great Crested Grebes have been noted on salt water, with Angle Bay and Fishguard Harbour holding the largest concentrations, maximum annual counts being :

Other wintering locations were Newport Bay, St Bride’s Bay, Amroth / Saundersfoot and the higher reaches of the Cleddau Estuary.

Occasional sightings have come from the Teifi Estuary and all around the outer coast, including the offshore islands of Skokholm and Skomer and passing Strumble Head. Presumably these birds were either through migrants or in transit to the regular wintering localities.

Graham Rees (County bird recorder 1981 to 2007)

DONOVAN. J and REES. G. 1994. Birds of Pembrokeshire, Dyfed Wildlife Trust.

LOCKLEY. R. M, INGRAM. C. S. and SALMON. H. M.1949. The birds of Pembrokeshire, West Wales Field Society.

MATHEW. M. 1894. The birds of Pembrokeshire and its islands, R. H. Porter.

More about the Great Crested Grebe in Pembrokeshire

Great Crested Grebe – 2003-07 breeding

Podiceps cristatus – GWYACH FAWR GOPOG – Sparse winter visitor

1984-882003-07
Breeding confirmed
Breeding probable2
Breeding possible1
No of tetrads occupied0 (of 478)3 (of 490)
Percentage of tetrads%0.6%

Great crested grebes were first proved to have bred in Pembrokeshire when a pair incubated eggs at Llys-y-fran Reservoir in 1996, the nest later being predated. Although present there in following years, breeding was not proven again until 2004. A pair present with three juveniles in July 2002 was suggestive but at that date they could have come from elsewhere.

Single pairs occupied Rosebush Reservoir from 1995 onwards and were seen to have hatched a chick in 1997. They may well have attempted breeding there in each subsequent year, it being confirmed in 1999, 2002, 2004 and 2006.

Breeding was attempted at Heathfield Gravel Pit in 2005 but was unsuccessful.

Graham Rees (County bird recorder 1981 to 2007)

Rees G.H., Haycock R.J., Haycock A, Hodges J.E., Sutcliffe S.J., Jenks P, and Dobbins R. 2008, Atlas of Breeding Birds in Pembrokeshire 2003-07. Pembrokeshire Bird Group.

More about the Great Crested Grebe in Pembrokeshire

Great-crested Grebe – 1994

Podiceps cristatus – GWYACH FAWR GOPOG – Sparse winter visitor

Mathew (1894) regarded the Great Crested Grebe as a “not very common winter visitor” and Lockley et al. (1949) as a “winter visitor, rather scarce”. It may have marginally increased since then and is now a sparse winter visitor mainly from October to March, extreme dates being 11 May and 23 June. Up to three can usually be found on the sea in sheltered areas such as Amroth– Saundersfoot and St Bride’s Bay, and up to eight most years in Fishguard Harbour. It sometimes enters the estuaries of the Teifi and Nevern, and is seen regularly in the Cleddau Estuary, where up to ten usually winter in Angle Bay and, in some years, in Hook Reach and the Eastern Cleddau.

The Great Crested Grebe has been recorded sporadically on fresh water at Bicton and Llysyfran reservoir and more frequently on Bosherston Pools, where it has lingered late into the spring on several occasions and given rise to the hope that it might eventually breed.

Winter numbers increase markedly during cold spells, when it becomes more widespread; for example 14 were counted in Fishguard Harbour in such circumstances on 15 February 1986.

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

More about the Great Crested Grebe in Pembrokeshire

Great-crested Grebe – 1980s winter

Podiceps cristatus – GWYACH FAWR GOPOG – Sparse winter visitor

The BTO winter atlas showed that Great Crested Grebes were present in most 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 4-15 birds.

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 Great Crested Grebe in Pembrokeshire

Great Crested Grebe – 1894

Podiceps cristatus – A winter visitor.

Not very common in Pembrokeshire. Sir Hugh Owen has seen it at Goodwick. Mr. Dix says: “A few are seen during the winter, but invariably in immature or winter plumage.” However, Sir Hugh Owen appears to have met with it in its adult dress, as he informs us he has seen both the Great Crested and the Tippet Grebes, the latter being the common name of the bird in its full plumage.

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

More about the Great Crested Grebe in Pembrokeshire

Great Crested Grebe

Podiceps cristatus – GWYACH FAWR GOPOG – Sparse winter visitor and occasional breeder

Great Crested Grebe – 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.

Great Crested Grebe – 2006

Podiceps cristatus cristatus Breeding Great Crested Grebes inhabit fresh waters throughout the non Arctic Palearctic and are variously resident, migratory and dispersive. In Pembrokeshire the Great Crested Grebe was considered to be a not very common winter visitor by Mathew (1894), a rather scarce winter visitor by Lockley et al (1949) and a sparse winter […]

Great Crested Grebe – 2003 winter

Podiceps cristatus cristatus Most Great Crested Grebes have been noted on salt water, with Angle Bay and Fishguard Harbour holding the largest concentrations, maximum annual counts being : Other wintering locations were Newport Bay, St Bride’s Bay, Amroth / Saundersfoot and the higher reaches of the Cleddau Estuary. Occasional sightings have come from the Teifi […]

Great Crested Grebe – 2003-07 breeding

Podiceps cristatus – GWYACH FAWR GOPOG – Sparse winter visitor 1984-88 2003-07 Breeding confirmed Breeding probable 2 Breeding possible 1 No of tetrads occupied 0 (of 478) 3 (of 490) Percentage of tetrads % 0.6% Great crested grebes were first proved to have bred in Pembrokeshire when a pair incubated eggs at Llys-y-fran Reservoir in 1996, […]

Great-crested Grebe – 1994

Podiceps cristatus – GWYACH FAWR GOPOG – Sparse winter visitor Mathew (1894) regarded the Great Crested Grebe as a “not very common winter visitor” and Lockley et al. (1949) as a “winter visitor, rather scarce”. It may have marginally increased since then and is now a sparse winter visitor mainly from October to March, extreme dates being […]

Great-crested Grebe – 1980s winter

Podiceps cristatus – GWYACH FAWR GOPOG – Sparse winter visitor The BTO winter atlas showed that Great Crested Grebes were present in most 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 4-15 birds. […]

Great Crested Grebe – 1949

Podiceps cristatus cristatus A winter visitor, rather scarce, chiefly in the waters of Milford Haven. R.M.Lockley, G.C.S.Ingram, H.M.Salmon, 1949, The Birds of Pembrokeshire, The West Wales Field Society More about the Great Crested Grebe in Pembrokeshire

Great Crested Grebe – 1894

Podiceps cristatus – A winter visitor. Not very common in Pembrokeshire. Sir Hugh Owen has seen it at Goodwick. Mr. Dix says: “A few are seen during the winter, but invariably in immature or winter plumage.” However, Sir Hugh Owen appears to have met with it in its adult dress, as he informs us he has seen both the […]

Great Crested Grebe

Podiceps cristatus – GWYACH FAWR GOPOG – Sparse winter visitor and occasional breeder